Nature Restoration Law adopted: what this breaking news means

On 17th of July 2024 – breaking news was announced- the EU Council adopted the Nature Restoration Law. This piece of news has a major meaning for all EU citizens and all species including pollinators

NRL has been sealed after the long process of negotiation

Nature Restoration Law,  called shortly NRL, aims at the restoration of the EU’s land and sea ecosystems. Its goal is to reverse the severe decline of the EU’s nature where currently only 15 % of habitats are in good condition. NRL, for the first time in history, obliges states to put adequate measures in place to restore ecosystems – precisely at least 20% of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030, at least 60% by 2040, and at least 90% by 2050.

For the first time in history, legally binding targets aiming at ecosystem restoration will be introduced in the EU at this scale. The NRL was being prepared and negotiated for a very long time. It passed through many changes in the process to finally be voted in the EU Parliament in November 2023. Even though, the new regulation has been passed in the EU parliament, it was waiting to be adopted by the EU Council until now. Thanks to the change in vote from the side of Austria and Slovakia, the required majority has been obtained and Nature Restoration Law has been sealed.

Importance of the NRL for Parnassius apollo and all other pollinators.

This law will play a major role in the restoration of all ecosystems and support all species. Here few aspects of how it will impact wild pollinators:

-Major threats for pollinators, such as fragmentation of habitats and low biodiversity in agricultural land areas will be now addressed systemically and real measures will have to be introduced by states to prevent and reverse these processes.

-States will need to put measures in place to reverse the declining trend of pollinators by 2030.

-States will need to plan and submit national restoration plans to the EU Commission, showing how they will deliver on the targets.

-As states will need to measure the accomplishment of the targets, data about pollinators can become a very important source of information for evaluation for them.

-The Grassland Butterfly Index will be optional to measure the biodiversity enhancement in farmland areas, which gives importance to pollinators as indicators of biodiversity.

Parnassius apollo in its historical habitat, Natura 2000 area. Poland. Photo by:Julia Hava,

What can we contribute as one of LIFE’s projects 

There are different ways in which LIFE projects can contribute to a larger perspective. Through providing data, developing and communicating best practices for conservation, and sharing experiences built through cooperation with a very diverse stakeholder network.

Data on pollinators, so on meadows and grasslands are important to monitor conditions in the proximity of and on agricultural land.  LIFE projects build best practices – for example on grazing to enhance the biodiversity of grassland, and need to adjust agro-environmental schemes for extensive grazing for these solutions to become reliable sources of income for farmers and therefore more popular solutions.

Grazing for conservation

As part of the LIFE Apollo2020 project, we work to improve conditions in grassland habitats and cooperate with multiple stakeholders: public and private, including forestry, farmers, owners of quarries and local citizens. We collaborate with all of them to build a network of habitats for the species. We also spread knowledge on the value of having biodiverse ecosystems and the many advantages of having diverse species as neighbours.

We collect the best practices on grasslands and Apollo conservation. In collaboration with all these stakeholders, we navigate challenges and look for solutions which can benefit local communities and different species. Without dialogue with all these stakeholders, our conservation actions would not have a chance to last. We will be happy to contribute our experiences and knowledge to help reverse the fragmentation of habitats, which is a serious threat to so many species.

The landscape mosaic with diverse connected natural habitats is what many species miss to be able to choose the most suitable spot for their activities – whether to hide from the heat, escape the flood or just feed. Connected habitats also ensure the possibility for migration of the species to find new locations/partners. Nature Restoration Law will be a very important step to be able to recreate secure and healthy conditions for different species to live, including us – citizens.

Knowledge of habitats lies on many levels, including local knowledge. Those working on the LIFE projects have a chance to collect very diverse experiences and have a significant role to play as a messenger between local, scientific, national and international levels. As one of LIFE projects – we are here to contribute in this messenger role. We encourage everyone to document and exchange knowledge. 

We are restoring the splendour of Kruczy Kamień nature reserve, PL

We are restoring the splendour of Kruczy Kamień nature reserve – the most important place for the Apollo butterfly in the Polish Sudetes 

Kruczy Kamień is an inanimate nature reserve. It was established in 1954 and currently has an area of 12.61 ha. It covers western and south-western slopes of Krucza Skała (681 m above sea level) located in the Krucza Valley, in the Stone Mountains. The subject of the reserve’s protection is an interesting form of trachyte intrusion (a variety of porphyry of volcanic origin) in the sedimentary rocks of the Rotliegend. The area is made up of steep slopes with heights reaching 30 metres in places. Numerous rock formations occur here, and in many places extensive fields of rock rubble are formed as a result of the crumbling of the porphyry rock.

