35-17 Rare butterfly habitat in Victoria Park

The partly fenced area in the centre of Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi contains unusual remnant native grasses, which provide habitat for a rare species of butterfly.

The native grasses here have survived in this small patch, despite more than 180 years of European settlement. They include species such as Spear grass, Early Nancy, Tiny Star, and Garland Lily.

This is one of the very last places on the Adelaide plains where these remnant native grass species have survived.

After the biodiversity significance of these grasses was realised in 2012, the area was fenced, in order to prevent trampling during the annual car racing event.

The City Council has a formal management plan in place with the State Government Environment department to protect these species.

The management plan involves more substantial permanent fencing, protection of butterfly habitat within the park, and a commitment to restore the site to resemble the nationally threatened environment described as ‘Grey Box Grassy Woodlands and Derived Native Grasslands of South Eastern Australia’.

This site is protected habitat for the rare grassland copper butterfly also known as the chequered copper butterfly. It lives in an unusual symbiosis with small common black ants. The ants play a role in feeding the butterfly larva. There are interpretive signs that explain this.

From this point, walk south-east, diagonally back towards Fullarton Road, to look at the tall trees there.



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