The Hairstreak is a rare butterfly that only has a full population in Heerlen in the Netherlands. For this reason municipality Heerlen decided to adopt the butterfly in order to ensure its existence. Township Heerlen believes that it is their duty to preserve this type of butterfly and works together with, among others, The Butterfly Foundation to strengthen and connect the habitat of this remarkable butterfly.
The population of the hairstreak is narrowed down due to the inability to find suitable terrain for them to live in. For years, the striking Elm Trees on the ‘Oliemolenstraat’ were the only known location where the Hairstreak butterfly could be found. A few years ago, a number of measurements have been taken to enlarge the suitable sites for the butterfly to live in. Incredibly large elms were planted along the Caumerstream and nectar sources were being planted at the Oil Mill. In addition, the mowing policy in the area has been adjusted. Luckily, all of the previously mentioned measurements have been a success to the living environment of the butterfly. In 2010 the species have been spotted right next to our hotel. This year the butterflies are being recounted, this way we can keep track of the population of the butterfly and hold a close eye to their level of extinction in our region.
Numeral other measurements are planned to take place in the upcoming years. Nature organisations will provide additional information and education in order to make it a success. The municipality will strengthen the habitat for the butterfly by planting a network of (flutter)elms and so-called ‘nectar ponds’. With the flutter being introduced in Heerlen we will be able to welcome a new type of tree which cannot be found here yet. The nectar parks are being realized by natural roadside and forest edge management. The Butterfly Foundation and ‘Diergaarde Blijdorp’ support the project with their expertise and financial support. Natuurmonumenten and Van der Valk will assist by providing the Elms and nectar facilities at Terworm.