A species of butterfly has been selected as the focal species of a landscape scale recovery project. The Yellowish Sedge-skipper (YSS) Hesperilla flavescens flavia uses the sedge species Gahnia filum (Thatching Grass) for food, shelter and as a place to rear its larvae.
In the past, the YSS lived in sedgelands between West Beach and St Kilda in the extended Adelaide metropolitan coastal plains. It has not been seen in this area since 1985, though populations of the species exist (among other places) on Yorke Peninsula and Eyre Peninsula, west of Adelaide's Fleurieu Peninsula.
A 2000 Local Recovery Plan for the YSS (Coleman and Coleman, 2000) outlined and implemented steps to facilitate reintroducing the butterfly. The plan received strong community support and resulted in widespread planting of Thatching Grass in the north Adelaide plains project area.
The aim of this feasibility assessment project is to foster community support for the protection of important habitats, survey current YSS populations, assess revegetation work already done, and recommend further work needed to reintroduce the butterfly.
This project aligns with the Samphire Coast Icon Project (SCIP) which has taken actions from the Metropolitan Adelaide Northern Coastal Action Plan (MANCAP). The SCIP and this project are a collaborative effort between The Nature Conservation Society of South Australia, Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, and Bird Life Australia.