Issue 3- 5 May 2021
Wednesday, 05 May 2021
Charles Darwin University
E-news
The butterfly species at greatest risk of extinction, 'Australian Frtillary', was last reported in New South Wales in 2015, with no confirmed sighting since 2021
The butterfly species at greatest risk of extinction, 'Australian Frtillary', was last reported in New South Wales in 2015, with no confirmed sighting since 2021

Butterflies at risk of extinction

New research led by a Charles Darwin University researcher and published in Austral Entomology has identified several insects in decline, including the top 26 Australian butterfly species and subspecies at greatest risk of extinction within the next 20 years.

The study was co-ordinated by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub of the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program.

Lead author, CDU research assistant Hayley Geyle, said that identifying species at risk is a vital first step in preventing extinctions but must be followed by new conservation action.

“By raising awareness of these butterflies and the risks they face, we aim to give governments, conservation groups and the community time to act to prevent their extinctions,” Ms Geyle said.

“Only 10 of the 26 butterflies identified are currently listed for protection under Australian enviropnmental law.

“The good news is that while the butterflies we identified are not doing well, for the majority of these species there is still a very good chance of recovery if there is new targeted conservation effort.

“Depending on the species this could include things like protecting habitat from clearing and weeds - and better fire management.”

The research team included 28 scientists and butterfly experts from universities, museums, government agencies and environment groups.

It also received valuable assistance from amateur entomologists.