Eltham Copper Butterfly Habitat Protection ensured during Hurstbridge Line Duplication

Eltham Copper Butterfly Habitat Protection ensured during Hurstbridge Line Duplication Main Image

20 April 2022

New Eltham Copper Butterfly habitats will continue to be protected during the Hurstbridge Line Duplication.

Extensive Environmental investigations have been conducted which have identified Mayona Reserve, near Montmorency Station, as an area of habitat for Eltham Copper Butterflies. Prior to this sighting, the butterfly had not been seen in Montmorency in over 40 years.

Member for Eltham, Vicki Ward MP, has welcomed the decision to protect the area where the Copper Butterfly has been found.

The Eltham Copper Butterfly is known to occur in Victoria and has only been recorded at a few locations. They are classified as Endangered under the DSE Advisory List of Threatened Invertebrate Fauna in Victoria 2009.

The Level Crossing Removal Project is committed to ensuring the conservation of flora and fauna within its project areas. As an endangered species the Eltham Copper Butterfly is protected by federal and state law. The Hurstbridge Line Duplication project is required to avoid, minimise, and manage the impacts to the Copper Butterfly’s habitat.

Since the butterfly has been observed, the habitat has been fenced off and is protected while works continue on other parts of the project.

The Eltham Copper Butterfly’s known habitat is sparse dry woodland, consisting of eucalyptus forests, an understory of hedges and shrubs as well as native grasses, mosses and leaf litter. Please ensure you stick to paths when walking and riding near butterfly habitat, plant native trees and shrubs in your garden, and try not to damage native plants where the butterfly might live.

The caterpillars that become the Eltham Copper Butterfly have a very close symbiotic relationship with a specific ant from the Notoncus genus, and the shrub Sweet Bursaria which is native to the area. The butterfly has a short lifespan and can only complete its lifecycle with the help of the ant and Bursaria leaves.

 Quotes attributable to Member for Eltham, Vicki Ward

 “I look forward to seeing the completion of the Hurstbridge Line Duplication and the maintenance of Mayona Reserve as a sustainable habitat for the beloved Eltham Copper Butterfly.”

“We are working to protect this endangered species and its habitat, while ensuring that we deliver more train services, less crowding on peak trains and better connections to public transport”