03 September 2011

Bohol Butterfly Sanctuary: Protecting Nature's Little Wonders

(click image for a larger view)
About 5 minutes away from the Bilar Man Made Forest is the biggest butterfly sanctuary in Bohol - Simply Butterflies Conservation Center. This Center aims to protect and strengthen the natural environment of the butterflies, through plant research, breeding and releasing. Today, it houses over 50% of the 300 butterfly species in Bohol and has become one of the famous tourist destinations in the said province. 

For only P30 (P5 for kids below 10 yrs old; free for kids below 5 yrs old), one may enjoy an educational tour around the Center. (The Center is open daily from 8:00am to 4:30pm)

The guide leads visitors to a tour of the Center's orientation area, butterfly sanctuary and butterfly enclosure. Visitors get to acquaint themselves with the butterfly's life cycle and some even get a chance to hold the baby caterpillars. (I am not fond of insects or anything that crawls so obviously I didn't ask for the chance to hold the babies. I just opted to let our guide place the full-grown butterfly on my head :D) The butterfly garden is an open landscaped area. Our trusty guide informed us that the flowers in this garden were strategically planted to attract the kind of butterflies they breed. (Note: Each type of butterfly gets attracted only to a specific type of flower.) The butterfly enclosure, on the other hand, was built to protect the butterflies from different predators. I have read that this enclosure increases their survival rate by approximately 70%. Without the enclosure, their survival rate averages from only 1% to 3%.
After the tour, visitors who wish to buy souvenirs may drop by the gift shop and choose from the array of shirts, pillows, mugs, fans, clips and key chains. Others choose to stay at the orientation area near the entrance to look at the preserved bodies of large butterflies and moths enclosed in glass frames. Some who wish to try the Center's delicacies proceed to the Restaurant. (We didn't have enough time during our visit so sadly, we were not able to check this out) I heard they prepare the famous farmer's breakfast and they also make their own home-made bread sandwich - both of which are on my "must-try list" the next time I visit this place.