Bob Marley and the Butterflies

by Deborah Senior, youth journalist, Youth Action Network

Largest in the Western hemisphere, is not only the world renowned Reggae singer Bob Marley. No, he shares the spotlight with the Jamaican butterfly, Papillio humerus . This butterfly has a wing span of 8.5 inches as recorded by Eric Garraway of the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.

Unfortunately, this beauty also graces the pages of the IUCN's Red List. Critically endangered in part due to its fussy habits, it thrives on one particular type of plant for its food source. In addition to this, matting usually occurs in wooden valleys. Due to the cutting down of trees, the butterflies do not reproduce as quickly. And like most of us, nobody wants to mate out in the open. What cannot be over looked according to David Smith, Executive Director, Jamaican Conservation and Development Trust, is that poaching quotes for these birds begin upwards of $100,000 U.S.