Monarch Butterfly New Zealand Trust

A second Mazda Foundation grant of $8,000 is helping to monitor and protect New Zealand’s Monarch Butterfly and educate New Zealanders about their importance to the environment.

The first grant in 2006 enabled the Monarch Butterfly New Zealand Trust to carry out a much-needed national research project, including a butterfly monitoring and tagging programme – to find out whether butterfly populations in New Zealand are declining as suspected – and looking at what can be done to reverse any adverse impact.

Butterflies as pollinators are key indicators of the health of the environment. However, indigenous butterflies appear to be disappearing, hence the need to make more New Zealanders aware of them and their threats.

The 2007 grant helped the Trust take up a key opportunity to educate some 60,000+ gardeners about the need to protect butterflies, wild spaces and insect life.

The exhibit at the 2007 Ellerslie International Flower Show featured live changes from Monarch caterpillars, to pupae into butterflies. There were a range of colour nectar plants for all butterflies, artwork, audiovisual displays and daily releases of Monarch butterflies in the Ellerslie gardens. The stand proved very popular with both guests and judges – receiving a bronze award.