Free vine giveaway to boost Birdwing Butterfly recovery

Richmond Birdwing Butterfly crying out for more habitat

The mission to bring back the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly to the coast has begun!
With the help of Maroochy Waterwatch with support from the Buderim Foundation, you can be part of this important program.
Cerran Fawns, CEO of Maroochy Waterwatch said “The Richmond Birdwing Butterfly is one of Australia’s most impressive and beautiful native butterflies. Unfortunately, due to land clearing, changes to horticultural and agricultural practices and even the way in which we garden, has brought about the threat of extinction for this beautiful creature”.
Maroochy Waterwatch are offering free Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Vines to landholders in the Buderim area to help the butterfly re-establish populations in the region.
Ms Fawns added, “All butterflies are an important part of the ecosystem, but the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly is especially important because it can indicate to us the changes that are occurring in our environment. In recent years, their breeding habitat has been drastically reduced, as has the one plant that provides food for the caterpillars – the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Vine”.
“Unfortunately, the vine Dutchman’s Pipe often fools the butterflies as it is very similar to the Birdwing vine. A butterfly will be fooled into laying their eggs on the leaves of the Dutchman Pipe and then the larvae are poisoned when they hatch and begin to feed”.
“The aim of this program is to remove Dutchman Pipe and replace them with the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Vine or to simply start planting the vines in your backyard”. Ms Fawns said.
Dutchman’s pipe is a declared Class 3 pest plant under Queensland legislation.
With the assistance of the Buderim Foundation, Maroochy Waterwatch has a number of Richmond Birdwing Butterfly Vines to give away to residents of Buderim. The butterfly was once seen regularly in this area, but is sadly now a rare sight. If you are a landholder in Buderim and you have a desire to help this beautiful species recover in the area, please contact Jacqui Smythe at Maroochy Waterwatch on 5476 4777 or jacqui@maroochycatchmentcentre.org.au