Conservintg the world's largest butterfly.

The Queen Alexandra's Birdwing Butterfly (QABB) (Ornithoptera alexandrae) is the largest butterfly in the world.The male's wingspan averages an impressive 178 mm and the larger females average an impressive 200 mm. However, females with wingspans of up to 250 mm (8+ inches) have been recorded. QABB is restricted to a small geographic area in the Oro (Northern) Province of mainland Papua New Guinea. Here they reside in the lush secondary and primary forests growing on volcanic soils. Throughout its range QABB occurs at low densities and an observer can spend several days in suitable habitat without encountering an adult. Three widely separated populations of QABB can be found in the region. One population can be found found on the volcanic Popondetta Plain but widespread logging and development of plantations, primarily oil palm, have destroyed and severely fragmented forest habitats in the region. A second high elevation population occurs in the Afore region and appears to be less impacted by anthropogenic activities. A third isolated population in the Cape Ward region has yet to be quantified in any systematic way. Due to the isolation and small size of each population, habitat loss, and demand for this species in the specimen trade the species has been listed as CITES I, endangered. During the summer of 2008 I worked for Conservation International and with the Oro provincial wildlife office to document the status of the species in the region, shed light on the species life history, and to identify and make contact with traditional land owners, with QABB residing on their land, interested in conserving the species.