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Climate Stories: The Xerces Blue Butterfly

October’s stories are inspired by Global Climate Change Week 2019, 14th-20th October. The Week originated at the University of Wollongong, Australia, and is now in its fifth year. It provides an open-ended framework for voluntary activities aimed at raising awareness, inspiring behaviour change and driving political transformation in relation to climate policy.

Image by Walkerssk from Pixabay

Each week during October, we will publish stories about human impact on environment that link objects in museum collections with creative work developed by international artists.

Courtesy of Florida Museum

We begin with the Xerces Blue, an extinct species of butterfly that lived in coastal sand dunes of the Sunset District of San Francisco peninsula. It is believed to be the first American butterfly species to become extinct as result of loss of habitat caused by urban development.

We connect it with ‘Mutual Air’, a public art installation by Rosten Woo in San Francisco Bay that leveraged the sounds of wind chimes to map air pollution.

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