Raymond Mjadwesch is a consulting ecologist based in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales (26 Keppel Street, Bathurst, NSW 2795, Australia; Tel. +61 (0) 2 6331 5858; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org). He has worked extensively in survey, monitoring and management of the butterfly since 1997. Simon Nally managed the Purple Copper Butterfly recovery programme between 1998 and 2005 for the then New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. This article was prepared to communicate the methods and implications of this relocation project to others involved in the conservation and restoration of native species and habitats.
Emergency relocation of a Purple Copper Butterfly colony during roadworks: Successes and lessons learned
Version of Record online: 14 JUL 2008
© 2008 Ecological Society of Australia
Ecological Management & Restoration
Volume 9, Issue 2, pages 100–109, August 2008
How to Cite
Mjadwesch, R. and Nally, S. (2008), Emergency relocation of a Purple Copper Butterfly colony during roadworks: Successes and lessons learned. Ecological Management & Restoration, 9: 100–109. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-8903.2008.00400.x
- Issue online: 14 JUL 2008
- Version of Record online: 14 JUL 2008
- adaptive management;
- collaborative effort;
- roadside conservation;
- threatened species rescue
Summary In 2004, the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) undertook a road realignment project near Lidsdale in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales. However, the RTA had not detected a population of the threatened Purple Copper Butterfly within the footprint of the project. The RTA responded promptly when notified of the butterflies’ presence by stopping works, and preparing and implementing a butterfly management programme. This programme included modifying the realignment (and reducing the development footprint), supplementary planting of habitat, habitat rehabilitation and translocation of individual caterpillars from within the final footprint area. These actions seem to have safeguarded the population at least in the short term; however, further active management of the site will be needed to ensure its long-term viability. The project reinforces the importance of thorough predisturbance assessment of a site at the early planning stages, and the results and observations could be particularly informative in planning for introduction, reintroduction and translocation proposals involving the Purple Copper Butterfly.