Research project: Assessment of hill-topping sites for butterflies in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority

Dates

Start date:
2007

Museum investigators

External investigators

  • Lyndsay Holme, New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change

Funded by

  • Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Authority, Natural Heritage Trust, New South Wales Dept. of Environment and Climate Change

Description

Loss and/or degradation of sites used for hill-topping by butterflies have been listed as key threatening processes on Schedule 3 of the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. Application of this legislation has been hindered by lack of detailed knowledge of the hill-topping butterfly fauna present in New South Wales.

The Natural Heritage Trust provided funding to the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority to investigate the significance of hill-topping sites in the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment. With the involvement of the New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change, the Australian Museum was engaged to work on a pilot project aimed at educating stakeholders and providing baseline information on hill-topping butterfly communities.

Two workshops on identification and biology of butterflies were presented to stakeholders from local and state government bodies, environmental consultants, students, bush regeneration and local landcare groups.
Thirteen hill-top sites in the Estuary subcatchment region of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority were surveyed for their butterfly fauna from October 2007 to April 2008. Fifty-one species and 2,556 individual butterflies were observed, of which 40% were hill-topping species.

A set of detailed recommendations for future education and survey work have been provided based on the findings of this study.


Dr David Britton , Head, Natural Sciences & Biodiversity Conservation
Scott Ginn
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