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.

Livestock Grazing’s Role in Preserving Apollo’s Habitat

By Vlado Vancura

Domestic grazers, like livestock, might seem to be an unexpected ally for Apollo butterflies. Their role in creating a suitable habitat for this butterfly is fascinating. When the livestock graze, they systematically remove the emerging sprouts of trees and shrubs. That is their way how maintaining an open landscape. It is a process that helps to diversify meadows and preserves the open landscape that P. apollo thrive.

In the past, the role of creating suitable habitats, not only for Apollo butterflies but also for various other insects, was primarily fulfilled by native grazers like red deer, roe deer, wild goats, wild horses, European bison, or also the extinct auroch. These wild herbivores played a crucial part in shaping the landscape through their feeding behavior, preventing excessive growth of shrubs and trees. The unintentional impact of these grazers resulted in the removal of growing shrubs and young trees, maintaining open spaces. These open spaces allowed sunlight to reach the ground, establishing and sustaining the specific conditions vital for the life of Parnasius apollo. Simultaneously, this natural process diversified plant life, offering a variety of nectar sources for butterflies and host plants for their larvae.

Today, domestic animals such as cows, sheep, goats, and horses play a comparable function in habitat preservation to native grazers. The grazing actions of these domestic grazers help to create open spaces and allow sunlight to reach the ground. As a result, domestic grazers actively encourage the growth of a wide range of plant species that serve as nectar supplies for adult butterflies (imagines) and host plants for larvae. With careful management, domestic grazers can become collaborative partners in biodiversity conservation. This example vividly demonstrates how human actions, when coordinated with natural rhythms, can considerably benefit the well-being of P. apollo butteflies.

Grazing behaviours varies among domestic grazers. Sheep carefully nibble close to the ground, resulting in properly groomed areas.  As browsers, goats extend their reach to shrub leaves and twigs, causing vegetation to change structure. Cattle use a sweeping grazing motion to impact bigger areas.  Each species makes a distinctive contribution to the shaping of environment. Understanding and applying the various grazing habits of numerous domestic grazers allows us to build a balance that closely matches natural processes and in which also Apollo butterflies can thrive.

Today, the thriving habitat of the Parnassius Apollo, encompassing alpine and subalpine grasslands, dry calcareous grasslands, and slopes in upland areas, faces a threat from uncontrolled vegetation overgrowth. The delicate balance crucial for supporting the unique flora essential to the butterfly’s life cycle depends on well-maintained open spaces. Ensuring stable Apollo populations necessitates a habitat that provides both food plants for the larvae and nectareous plants for the adults. Domestic pastures provide as a safeguard, preventing spontaneous overgrowth, which happens quickly when grazing is reduced or stopped. Strategic grazing management, particularly with the help of goats, proves effective in reducing the vegetation growth and protecting a vital environment for the Parnassius apollo.

This demonstrates how coordinated conservation efforts, particularly through effective domestic animal grazing management, can be realised. When faced with the difficulty of protecting important open spaces, incorporating grazing practices emerges as a viable solution to ensure Parnassius apollo’s existence. It provides a compelling model for harmonious interaction with the environment while preserving the captivating world of these butterflies.

2024: Mosel’s Apollo crowned as Butterfly of the Year!

In 2024, the charming Mosel region has crowned the Apollo Butterfly as its Butterfly of the Year! This magnificent insect has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike with its vibrant beauty and captivating charm. Choosing the apollo for Butterfly of the Year, a decision which was also influenced by nature conservation organisations such as BUND NRW, has a worrying background: In the Mosel region, pesticides are still used that send apollo population down a dark path.

The Mosel wine region in Germany is not only renowned for its picturesque landscapes and world-class wines but also for the unique ecosystem that thrives there. However, this delicate balance of nature is now under threat as the use of pesticides in the vineyards has begun to take a toll on the insects resident in the Mosel region, including the Parnassius apollo. The decrease of individuals in the Mosel region correlates with the use of pesticides in recent years. Pesticides are spread by helicopters and it is particularly noteworthy that at least the new substances used in recent times are applied without any nature conservation impact assessment.

