|Date||17 Nov 2014|
Presently, Ghana has over 900 species of butterflies which is nearly a quarter of the total Afrotropical fauna. Out of this number, about 150 (17% of the 900 species) are West African endemic while 25 are endemic to Ghana. The Atewa Dotted Border Butterfly (Mylothris atewa) is an endemic butterfly to Ghana and described from Atewa, an upland evergreen forest. Between 1950 and 1982, a Roman Catholic priest collected over 800 of the 930 currently known specimen from Ghana. Researchers are certain Mylothris atewa occurs only at Atewa but possible smaller population could be at Tano-Offin Forest Reserve (hereafter referred as Tano-Offin), an upland evergreen forest like Atewa.
These two upland forests are unique biodiversity hotspot and key to their survival and that of many species of animals but Tano-Offin has not been explored entomologically. At Atewa, Mylothris atewa occurs sympatrically with seven other Mylothris species but very distinctive in appearance. These forests are under serious threat from encroachment, illegal mining and logging. The aim of this project is therefore to monitor their responses to these ongoing threats at Atewa. At Tano-Offin, the project aims to confirm their presence while exploring the forest for all the butterflies it host. The project is also engaging forest fringe communities in forest protection through education and awareness programmes. At the end of this project, the project hopes to provide current knowledge on the status of Mylothris atewa and their abundance response to ongoing disturbances. The results will directly determine where current and future conservation efforts should focus. The project will also provide a checklist of the butterfly species inhabiting the Tano-Offin forest reserve. Through our conservation activities, the project expect that a Forest Protection Committee will be established with the help of forest fringing communities to protect the two reserves. Lastly, it is hoped that the capacity of students will be built in research and conservation of butterflies in Ghana.
For further information contact: