In 2004 Brisbane City Council commissioned the Terrestrial Invertebrates Status Review which focused on bio-indicator species in the Greater Brisbane area and included butterflies. The review was conducted by Queensland Museum and the results were published in 2005 (see Resources on this website). Since then, no larger scale assessment of our butterflies was undertaken until Brisbane Catchments Network in collaboration with its member groups started Brisbane's Big Butterfly Count, designed as a combination of engagement, learning and recording data.
We were able to conduct 58 surveys across Brisbane ranging from hilltopping sites to wetlands, riparian areas and open eucalypt forest. We were thrilled by the interest and participation rates. The survey results were helped by favourable weather conditions including enough rain to sustain larval host plants. Round 1 started in spring of 2020 finishing in autumn 2021. We recorded 92 verified species, among them - for the first time ever - the Tawny Coster (Acraea terpsicore), a relative newcomer to Australia. All surveys were done on public land and some selected Land for Wildlife properties.
Round 2 is currently under way and has further improved on habitat variety, and we already see excellent results with several species not recorded in last season's survey period. We can't wait for the result at the end of the season. We attempt to visit each chosen survey site three times per season ro receive a comprehensive picture of butterfly populations.
We encourage anyone to join us at events on public land. We are delighted that our citizen science project has been taken up so well by all age groups. We are particularly pleased to see families joining us on our quest, and to see children become butterfly champions. We need this new generation of environmental supporters.