On July 15, 2019, Siraya National Scenic Area Administration received the gold award in environmental education from the Pacific Asia Travel Association with a project on ecological purple crow butterfly valley construction and environmental education. The honor will keep the Administration going, in terms of promoting ecological tourism.
Purple crow butterfly is an endemic sub-species in Taiwan. At the low-elevation Hongye Park which is 334 meters above the sea level in Siraya National Scenic Area, there are as many as 116 butterfly species including four kinds of butterflies - small brown crow, blue-banded king crow, double-branded crow, and striped blue crow. From July to November, the butterflies are many, numbering from 700 to 2,400. Unlike Maolin which is an overwintering butterfly valley, Siraya is an ecological one.
Having worked with the Taiwan Purple Butterfly Ecological Conservation Association in the last 10 years, the Administration has planted trees according to the plantation of the butterfly’s original habitats, managed conservation in Siraya as a habitat on the butterfly’s migration paths, and held nectar-plant growing and environmental education events. Every summer, on weekends, conservation camps and “butterfly theme park” events are held in Hongye Park. Guided butterfly ecological tours, marking-and-setting free of butterflies, and ecological adventure games are all held to introduce butterfly conservation to the public, while developing local tourism.
The Administration also trains local elementary school students to be ecological guides who help to explain the lives of purple crow butterflies and their living environs, as a part of civil science and ecological environmental education. Hongye Park in February 2018 acquired certification for environmental education and this has allowed the Administration to introduce purple crow butterflies to more groups and schools through its environmental education courses.