Butterfly poaching honiara
There’s nothing like a breakdown to teach you more in a day than you could learn in a week!

Another exciting tale from break down day… We watched this man walk slowly up the track towards us, trying to guess exactly what he was after. He seemed happy to stop to tell his tale and solved another mystery for me at the same time. A large, expensive looking yacht had docked the night before in the main town. Apparently it belonged to an Italian who was sailing around the islands on holiday. He’d met Rob – the butterfly poacher above – at the pub that night and offered him SBD 60 000 to capture and kill a rare solomon butterfly.

We had some difficulty establishing the type of butterfly. The most popular Solli collectors item is the Queen Victoria Birdwing butterfly – usually a greenish colour and very large – but they are rarely known to be black and red. Rob was on a mission to find a red one. Armed with an assortment of medical equipment provided by the Italian he expected to be back in 2-3 days, prize in hand… And with enough money to look after his family for life.

Much debate has centered around poaching activities in the Solomons. From butterflies to dolphins, there are always people willing to exploit native species for financial gain. But some argue that a governed harvesting program could be just what the country needs to build enterprise and maintain sustainable populations within a monitored environment.

Read more here: http://www.solomontimes.com/letter/753

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