Most of the reserve is covered with artificially planted spruce forest. The reminder is covered mainly by rocky, xerothermic, pioneer and meadow vegetation. Among the more important habitats recorded in the reserve are ecosystems of Pontic-Pannonian character, which form a mosaic with xerothermic and rocky grasslands. At the foot of the escarpment there are rare – Subcontinental Peri-Pannonian shrubby habitats Rhamno-Prunetea thickets with numerous patches of Cotoneaster integerrimus (one of the largest in the Sudetes) and herbaceous plants. The shrubs are also accompanied by Festuco-Stipion Pannonic grasslands, with Sedum species, important for the Apollo butterfly Parnassius apollo. Habitats of ephemeral character have developed on the rock rubble layer and in rock crevices. This is the thermophilic pioneer vegetation of the rock shelves of the Alysso-Sedion association classified as Sempervivetum soboliferi complex. This habitat type is rich in the succulent species Jovibarba sobolifera, Sedum acre, Sedum maximum and Sedum album (artificially introduced). The latter two species provide a food source for the caterpillars of the Apollo butterfly. These ecosystems undergo gradual succession, becoming overgrown with taller vegetation, mainly grasses and perennials and then shrubs and trees. At the foot of the reserve there are habitats rich in nectariferous plants: patches of xerothermic grassland and herbaceous vegetation, and further on, lush and dense meadow vegetation composed largely of Centaurea and Cirsium species.

Rare plant species, including those protected by law in Poland, include: the endemic morphological form of Viola porphyrea, Cotoneaster integerrimus, Festuca pallens, Lilium martagon, Digitalis grandiflora, Melampyrum sylvaticum, Antennaria dioica and Asplenium septentrionale.

A rich insect fauna, especially butterflies, was found in the reserve. However, the most important has always been the local subspecies of the Apollo butterfly Parnassius apollo silesianus, which occurs here. This butterfly became extinct at the beginning of the 20th century, and the Krucze Mountains area was one of the last places of its occurrence in Lower Silesia. The first successful attempt to reintroduce the species in the reserve was made as early as the 1990s, and the butterflies persisted in the site for more than 10 years. Reintroduction continued in the 21st century, when breeding began as part of a project by the Fundacja Ekorozwoju, the Karkonosze National Park and the Stołowe Mountains National Park, which now continues under the Apollo2020 project. The habitat itself has also been cared for. Unfortunately, years have passed since the last conservation measures in the reserve. The sunny slopes have again become overgrown with shrubs and tree undergrowth. The thermophilic habitats have been shaded and the landslides have started to lose their dynamic character.

This winter, Klub Przyrodników carried out conservation measures in the reserve that will help to preserve and, in places, restore its peculiar charm. An area of approximately 1.7 hectares was cleared of shrubs (with the exception of Cotoneaster integerrimus), as well as tree undergrowth, including some larger specimens, the seeds of which are spreading along the slopes of Krucze Kamień reinforcing the succession process. Our further aim is to maintain the effects of these activities and stop the regrowth of felled shrubs and trees by grazing goats. 

In spring, Apollo caterpillars can be seen in the reserve, which have hatched from the eggs laid by butterflies last year, and every summer, the spectacle of philutically flying Apollo butterfly plays out before our eyes on the slopes of the reserve and in the meadow at its foot. Our dream is to establish a permanent population of the species in the reserve, which will only need our help to cut the bushes.

Outdoor season in Austria has officially started!

The snow has started to melt in the Alps, which means that the outdoor work season for the Apollo butterfly in Austrian habitats could officially begin. With the great help of volunteers, the Austrian team (EWS) has started the crucial task of debushing in two Apollo habitats – Lofer, Salzburg, and Fieberbrunn, Tyrol.

With warm and sunny weather on our side, we focused on clearing away overgrown bushes and trees to uncover the rocky slopes beneath. These rocky slopes are vital for the survival of Apollo caterpillars, as they provide the perfect environment for the caterpillars to thrive. The exposed slopes are ideal for the growth of Sedum plants, which are the main food source for the caterpillars. Keeping these areas free of excessive bush growth is important to maintaining a suitable habitat for the caterpillars.

