The project

Data from sources such as the European Red List of Butterflies indicate negative trends in the number of insects in Europe, in fact over 30% of taxa show regression. One of the most threatened butterflies in Europe is Parnassius apollo. Its decrease in numbers during the last 25 years is 20-50%.

The aim of this international project is to recreate the Parnassius apollo populations in 3 functional areas: Sudetes and White Carpathians in the Continental bioregion and strengthen the Austrian population in the Alpine bioregion.

The first of its kind

During the project, 3 additional breeding farms and 3 new functional areas will be created to anchor the populations in natural conditions, as well as at least 38 “stepping stone sites” to secure species migration corridors between the new sites. The project is therefore the first to implement test and pilot actions for further population development in the bioregions by:

  • Recreating of populations in Poland, Czechia in the Continental bioregion and strengthening the Austrian population in the Alpine bioregion
  • Creating a coherent methodology for Apollo butterfly protection in the Continental bioregion
  • Improving habitat quality of the species such as protecting breeding habitats and feeding grounds
  • Creating ecological corridors
  • Raising awareness towards the conservation and maintenance of habitats and of the species
  • Strengthening social involvement in species protection


Yesterday was a breakthrough day for Parnassius apollo in Czechia!

👑Our Czech partner, released 50 exploration butterflies of Parnassius apollo! They went on an environmental quality inspection, which they have been preparing for them in cooperation with @lifeprogramme and international partners for the third year in our conservation project #LIFEApollo2020.

🦋 Now we will observe how the butterflies will do in the renewed conditions of the Krkonoše nature. Be there with us 😉

🦋 So far, only males have been released, so that the possible losses of difficult-bred individuals are as minimal as possible. Females are the most valuable for further breeding. However, if the released males stay, they will start to behave naturally, looking for females that hatch even after males in nature and stay here for a few days after release, their chances of permanent settlement will be much higher.

🦋 Next year, it will make sense to release the females as well and try to move to the last final phase of the project, when the jasons could start to breed in the wild. We will therefore all be anxiously watching how the butterflies will behave after the release, as the further development of the entire project depends on this.

🦋 The most important thing, apart from well-managed rescue breeding, is the restoration of the environment so that Apollos can live there. This meant cutting trees on steep rocks, often even using climbing techniques, and then maintaining the cut areas so that they could once again provide a richly laid and sufficiently sunlit table for butterflies and their caterpillars. The overgrowth of rocks that were originally bare since prehistoric times is one of the main reasons why the king butterfly has disappeared from the Czech lands and why it is also dying out in many places in Slovakia, Poland and even in the Alps.

Photo by David Taneček/ČTK

#LIFEApollo2020 #LIFEproject #LIFEprogramme #parnassiusapollo #apollobutterfly #missionbutterly #nadacnifondskodaauto #followapollo #citizenscience #inaturalist

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