Feasibility of a Butterfly Farming Initiative in Western Ecuador as a Viable Tool for Sustainable Development

Material Information

Feasibility of a Butterfly Farming Initiative in Western Ecuador as a Viable Tool for Sustainable Development
Villafuerte, Maria Fernanda Checa
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
Project in lieu of thesis

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( Master of Sustainable Development Practice)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Committee Chair:
Schmink, Marianne C.
Committee Members:
Buschbacher, Robert John


Subjects / Keywords:
Biodiversity ( jstor )
Biodiversity conservation ( jstor )
Butterflies ( jstor )
Capacity building ( jstor )
Environmental conservation ( jstor )
Farms ( jstor )
Forests ( jstor )
Species ( jstor )
Sustainable development ( jstor )
Tourism ( jstor )


Sustainable development is urgently required in Western Ecuador, one of the most important areas of biodiversity endemism worldwide, where 70% of people are poor and less than 5% of forests remain. Butterfly farming consists of rearing butterflies in captivity and marketing them to local or international exhibitions. Unlike many other Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs), butterfly-farming projects have been economically successful in many developing countries, increasing livelihood opportunities for local people, but also promoting women’s empowerment, governance and conservation behavior in local communities. Moreover, local butterfly exhibitions can diversify the attractions of natural reserves, and therefore, increase revenues for their maintenance. Ecuador has a great potential to develop this type of projects since it is the most butterfly diverse country worldwide with an estimated diversity of 4,000 butterfly species. However, important constraints to develop butterfly-farming projects in Ecuador are the lack of biological knowledge about butterfly species, and limited technical capacity of local people. Here, I researched the feasibility of butterfly farming project in a dry forest of Western Ecuador (Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve) during summer 2013. I developed a preliminary strategic plan, which included among others, a SWOT analysis and an analysis of market demand for a butterfly exhibition. Moreover, I carried out biological research and trained local people in order to address two main weaknesses to implement an exhibition: lack of biological information about potential butterfly species to be farmed, and lack of technical capacity to research and farm butterflies. Results showed a butterfly farming project is feasible in the area due to availability of biological information about butterfly species, the presence of a market niche for a butterfly exhibition at the reserve, and increased technical capacity and willingness of local stakeholders to participate in the project.
General Note:
sustainable development practice (MDP)
General Note:
The MDP Program is administered jointly by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for African Studies.

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University of Florida Institutional Repository
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University of Florida
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Copyright Maria Fernanda Checa Villafuerte. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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1039729383 ( OCLC )


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FEASIBILITY OF A BUT TERFLY FARMING INITI ATIVE IN WESTERN ECU ADOR AS A VIABLE TOO L FOR SUSTAINABLE DE VELOPMENT By MARIA FERNANDA CHECA VILLAFUERTE A Field Practicum Report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Sustainable Development Practice Degree at the University of Florida, in Gainesville, Fl USA October 2014 Supervisory Committee: Marianne Schmink, Chair Bob Buschbacher, Member


A cknowledgments I am very grateful to the chair , Marianne Schmink , and member, Bob Buschbacher , of my supervisory committee for their mentoring and valuable comments that greatly improved this research , Paulina Rosero, Ana Luc’a Carpentier, Nathalia Artieda and several people from Tabuga for their assi stance and participation in fieldwork activities . I deeply thank Keit h Willmott, my PhD advisor, Marianne Schmink and Glenn Galloway ( Director of the Master of Sustainable Development Practice , MDP) for their continuous encouragement , support and flexibili ty that allowed me to pursue a joint degree i n Entomology (PhD program) and Sustainab le D evelopment ( MDP) . I also thank the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity ( Florida Museum of Natural History ), Secretar’a Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnolog’a (SENESCYT) and Museum QCAZ of Invertebrates from Pontificia Universidad Cat—lica del Ecuador for their support . I am gr at e ful to Cindy Tarter, the pre vious MDP coordinator, for her constant guidance to fulfill requirements ; the MDP for providing funding f or fieldwork ; and the staff of Ceiba Foundation for their constant support to my research . I especially thank my parents and Daniel for their inestimable love and encouragement, fuel of my work.


