RBCN launches new habitat corridor to save the birdwing butterfly

12 June 2019

Samford Eco-Corridor

Samford Eco-Corridor. Image © Mary-Anne Attard

Members of Wildlife Queensland’s Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network and Samford Eco-Corridor joined forces on Sunday, 9 June to launch a new habitat corridor project aimed at helping save the Richmond birdwing butterfly.

More than 100 people attended the Richmond birdwing northern habitat corridor project launch, which was held at the Samford District Bowls Club at the Samford Eco-Corridor in Brisbane’s Samford Valley.

Butterfly experts from Wildlife Queensland’s Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network (RBCN) gave a series of fascinating and informative presentations on the Richmond birdwing butterfly and its host vine, the birdwing butterfly vine.

Attendees enjoyed networking and lunch at the Samford District Bowls Club, generously funded by the Samford and Districts Progress and Protection Association.

The event also celebrated World Swallowtail Day (#WorldSwallowtailDay); attendees enjoyed a presentation by Ross Kendall of the Butterfly and Other Invertebrates Club (BOIC) on native swallowtail butterfly species and the host plants they rely on. In addition, the BIOC’s display of local swallowtail butterfly species proved to be as informative as it was popular. The day concluded with planting, watering and mulching of 50 birdwing vines and host plants for other swallowtails within the Samford Eco-Corridor.

Attendees were shown how to plant the vines (see images at bottom of page) and were able to take home a swallowtail host plant sourced from Kumbartcho Nursery at Eaton’s Hill and funded by Moreton Bay Regional Council.

About the Richmond birdwing northern habitat corridor project

Wildlife Queensland’s Matt Cecil discusses the RBCN northern habitat corridor project. Image © Peter Storer

The Richmond birdwing butterfly was once common across the wider Brisbane region but due to the loss of habitat and the loss of the larval host vine – the birdwing butterfly vine – the species’ Queensland distribution is now restricted to two separate populations (Sunshine Coast and Hinterland/Gold Coast Hinterland).

The establishment of a new habitat corridor between Samford and Woodford will link established Sunshine Coast populations of the Vulnerable birdwing butterfly via Woodford and Mount Mee with Samford and North Brisbane, providing ‘stepping stones’ for the female birdwings to move across the landscape to lay their eggs.

“It is critical that we plant the birdwing butterfly vines in a manner that creates a corridor for the Richmond birdwing butterfly. The negative impacts experienced by genetically isolated wildlife populations are well known and this project aims to future proof this amazing butterfly,” said Wildlife Queensland Projects Manager, Matt Cecil.

“Through Wildlife Queensland’s survey work and thanks to a grant from Wettenhall Environmental Trust which funded the detailed desktop mapping of regional eco-systems and other essential habitat features, we determined that planting a corridor of birdwing butterfly vines between Woodford and Samford would provide the best results,” Matt said.

A grant from Bank Australia’s Impact Fund will fund the purchase of 1000 Birdwing butterfly vines for the development of this important habitat corridor and funds raised by Wildlife Queensland in September 2017 will be used to plant a further 500 vines within the corridor.

How you can help the recovery of the Richmond birdwing butterfly

The key to the recovery of the birdwing butterfly species is engaging communities to plant and care for vines, said Matt Cecil from Wildlife Queensland.

In addition to the corridor planting, Wildlife Queensland’s RBCN is asking schools and people who reside within the Richmond birdwing northern habitat corridor (please refer to map below) if they can plant and look after vines.

“We need to grow large amounts of vine biomass so the female can easily detect and find the vines,” said Matt.

If you plant a vine, please let the RBCN know and we’ll add your location on the map.

Hopefully, in a few years’ time, the magnificent Richmond birdwing butterfly will be sighted regularly in our district as private properties and schools add further stepping stones to the corridor.

Thank you to our sponsors and supporters 

Wildlife Queensland and the RBCN would like to thank the following organisations for their generous funding and support of the Richmond birdwing northern habitat corridor launch event and project:

  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Samford and Districts Progress and Protection Association
  • Samford District Bowls Club
  • Wettenhall Environmental Trust
  • Eco Logical Australia
  • Kumbartcho Nursery
  • Swallowtail and Birdwing Butterfly Trust
  • Butterfly and Other Invertebrates Club>

In addition, we would like to thank all our many volunteers and community members for their generous time and work in helping restore habitat for the vulnerable Richmond birdwing butterfly.

Join the RBCN

If you would like to participate in this project, please register your interest by email to birdwing@wildlife.org.au

You can also:

Related links

Fact sheets:

Organisations and networks:


Planting vines, Samford Eco-Corridor

Planting vines in the eco-corridor.

Beautiful birdwing vines ready for planting.

Birdwing butterfly vine

A newly planted vine. Image © Mary-Anne Attard

An incredible team effort. Thank you!




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