Creating a more butterfly friendly city

A rewilding program to look after and boost the numbers of threatened butterflies across metro SA.

Let's make Adelaide more butterfly friendly. We'll work with partners to rewild the city and boost the numbers of rare butterflies.

Green Adelaide is leading this program to create a more butterfly friendly city by delivering targeted management activities like plantings, as well as raising awareness about these special insects, and will work to better understand the conservation status of butterflies across Adelaide.

Habitat clearance and urban development over the last 20 or so years has reduced the amount of butterfly friendly habitat across metropolitan Adelaide. We know that butterflies are fussy eaters and some species rely on one or two particular plants for survival.

The program will focus on a range of threatened butterfly species, including the yellowish sedge-skipper, bitter-bush blue and chequered copper butterfly.

This boost in re-wilding activities is a vital step in the conservation of these native pollinators and also contributes to Adelaide being a National Park City.

The program will build on existing partnerships and programs over the coming years. We will work with key partners such as Butterfly Conservation SA, butterfly expert Alex Storlaski from Ento Search, City of Adelaide, Adelaide coastal councils, SA Seed Conservation Centre and the Kaurna people.

(Banner image credit: Greg Coote)

Why are butterflies important?

Butterflies do more for us than just adding colour and beauty to our gardens.

Butterflies are special native pollinators, and an essential building block of a healthy environment. They help fruits, vegetables and flowers to produce new seeds.

They are also an important — though low-level — member of the food chain. They’re a food source for birds, spiders, lizards, mice and other animals. Caterpillars are also eaten by bats and birds among other creatures.


South Australia has 78 species of butterfly and Australia has a total of around 400.

Adelaide has around 30 threatened butterfly species including the yellowish sedge-skipper, bitter-bush blue and the chequered copper butterfly.

Bitterbush blue butterfly. Credit: Andy Young