In addition to our debushing efforts, we planted various Sedum species (Sedum sexangulare and Sedum album) to ensure the caterpillars have plenty of food. This step is needed for helping the caterpillars grow into healthy pupae and eventually transform into imagines. To support the adult butterflies, we also sowed seeds of nectar-producing plants, ensuring that there will be nectar sources available when the butterflies emerge.

The highlight of the day was discovering numerous Apollo caterpillars within the habitat. In Lofer, Salzburg. We saw them actively crawling and feeding on the Sedum plants, which was an exciting confirmation that our conservation measures are already paying off.

During our work, we had the pleasure of meeting a group of children and their teacher. The kids were eager to learn about the Parnassius apollo butterflies, their feeding plants, and our conservation efforts. Their enthusiasm and curiosity has again assured us how important is to involve and educate also the younger generation about environmental conservation.

Looking ahead, we are excited for the rest of the spring and summer seasons. We will continue our efforts to maintain and improve the habitats, ensuring that the Apollo butterflies have a thriving environment.

The rescue mission for Apollo continues in Czechia

Last year, our Czech partner ČSOP Hradec Králové managed to light up (not only) over a hectare of densely overgrown rocky terrain for Parnassius apollo, which was covered with impenetrable trees and thickets up to 15 metres high. But our efforts did not end there! Thanks to long-term support from the Škoda Auto Foundation and a partnership with the KRNAP administration, this winter we have managed to open an area that is now two to three times larger than some of the sites where Apollo still survives in Slovakia or Poland.

The work is really extreme and dangerous, and in some places you literally have to do magic on a rope. Through the Krakonoš Gardens project, we have been able to purchase special equipment that allows us to safely reach even the most inaccessible places.

And that’s not all. So far we’ve only focused on one main location, but in the coming period we’ll start preparing a second home for the Butterfly King, which is nearby. We have also walked the surrounding area in detail, mapping the occurrence of both feeding and nectar plants, as well as the surrounding meadows and potential corridors that can serve as a network of stepping stones for the Apollo. These are the kind of microhabitats that help the butterfly king to cross the road when travelling to a new home or mate. It’s a bit like imagining the stones you use to hop from one side of a river to the other.

We’re looking forward to getting the place all smelling and buzzing. Last year, the restored rocky areas have already attracted various species of flowering plants and insects, which had not had enough space and light here before, including, for example, Hornet moth tied to the Spurges or Zygaena ephialtes, which was known on the Czech and Polish side of the Krkonoše Mountains from only one location, although it used to be common here in the past. And thanks to the new finds of rare butterflies last year, it is now indisputable that the activities aimed at the return of Parnassius apollo are helping several of the rarest butterfly species in the Krkonoše Mountains, such as the least and forest Small blue or the Silver-spotted skipper, to survive.

Apollo, as this massive mountain butterfly is also called after the god Apollo, is facing great difficulties today. Its numbers are declining rapidly across central Europe due to deteriorating conditions in its natural habitat, which are affected by both human activity and climate change. Even in the aforementioned sites in Poland and Slovakia, it is no longer thriving, mainly due to the abandonment of traditional farming practices, where excess and sprawling plants were regulated primarily by grazing animals. Last year, Parnassius apollo numbers declined by somewhere up to 90%. This project could thus play a key role in conserving the Central European gene pool of this iconic species and maintaining the population of this butterfly in our region.

The caterpillars of the next generation of Apollo hatched from eggs in the rescue kennel a few weeks ago, and now there are hundreds of them. The actual hatching of the butterflies could take place in June, after which we plan the first experimental release of males at the Krkonoše sites where the field work mentioned last year took place. It does not make much sense to reshape the habitat according to the so-called “human view”, even if we are convinced that our efforts are correct. By observing certain behavioural traits of butterflies, which they can demonstrate directly in the field, we can learn from unnecessary mistakes and guide our efforts in the right direction.

Outreach activities in White Carpathians

As our project continues, so does our centre (Education and information centre Bílé Karpaty) continue to create educational and teaching aids. But how to test if these tools work as we imagined? The best way, of course, is to try them out directly while working with the children for whom they are primarily intended. The best time for such a trial is when setting up the Apollo Gardens, which have been introduced on this website before (for example, in the article Two Apollo Gardens built).

We have managed to build four such gardens in the past year, each in partnership with a school. All four gardens are raised beds that we have constructed in a pre-selected location. The rest was up to the children. With undisguised joy and enthusiasm, the children became gardeners and filled the bed with soil and levelled its surface. They then placed larger and smaller stones, which they had brought themselves, on a part of the bed to create a small rock garden. They poured silica sand into the slits between the stones.