Table of contents Page AbstractÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ1 CHAPTER 1. IntroductionÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ..ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ É. 2 2. Background: Reconciling Conservation and DevelopmentÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉ.. 2 3. Literature Review: Butterfly farmingÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ 6 3.1. Ecuador and butterfly farmingÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ 8 3.2. Capacity buildingÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ 9 3.3. MDP practicum objectivesÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ... 11 3.4. Study area: Lalo Loor Dry Forest ReserveÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ... 11 4. MethodologyÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ 14 4.1. Conceptual framework: the strategic planning processÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉ 14 4.2. Applied biological researchÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ.. 18 4.3. Building capacityÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ.. 20 5. ResultsÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ.. 22 5.1. Strategic PlanningÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ. 22 5.1.1. Review of the external environmentÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ.. 22 5.1.2. Review of business capabilities: SWOT AnalysisÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉ. 25 5.1.3. Analyzing the market placeÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ... 31 5.1.4. Definition of products and servicesÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ... 35 5.1.5. Identification of advertising strategiesÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉ.. 39 5.2. Applied Biological ResearchÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ 4 2 5.3. Building capacityÉ..ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ 45 6. Cross scale and cross discipline considerations ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ.. 49 7. ConclusionsÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ.. 54 8. RecommendationsÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ 55 9. AppendixÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ.. 57 10. Literature citedÉÉÉÉÉ ÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉÉ. 65


1 Abstract Sustainable development is urgently required in Western Ecuador, one of the most important areas of biodiversity endemism worldwide, where 70% of people are poor and less than 5% of forests remain. Butterfly farming consists of rearing butterflies in captivity and marketing them to local or international exhibitions. Unlike many other Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs), butterfly farming projects have been econom ically successful in many developing countries , increasing livelihood opportunities for local people, but also promoting women's empowerment, governance and conservation behavior in local communities. Moreover, local butterfly exhibitions can diversify the attractions of natural reserves, and therefore, increase revenues for their maintenance. Ecuador has a great potential to develop this type of projects since it is the most butterfly diverse country worldwide with an estimated diversity of 4,000 butterfl y species. However, important constraints to develop butterfly farming projects in Ecuador are the lack of biological knowledge about butterfly species, and limited technical capacity of local people. Here, I researched the feasibility of butterfly farming project in a dry forest of Western Ecuador (Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve) during summer 2013 . I developed a preliminary strategic plan, which included among others, a SWOT analysis and an analysis of market demand for a butterfly exhi bi tion. Moreover, I carried out biological research and train ed local people in order to address two main weaknesses to implement an exhibition : lack of biological information about potential butterfly species to be farmed, and lack of technical capacity to research and farm butterflies. Results showed a butterfly farming project is feasible in the area due to availability of biological


2 information about butterfly species, the presence of a market nic he for a butterfly exhibition at the reserve, and increased technical capacit y and willingness of local stakeholders to participate in the project. 1. Introduction This document described the practicum I completed as part of the Master of Sustainable Development Program (MDP) at the University of Florida. This practicum was an eff ort to link my ongoing biological scientific research to a sustainable development project at the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve (LLDFR) in Western Ecuador . This report summarized the feasibility study performed in order to implement a butterfly exhibition at the LLDFR , where I have researching butterflies since 2009 , and obtained baseline information to establish an exhibition. This report included a preliminar y strategic plan to establish the exhibition, which comprised five steps: review of the external e nv ironment, SWOT analysis, analysis of the market place, definition of pro ducts and services, and identification of advertising strategies. Moreover, the report also covered how through the practicum I addressed two main weaknesses detected in the SWOT ana lysis: lack of biological information about butterflies and lack of technical capacity of local people to research and farm these insects. The report ended with a review of cross scale and cross discipline considerations of a butterfly exhibition at the LL DFR, and conclusions. 2. Background: Reconciling Conservation and Development N atural res ources significantly contribute to economic development, although their contribution is ra rely included in formal economic statistics (Lovejoy 1994) , and they represent strategic elements to achieve development in poor countries (S ecretarÂ’a de la Comunidad Andina et al. 2005) . In addition, according to the UN, a development


