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Group to ensure Monarch's reign continues in North

Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust

A lobby group has been formed to look after the interests of the Monarch Butterfly - especially where developments are concerned - and especially in the Far North.

A proposal is afoot to develop Butterfly Bay, a particularly beautiful area just north of Tauranga Bay, and because of the little knowledge available as to the overwintering site and habits of the Monarch Butterfly in New Zealand, it was felt that some positive moves could, and should be taken. The group intends to offer educational material, to raise public awareness and share information about the Monarch’s ecology, to protect the habitat and to encourage others to do so as well.

“I was at Butterfly Bay recently and was surprised to find only two Monarch Butterflies there,” said Jacqui Knight of Russell who has agreed to be spokesperson for the group. “I have been receiving letters for many years about the special values of this special place, and it would be a shame to find that the butterflies' habitat had been lost due to manmade interference.”

The group is applying for charitable trust status.

“So many people get pleasure out of the Monarch,” said Jacqui, “that we should do everything we can possible to encourage and protect its habitat.”

She said that the butterfly, believed to have been blown to NZ on a storm in the mid 1800s, had had no negative impact on our environment - and was a useful and popular learning tool for schools studying biodiversity and Nature generally.

“Because it is not endangered, it is not considered worthy of being included in legislation,” she said. “In fact, the agencies which have represented the interests of the proposed developers do not even mention that Butterfly Bay has special significance and is so named because of the Monarch,” she said.


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