|Endangered Species: Queen Alexandra's
A Christiansburg Elementary Project
Submitted by Samantha Seaberg, 4th grade of Glen Lake Schools
Maple City, MI, U.S.A.
|Queen Alexandra's Birdwing
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.
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.
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,
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.
for more information on the Queen Alexandra's Birdwing Butterfly
Return to Insect page.
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© copyright 1997
Last updated on February 8, 1998