3 pathway encompassing biodiversity conservation has far reaching consequences in people's capabilities , " going beyond incomes and livelihoods to include impacts on health, education and other dimensions of well being" (UNDP 2001). In recognition of these facts, specific targets to ensure environmental sustainability ( e.g. , reducing biodiversity loss and deforestation rates) were included in the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) (UN 2014 ), a UN initiative supported by all countries and leading institutions to achieve eight different social goals by 2015 , including extreme poverty eradication , ac hievement of universal primary education, child mortality reduction and others. Moreover, a transition from MDGs towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been implemented , which cover three main topics: economic development, environmental sustainability and social inclusion (Sachs 2012). The implementation of SDGs addresses the importance of forests as safety nets for the poor. Indeed, poor people are the most vulnerable to suffer the consequences of environmental degradation and who will m ost benefit from its conservation ( Todaro & Smith 2012 ). Using t he " GDP of the poor " for instance, an innovative approach to quantify the economic contribution of ecosystem services to the economy, it was calculated that ecosystem services contribute d 57% to the GDP of poor peopl e in rural India even though their contribution was merely 7% to national GDP (Sukhdev 2009). The importance of conservation of natural resources is further emphasized when adjusting national GDP statistics to take into account envi ronmental degradation ( i.e . , unsustainable use of forestry resources, reduction of non renewable resources such as energy and minerals, negative consequences related to climate cha nge due to carbon emissions, among others ) . For example, Ecuador had a GDP i ncrease of 13% in 2001, but


4 when the GDP was Ôenvironmentally' adjusted, it actually decreased 5% rather than increased ( see Millenium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). Unsuccessful results in the sustainability arena are posing serious development challenges. As the world failed to achieve sustainability goals in the past decade , e fforts to accomplish the other S DGs and reduce poverty levels in the long term are also undermined (Sachs et al. 2009), mainly because reaching social goals require s healthy ecosystem s (Leslie 2011). Moreover, m odeling statistics have shown that h uman development will be seriously compromised by 2050 in scenarios of environmental degradation, particularly due to climate change and its effects on agricultural production, access to clean water and improved sanitation. It is estimated that the Human Development Index would be 8 percent lower compared to the baseline in these scenarios; this decrease might reach 12 percent in South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa , which are among the poores t co untries in the world (UNDP 2011) . The UN hence emphasizes that " promoting human development requires addressing sustainability" lo cally, nationally and globally, which implies a sustainable exploitation of natural resources to reduce poverty but also the c onservation of resources on which humankind depends . Achieving sustainability is not an easy task since a reas containing the greatest concentration of natural resources also face development challenges. The tropical regions in South America and Africa , for instance , contain the highest concentra tion s of biodiversity and wilderness areas ( Myers et al. 2000) , but also have alarming levels of poverty . Furthermore, people living close to or inside protected areas depend on them to satisfy their basic needs such as food, medicine, and shelter.


5 A challenge thus exists of balancing and even combining biological conservation with economic benefits for local populations near reserves , where natural resources concentrate. Several initiatives have emerged as a means to protect natural r esources while enabling local people , livi ng in highly diverse and poor countries, to prosper (Carroll & Groom 2006). These efforts to achieve sustainable development have had many different names such as integrated conservation a nd development projects (ICDPs), community based conservation, and others. ICDPs for example combine conservation of biodiversity with an emphasis in protected areas while increasing the benefits adjacent local peop le obtain from natural resource conservat ion (Carroll & Groom 2006). One of these successful initiatives are some projects involving the domestication and commercialization of natural resources , which can be one of the few Ôwin win' effective solutions to preserve natural forests and reduce pove rty (see Mpand et al. 2014). A successful example of domestication is butterfly farming, which unlike many other Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs), has been economically successful and promoted sustainable development (see Morgan Bro wn et al. 2010 ). Successful butterfly farming projects have been implemented in several developing countries such as Tanzania ( e.g ., Amani Butterfly Project, Morgan Brown et al. 2010 ), Cambodia (van der Heyden 2011), Kenya ( e.g. , KEEP project, Manyi 2000, Kipepeo 2006), Malaysia ( e.g., Penang Butterfly Farm, Le Roux 2012), Papua New Guinea (Parsons 1992), Costa Rica (Brinckerhoff 1999, Ickis 2006) and Guyana ( e.g. , Kawe Amazonia B utterfly Farm, Sambhu & van der Heyden 2010).


