In Pacific Grove, California, under a city ordinance, tourist monarch butterflies have a right to “peaceful occupancy” during their annual convention there.
Even if the butterflies are swarming one’s home, interfering with occupancy and use, they can only be removed to another location on application to the police. Here’s the ordinance:
11.48.010 Interference With Prohibited.
It is declared to be unlawful for any person to molest or interfere with, in any way, the peaceful occupancy of the monarch butterflies on their annual visit to the city of Pacific Grove, and during the entire time they remain within the corporate limits of the city, in whatever spot they may choose to stop in, provided, however, that if said butterflies should at any time swarm in, upon or near the private dwelling house or other buildings of a citizen of the city of Pacific Grove in such a way as to interfere with the occupancy and use of said dwelling and/or other buildings, that said butterflies may be removed, if possible, to another location upon the application of said citizen to the chief of police.
You can see it coming. A massive class action asserting equal protection claims on behalf of other bugs similarly situated under rapidly descending rolled-up newspapers and clouds of poison gas.
Seriously though, it’s a good law. Every year, monarch butterflies take up residence in Pacific Grove as part of their migration south. They winter in Mexico, after traveling 2500 miles, the only insect to accomplish such a feat. Pretty impressive.
— City of Pacific Grove, CA Ord. 210 N.S. §§ 8-3060, 1952. Thanks to Lihwei Lin.