Within the scope of the project “Preparation, Implementation and Monitoring of Species Action Plans for Endangered Species in Turkey within the Concept of a New Methodology” carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate for EU Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Harran lizard, steppe eagle, caracal, Spotted mullein plant, as well as Bolland’s Blue have been listed among the priority species for conservation.
Prof. Dr. Feza Can, a faculty member at Hatay Mustafa Kemal University (MKU) Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Plant Protection, told AA correspondent that the butterfly was first observed in the city in 1998.
Can explained that the males of the species have bright blue wings while the females have brown wings. She also mentioned that the butterfly was observed in Osmaniye back in 2011.
Can said the butterfly was seen flying at an average altitude of 1550 metres in Hatay.
Can explained that the Bolland’s Blue (Çokgözlü Hatay Mavisi) was named after Hatay because it was first discovered there. She stated “We initiated studies on this species because it is critically endangered and in danger of extinction on a global scale. For the past year, we have been conducting research on Bolland’s Blue butterfly as part of a project focused on species conservation, in collaboration with the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks. Our research involves determining everything from morphological and molecular descriptions to biological and ecological requirements, as well as the distribution area of the butterfly.”
Can stated that they care about the protection of endemic species, and continued her speech as follows:
“The term ‘endemic’ refers to a species that is exclusively found in a particular region. It is not possible to find this butterfly species anywhere else in the world. Therefore, this species is our natural heritage. Conservation studies will surely support the butterfly’s population increase. Unknowingly, various human activities and environmental factors can have detrimental effects on the habitat of butterflies. As a result, it is important to identify and bring to light such activities in order to improve the butterfly’s quality of life and prevent the reduction of its distribution areas.”