Many of you will have noticed that it has been an exceptional year for the local flora and fauna. The 2014 Spring was good with reasonably regular rainfall (never too much), a warm, humid Summer and now Autumn too is kind. This is despite the arrival of ex tropical cyclone Marcia, which actually was a bit of a fizzer – at least for most of us here on the Range. What all this has meant is that flora flowering and then fruiting has been very successful which has led to the local fauna getting a good feed and multiplying.
Butterflies have been prolific and one day early in March I was fortunate enough to witness the ‘courtship dance’ of two Richmond birdwing butterflies. Now this may not be unusual for a large number of you out there but it is actually the first time I’ve ever seen a birdwing butterfly in the wild (this is probably more of a reflection of my inability to multitask rather than lack of opportunity).
I was able to take a (very) short video which can be seen here http://youtu.be/2UPcBR4y1Uo
The Richmond birdwing butterfly is listed as vulnerable in Queensland but since the early 1990s there have been considerable efforts to improve habitat – mainly through the planting of Richmond birdwing vines, the food source of the caterpillar. LBCCG will in fact be planting 50 vines as part of the Everyone’s Environment Grant on the Mid Obi Riparian Corridor Protection project.
For more information on this incredible butterfly see here http://www.wildlife.org.au/wildlife/speciesprofile/invertebrates/richmodnbirdwing.html