Leitura: 3 min
They are always there. Flying around Inhotim, resting between plants and artworks. With various shapes and colors, the parks butterflies are not there by chance: they are a sign that nature and man coexist in harmony at the Institute.
In 2011, the Institute was listed as a Botanic Garden, and besides maintaining different plant collections, Inhotim develops botanical research on its environment. One of these studies particularly focuses on the Institutes butterfly community. In partnership with Centro Unversitário UNA, from Belo Horizonte, researchers from Inhotims Department of Environmental Management have conducted this study since May 2012, aiming to map frugivores (which feed on decaying fruit, minerals and feces) and nectarivores (which feed on flower nectar and pollen) present at the visitation area at Inhotim. So far, more than 200 types of these insects have been identified, some of which rare in the region.
In addition to scientific papers, the project yielded several developments, such as the Among Butterflies Theme Circuit, a tour that allows visitors to learn about how species are captured and identified, and also to learn how the animals are archived and displayed. Our goal is to educate visitors on the importance of butterflies as a biological indicator for the environment and also unveiling myths, says Cristiane Hubner, environmental assistant at Inhotim and one of the students responsible for the initiative. Also, an Photo Guide is currently being developed and there is a proposal for the creation of a butterfly garden.
In partnership with Cerâmica Oti factory that operates in the Institute and produces unique pieces for Inhotim gift shops also created a line of products decorated with images of different butterflies identified during the study. These products are utilities such as plates, mugs, cups, cake pans and even jugs. The visitor can take home a product that mixes art and environmental awareness in many levels, from the concept to the choice of nonpolluting materials, says Lea Diegues, artist responsible for the collection.