Then came the main thing. Since the Apollo Gardens are meant to be an environment for both adult butterflies and their caterpillars, the prepared bed needed to be enlivened with nectarous plants for the adult butterflies and host plants for the caterpillars. The children planted white stonecrop plants in the sand of the rock garden and randomly planted small common houseleek among them. Although it is not an important food plant for caterpillars, caterpillars can occasionally use it and it is a nice diversion to the rock garden. Next to the rock garden, the children planted great stonecrop – another important food plant for caterpillars.

What about the rest of the bed area? The children had already guessed that the flowering plants that the adult butterflies need to live would come here. We provided meadow plant mix seeds for this purpose. A significant part of this mixture consisted of seeds of the Apollo´s favourite plants (various pink and purple flowering plants) and the rest of the seeds were other meadow plants to make the bed more varied, attractive to other pollinators and to keep it flowering for as long as possible.

An indispensable part of creating each bed was the time we spent with the children talking about the life cycle of butterflies, their importance in nature and other things. Of course, we also introduced in detail our main hero, the Apollo butterfly, the reasons why it has disappeared from our nature and how we can help it. At this point it was also our turn to try out some of the tools we had already created. A great success was always achieved by the Apollo pupa, several meters long, which the children climbed through, and on the other side, an adult Apollo emerged from them. Equally enthusiastic was the preparation of a sweet drink (represented nectar in flowers for the adult butterflies) and tattoos with all the developmental stages of the Apollo.

We have not only used the tools and materials to build Apollo Gardens, but also at several other events for the public. The children enjoyed the activities and we believe they will not forget Apollo right away. Among other things, it was confirmed to us that even ordinary coloring according to a template still has its charm and can entertain children.

Öbb goes glyphosate-free: a win for Apollo!

What is glyphosate?

Glyphosate is the active ingredient used in herbicides. It is used for example in Roundup, from which you may have heard because it is a globally used and discussed herbicide. Glyphosate is a chemical compound that inhibits a certain enzyme in plants and is used to kill plants that are seen as weeds, especially in agriculture. Agricultural crops can be genetically engineered to be glyphosate-resistant, enabling farmers to use it without damaging their own crops.  But it is also used in, for example, home gardening and weed control by local governments in cities and villages. 

Glyphosate was first brought to the market to be used as herbicide in 1974 as Roundup by Monsanto in the United States. Now, glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world. 

Glyphosate, trains, and half-time

The Austrian railway company, Öbb, used glyphosate to keep the train tracks free from plants. From 2022 onwards, they adapted an environment-friendly strategy of using glyphosate-free products. Where in 2021 Öbb used 5.3 tons of glyphosate on the train tracks, in 2022 this was zero. 

An interesting fact about glyphosate is that its ‘half-life’ (the time needed to reduce the initial amount by half) is typically about 47 days in the field (although this varies dependent on the type of soil). But if we take into account the 47 days, this would mean that now in the beginning 2024, two years later, there is only little glyphosate from the 5.3 tons of glyphosate sprayed in 2021 left, because the initial amount has halved about 17 times!  

Good news for P. Apollo and other insects

The decision to go glyphosate-free by the Öbb is good news for insects in Austria. Glyphosate not only destructs suitable habitats for butterflies and insects by killing the plants they feed and lay eggs on, it also impacts the fauna on a more chemical level. 

Glyphosate inhibits the production of Melanin, which is a pigment found in all life kingdoms. Melanin plays an important role in a diverse range of biological functions. For example, we produce melanin in our skin to for UV protection. In insects, melanin plays a crucial role in the immune system. During melanization (the process of making of melanin), several chemical components resulting from this process are used to defend the organism from harmful bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens. The inhibition of melanization leads to a higher susceptibility to pathogens in insects and thereby increasing mortality and decreasing population sizes.

The inhibition of melanin is only one reason why glyphosate is harmful for insects. Studies suggest that there are even more pathways of how glyphosate use leads to increased insect mortality. This highlights why it is such good news for PApollo and other insects that Öbb stopped using glyphosate.

Rest of Europe?

The debate in Europe about the use of glyphosate is still ongoing. Unfortunately, the European Commission has reauthorized the herbicide for another 10 years. There are several initiatives going on to legally challenge this decision, such as this one by the Pesticide Action Network Europe.