6 Despite its effectiveness for conservation and sustainable development, thi s type of initiative still is scarce i n several Latin American countries, including Ecuador. Part of the reason is the lack of biological information , and of local populations adequately trained to address the complex issues and technical challenges of conservation and development initiatives. According to RodrÂ’guez et al. (2006), "there is a clear gap between the conservation work to be done and the professionals available to do it ." The lack of capacity buil ding is a major constraint to achieve conservation goals in the region, and across other megadiverse countries from Latin America (Clubbe 2013, RodrÂ’guez et al. 2005). Moreover, recent analysis of 39 efforts of community based conservation worldwide found significant evidence that successful projects included mainly education components (promotion of awareness and capacity) and development of trust among partners (Salafasky et al. 2001). 3 . Literature Review : Butterfly farming Sustainable livelihoods: Butterfly farming projects have had a significant positive effect on conservation of natural resources and rural livelihoods (Rios 2000), two essential components to achieve sustainable development in developing countries . It is therefore a concrete respon se to the development problem of how to combine forest conservation and development for local people living close to natural reserves. Butterflies are a high value low volume crop, which can increase and diversify rural incomes (Rafi et al. 1990, Parsons 1 992) and maintain sustainabl e livelihoods (Le Roux 2012). This occurs because butterfly farms are set up near natural reserves , creating jobs and additional sources of income thereby decreasing the pressure to increment unsustainable use of forests (van de r Heyden 2011, Sambhu & van der Heyden 2010).


7 Furthermore, it does not require special educational skills, and thus offers an economic opportunity to anyone (Rafi et al. 1990). Butterfly farming can promote local economies through ecotourism , as butterfly houses can complement and enhance tourism to reserves, particularly in areas receiving large numbers of tourists (Rafi et al. 1990). Revenue comes from entrance fees, but mainly from other customer services facilities such as restaurants and souvenir shops (Rafi et al. 1990). Local communities can therefore participate directly as farmers, but also through other economic activities, such as the elaboration of handicrafts with butterfly wings (eg. frames, jewelry, etc) (see Checa 2008, Rios 2002). Butterfly farming: Butterfly farming consists of rearing butterflies in captivity and marketing them mainly to local or international exhibitions (predominantly in USA and Europe). The exhibition industry has reached a global turnover of US $ 100 million (Mpand et a l. 2014), and has shown a steady increase for years since its creation (Parsons 1992). In successful initiatives, farmers trade the reared butterflies to a central organization, which is in charge of maintaining a fair commerce and creating national and in ternational markets for the products (see Mpand et al. 2014, Parssons 1992). A close link exists between this activity and forest conservation, since farmers rely on natural forests to obtain butterfly species and seedlings/seeds of host plants ( i.e. , plan t species that provide food to larval stages of butterflies) to develop their captive populations (Checa 2008). Butterfly farming can also change conservation behaviors in local communities. In Tanzania, butterfly farmers showed higher participation in con servation behaviors compared to other community members not involved in butterfly projects; this increased participation was a response to economic incentives produced by


