How do human activities affect the distribution of butterflies in places with increased conversion of natural habitats into farms, plantations, and development?
The project aims to determine whether urbanization or development should further expand to areas with high potential for conservation programs and projects. Through studying the biogeography and distribution of butterflies as a sensitive index group, one can establish a plan or a strategy on how conservation projects should be planned to maximize wild area protection and minimize impacts of human development.
The Philippines has 915 species of butterflies and there are 274 species of butterflies in Negros Island alone and because of land conversions and developments, their natural habitats were either lost or fragmented and this will result to disturbance in their distribution and would result into an isolation of a certain population of butterflies.
Butterflies play a big role in ecological landscape as one of the pollinators for flowering plants, decreasing their population would result into changes in our ecosystem. Plants depend on butterflies for pollination and birds and other higher vertebrates also depend on butterflies as a source of food.
Donations will be used to pay for the equipments and travel expenses for the fieldwork which would cost $1500. Excess donations will be used to support areas in Negros Oriental with high potentials to establish a butterfly farm or a sanctuary for ecotourism in the island.
With the data gathered from the fieldwork, we will determine if there are some butterfly species that are isolated in some areas so that it will be included in conservation projects in the island, we will also determine if there are new species of butterflies occuring in the island due to habitat fragmentation and wide area coverage of plantations.
Knowing their distribution along Negros Oriental, one can establish a plan for conservation and protection projects and whether development will proceed in these areas with high species population of butterflies. We will also determine at what levels of anthropogenecity affects the distribution of butterflies within Negros Oriental.
Jade Aster T. Badon took his Bachelor's degree in Biology from Silliman University, Philippines, where he volunteered as a Research Assistant at the Invertebrate Laboratory-Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences. He is currently taking up his Master's degree in Entomology in University of Florida and working as a Graduate Research Assistant at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity. He attended several conferences like the Wildlife Conservation Society of the Philippines (WCSP) and the annual meeting of the Southern Lepidopterists' Society and the Association for Tropical Lepidoptera.