Student Research Grant recipient Hemchandranauth Sambhu visited the Wet Tropics Management Authority recently to share findings of his butterfly study and present a research poster.
Sambhu, a James Cook University student, spent the past year conducting a butterfly survey in Cairns as part of an ongoing PhD research project investigating the effects of land management practices on butterfly populations in two tropical locations: the Wet Tropics and Guyana, South America.
He spent a week in locations from Gordonvale to Port Douglas and Daintree National Park, monitoring butterfly traps consisting of banana, sugar and beer, in addition to interviewing local residents.
The survey revealed interesting behaviour across some species. The blue-banded eggfly (Hypolimnas alimena lamina), for example, attracts mates by performing a mating dance in beams of sunlight through the rainforest canopy.
Initial results show differing trends across the two tropical locations, in particular highlighting strong land management practices in the Wet Tropics, as well as the efforts of residential gardeners planting to attract butterflies. Full results will be published soon.
About the Student Research Grant Scheme
Wet Tropics Management Authority is proud to support new research into endangered species and invasive pests living in the World Heritage Area through its Student Research Grant Scheme.
In 2017 the Authority issued 16 grants to postgraduate students delving into environmental, social and cultural research aimed at benefiting the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
The Authority has funded more than $200,000 in research through the Student Research Grants Scheme since it started in 2011.
This year, $36,600 in grants have been approved. Researchers will provide progress reports on their studies in December.