Bohol Butterfly Sanctuaries

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Situated in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines, the island province of Bohol boasts an impressive array of butterfly sanctuaries and conservation centers.

These dedicated spaces strive to safeguard, research, and showcase a diverse range of butterfly species, including those that are native to the region.

These centers draw in a diverse crowd of tourists, researchers, and nature enthusiasts, all captivated by the dazzling colors, elegant flight patterns, and intriguing life cycles of the butterflies.

Bohol, being home to roughly 300 indigenous butterfly species, has an earnest goal within its sanctuaries to protect and proliferate the butterfly populace of the island.

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Complementing the sanctuaries are their meticulously landscaped gardens blooming with colorful flowers, which provide a visual treat to the visitors while serving as a thriving habitat for the butterflies.

These enchanting gardens are not just a feast for the eyes, but they also have a calming effect on the senses.

The introduction of these butterfly sanctuaries has added a charming facet to Bohol's plethora of attractions.

They've swiftly become an integral part of travel itineraries, inviting interest and appreciation from both local and international visitors.

Bohol Butterfly Sanctuaries

Here are some notable butterfly centers and sanctuaries in Bohol:

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Bohol Habitat Conservation Center - Formerly Known As Simply Butterflies

Bohol Habitat Conservation Center is the first butterfly livelihood breeding program in Bohol.

The center is dedicated to preserving and promoting awareness about butterflies, their life cycles, and their importance to the ecosystem.

As the largest butterfly facility in the Philippines, it hosts hundreds of butterfly species, including some of the country's most endangered.

The center also has a butterfly enclosure where visitors can interact with butterflies in their natural habitat.

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Jagna Butterfly Garden

Jagna Butterfly Garden, located in the Jagna municipality, features a wide variety of local and exotic butterfly species.

It is a peaceful and relaxing place where visitors can walk among the butterflies and appreciate their beauty up close.

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Butterfly Dome at Sagbayan Peak

Sagbayan Peak is a mountain resort and recreation center located in the town of Sagbayan, about 45 miles northwest of Tagbilaran City.

They have a butterfly dome which houses about 18 species of these wondrous winged creatures.

Flowering plants augment the inside of the dome with a very big man-made butterfly gracing the center.

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Can-olin Butterfly Sanctuary

The Can-olin Butterfly Sanctuary is located at Candijay town, Bohol. The town is in the eastern part of Bohol about 92.2 kilometers from Tagbilaran City, a two-hour ride away.

During sunny days, numerous species of butterflies appear in the sanctuary.

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Rajah Sikatuna National Park:

While primarily known for its rich biodiversity, Rajah Sikatuna National Park in Bilar is also home to an array of butterfly species.

This protected area provides a natural sanctuary for butterflies and other wildlife.

Explore the park's pristine trails and immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of the forest. Keep an eye out for butterflies dancing through the sunlight filtering through the canopy.

The park offers a unique opportunity to appreciate butterflies in their natural habitat, surrounded by the sights and sounds of a tropical rainforest.

Nuts Huts Butterfly Garden:

Nestled in the tranquil hills of Loboc, Nuts Huts Butterfly Garden is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Set amidst a lush and verdant landscape, this garden is a haven for various butterfly species.

Wander through the garden's vibrant flora, specially cultivated to attract butterflies.

Marvel at the delicate beauty of these creatures as they flit from flower to flower. Take a moment to relax in the garden's serene setting and let the tranquility wash over you.

Additional Income from butterflies

Breeding butterflies can augment ones income by selling them as butterfly releases, making them into dry papered butterflies and selling live pupae.

Moves have been taken to develop butterfly by-products such as framed butterflies, butterfly wing mosaic, and key chains.

Philippines' rich biodiversity

These Bohol Butterfly Sanctuaries play a crucial role in butterfly conservation and offer visitors an educational and enjoyable experience.

While visiting, guests can learn about the different butterfly species, their habitats, their roles in pollination and the ecosystem, and the threats they face due to habitat loss and climate change.

By raising awareness about these beautiful insects, the centers in Bohol aim to inspire conservation efforts and contribute to the preservation of the Philippines' rich biodiversity.

What is a Butterfly?

According to Wikipedia, a butterfly is an insect of the order Lepidoptera. Like all Lepidoptera, butterflies are notable for their unusual life cycle with a larval caterpillar stage, an inactive pupal stage, and a spectacular metamorphosis into a familiar and colorful winged adult form.

