The Kinabalu or Borneo Birdwing (Troides andromache) has officially been named as the state butterfly of Sabah in Malaysia, Borneo, sparking hope for the future of this threatened species.
The striking but elusive butterfly is found only in Borneo where it frequents the mountainous regions of Mount Kinabalu and Crocker Range. However, it faces the threat of habitat destruction, and is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
It is hoped that its nomination as the state butterfly with help raise awareness of the species and the importance of conserving it and Sabah’s biodiversity.
The declaration was made possible due to collaborative efforts between state agencies and the Kinabalu Birdwing Project, supported by funding from the Swallowtail & Birdwing Butterfly Trust.
Dr Mark Collins, Chair of the Swallowtail & Birdwing Butterfly Trust, said: “When the Kinabalu Birdwing was first listed in Threatened Swallowtail Butterflies of the World – The IUCN Red Data Book in 1985, little was known about this species and no significant conservation work was being carried out to protect it. This announcement is the culmination of the incredible work Dr Sutton and his team have been carrying out over the past six years and we are very proud to have supported this vital project.”
Read more about the project here.