Endangered Species: Queen Alexandra's Birdwing

A Christiansburg Elementary Project
Submitted by Samantha Seaberg, 4th grade of Glen Lake Schools
Maple City, MI, U.S.A.

Queen Alexandra's Birdwing

Photographer Unknown

Why Study This Topic? What Was Already Known Search for Information Description of Plant or Animal Habitat Requirements
Adaptations Reasons for Endangerment Restoration Actions What Was Learned Conclusions from Research

Why Study This Topic?

  I wanted to know what endangered this butterfly and why would the thing(s) want to endanger them, anyway? If people are endangering the Queen Alexandra's Birdwing (which they usually are), did they have permission from the government? What does it eat? Where does it live? What are its predators? All of these questions were mysteries at first. Also, this looked like an interesting animal. At first, I didn't know how big it was either.

What Was Already Known

  I have never seen an endangered butterfly before so I didn't know anything. I didn't know it was even endangered! I didn't know its predators, either. Although I did know that it has three body parts, four wings, six legs, two antennae, and scales all over its body. That's true for all butterflies.

Search for Information

  I looked in all the books about butterflies in the library, and searched on CD-ROM's, and the World Wide Web. I had problems because there aren't many books in the library about endangered butterflies. Also, my teacher had never heard of Queen Alexandra's Birdwing. I found most of my information in the World Books.

Description of Plant or Animal

  The Queen Alexandra's Birdwing is orangeish, brown, or a dull brown or black. It has spots of gold or yellow. The body is black and white. It has an 11 inch wingspan, making it the biggest butterfly in the world.

Habitat Requirements

  The Queen Alexandra's Birdwing eats nectar, pollen, dung, urine and other wastes. The water it gets comes from its food. It lives in Papua New Guinea. It shelters in the forests. It shelters in trees and sometimes in flowers or grass. It needs to be alone until breeding season. It needs a lot of space otherwise.


  The Queen Alexandra's Birdwing has only two predators recorded. They are humans and large birds such as parrots. Some adaptations are one, its very large. Two, it can fly. Three, it eats the grossest things. And four, its spots blend in with flowers and other plants.

Reasons for Endangerment

  The only two recorded endangerments of the Queen Alexandra's Birdwing that people litter which destroys habitat, and cutting down the forests in which they live. At one time, there used to be thousands of Queen Alexandra's Birdwings, until people took over its habitat. Since then, there are only a few.

Restoration Actions

  Some people try to reserve and save the forests for wild and endangered animals, but there are too many paper companies and factories. Some people think all forests should be reserved or helped by replanting. Other people sometimes breed and set free the butterflies.

What Was Learned

  I learned a lot about how they were endangered, what they eat, where they live, that it is the biggest butterfly in the world, that its scientific name is Ornithoptera alexandrae, and also its color. Two things I learned for the computer are one, word processing, and two, about copyright.

Conclusions From Research

  Now I know that there are insects that need our help too. I also learned some word processing skills. This project was fun because I don't get much of a chance to write reports or stories on the computer.

Click here for more information on the Queen Alexandra's Birdwing Butterfly

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Christiansburg Elementary
Last updated on February 8, 1998