Birdwing butterfly recovery

(16 March 2018) All credits go to TM Landcare. A few years ago Landcare planted about 8 Birdwing Butterfly vines at their Hartley Road precinct. Guess what… the Richmond Birdwing, Australia’s most famous butterfly, found’em. For the first time caterpillars can be seen on – or better: underneath – some of the leaves of the ‘Pararistolochia praevenosa’.
These butterflies are very vulnerable, despite their huge size. They need to mix with enough butterflies of their own species to keep enough variation in the gene pool. Otherwise, after four generations the butterflies cannot breed successfully: new genes need to come into the population. Therefore, to survive, these butterflies need the vines all over the place, as these vines are the only breeding ground for these finicky insects. The major number of these vines on Tamborine Mountain can be found at Skywalk, but smaller numbers appear more and more on the mountain. All necessary for the survival of this iconic species.
If you are interested to plant a few vines on your property: call Landcare. They can help you out to find the right vines. AND: if your garden is home to the Dutchman’s Pipe vine, then it might be good to get rid of that one: The Birdwing Butterflies misinterpret that flower for the ‘Pararistolochia praevenosa’, but it is deadly for them.

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