Saturday, 28 September 2013

New Zealand puts a $10 bounty on large white butterflies

Butterfly bounty introduced to eradicate great whites
September 2013. A $10 bounty on great white butterflies is being introduced by the Department of Conservation for the school holidays to help eradicate the pest from the Nelson area, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith has announced.

Dead, not alive
"We want great white butterflies dead not alive. They are an unwelcome pest and pose a major threat to endangered native cresses, and garden and commercial plants like cabbage and broccoli," Dr Smith says.

Only limited sightings so far
"To date they have only been found in Nelson Tasman but we must do everything we can to ensure they don't become a permanent widespread pest. Female great white butterflies can lay as many as 750 eggs so every butterfly killed potentially stops up to another 750 butterflies emerging. The peak period for the butterflies emerging from pupae this spring coincides with the school holidays. It's a great opportunity to involve school children in conservation, as well as earning some extra pocket money. It also has the potential to help us curb a spring breeding surge. The bounty is not limited to children. Adults are also invited to catch and kill great white butterflies and bring them in to claim their bounty."

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