Richmond Birdwing Butterfly – recovery by community action

 

Pararistolochia praevenosa - drawing of a plant near the Lamington Plateau, SE QLD

Pararistolochia praevenosa - drawing of a plant near the Lamington Plateau, SE QLD

Today, I was lucky enough to see a Richmond Birdwing Butterfly. It was flying past me as I walked through my garden ( Upper Burringbar, Mt Warning Caldera, NE NSW, Australia).

This is only the second Richmond Birdwing Butterfly that I have ever seen. This Butterfly ((Ornithoptera richmondia), and it’s host plants arelisted  threatened species in Queensland, and although not listed in NSW or by the Australian Government, this Butterfly’s  survival is of concern, in NSW.

 It was quite large – green and black were the predominant colour. The first one I saw, was many years back, near Lower Beechmont, in the hinterland of the Gold Coast, SE Qld (and also part of the Mt Warning Caldera Region). That first one I saw was HUGE! I thought it was a bird!

This Butterfly I saw to day was also big. And it is a good sign to see one. I guess that the community action over the past ten years or so is really starting to pay off!

I have just written an article on this Richmond Birdwing Butterfly, at bluecray.org  . The conservation, recovery and the community action that has occurred is due to some very dedicated scientists and community volunteers over the past decade.  I was so happy to have seen this beautiful butterfly fly past me. Next time, I hope I have my camera ready!!

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