Richmond Birdwing Vine


Scientific name: Pararistolochia praevenosa

Common names: Richmond Birdwing Vine, Birdwing Butterfly Vine

Overview: A large vine of temperate subtropical rainforests. The Richmond Birdwing Vine is the principal larval host plant for its namesake, the vulnerable Richmond Birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera richmondia). The vine itself has become threatened mostly due to extensive loss of lowland subtropical rainforest, grazing pressures and competition from invasive weeds since European colonisation. Like most rainforest plant species the Richmond Birdwing Vine is fire sensitive and vulnerable to inappropriate fire regimes. Prolonged drought and climate change have also caused further declines.

In the wild, hardly any seedlings are naturally regenerating; the recruitment rate is almost at 0%. Why? Brush Turkeys bury the seeds by scratching (thus a dispersal agent), but if the turkeys eat the pulp of the fruit including the seeds and they pass through their gut, the seeds are no longer viable.

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