Cleland Wildlife Park is looking a little more colourful with the addition of a new Butterfly Aviary.
The aviary has been established with the support of the Butterfly Conservation Society of South Australia and displays the importance of butterflies and by extension, insects, to all aspects of our health and wellbeing.
Cleland Wildlife Park Director Chris Daniels said butterflies are important indicators of a healthy environment and healthy ecosystems.
“Butterflies do more than make our world more colourful, they are important pollinators to many plants and agricultural crops, and an important food source for birds, spiders, lizards, bats and other animals,” Dr Daniels said.
“The presence or absence of butterflies can tell us a lot about the health of the local environment – and these important invertebrates are under threat from our changing climate, and habitat loss.
“Cleland’s butterfly aviary will help educate school groups and the public about the importance of butterflies in the landscape and encourage people to create their own butterfly gardens and support biodiversity.
“We’re grateful to Growing Bush and Sophie’s Patch for providing the right type of plants to support caterpillars at our off-site nursery, and for plants for the butterfly aviary.
“We’re also grateful to members of the Butterfly Conservation Society of SA who have collected caterpillars and adults butterflies for the display from across the Mount Lofty and Riverland regions.
“The aviary will eventually house seven butterfly species – Monarchs, two types of Swallowtails, Lesser Wanderers, Common Browns, Australian Admirals and Painted Ladies.
“Cleland staff will be working with the Butterfly Conservation Society of SA to breed for release Chequered and Dainty Swallowtails, and Lesser Wanderers - species that are under threat in the Mount Lofty ranges region.”
Cleland Wildlife Park, in partnership with the SA Museum and Butterfly Conservation Society, have also mounted an exhibition on butterflies and their ecology, biology and environmental value. The exhibition is running in the Oceans-to-Outback room at Cleland Wildlife Park.