Rare butterfly seen in Westdene

The rare butterfly (marsh sylph) recently found at Korsman Conservancy.

“I recently discovered a small colony of rare marsh sylph (metisella meninx) butterflies at Korsman Conservancy,” said Jane Trembath, chairperson of the conservancy.

“Their numbers have been declining drastically due to habitat destruction (draining of wetlands for development), as they live only on specific marsh grass, and are very sensitive to a clean environment.

“In the 2009 Red Data Book of Butterflies it was listed as threatened – vulnerable.

“It’s a feather in the conservancy’s cap that the marsh sylph is present.”

Trembath said this means their efforts to conserve the environment at the Korsman Conservancy have been worthwhile, and an incentive for them and Ekurhuleni to preserve it.

Since the beginning of January, when Trembath started a project to identify their wildflowers and insects, she has recorded 22 butterfly species in the conservancy.

She said Korsman bird and butterfly records contribute to “Citizen Science” conservation as they submit them to the ADU (Animal Demography Unit) in order to compile distribution records.

“The ADU’s butterfly and moth mapping section has an upcoming census week called the Autumn LepiBASH from April 25 to May 3, when we will hold a photographic event open to members and lepidopterists,” said Trembath.

This sanctuary aims to protect and enhance the flora and fauna in the immediate vicinity of the local pan.

n Readers who want to be part of keeping Korsman clean up for this threatened species, can join the conservancy for a litter pick-up on Sunday, March 29, 8.30am at the Kilfenora gate.

For more information visit www.korsmanconservancy.com

Erik van Dijk

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