Butterflies in Brisbane
Brisbane is the most biodiverse capital city of Australia. As Brisbanites we are proud of our local natural wealth. It creates much of our wonderful city's character and is invaluable for our wellbeing. It contributes greatly to how we live our social life, and it allows Brisbane to prosper.
While much of our natural landscape exists in public spaces like parks and reserves, riparian areas, wetlands, in mangroves lining the Brisbane River or our city's coastline, a significant part of Brisbane's biodiversity can be found on private properties. Even a small backyard or a balcony can contribute, especially if native plants are considered.
All local catchment and bush care groups work to create and enhance, to build connectivity to allow for wildlife movement, and to conserve our biodiversity. They engage Brisbamne's community and endeavour to make understood the value of native vegetation and how precious our natural assets are. Monitoring native species is part of rehabilitation activities and beneficial to overall efforts.
Around 160 different butterfly species have been recorded in the Brisbane area. They have the potential to be indicators of environmental health, not least thanks to their close relationship with plants.
In our fast growing city butterflies' habitat can become sparse and fragmented as once large properties make way to housing developments, usually leaving small plots with barely any valuable native plants. Riparian areas are too often reduced to a minimum with similar effects.
In addition to immense rehabilitation efforts by volunteers working with support of BCC's Community Conservation Partnerships Program, all Brisbanites can help to bring native larval host plants back to all these areas. To realise that butterflies are important pollinators and part of the food chain may support those efforts.
Image: Chequered Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus) by Jutta Godwin