The subpopulation of the Mosel region, namely Parnassius apollo ssp. vinningensis, only exists in this particular region. It differs slightly from apollo subspecies in the Alps, Sweden or from those found in Spain. Beyond its visual appeal, the Apollo Butterfly possesses an intriguing life cycle. The species is known for its preference for high-altitude habitats, making the Mosel region an ideal home if it were not for applied chemicals and pesticides.

The Apollo Butterfly’s recognition as Butterfly of the Year is a testament to its vibrant beauty and captivating charm. At the same time, however, it is a warning. Like in many other European regions as well as in Germany, the apollo population of the Mosel region is declining rapidly and is in great danger of extinction. Alternatives for harmful pesticides must be found if this beautiful butterfly should be protected. Moreover, it is essential to preserve the habitats that this species relies on. By protecting their preferred host plants and maintaining the natural balance of the ecosystem, the magnificent butterflies can thrive. In the Mosel region, visitors still flock to the area to witness the Apollo Butterfly in its natural habitat, with guided tours and educational programs providing an opportunity to learn more about this enchanting species. This might change in the future though if nothing is done right now.

The Apollo Butterfly’s striking appearance and graceful flight have also inspired artists and designers in the region. Their unique patterns and colors have been incorporated into various forms of art, from paintings to jewelry. Local festivals and events now celebrate the Apollo Butterfly, with dedicated butterfly-themed exhibitions and workshops. These festivities not only showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage but also raise awareness about the importance of preserving biodiversity and the delicate balance of nature.

As we celebrate the Apollo Butterfly being crowned as the Butterfly of the Year in 2024, we are reminded of the beauty and wonder that nature bestows upon us. We are also reminded of the harm humans can do to other creatures smaller and weaker than us if we do not realise that we are part of the natural ecosystem.

How dogs assist in the detection of Apollo caterpillars

People discovered the sensitivity of a dog’s nose thousands of years ago, initially using it for hunting. Fast forward to present, and these animals have evolved into valuable members of our society, serving in police, customs, military, and rescue missions. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell that is a million times more sensitive than ours. It is related to the numerous scent receptors in their noses and the highly developed nasal processing centers in their brains. Dogs not only use their noses to detect scents, but they can also differentiate between various odours with amazing accuracy. 

Thanks to that, dogs have become indispensable in research and conservation projects over the last 30 years. These sniffer dogs have been trained for a variety of tasks ranging from tracking wolves, lynx, wildcats, or bats to identifying carcasses (dead bodies), litter, and even targeting small insects. The possibilities are almost limitless, as long as the target object emits a smell, dogs can track it down. While this type of use of dog is common in the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the use of nature or species protection dogs remains relatively unknown in Europe. 

And #LIFEApollo2020 is proud to be one of these scientific projects!

What: Our focus is on collecting data about Parnassius apollo with detection dogs playing a key role in mapping caterpillar population across selected sites. These dogs ensure precise and non-invasive data collection by identifying unique odors associated with Apollo caterpillars and their habitats.

How: Dogs undergo a special training, that teaches them to recognize the unique odors associated with Apollo caterpillars. At first, the dog sniffs the live caterpillars and gets a treat for it. Then, tea bags scented with the caterpillar odor are introduced as a game element. The dog learns to associate finding the tea bags with getting a reward. As the training progresses, the dog practices in different places to get better at identifying the caterpillar scent. This simple but effective method helps the dog find the Apollo butterfly caterpillar in the wild.

When: Fieldwork usually takes place from March/April to June, when the caterpillars hatch from the eggs and crawl around. 

