Local student discovers new colony of Eltham Copper Butterfly

Words By CopperLine

An exciting discovery was made earlier this year by Riley Drysdale and his mum, Shellie Drysdale, at Eltham East Primary School. Riley is a Year 5 student at the school. Shellie, a former zookeeper, previously worked as a gardener there, involving students in gardening and environmental education. But on this particular day, they were volunteers watering the grounds adjacent to Luck Street.

The pair caught a fleeting glance of a butterfly in flight. An educated guess about what they saw suggested to Riley he should run home to get his camera. On his return, as anticipation mounted, the hunt began in earnest. He found two male butterflies in the garden and approximately 20 others in the reserve a few metres away. Riley and Shellie had discovered a new colony of the Eltham Copper Butterfly at his school. “It was one of the best moments of my life,” Shellie said when CopperLine met with her and Riley. The discovery has been verified by Council representatives.

David Tyndall, Assistant Principal at EEPS said that just this week another 40 caterpillars were discovered and another 10 sweet bursaria bushes were tagged.