THE FIRST ever sanctuary for butterflies on the Iberian Peninsula is to open at Lisbon’s Botanical Gardens in November.
A 220sqm space has been set aside for 10 species of butterflies, in a project which aims to show visitors the life cycle of the insect.
“The idea for the sanctuary is to explain to the public the interaction that exists between butterflies and plants, and their life cycle,” says Patrícia Garcia-Pereira, president of the Portuguese Butterfly Conservation Centre (TAGIS).
The project does not aim to safeguard endangered species, but will serve to sustain common species in what is primarily an educative programme.
According to Garcia-Pereira, it will be possible to see a butterfly laying eggs on a particular type of plant and the birth of the caterpillar, which will feed off the plant until it transforms into a chrysalis. Later, in an incredible transformation, it turns into a butterfly.
Among the species that will be kept at the Botanical Gardens are: the Monarch which migrates yearly from North America to Mexico, the White Cabbage Butterfly, the black and white Zebra Butterfly, the black and yellow city-living Swallow Butterfly and the orange and brown Strawberry Bush Butterfly.