Why: Dogs with their great sense of smell easily overtake humans in finding and detecting targets. The caterpillar monitoring, facilitated by the human-dog team guides us in conservation efforts, allowing us to make informed decisions on preserving this endangered species in its natural habitat.

Decline of Parnassius apollo

Parnassius apollo, commonly known as the Apollo butterfly, is a beautiful and iconic species of butterfly found in Europe and Asia. Unfortunately, this species is on a rapid decline due to several factors, including habitat loss, climate change, and over-collecting.

The Apollo butterfly has a very specific habitat requirement, which is high altitude meadows and rocky slopes with specific plant species for feeding and breeding. However, these habitats are under threat from human activities such as tourism, agricultural expansion, and infrastructure development. As a result, the population of the Apollo butterfly is decreasing at an alarming rate. 

Factors of the decline 

Parnassius apollo belongs to the most attractive butterfly and very often appreciated not onlyby scientists but also visitors. Therefore, decline of this butterfly species is so sensitive and painful. Decline of Parnassius apollo, particularly in a central Europe is dated back already since the 19 centuries. 

Observations of gradual decline, some environmentalist even use the word extinction, of this butterfly in Europe identified numerous cases, proved that decline is very much due to combined negative impact on Parnassius population. 

There are several major factors contributing to the decline of the Parnassius apollo population. One of the main factors is habitat loss. The main reason for that are human activities such as tourism, infrastructure development, and agricultural expansion. 

Habitat requirements

The Apollo butterfly has very specific habitat requirements, including high altitude meadows and rocky slopes with certain plant species for feeding and breeding. When these habitats are destroyed or degraded, the butterfly population declines.

Habitat loss is one of the main factors to the decline of the Parnassius apollo
Combination of habitat loss, climate change, over-collecting, and pollution are the major factors contributing to the decline of the Parnassius apollo

Climate change

Climate change is another major factor affecting the Apollo butterfly population. The butterfly’s life cycle is closely tied to the timing of the availability of host plants and pollinators, which can be disrupted by changes in temperature and precipitation patterns. As a result, the butterfly may not be able to complete its life cycle and reproduce successfully.

Over-collecting 

Over-collecting of the Apollo butterfly is also a contributing factor to its decline. Some people collect the butterfly for commercial purposes or for private collections, while others collect it for scientific research. This can have a significant impact on the population, especially if it is not done sustainably.

Pesticide use

Finally, the Apollo butterfly is also affected by pesticide use and other pollutants in the environment. These substances can be toxic to the butterfly and its host plants, and can disrupt the delicate balance of the ecosystem.

Overall, a combination of habitat loss, climate change, over-collecting, and pollution are the major factors contributing to the decline of the Parnassius apollo population. It is important that effective conservation efforts are put in place to address these issues and protect this beautiful species.

Major groups of factors

Experts agreed on the three major groups of factors such as: 

a) natural factors including long-term climatic changes, habitat succession, and short-term weather anomalies; 

b) anthropogenic factors that include broad impact of industrialization and butterfly over-collecting; 

c) intrapopulation factors that include genetic erosion and behavioural changes. 

Habitat loss is undoubtedly the most destructive for Apollo’s long-term survival. There are several interesting researches and monitorings which provide very important information concerning causes of extinction of numerous butterflies in their biotopes in Europe. 

Conservation efforts

To help protect the Apollo butterfly, several conservation efforts have been implemented (one of them is our LIFE Apollo2020 project). These include habitat restoration, captive breeding, and protection of important sites. However, these efforts must be implemented on a larger scale and in a coordinated manner involving multiple stakeholders, including governments, NGOs, researchers, local communities, and individuals.

Conclusion

In conclusion, urgent action is needed to prevent the extinction of the Apollo butterfly. Conservation efforts must be comprehensive and well-coordinated to ensure the long-term survival of this beautiful and important specie

Very useful on this aspect is report developed by the expert of IUCN already two decades ago. These data provided important baseline for any kind of follow up researches and management measures to support survival rate of this rare butterfly. This work provides various protective measures that were, or should be undertaken to stop further Parnassius apollo decline. 

