Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 31  September 2019 p.  448-458
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21894/jopr.2019.0035

RANCHING AND CONSERVATION OF BIRDWING AND SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY SPECIES IN THE OIL PALM SYSTEMS OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Author(s): BONNEAU, L J G*; ERO, M** and SAR, S*

Despite its small size (<200 000 planted hectares, 0.4% of the national surface), the oil palm industry in Papua New Guinea is accused of destroying wildlife habitats, notably for iconic insects such as birdwing and swallowtail butterflies. Two subspecies of butterfly (Ornithoptera priamus bornemanni and Papilio ulysses ambiguus) endemic in West New Britain were used in a study aimed at developing a model, low-maintenance butterfly farm for conserving and propagating iconic species within the oil palm estate environment. Food sources of both the larval and adult stages were identified and investigated for their suitability to produce an abundance of butterflies. Large numbers of O. p. bornemanni were produced when the larval food plant (Aristolochia tagala) was grown at high density. For P. u. ambiguus, the presence of specific nectar-producing plants was sufficient to attract the insect from the wild to breed in the farm. Suggestions for establishment of butterfly farms are provided and it is recommended that the oil palm industry enhance conservation of iconic butterflies by establishing butterfly farms on the estates and increasing butterfly food sources in targeted restoration and conservation areas.

Keywords: , , ,

Author Information
* Dami Oil Palm Research Station, P.O. Box 165 Kimbe, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea.
E-mail:Ibonneau@nbpol.com.pg

** Papua New Guinea Oil Palm Research Association, P.O. Box 97 Kimbe, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea.


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