Adopt Your Vine & Mine Project

Replanting and maintaining birdwing butterfly vines in the Logan region

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About this project

Historically, the Richmond birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera richmondia) and its host vine, the birdwing butterfly vine (Pararistolochia praevenosa), inhabited parts of the Logan City Council region; however, following habitat loss, wild populations of both the butterfly and the vine have been greatly reduced.

Both the Richmond birdwing butterfly and its host vine are threatened with extinction under Queensland environmental legislation.

In mid-2022, the Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network (RBCN) secured grant funding under Logan City Council’s EnviroGrants program to plant 100 birdwing butterfly vines at an identified replanting site in Cornubia in Logan. Community members in the area have the opportunity to participate in this direct conservation project by ‘adopting’ and maintaining a vine on both their property and at the Council-owned bushland site.

Community members who register for the project will receive two free vines, fertiliser and a free water bottle to remind them to water their vines, as well as detailed demonstrations on how to care for and maintain their adopted plants.

Project aims

The establishment of 100 birdwing butterfly vines at these key sites in Logan will increase the biomass of vine leaf available for the natural establishment and recolonisation of the Richmond birdwing butterfly. It will also allow the RBCN to determine whether there is a difference in growth and survival of vines located in the backyards of urban private properties when compared to those planted in bushland.

This project is part of the RBCN’s broader Coordinated Corridors Project, which aims to link vulnerable birdwing populations in South East Queensland by establishing vine corridors between Tamborine Mountain and Mount Cotton.

Richmond birdwing butterfly

Richmond birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera richmondia) 

Vine planting and care

Matt Cecil from Wildlife Queensland’s Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network demonstrates vine care. 

Measuring success

  • Two mid-project site inspections by RBCN team members will assess the condition of planted vines on council land and provide recommendations to address any issues with planted vines (soil ameliorants, fertiliser, additional water, etc). Replacement vines may be provided at this time (if required) to ensure project success.
  • A post-project survey will be sent to participants to assess vine growth in their backyards and rate it on a simple 1 to 5 condition scale designed by RBCN.
  • An end-of-project survey will be conducted to assess the growth and survival of vines.

Project progression

18 community members attended an RBCN vine planting event at Cornubia on 24 September 2022 to learn about the vulnerable Richmond birdwing butterfly and plant vines to assist its recovery in Logan. A great team effort resulted in a total of 33 vines being planted on a Council-owned site in Cornubia Forest Park. Each participant took home free fertiliser and an ‘adopted’ vine to plant and maintain on their properties, as well as a fabulous water bottle to help them remember to water their vines. We can’t wait to see how the vines progress over the coming months.

Past replanting of birdwing butterfly vines has been expensive in terms of cost and maintenance time. The Adopt Your Vine & Mine Project allows property owners to care for a vine in their backyard and ‘adopt’ another one in bushland adjacent to their property. This has several exciting benefits:

  1. It directly engages and educates the community in conserving a threatened species.
  2. It reduces maintenance time, as property owners regularly water and monitor their adopted vine.
  3. It enables us to determine whether vines grow more successfully in natural areas or in backyards, which will help inform future plantings.
Hannah Thomas

Projects Officer, Wildlife Queensland

Partners & sponsors

This project is supported by the Logan City Council’s EnviroGrants program.

  • Logan City Council

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