Birdwing vines
February 16, 2021 Latest News, RBCN News No Comments

16 February 2021

 

birdwing vines

Collecting the beautiful birdwing butterfly vines from the nursery to drop at Woodfordia. Image: Matt Cecil

Wildlife Queensland’s Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network (RBCN) and Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) hosted a birdwing butterfly vine workshop earlier this month for Land for Wildlife property owners in the Moreton Bay region.

Held at Woodfordia, the event was part of a larger RBCN Woodford-Samford Corridor Project aimed at helping save the Richmond birdwing butterfly and included Land for Wildlife property owners whose land is on mapped habitat suitable for the birdwing butterfly vine to grow, and within RBCN’s mapped Woodford-Samford corridor.

30 attendees enjoyed an informative birdwing butterfly vine planting and care workshop and collected free vines to plant on their properties to help build the vine corridor.

250 birdwing vines were provided by RBCN, generously funded by a grant from the Bank Australia Impact Fund.

RBCN also conducted a planting demonstration in the Woodfordia butterfly walk, planting a new vine next to older established birdwing vines. As a bonus for attendees, several birdwing butterfly larvae were observed on the leaves of the established vines.

About the Woodford-Samford Corridor Project

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,” says Matt Cecil.

“Through Wildlife Queensland’s survey work and thanks to a grant from Wettenhall Environmental Trust which funded the detailed desktop mapping of land that contains the essential habitat features required for vine growth, we determined that planting a corridor of birdwing butterfly vines between Woodford and Samford would provide the best results.”

grant from the Bank Australia Impact Fund funded the purchase of 1,000 birdwing butterfly vines for the development of this important habitat corridor.

“RBCN is grateful for the Bank Australia Impact Fund grant to help fund the development of a corridor of birdwing butterfly vines to aid in the recovery of this incredible native butterfly. 1,000 vines in the ground is a fantastic kick start for the growth of the corridor,” says Matt Cecil.

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. In addition to the corridor planting, Wildlife Queensland’s RBCN is asking schools and people who reside within the Richmond birdwing butterfly northern habitat corridor (please refer to our map) 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,” says Matt.

The RBCN has created a list of recommended nurseries where you can purchase birdwing vines. 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 Woodford-Samford Corridor Project:

  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Wettenhall Environmental Trust
  • Bank Australia Impact Fund

In addition, we would like to thank Land for Wildlife property owners for their generous time and work in helping restore habitat for the vulnerable Richmond birdwing butterfly, as well as our Wildlife Queensland volunteers and supporters.

Join the RBCN

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

You can also:

Image gallery

birdwing vines

Beautiful birdwing butterfly vines. Image: Matt Cecil

Butterfly vine workshop

Birdwing vine workshop. Image: Wendy Heath, MBRC

Butterfly vine workshop

Butterfly vine workshop. Image: Wendy Heath, MBRC

birdwing vines

Birdwing butterfly vines all in a row. Image: Matt Cecil

Birdwing vine planting demo

Vine planting demonstration. Image: Michael Mills, MBRC

Birdwing vine planting demo

Planting demonstration. Image: Wendy Heath, MBRC

Birdwing vine planting demo

Planting demonstration. Image: Wendy Heath, MBRC

Birdwing vine planting demo

Planting demonstration. Image: Michael Mills, MBRC

Birdwing vine planting demo

Planting demonstration. Image: Wendy Heath, MBRC

birdwing vines

Birdwing butterfly vines. Image: Matt Cecil

 

 

Written by Wildlifeqld