16,000 butterflies were recently donated to a one-day exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah. The specimens were provided by family members of the late Dr. James Pearce. Pearce, a scientist and resident of Utah, spent 50 years of his life studying and collecting them across the globe.
“He loved to be outside, he loved nature, he was a scientist,” said Virginia, his wife. “So from the time when he was a little boy, he was collecting and classifying and spreading and developing this wonderful hobby.”
“It is truly an honor that the Pearce family trusts us with his remarkable collection,” said the museum’s Christy Bills. “Documentation of the butterflies along the Wasatch Front is not that extensive. So, the breadth and depth of the collection, in terms of time and specimens, helps us tell the story of our ecosystem here in the valley.”
The museum explained that Pearce’s studies expose the local butterfly population and its significant transformation over the past 30 years, as a result of reduced plant life and increased construction.
The exhibit will be held on Wednesday, May 9th, from 4 till 9 p.m.