Melaka sanctuary starts breeding 'Idea lynceus' butterflies again

MELAKA: The Melaka Butterfly and Reptile Park conservation centre is fluttering with Idea lynceus butterflies again, after almost a year’s absence since the study was stopped, due to a lack of funds from low collection at the gates during the movement control order period.

Park manager Qurratu A'in Rohaminordin said the sanctuary resumed breeding the species (butterflies from the Danainae subfamily) in February after the government opened up the economic sector following the diminishing threat of Covid-19.

"After stopping the 16-year study in March last year, we let the species survive on its own in the research centre. At that time, there were only about 10 butterflies of this type.

"When this conservation centre was reopened to the public, we raised capital to start the study and the first thing we did was replant a shrub of the Aganosma corimbosa type, which is also difficult to grow even in a controlled environment, as feed for the butterfly (larvae)," she said.

She was speaking to Bernama after a photography course organised by the Bernama Foto Unit at the sanctuary, which was attended by chief photographer Zid Omar and officers from the southern zone involving Melaka, Negri Sembilan and Johor.

Commenting further, Qurratu A'in said that the park currently had a new flourish of 50 Idea lynceus and 80 cocoons that are bred in a controlled environment due to the short life expectancy of the butterfly, which is only 14 days.

"We are grateful to be able to start the research on this butterfly again. Although we cannot reproduce the butterflies in abundance like before, it is a good start for us.

"If the number of these butterflies increase, we will release some to their original habitat so that the natural ecosystem can function better.

"We also intend to create a conservation centre specifically for this species of butterfly starting next year," she said.

Meanwhile, Zid said the photography course was organised in Melaka this time to test the new equipment received by the unit.

He said this was to ensure that Bernama photographers were always equipped with the latest technology, apart from getting familiarised with the new cameras that they just received. - Bernama

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