8 the butterfly trade (Morgan Brown 2007). These behaviors comprised higher participati on in environmental committee activities, planting trees, preserving natural forest in household land, and discouraging illegal cutting in protected areas. Environmental education and human capital : Local butterfly exhibitions in developing countries can serve scientific research and education purposes (Sambhu & van der Heyden 2010) , increasing awareness and interest i n biodiversity and forest conservation (le Roux 2012, Boender 1995) and environmental sustainability , particularly for local communities inv olved in the initiatives (Le Roux 2012). Successful projects involving b utterfly farming have enhance d social capital , empowering women, and increasing organization and leadership skills of local communities . Moreover, these initiatives have promoted and imp roved governance, as they require the creation and organization of democratic committees and boards (see Morgan Brown 2003, Kipepeo 2006, van der Heyden 2011). Bu tterfly farming has also promoted the establishment of grassroot s initiatives for conservat ion. In Tanzania for example, butterfly farmers promoted the expansion of existing protected areas, organized tree planting programs in their villages, and organized to stop illegal logging (ABP 2007). 3 . 1 Ecuador and butterfly farming Ecuador has a great potential to develop butterfly farming initiatives, as it is one of the most butterfly diverse countries worldwide, along with Peru and Colombia, with a n estimated diversity of 4,000 species (almost twice the species richness found in Costa Rica , a widely recognized Ôbutterfly farming country' ) (see Checa 2008) . However, such projects are limited, and primarily focused on production for local exhibitions mainly


9 found in lodges in the Amazon (Checa 2008). Moreover, the potential for butterfly farming projec ts as a strategy to enhance ecotourism in reserves , involving local people and scientific research , has been little explored, despite the fact that most biodiversity is distributed in rural areas, where efforts for sustainable development projects are urge ntly required to improve livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. The initial economic investment required to develop butterfly farming initiatives is relatively small ; it thus demands low costs from producers and require s less land and effort compared t o other crops (Rafi et al. 1990). However, an important constraint to develop butterfly farming projects in Ecuador is th e lack of biological knowledge about butterfly species , and technical capacity for butterfly farming (butterfly collection, rearing spe cies in captivity ) (see Checa 2008). Indeed, the latter is a major problem for the region, as usually local communities or farmers lack the resources, technical knowledge or alliances with research institutions to cover this gap (Carb— et al. 2008, Baca 20 06). 3.2 Capacity building: Capacity building in the form of education of national scientists and local communities is recognized as a key component to achieve sustainable management of natural resources in general (Howe 2001). Moreover, debates among different stakeholders in Africa have resulted in the proposition to use the term Ôcapacity enhancement' instead of Ôcapacity building', in order to recognize that people are already Ôvested with knowledge' (Dranzoa 2008). Therefore , it is important that capacity building programs respect and build on this local knowledge. C apacity enhancement to promote sustainable development has been increasingly in the past decade recognized to be an essential component for success ; indeed, there have been


10 major effort s in the region to build capacity for sust ainable development (see CATIE n/d ). Moreover, several conservation programs have also include d a capacity building component in their activities to preserve plant species (Clubbe 2013), African frogs (Measey 2011, Edmonds et al. 2012), and sea turtles in Latin American (IAC 2011). Nevertheless, some authors believe more efforts in terms of capacity building are required to achieve sustainability in Latin America (see Clubbe 2013, RodrÂ’guez et al. 2005). Capacity bu ilding programs should target professional and non professional citizens ( e.g. , children, academics, general public), encompassing training for university students but also for local communities (Measey 2011, Dranzoa 2008). The exclusion of local people fr om conservation and development initiatives has occurred in several cases worldwide. This situation often generates resentment and opposition in local communities, and excludes the potential contributions of local knowl edge and practices, driving entire pr ogram s to failure (Sekercioglu 2012). However, local people might greatly contribute to different areas, including scientific research applying their traditional and local knowledge, or by receiving training as parabiologists (Sekercioglu 2012) or technici ans (Edmonds et al . 2012). On the other hand, capacity building at the universities build s future human capital to continue research, particularly when researchers are scarce (Measey 2011). Capacity building programs also offer the opportunity to establish partnerships among different stakeholders including national and international institutions (Clubbe 2013). Capacity building ( e.g. , administrative, scientific) can also promote partnerships between


