Giving the birdwing butterfly a helping hand

Giving the birdwing butterfly a helping hand

The Richmond birdwing butterfly has been given a helping hand to re-establish itself on the Sunshine Coast thanks to a joint effort between the Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Council.

Around 80 captive-bred caterpillars were recently released across three council-managed reserves in an endeavour aimed at improving the conservation status of the butterfly which is listed as vulnerable in Queensland.

Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Threatened Species Unit Senior Conservation Officer Dr Ian Gynther said the butterfly’s recovery was a critical priority under EHP’s Back on Track species prioritisation framework.

“A selective breeding and release project has been underway since 2010 with the assistance of the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service’s David Fleay Wildlife Park and Sunshine Coast Council,” Dr Gynther said.

“This caterpillar release is attempting to improve the abundance and genetic diversity of the butterfly’s population in the area and forms part of a larger recovery effort involving supplementary plantings of the host vine and ongoing monitoring by government agencies, non-government organisations and the community.”

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