In Austria, the government voted for a partial ban on glyphosate in 2021, meaning that there is a usage ban in ‘sensitive’ areas and for private use. However, the professional use of glyphosate, including agriculture, remains allowed. 

Hopefully, more companies will independently decide to stop using glyphosate, just as Öbb did!

Do you want to know more about the effect of glyphosate on insects? Leave a comment!

Exploring the peaks and valleys: insights from the 2023 Apollo breeding season

Butterfly breeding farms typically aim to contribute to the conservation of endangered species, such as the Apollo butterfly. These farms often involve the careful cultivation of host plants, creating suitable habitats for the butterflies and implementing controlled breeding programs.

Four breeding farms are currently in operation as part of the LIFE Apollo2020 project. Two of them: in Poland (Jagniątków, Sudetes) and in Austria (Saalfelden, Alps) were already operational before the project started. The other two have been established as part of the project’s activities: the farm in Poland (Uniemyśl, Sudetes), and in Czechia (Barchov, Sudetes). As part of the project, it is also planned to run a second breeding farm in Czechia in the White Carpathians.

Breeding success in butterfly farms can be influenced by various factors, including environmental conditions. Cold weather in spring can pose a challenge to the breeding process, as it may affect the development of butterfly eggs, larvae, and pupae. Butterflies are ectothermic, meaning their body temperature is regulated by external conditions. Extreme cold can slow down their metabolic processes and developmental stages, leading to reduced breeding success. On the other hand, excessively high temperatures in the breeding season can lead to increased mortality.

In the new breeding tents, the location had to be tested and solutions relating to sunlight and thermals had to be adapted. However, even in breeding farms that have been in operation for many years, there are still situations that can come as a surprise. The climate is changing, and even in cooler mountainous regions, extremely high temperatures can occur. This past spring, however, surprised us in a different way in the Sudetes. It was rainy, cool, and there were few sunny days.

In some farms, we encountered unexpected problems related to egg and caterpillar mortality, as well as the transitional phase occurring between developmental stages and the mating process of butterflies. Certain issues were attributed to the weather conditions, particularly the excessively rainy and overcast conditions during spring and early summer. This was particularly evident in the breeding site of Uniemyśl in the Sudetes, where the phenology at all stages of the insects’ lives was delayed compared to other breeding farms.

Some of these problems, however, make us reflect on our breeding methods and will force us to make some modifications and adjustments to the breeders themselves as well as the breeding tents. Failures are a natural part of any process. They prompt us to make improvements and to create variants to deal with negative changes in external conditions. To mitigate the impact of weather, butterfly farms may implement measures such as providing sheltered environments, temperature control, and adjusting breeding schedules based on weather forecasts. Additionally, ongoing research and collaboration with experts in entomology and environmental science can contribute to better understanding and addressing the challenges faced by butterfly breeding programs.

To enhance our understanding of the breeding process and the breeding materials used, population genetic studies are conducted on the deceased specimens collected from breeding activities in Poland. Furthermore, investigations are carried out to assess the presence of diseases and parasites. Both low genetic diversity and disease factors can be the cause of a decline in breeding performance, and we need to clarify and find solutions to these issues as well. The presence of several breeders in different parts of Europe allows us to collect a lot of data on what can go wrong while securing breeding material and the possibility of exchange between breeders.

Thanks to our collaboration with breeders, last year we successfully released a total of 1240 individuals at reintroduction sites across 11 different locations in the Polish and Czech regions of the Sudetes and the Austrian Alps.

Author: Anna Bator-Kocoł

Happy Winter Holidays!

As snow covers the landscape, marking the end of the Apollo butterfly season, our project team wrapped up the outdoor activities with a final round of debushing in various regions. As we transitioned from the field to the office, we were immersed in the task of analysing and summing up monitoring data from our breeding farms and habitat monitoring.

Reflecting on the previous year, our international team is proud of not only the successful breeding and habitat preservation efforts, but also the impactful educational activities held to promote awareness about the Parnassius apollo. During the peak seasons of Apollo butterfly activity, spring and summer, we organised a number of engaging events in Poland, Czechia, and Austria, such as the creation of Apollo gardens, school classes, workshops, or open days. These activities were intended to emphasise the importance of protecting nature and our mountain Apollo.

