Photos and videos

Waterton Lakes National Park

Protecting the half-moon hairstreak butterfly


SOS! Half-moon hairstreak butterfly in distress!

The half-moon hairstreak and its habitat are protected under the Species at Risk Act

In Alberta, Waterton Lakes National Park is the only place where the half-moon hairstreak butterfly exists

It lives on a floodplain known as the Blakiston Fan

The area is threatened by natural disturbances

And invasive plants

Parks Canada and the Calgary Zoo are working together

To protect and restore the half-moon hairstreak population

Teams use monitoring, habitat restoration and research to understand the butterfly’s life cycle

These research methods play a crucial role in the butterfly’s survival

The half-moon hairstreak depends on some of the most beautiful wildflowers in the park

It relies on native plants like lupines for food and a safe place to reproduce

Half-moon hairstreaks are important to the ecosystem

Both as a prey species and as a pollinator

Butterflies are important indicators of a healthy habitat

They are beautiful and fascinating insects to observe

Each summer, Parks Canada shares the story of the half-moon hairstreak with visitors

By staying on paths and not trampling on plants

And by cleaning equipment such as boots and bikes to prevent the spread of invasive plants

You help protect the half-moon hairstreak butterfly!

A special thank you to the Calgary Zoo for collaborating on this project and providing footage.



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A montage showing some of the stunning scenery and wildlife at Waterton Lakes National Park.

Music: "Dreamer" by Jenn Grant, from the album Orchestra for the Moon

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Text fades in and out (Copyright Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Parks Canada, 2014.)

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Hike Waterton Lakes National Park's Famous Bear's Hump Trail


This video has no spoken language Music: Notes on Lightness by Tiny Music

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