KINABALU BIRDWING (KUPU-KUPU KALIBAMBANG EMAS)
The Kinabalu Birdwing, also known as the Borneo Birdwing or scientifically known as Troides andromache, is a species endemic to Borneo. Since its discovery around 1892, this species has been relatively hard to find due to its habitat at altitudes of 750 - 2000 meters above sea level, making it a fascination for entomologists, especially those from abroad. There are 3 subspecies of this butterfly in Borneo, with only Troides andromache, confined to Sabah. The Forewing length of this butterfly is 60 - 70mm, with the male larger than the female. In Sabah, this butterfly can only be found in the vicinity of Mount Kinabalu, Crocker Range, and lately in Sipitang near to Merapok.
As additional information, Birdwing species have been highly sought after by collectors worldwide since 250 years ago. In fact, they are considered as "royal insects" , with many Birdwing species from other countries being named after their queens and kings - for example, Queen Alexandra's Birdwing from Papua New Guinea and Raja Brooke's Birdwing, which is Malaysia's national butterfly. Furthermore, the origin of the scientific name of the Birdwing, which is "andromache" is quite interesting as it is associated with a Princess named Andromache from the Greek history. The unique colours and history of this butterfly will undoubtedly attract the interest of tourists and researchers.
SABAH NEW TROURISM ICON
This butterfly can be established as an icon for conservation and tourism in Sabah. As it can only be found in Borneo, making it highly suitable as a symbol of Sabah's rich biodiversity. Recognizing this butterfly as a official butterfly of Sabah will introduce a new tourism product. Additionally, Sabah also needs its own biological icon, similar to the Rajah Brooke's Birdwing, which has been recognized as Malaysia's National Butterfly. Acknowledging the Kinabalu Birdwing Butterfly as the state butterfly will make it a new tourism icon for Sabah and provide a tourism product that reflects the characteristics of Sabah as a "Mega-Diversity Insect area".
THE STATE GOVERNMENT'S COMMITMENT TO CONSERVATION EFFORTS
This nomination will provide a vision and commitment by the state government in recognizing high-value fauna resources. The nomination of the Kinabalu Birdwing (Troides andromache) to adopt as the state butterfly will bring numerous benefits, not only in terms of tourism but also in the conservation of this species, which will have a positive impact on the management of other critically endangered and threatened species. Simultaneously, this nomination can provide a specific focus on biodiversity conservation efforts in Sabah, as species conservation will also have positive impact on habitat protection.