Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve

Science, Education and Partnerships: steps towards the recovery of a flagship butterfly species (the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly) - paper available online

31st October 2011

A paper presented by volunteer R. Seddon and staff member G.J. Ivey, of Mary Cairncross, at the 6th World Environmental Education Congress in Brisbane, 2011. The abstract is shown below followed by a link to read the full text.


This presentation offers a case study in how local, regional and global partnerships in Science and Education supported community efforts in saving one threatened species. The Richmond Birdwing Butterfly (Ornithoptera richmondia) was presented to the community as a flagship species in order to motivate their participation in recovery strategies. The recovery was based on scientific information, an education strategy and community participation. This paper outlines the significant factors which characterised the recovery process from 1989 to 2009. Details are provided also of the practical activities undertaken such as propagating, planting, and recording of the lowland host vine; raising awareness of, and removing, exotic vines; as well as protecting and managing habitat on public reserves and private land holdings. The recovery of the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly demonstrates an Australian success story and it may serve as a useful example of saving threatened invertebrate species through community engagement.

Click on the following link to read the full paper PDF document (0.2MB).

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