Most species are day-flying so they regularly attract attention. The diverse patterns formed by their brightly colored wings and their erratic yet graceful flight have made butterfly watching a fairly popular hobby.

Butterflies comprise the true butterflies (super family Papilionoidea), the skippers (Super family Hesperioidea) and the moth-butterflies (Super family Hedyloidea).

Butterflies exhibit polymorphism, mimicry and aposematism. Some are known to migrate over large distances.

Some butterflies have evolved symbiotic and parasitic relationships with social insects such as ants.

Butterflies are important economically as one of the major agents of pollination. In addition, a number of species are pests, because they can damage domestic crops and trees.

Facts about Butterfly

Here are some key facts about butterflies:

  • Digestive System: Adult butterflies do not defecate. Caterpillars, in contrast, eat continually and defecate often. Sometimes, adult butterflies drink so much they release a fine spray of almost pure water.
  • Diet: Butterflies do not consume bugs or insects. Caterpillars are the ones who eat, primarily plant parts. An exception is the Harvester butterfly that eats woolly aphids. Adult butterflies mostly consume liquids, such as flower nectar, fluid from rotting fruits, tree sap, bird droppings, or animal dung. Harvester butterflies can also drink fluids from woolly aphids.
  • Mating: Male butterflies locate females visually and use pheromones at close range. Post-acceptance by the female, they mate, often taking a short courtship flight. Mating can last for over an hour, even overnight. The male passes a sperm packet to the female to fertilize the eggs.
  • Communication: Butterflies use color, chemicals, sound, and physical actions to communicate with each other. Color patterns signal their sex or species. Chemical pheromones are used for attraction or during courtship. Some butterflies create clicking sounds for protection or territoriality. Physical actions, such as aggressive flight or postures, are used in courtship or to guard resources.
  • Flight: Butterflies have strong thoracic muscles which enable their wings to move in a slanted figure 8 motion, similar to an airplane's propellers, to propel them forward. The speed varies from species to species, with some flying as slow as 5 mph and some as fast as 30 mph.
  • Resting: Butterflies become inactive when it's cloudy, at night, or when they can't maintain their activity levels. This is not equivalent to sleep, as butterflies do not have eyelids and always have their eyes open.
  • Rain Behavior: During rain, butterflies hide in places like under large leaves, dense foliage, under rocks, or head down on grass stems with wings held tightly.
  • Chrysalis Formation: Full-grown caterpillars often move some distance from their feeding plant to form their chrysalis.
  • Lifespan: Some butterflies have a lifespan as short as two weeks, though generally, they live for about two months. All butterflies lay their eggs on host plants that usually match their coloring.

How to Get to these Places

Bilar

Simply Butterflies Conservation Center is situated in Bilar, Bohol, Philippines. Bilar is an interior town located 41 kilometers from Tagbilaran City, the lone city of Bohol.

The Center is 1 kilometer from the Bilar market and 5 minutes away from the Mahogany Man-Made Forest.

Along the highway going to Carmen town, about 5 minutes from the man-made forest, you will find colored flags on your right-hand side with an “Open” sign.

Walk or drive on in about 50 meters and you will arrive at the entrance to the Center which is behind the car park.

Saint Jude buses, available at the Dao Integrated Terminal in Tagbilaran City, ply the route to Bilar and onwards to Talibon.

Ride the bus bound for Talibon and tell the driver to drop you off at Simply Butterflies and they will do so gladly.

For a more guided tour, you can hire a van at the Terminal. Two towns after Bilar are the famed Chocolate Hills.

Sagbayan

“For hire” vans are available from Tagbilaran City, at the Dao Terminal; and from the town of Tubigon, fronting the municipal building.

Following the Tagbilaran-Tubigon-Clarin route, partially on the way to the town of Nahawan, one will see a junction road with a sign indicating the way to Sagbayan.

Sagbayan is located inland southeast of Clarin and is 76.5 kilometers from Tagbilaran City.

Candijay

Buses ply the route from Tagbilaran City to Candijay town. From the town proper, one can take a motorcycle ride or “habal-habal” to Can-olin.

For ease of travel although a bit expensive, hire a van at the Dao Integrated Terminal for Candijay.

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