Climate change is a significant threat to the survival of Parnassius apollo. The altered environmental conditions and increased frequency of extreme weather events can negatively impact their habitats, food sources, and overall health and survival. 

LIFE Apollo2020 is present at the XII European Congress of Entomology 2023!


The XII European Congress of Entomology 2023 (ECE 2023) is set to take place in Heraklion, Crete, from the 16th to the 20th of October. This international event is a significant gathering for entomologists and enthusiasts, offering a space for discussing critical entomological research and conservation efforts. 

You might wonder what entomology is? It is the scientific study of insects, a field of biology that explores a fascinating and diverse world of these little creatures. Insects, representing a vast majority of known species on Earth, play a crucial role in ecosystems, agriculture, and human life. From pollinating crops to recycling organic matter, insects have a big impact on the world we inhabit.

Among the participants of the Congress is our team member Tomáš Ernest Vondřejc, a dedicated zoologist from the Education and Information Centre White Carpathians, representing the LIFE Apollo2020 project. He is going to hold a scientific poster presentation on “Conservation of Parnassius apollo in Poland, Czech Republic and Austria (Project LIFE APOLLO2020)” under the theme of “Biodiversity and Conservation“.

Date: Thursday, 19th October 2023 (Poster Session IV)
Location: Cultural Conference Center of Heraklion, Crete, Greece (Poster Area is on Level 1)
You will find the Detailed program of the congress here.

Tomáš Ernest Vondřejc is part of the LIFE Apollo2020 project team, and his work is important in ensuring the successful preservation of Parnassius apollo butterflies and their habitats. His responsibilities range from conducting in-depth research to organizing field trips and implementing practical conservation strategies.

The LIFE Apollo2020 project is looking forward to be represented at the ECE 2023, where it will have the opportunity to network with other enthusiastic entomology professionals and exchange knowledge with them.

For more information, please visit the official website of ECE 2023.

Parnassius apollo: The umbrella species guarding biodiversity

When it comes to protecting our planet’s valuable biodiversity, it sometimes takes a hero to defend the masses. The Parnassius apollo is a champion in the fascinating world of butterflies. The Apollo butterfly, often referred to as a “umbrella species,” plays a critical role in protecting not only its own species but an entire environment rich with lesser-known species. In this article, we’ll focus on why the conservation of Parnassius apollo is so crucial and how it acts as a bioindicator, offering valuable insights into the health of its habitat.

The umbrella effect

Imagine a majestic forest, vibrant with life. Within it, an umbrella opens, shielding the delicate flora and fauna beneath from the harsh elements of habitat loss and environmental degradation. This metaphorical umbrella is the Parnassius apollo, a butterfly species that holds a vital position in the web of life.

When we say “umbrella species,” we mean that by looking after the Parnassius apollo, we actually keep many other animals and places safe too. We often talk a lot about saving big animals like tigers and pandas, but small creatures like the Apollo butterflies need our help too.

The domino effect of conservation

By focusing on the preservation of the Parnassius apollo and its habitat, we unintentionally protect countless other species living in the same ecosystem. This butterfly’s presence is indicative of a healthy and intact environment, with thriving populations of plants, insects, and other organisms that rely on the same resources.

The Parnassius apollo acts as an umbrella species, not only for the protection of biodiversity but also for the preservation of habitat mosaics. These mosaic-like habitats are composed of various interconnected ecosystems, creating a rich and diverse landscape. By conserving the species itself, we, in turn, protect other species and habitats associated with it.

Many butterfly species benefit from habitat conservation measures taken to protect the Apollo. A significant number of these butterflies find themselves listed in Red Books of Animals and other rare and endangered species lists, highlighting the critical importance of the Apollo’s preservation.

