City to celebrate Save the Butterfly Day

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

April 16 is the day to help save the butterflies in Selma.

Mallieve Breeding, known as &8220;Madame Butterfly&8221; to many, wants to get the word out to residents who may not know just how important butterflies are to the environment of Selma, known as the &8220;Butterfly Capital of Alabama.&8221;

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Breeding said butterflies are a vital part of what keeps the environment going, and their contribution is not insignificant.

Ben Rogers, a biology lab instructor for Auburn University-Montgomery, agrees.

Breeding became involved in the cause to save the butterflies after hearing a conservation representative speak at a gathering of area garden clubs years ago.

After hearing the woman explain the contribution butterflies make to the world&8217;s ecology, Breeding was compelled to act.

Breeding went to schools and asked for support. She talked to then-Selma mayor Joe Smitherman, the city council and the county engineering department. Breeding petitioned the Alabama legislature to have Selma named the Butterfly Capital of Alabama and later, have the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail named as the state butterfly.

Lastly, Breeding worked to have April 16 set aside as a day to raise awareness of the condition of butterflies.

No events on the 16 have been planned thus far, but Breeding is open to ideas.