Xerces blue
Cheers to the Past,
Present, and the Future
It all began with a crazy, wonderful idea hatched one December night on a train journey through the English countryside. Returning to Huntingdon after attending an evening lecture in London about the large blue butterfly, at the time rapidly approaching extinction in Britain, Robert Michael Pyle wondered why not an organization to protect insects? There were groups protecting birds, pandas, and tigers, so why not one to speak out on behalf of butterflies and their non-feathered, non-furry ilk? The next morning, in the cold light of day, that idea seemed just as wonderful, and Bob Pyle started straightaway to make it a reality. Forty years later and the Xerces Society is still speaking out to protect the little creatures that run the world. And what a ride it's been!

Xerces publicationsIn the 1970s, the small, volunteer-run Society was able to stir up considerable interest in butterflies thanks to the tireless efforts of its members. They appeared at development planning meetings to advocate for habitat protection, campaigned for the creation of wildlife refuges, and produced factsheets and other informational materials. The journal Atala was published as a channel to share the latest research, and Wings was born as a black-and-white newsletter. This may not seem revolutionary, but at the time there was nothing like it.

monarchA decade later it became obvious that a volunteer group could not achieve all that they desired. In 1983, Melody Mackey Allen was hired to coordinate a project protecting monarch butterflies, and soon expanded her role to become Xerces' first executive director. When Melody left after seventeen years, the Society had made achievements that no-one would have believed possible only a few years earlier: in Madagascar, butterflies were used to help define national park boundaries; in Costa Rica, 200 acres of ground nesting bee habitat was purchased; and in the Pacific Northwest invertebrates were used as in indicator to gauge watershed health. During this time, Wings was reborn as a color magazine and Butterfly Gardening was published.

beeScott Hoffman Black came on board at the turn of the 21st century, and under his leadership Xerces has steadily grown stronger. We now employ twenty people, operating from four regional offices in addition to the main office in Portland, Oregon. Xerces has become a national leader in pollinator conservation, protection of endangered invertebrates, and working to understand and protect aquatic invertebrates.

dragonflyNone of this could have been achieved without the contributions and support of many talented people.
Throughout its history, the Society has been blessed with the involvement of amazing scientists and conservationists. It is impossible to list them all here, but their contributions of knowledge and advice provide a scientific basis that underpins the success of the Society. Scores of photographers have generously shared their photos and talented authors have written for Wings and other publications. We thank them all.

The support and encouragement of our members and funders have been fundamental to these four decades of success. For those of us who work here, knowing that people place so much confidence in our ability to affect change that they donate money, motivates us to work even harder to justify that confidence. As a thank you, we will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Xerces Society with a party at our main office in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday, December 14th. Xerces staff from across the country will be attending the party, as well as Xerces' founder Bob Pyle, and we would love it if you could join us for this celebration!

Read more about our 40th Anniversary Party or RSVP!


1971 - 2011: Forty Years of Conservation
The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. The Society has been at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide for forty years, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs.

To learn more about our work, please visit www.xerces.org.
Your contribution goes directly to support
* innovative conservation programs
* effective education and advocacy
* scientific and popular publications
bee This perpetual calendar is brought to you by the same team who brought us the previous bee calendars. Each month introduces you to a different bee genus, with a gorgeous full-page pin-up photo and notes on preferred plants and nesting needs. Read more.
Please visit our online store for books and publications on invertebrate conservation.

Don't miss out on the anniversary edition of our member magazine Wings. Become a member today to receive your copy.
Wings fall 2011
If you are not already a member, please consider joining the Xerces Society. As a member, you will receive two issues of our member magazine Wings each year. For more information on membership, or to renew an existing membership, please visit the membership page of our website. Please email suzanne@xerces.org if you have any questions. 
Banner: Xerces blue, the butterfly that inspired our name. Photo by Larry Orsak/The Xerces Society.

In-Text: Early publications from Xerces; breaking the silence that surrounded insect conservation. Photo by Carly Voight/The Xerces Society.

Monarch (Danaus plexippus); efforts to protect monarchs continue to this day with projects to manage overwintering groves and promote planting of milkweed. Photo by Mace Vaughan/The Xerces Society.

Long-horn bee (Melissodes); pollinator conservation has fueled Xerces' growth and enabled establishment of regional offices. Photo by Matthew Shepherd/The Xerces Society.

Band-winged dragonlet (Erythrodiplax umbrata); migratory dragonflies are the focus of a major new project. Photo by Celeste Mazzacano/The Xerces Society.
The Xerces Society 628 NE Broadway, Suite 200, Portland, OR 97232 USA tel 855.232.6639
info@xerces.org www.xerces.org

Copyright 2011 The Xerces Society. All rights reserved.