Save our butterflies from extinction….. we need to accurately identify them to conserve them before they disappear!
Blockhouse Bay, Auckland
Save our butterflies by identifying them before they become extinct!
Can you imagine not having a name? Believe it or not, the majority of NZ butterflies have not yet been described! In fact, less than 50% of our insects have a scientific description.
As Dutch-NZ naturalist Ruud Kleinpaste explains, “if we can’t identify them how can we save them from extinction?”
To fix this identification crisis, The Butterfly Discovery Project will launch a full study to analyse the DNA of NZ's largest group of butterflies, known as coppers, part of the Lycaena family.
Currently they are grouped into only four scientifically-named species. But there may actually be up to more than 20 individual species within these groups! This creates major confusion for scientists and enthusiasts alike!
We aim to raise $130,000 for a PhD student to begin the important work of DNA sequencing, forming a genealogical tree of the NZ coppers to resolve the ongoing confusion, under the supervision and guidance of The University of Auckland Professor Thomas Buckley and Dr Robert Hoare of Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research.
All donations during this fundraising campaign will be held in a trust account and will help to boost further funding grants. It is expected to take up to three years to complete this important project.
If you love NZ and our endemic species, even a few dollars will help us reach our goal.
Please spread the word to other butterfly and nature enthusiasts. Our butterflies are counting on you!
The Moths and Butterflies of New Zealand Trust is a registered charity committed to protecting butterflies, moths and their habitats across New Zealand.
The funds will be held in trust until we can fund a PhD student to carry out this research aided by a team of scientists and volunteers.
Nearly at $1,000 31 May 2022
I was just looking at this image this morning (it's on the shortlist for our 2023 Calendar) and wondering which copper it was. It's a glade copper, Lycaena feredayi, or could it be L. enysii? One day, and with help from people like you, we will know for sure! Thanks so much for your support. As I write this we've reached $1,000... our first milestone. The more people that spread the word, the better.
So many New Zealanders don't know about our copper butterflies. And we plan to get their names sorted and make sure EVERYONE knows how special they are. Thank you for your help.
Ngā mihi maioha.
Thank you Jenni-Lee. That's wonderful. Thank you to your mum for being a good mum.
Thank you so much, Maggie. This will help - a step on the way to our goal, and demonstrates that we have more support.