A Festival of Butterflies
A celebration of Corfu’s most vibrant biodiversity ambassadors
Corfu Butterfly Conservation encourages the island’s residents and visitors to protect Corfu’s biodiversity by counting butterflies!
6th, 7th,8th MAY 2022
On the 1 January 2021, Corfu Butterfly Conservation (CBC) launched the Corfu Butterfly Survey (CBS). This citizen science scheme is designed to encourage residents and visitors to the island to record the butterflies they see on the CBC website (www.corfubutterflyconservation.org).
To promote the CBS, we presented ‘A Festival of Butterflies’, in May 2022.
This series of events included:
1. Teaching about Butterflies and Inspiring Conservation in the Youth of Corfu
British author and naturalist Gerald Durrell made Corfu famous through his book “My Family and Other Animals”, in which he describes the island’s remarkable biodiversity, in this pre-war idyll. However, Durrell never forgot the great debt he owed to his Greek mentor and teacher Dr Theodore Stephanidies, for the support that Stephanidies gave Durrell while he developed his curiosity and fascination with nature, as a child.
Now Corfu Butterfly Conservation demonstrates our gratitude for this gift of childhood inspiration with the provision of 8,000 dual language butterfly posters, one for every child, in each of the island’s 54 primary schools. These posters are designed to aid with the identification of the 75 known butterfly species observed on Corfu by the members of CBC, since April 2014.
Additionally, CBC is supplying a Greek butterfly identification guide for each of Corfu’s 897 primary school teachers, along with lesson resources to help the teachers encourage and inspire their pupils to identify and record the butterflies they see in Corfu.
The ultimate aim is to help them learn about the important role that butterflies have as indicators of a healthy ecosystems whilst also inspiring a fascination for the wonders of biodiversity more broadly.
2. Annual General Meeting (AGM)
CBC has recently registered as a UK Community Interest Company and undertook its first AGM at the Evagoras Palikarides Hall (Municipal Council Building) in the grounds of Mon Repos at 18:00hrs on Friday 6th of May 2022. This meeting included talks by butterfly specialists from the United Kingdom, who spoke on the following subjects:
- Dan Danahar, Executive Chairman of Corfu Butterfly Conservation
“The Conservation of Corfu’s Butterflies and Moths”
- Sam Ellis, International Director of Butterfly Conservation (UK)
“Identifying and Recording the Corfiot Butterflies”
3. The Big Corfu Butterfly Race
Two teams of butterfly enthusiasts in minibuses competed to see how many butterfly species they could see in one day. This race started at 09:00hrs on Saturday 7th May 2022, at the Bosketto Durrell in Corfu Town. Team “Glanville Fritillary” spent the day in the north of the island, whilst Team “Wood White” competed in the south. The winning team was announced by the mayor of Corfu town.
4. Gardening for Butterflies
This event put on by CBC is designed to encourage gardening with butterflies in mind. It took place on Sunday 8th May 2022 and talks were given about how to identify the butterflies seen in gardens, where to record them and what to do to encourage them into all our garden.
Executive Chairman of CBC, Dr Dan Danahar, said: “Ultimately, all of Corfu Butterfly Conservation’s goals aim to inspire a renaissance in the relationship between people and the natural world. Encouraging people to count butterflies is one giant leap in this direction.”
Executive Director of the Ionian Environmental Foundation (IEF), Victoria Turner said: “The IEF is keen to fund and support conservation initiatives that promote education and a heightened awareness of the value of Corfu’s remarkable natural heritage. Counting butterflies is a great way to showcase the importance of respecting and cherishing biodiversity.”