At the last count there were 219 butterflies in the KNP. This was done by the devoted rangers of the KNP and authored in a book by Johan Kloppers named Butterflies of the Kruger National Park in 1978. Since then eight new species have already been added to the list and it is estimated, by regarding the general distribution of other butterflies that the total number would be around 270-plus species. |
The labour of love now lies in finding the time, hands, energy and funds to complete such a huge effort. But it can be done. The wish is for the study to culminate in a book on the butterflies of the KNP, an update if you may. A definite boost was permission from the KNP to study the distribution of the butterflies in the KNP. A second boon was the verbal blessing of Johan Kloppers to continue with this project and update his pristine work.In order to successfully complete this study it is also hoped to encourage our youth to become enthused by nature again. It would not only drag them away from the television, it will also assist them to get back in touch with their environment, with the Earth and its fertile blessings and eventually with their communities again.
The first step has been taken; some University of Pretoria students have been an exceptional help by going along on an adventure of a lifetime by collecting butterfly data in the KNP. The next step is to take students from the local communities around the KNP out to do the same. The intention is to visit local schools and introduce the butterfly as a theme. Lessons in all learning areas will already be compiled and handed to the teachers.The teachers will then be workshopped to explain the lessons. Hereafter a competition will be held for the learners. Different categories will be addressed; poems and stories, posters and paintings, plays and dances involving butterflies.
Learners will be invited to compete in these categories and teachers or external adjudicators will be appointed to judge the best entrant in each category. These learners will now already have a vested background knowledge for their subjects – the butterflies. The final step is to now take these learners to the KNP, to discover their friends in flight first hand.
When the learners go out and find the butterflies, they are assisting in collecting butterfly data to complete the study of the distribution of the different butterflies in the area. Imagine their happy faces…This could be done in two ways: a day trip or a stay over for the older learners. Where do we start? We would need a minibus or at least an eight-seater vehicle.
There would be four learners, two game guards, a teacher and the researcher. Sponsors for photocopies, fuel, food and drinks and accommodation would be a certain plus. It is time to bring our future generation out to meet the green Earth and become intoxicated by it. Are you ready to join?
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