Target: Rolan bin Abd. Rahman, Director of the Landscape and Recreational Development Department in Kuala Lumpur
Goal: Maximize wild areas in public parks to create habitat for local butterflies.
Butterflies in Kuala Lumpur have been competing with a growing, urbanized climate that is decimating green spaces that provide the habitat these animals need. As wild spaces become more and more rare in the city, public parks must take it upon themselves to maintain semi-natural areas to preserve local butterflies’ natural environment.
As the tropical biodiversity hotspot continues to increase in population density, Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, is also witnessing a decrease in the number of butterfly species found in the city. Despite this, a glimmer of hope may be found in the city’s public parks. Researchers found that over 60 species of butterfly were living in the parks configured all around the urban metropolis. The butterflies seek refuge in the areas of the parks that are less maintained and where the natural growth of numerous botanical species can occur uninterrupted. These unkempt areas provide a natural safe haven for the butterflies that is necessary for their survival.
Kuala Lumpur has sacrificed 87 percent of its green space to sustain a 77 percent gain in human population density since 1990. It is imperative we ensure the presence of human life and development does not disturb pre-existing species remaining in the area. It is estimated that 20 to 40 percent of butterfly species in Southeast Asia now face extinction. With such rapid decline in numbers, conservation activists must urge community leaders to take action and foster the multiplication of local butterfly species by providing more areas mimicking their natural habitat.
Dear Director Rahman,
Research at the University of Malaya found that Kuala Lumpur’s public parks have been instrumental in the conservation of local butterflies. The butterflies, whose natural habitat has been destroyed due to urbanization, seek shelter in the overgrown, unmanaged parts of the city’s parks.
The public park’s natural, green areas serve as a sanctuary for the confused butterflies whose homes have been destroyed. Reserving areas of the park that can remain unmanaged, or under as little management as possible, will create an opportunity to provide a safe-haven to these animals.
Of the thousand butterfly species living in Malaysia, only 60 have numbers large enough survive in the fast, bustling climate of Kuala Lumpur. I believe the rapid decrease in butterfly species found in the area is evidence that we already pose an incredible threat to biodiversity in Malaysia.
Because of the decline in butterfly species found in the region, I urge you to expand the green, wild areas of Kuala Lumpur’s public parks.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Andrea Schieber