The Appolo Butterfly (Parnassius apollo) is considered a postglaciar relict, with only a handful of sites where it has been recorded in Romania until 1990. This extremely endangered day flying butterfly, inhabits only the barren limestone habitats at Cheile Bicazului-Hășmaș National Park. Last sightings has been made in 1996 at Bicaz Gorge, but anecdotal reports and some clues regarding the existence of a remote population in Bicaz Chei has been found by our team in summer of 2015. Although most specialist consider the taxon extinct in Romania (Rakosy, 2013), the International Union for Conservation of Nature consider a species extinct only after 30 years from the last documented sighting. The projects aim to relocate the species within he surroundings of the quarry as the main factor of the extinction of the species seems to be the reforestation of the former habitats and therefore the disappearance of the host plant for the larvae and the flowering plants which are the food supply for adults. The methodology consist in the monitoring of the host plant (Sedum album) and food plant (Centaurea sp.) for the presence of caterpillars and imago by Pollard method . In case of failure, the external border of the quarry offer the best location to repopulate the host plant and Apollo butterflies obtained from a native population.
Bicaz Chei, județul Neamț
Species research, Scientific research
Quarry Life Award 2016