A sensitive bioindicator

Beyond its role as an umbrella species, the Parnassius apollo serves as a remarkable bioindicator. A bioindicator is a species whose status provides valuable information about the overall health of its ecosystem. In the case of Parnassius apollo, it proves to be particularly sensitive in this regard, making it an invaluable asset in environmental monitoring.

One of the specific areas where the Parnassius apollo excels as a bioindicator is in the monitoring of xerothermic biotopes—ecosystems characterized by hot, dry conditions. These habitats are under constant threat due to climate change and human activities. As an indicator species, the Parnassius apollo can tell us a great deal about the quality and health of these fragile environments. If the butterfly thrives, it suggests that the ecosystem is healthy and stable, while a decline in its population signals potential problems.

Protect Apollo, protect our planet

In a world where nature faces many challenges, the Parnassius apollo stands out as a true hero. It’s not just looking out for itself but also for a whole community of other creatures and the places they call home. And, it’s also a smart detective, helping us understand how our environment is doing. By taking care of the Apollo, we’re not just helping one species; we’re making sure that the amazing web of life on Earth remains strong and healthy. This butterfly helps us protect other animals and special places like sunny meadows and rocky grasslands. By doing this, we’re making the world a better and more diverse place for the future.

Parnassius apollo history and trophic preferences

Parnassius apollo belongs to a group of butterflies, which presence in Europe has a long history. We need to take a look into the past if we want to get to know the roots of this beautiful species. We would have to travel back to the time period called the Neogene.

The Neogene is a geological period, which informally is divided into either the Upper Tertiary or Late Tertiary. This period lasted from 20.6 to 2.6 million years ago, to the beginning of the present Quaternary Period. The Quaternary Period spans from the Neogene to today. 

More on the topic: Apollo in winter

Glacial and interglacial periods 

During the long period of the Neogene, the land was heavily glaciated. Glaciers appeared and retreated several times. Those periods when glaciers retreated are known as interglacial episodes. 

These periods of warm climate provided an opportunity for the animal and plant life to develop, to later be swept away by the glacier and then develop again and again. This process heavily impacted butterflies, including Parnassius apollo

Diversity of life

Research revealed that during these long periods of interglacial episodes, despite the fact that all life was swept out by huge glaciers, it repeatedly revived. This created remarkable diversity again and again. The result of this process was the enormous diversification of life.

For example, Parnassius apollo developed into more than 200 identified subspecies, which mainly inhabit grassland environments in the lowland and mountainous areas throughout Europe. 

Sedum plant provides food for many species of butterflies, including Parnassius species

Parnassius apollo trophic preferences

Food is a vitally important precondition for the favourable status of Parnassius species. According to trophic preferences, two main groups of Parnassius developed. One group that prefers Sedum telephium, and another that feed mainly on Sedum album.

Sedum is a large genus of flowering perennial plants. Sedum species are herbs and have fleshy leaves and stems, which store water very well. This group of plants contains up to 400–500 species. Even today, Sedum provides food to many species of butterflies, including Parnassius species.

Conclusion

For the protection of the individual species or the entire Parnassius genus of butterflies, it is important to know what their key habitats and food needs are. This knowledge could help us identify what kind of ecosystems and biomes have been removed due to human activity and why food is not available for these butterfly species. In the following steps, activities during the restoration process should focus on recovering these extinct biomes.

The Parnassius apollo, commonly known as the Apollo butterfly, needs a very specific diet requirement for its survival and reproduction. Its larvae rely solely on specific Sedum plant species. This specialized diet is crucial for the survival and development of the Apollo butterfly throughout its life cycle. This dependence on particular plants underscores the delicate ecological relationships and the importance of preserving the habitats that support these unique species.

Vlado Vancura
European Wilderness Society

#followapollo and the efforts of our team! Combined skills in breeding, conservation of habitats, research, environmental education, and project management constitute a great combination for the success of our LIFE project

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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.