Saving Endangered Taita Hills Butterflies through Growing Indigenous Host Plants.
The aim is to grow larvae host plants for the endangered butterfly species endemic to Taita Hills forests namely Papilio desmondi teita, Cymothoe teita and Charaxes xiphares. This will be achieved by raising 50,000 seedlings of 9 different native butterfly host plants species in a community tree nursery, engaging the local community and school youth to plant the seedlings in degraded forests and school compounds, use a butterfly cage to demonstrate how locals can rear swallow-tailed butterflies for income generation, establishing a grass root network of 100 school wildlife clubs to manage the planted butterfly host plants for sustainability.
A community tree nursery of 500 seed beds, 60×100 cm (2×3 feet) each will be constructed to raise 50,000 seedlings. Seeds would be collected from nearby forest fragments. Seedlings will be transplanted on reaching 1.5 ft high. School youth and communities will own the seedlings and conduct tree planting on the degraded forest fragments and neighbouring schools. A cage would be installed to demonstrate and train local community on how to rear swallow-tailed butterflies. A grassroots network of local schools will be established to take lead in managing the initiated butterfly conservation initiatives for sustainability.