BMLRT Schmetterlingsreich (A kingdom for butterflies)

Project Details

  • Project programme: Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism
  • Project budget: € 185.019,24
  • European Wilderness Society budget: € 185.019,24
  • submitted Start date:01/11/2021
  • submitted End date: 31/10/2023
  • Project website:

Project Objectives

Austria is one of Europes countries with the highest diversity in butterfly species. More than 4.000 species are known, of it 208 diurnal butterflies. More than 50% are threatened, 2% are already extinct. The highest threat for butterflies is the loss of habitats and their change. This is particularly due to intensive agricultural management, afforestation and construction activities. Flower-rich meadows are disappearing because traditional methods like extensive grazing are not existing anymore. Subsequently, herbs and nectar sources go missing and and are overgrown by bushes and trees. Butterflies are indicators for the qualitiy of habitats and are reacting very sensitive on certain environmental changes. That´s why habitats for threatened (diurnal) butterflies nowadays only exist fragmented and isolated, which makes it very difficult for many populations to survive. Hence, this project aims to stabilize the populations of many (diurnal) butterfly species in Austria for the long-term by means of active restoration of disappearing habitats and, if necessary, breeding and reintroduction of selected species to certain areas.

This will happen through:

  1. Improvement of habitats on 8 different areas in Austria by removing bushes and trees, planting food plants for caterpillars and butterflies, adapted to the certain habitat, and constant monitoring of the success
  2. Stabilization of certain species by active breeding and reintroduction if it is necessary for the survival of the species
  3. Monitoring by experts and detection-dogs, especially trained on specific butterfly species
  4. Awareness raising and Citizen Science activities by means of workshops, excursions and a butterfly-tour through Austria including landowners, children and senior citizens
  5. Generating a guideline for conservation measurements for butterflies especially for landowners, garden-owners and foresters, based on the experiences gained during the project

Project Partners

  1. European Wilderness Society

Project Area