And what actually happens to Apollo during the winter? This butterfly employ a unique survival strategy. As adults, Apollos do not migrate or overwinter, preferring the warmth of the sun. Before dying in late summer or early autumn, Apollo butterflies place their eggs near caterpillar food plants. There, the eggs patiently endure the cold and even snow, waiting for warmer days to arrive and begin their incredible transformation from a small egg to a magnificent butterfly.

As we conclude this year, we extend warm holiday wishes to all, with gratitude for your support in our efforts to conserve these creatures. May the festive season bring you joy, peace, and the warmth of cherished moments. See you in 2024!

Partner Meeting in Austria

In June, the LIFE Apollo2020 project team gathered for a partner meeting, this time in Austria. The main goal of this event was visiting the habitats of the Apollo butterfly. In Austria, there are still some habitat sites where Parnassius apollo butterflies fly and its populations exist. 

Two entire days were spent for visiting the intact habitats, during which a few imagines were spotted. A lepidopterist (an expert specializes in studying butterflies) was present to guide the team around the sites. This meeting turned out to be very important since breeders from various countries came together to share their expertise.

Austria’s Apollo habitats provided an excellent example for the entire project team. For the success of the LIFE Apollo2020 project, it was very important to visit the sites bacause this allows a better and crucial understanding of functionality of existing habitats in other countries. Therefore, by observing where the Parnassius apollo likes to live, the selection of reintroduction sites will be much easier. 

The sites visited around Austria differ greatly and exhibit unique characteristics. Some are close to settlements, others close to train tracks and yet others are located on high mountains and steep rocks. The differences between the habitats are striking and incredibly interesting because they show that the Apollo is very well adaptable to many different environments as long as there is sun, stonecrops (Sedum sp.) for the caterpillars and nectarous plants for imagines. The project team was pleased to conduct this fruitful and interesting meeting while monitoring methods were discussed and exchanged between breeders and scientists. Acquired experience and knowledge will be used to improve the project.

Here are some photos of the various habitats and the magnificent Parnassius apollo itself.

New Breeding Farms Established

In recent months, a project breeding station has been built on the land of an organic farmer near the village of Blatnička in the foothills of the White Carpathians in the Czech Republic. The station was built by the project partner Bílé Karpaty Education and information centre and although some internal elements are still unfinished, it will serve as a home for the first few fertilised Apollo butterfly stations in the coming days. 

Another breeding farm was constructed in Uniemyśl, in the Stone Mountains in Poland by the project partner KP. The construction was finalised at the end of May, after the team had been using a portable breeding tent.

Breeding Farm for Plant Cultivation

So far, the interior of the breeding station has been used for the cultivation of the main food plant, which is the great stonecrop, as well as for the caterpillars of the Apollo butterfly. In the future it will possibly also be used for the cultivation of other food plants. Recently, we have also planted large stonecrop plants next to the breeding station itself, and we have sown two species of cornflowers adjacent to it, which will serve as nectarous plants for the adult butterflies. All plants (both food and nectarous plants) come from our own collections from the White Carpathians. In fact, some of the plants will be used to seed the case for planting at the project sites, and we make every effort to plant only genetically native plants in our project area.

Construction in progress

Breeding Farm in Poland

Breeding started in 2022 in a temporary portable tent. From the breeding farm in Karkonoski National Park we received 209 eggs, from which we eventually obtained 40 butterflies. We obtained 2866 eggs from our own breeding, from which we have about 1600 caterpillars in the current season. The permanent breeding tent was completed an the end of May. The structure of the building is wooden and refers to the body of the historic Field Station building. We moved the caterpillars to newly finished home. Soon the first pupae will appear, and later part of the tent will turn into an enclosure for butterflies.

In 2022, plant seedlings (mostly Cirsium genus) were obtained in the field. We have started establishing a base of nectariferous plants (host plants for imago) in the garden of the field station in Uniemyśl, as well as farming of Sedum maximum (host plant for caterpillars) in the Forestry Nursery of the Kamienna Góra Forest District in Krzeszów and in the garden of the Field Station in Uniemyśl. The resulting base will feed food plants to our breeding farm. The floor of the breeding tent is lined with humus. Inside and around the tent we will create a garden of nectar-producing plants and host plants for caterpillars.

Construction progress in Poland

Project Milestone

Since there is no water source near the breeding station, we use rainwater that falls on the roof of the breeding station for watering. The water is collected in a large 1000 l container. For the project’s progress, the breeding farms are very important. They are milestones that we have already reached. Now, the project has at least one breeding station in every country.