The Moths and Butterflies of New Zealand Trust is calling for monarch butterflies to be mailed to them.
But not living ones – or dead ones. These are paper monarchs, which children have coloured in and which will be used in an artwork at the trust’s birthday celebrations this month.
The trust was formed 10 years ago to ensure that a property that was to be developed in the Far North did not endanger one of the overwintering habitats of the monarch butterfly.
Thrilled with the support it received, the trust has gone on to work on education initiatives with schools and gardeners, promoting an awareness of New Zealand’s moths and butterflies – some of which have never been formally described and others that are on the ‘serious decline’ list.
“Some of these are species that are only found in this country,” trust secretary Jacqui Knight said.
“They add to this country’s rich biodiversity.”
The trust is marking its anniversary with the launch of the 3D movie, Flight of the Butterflies.
“I’m not sure if it’s a natural history epic or a detective story,” Ms Knight said. “But we join hundreds of millions of real butterflies on an amazing journey to a remote and secret hideaway – and one scientist’s 40-year search to unravel the mystery – where do the monarchs go each autumn in North America.”
Schools and individual families are sending in paper monarch butterflies, brightly coloured orange in all sorts of media, some with glitter on their wings, and these will go into a huge overwintering cluster to be on display at the premiere of the movie.
The Gala Premiere is on Monday, June 29 at Sylvia Park in Auckland, and tickets for this fundraiser are on sale now.
“Among the crowds that will see this glorious, breath-taking film in subsequent sessions at 3D cinemas throughout the country, we hope to attract schools to bring classes along, and funds raised from the premiere will subsidise these later screenings,” Ms Knight said.
“So the premiere should become a double celebration, we’ll also be helping children become more aware of the wonders of nature.”
Mailing address for paper Monarch butterflies is:
Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust
PO Box 44 100
Pt Chevalier, Auckland 1246