Birdwing Butterfly Vines
for the Redlands

Creating habitat for the vulnerable Richmond birdwing butterfly 

© Wildlife Qld

Home 9 Project 9 Birdwing Butterfly Vines for the Redlands

About this project

In 2021, Wildlife Queensland’s Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network (RBCN) was granted $9,765 through Redland City Council’s Community Grants Program to increase food plant habitats for the Richmond birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera richmondia) in the Redland City Council region.

Historically, the Richmond birdwing butterfly and its larval host vine, the birdwing butterfly vine (Pararistolochia praevenosa), inhabited parts of the Redland City Council region; however, due to habitat loss, wild populations of both the butterfly and the vine are no longer present. Yet, individual sightings of the butterfly still occur in the Redlands, suggesting the area has excellent potential for recolonisation.

The Richmond birdwing butterfly is currently listed as Vulnerable, and its larval host vine is listed as Near Threatened under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA).

Working with Redland City Council, the local Redlands community, and landholders, this collaborative Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network project aims to drive the ongoing recovery of the Richmond birdwing butterfly by increasing food plant habitats to enable the natural recolonisation of a population in the Redlands.

Birdwing butterfly vine© Wildlife Qld

Birdwing butterfly vine (Pararistolochia praevenosa).

The project involves:

  • planting and maintaining 200 birdwing butterfly vines on 10 key Land for Wildlife properties in the Mount Cotton area
  • running an educational workshop at Redlands IndigiScapes Environmental Education Centre to improve public understanding of the Richmond birdwing butterfly and its host vine and to encourage the community to get involved in recovering the species.

A free birdwing butterfly vine to plant in the Redlands will be provided to all community members who participate, including property owners and workshop attendees.

Measuring success

  • Mid-project site inspections will assess the condition of planted vines and provide recommendations to address any issues identified.
  • An end-of-project vine survey will be conducted to determine the growth and establishment of vines planted by contractors on Land for Wildlife properties.

Project progression

In early July 2022, contractors from Native Plants of South East Queensland began planting vines on select Land for Wildlife properties in the Redlands.

RBCN Birdwing Butterfly Workshop

RBCN’s Phil Moran demonstrated vine planting techniques.

33 people attended our Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network (RBCN) and Redland City Council Community Birdwing Butterfly Workshop at Redlands IndigiScapes Centre on Saturday 10 September 2022 to learn about the vulnerable Richmond birdwing butterfly, its near-threatened host vine and how to successfully plant the vines. 

RBCN’s Phil Moran captivated the audience with his knowledge of this vulnerable butterfly species and fabulous tips for vine planting success. Maree Manby from Redland City Council gave a fabulous presentation about the work that Redland City Council has been doing to encourage recolonised populations of Richmond birdwing butterflies, and how Redlands residents can get involved.

A fantastic day of fun and learning and participants were excited to take a free vine home to plant on their properties.

Over the years, Redland City Council has played a significant role in the conservation of the Richmond birdwing butterfly by working with the community, landholders and the RBCN to deliver workshops, distribute and plant vines, and address drivers of species decline (especially invasive poisonous weeds like Dutchman’s Pipe) within the local community. This project builds on previous work to raise the public awareness needed to work towards a sustainable population of the beautiful Richmond birdwing butterfly inhabiting the Redlands region.

Matt Cecil

Projects Manager, Wildlife Queensland

Partners & sponsors

Redland City Council is proud to provide funding for ‘Creating habitat for the vulnerable Richmond birdwing butterfly’ to assist the Redlands Coast community.

  • Redland City Council
  • Native Plants of South East Queensland
  • Land for Wildlife South East Queensland

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