11 conservationists and local people (Painter & Kr etser 2012). These institutional linkages can improve the multiplier effect of capacity building at local and national scales. 3. 3 Objectives Butterfly farming as any other business requires developing a strategic plan for its implementation and success. An important objective of the MDP practicum was therefore to develop the preliminary steps of strategic planning for implementing a butterfly farming initiative at L alo L oor D ry F orest R eserve (LLDFR) , which might serve as baseline for future planning eff orts. It is a preliminary scheme since to succeed, strategic planning must be a participatory process where all stakeholders discuss and provide comments to construct it and further implement the project . The preliminary strategic planning carried out for the MDP Practicum included an a nalysis of the feasibility of butterfly farming at LLDFR in terms of economics ( e.g. , market demand), environment ( e.g., diversity and natural history of butterflies) and social perspectives ( e.g. , buy in of local people). The strategic plan developed denoted four weaknesses that exist in order to implement the project. T wo additional objectives of the MDP practicum were therefore focused on addressing two of these weaknesses: 1) to build capacity of local people and biolog ists for butterfly farming research, including collection and rearing techniques, and 2 ) to generate the biological knowledge required for setting up a butterfly exhibition ( i.e. , natural history of butterfly species). 3. 4 Study area: Lalo Loor Dry Fores t Reserve Ecuador is a small country located in South America, lying between Peru and Colombia. Its surface area is 256,370 km 2 , and according to the last census in 2010, the population was 14 , 483,499 (INEC 2011). Around 45% of Ecuadorians live in poverty (defined as


12 basic needs not satisfied) (INEC 2006). Poverty differentially affects social groups and provinces, and paradoxically, the poorest communities inhabit the richest areas in terms of natural resources , such as Amazonia. In terms of biological diversity, Ecuador is a megadiverse country. Indeed, two major hotspots of diversity and endemism cross the country: the Choc— Darien Western Ecuador and the Tropical Andes hotspot s . Also, Ecuador hosts part of one of the major wilderness areas, the Amazon (see Myers et al . 2000). Hotspots are defined as areas characterized by exceptional concentrations of diversity and endemism , and undergoing tremendous rates of habitat loss. Ecuad or (along with El Salvador and Honduras) led Latin American countries in its rate of deforestation, losing over 1.5 % of its forests per year from 2000 2005 (FAO 2007). Moreover, West Ecuadorian dry forest is one of the most important areas of endemism wo rldwide (Davis et al. 1997). Sustainable development is urgently required in this area where 70% of people are poor and less than 5% of forests remain (Checa 2008). Climate change, along with agricultural expansion, is a major threat for conservation becau se of the positive feedback between forest fragmentation and drought (Laurance & Williamson 2001). This feedback also poses risks for agriculture productivity, the main source of economic income of local communities. My field practicum was carried out in the Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve (LLDFR, Manabi province) in Western Ecuador (Fig. 1). This region is one of the poorest in Ecuador and its natural forests are almost extinct.


13 Figure 1 . Map showing the location of Lalo Loor Dry Forest Reserve (LLDFR) wh ere the MDP practicum was carried out. The reserve is located just across a main highway connecting all beaches and towns along the coastal region in Ecuador; it is indeed part of a major touristic route called Ô Spondylus Route' , analog ous to the Ô Ruta del Sol ' or Sun Route in Colombia. Several beaches considered to be top tourist attra ctions are in Manabi Province close to the LLDF R , including Pedernales, Bah’a de Car‡quez , Punta Prieta and Canoa. Tourism rates have considerably increased in recent yea rs due to an extensive national renovation of the highway system, including the Spondylus route and connections to main cities. The Ceiba Foundation administers the LLDF R and pursued its creation in 2004, in order to complement broader efforts to form a c orridor to connect several forest fragments in the region. Through several conservation agreements, up to 12,000 acres were part of this corridor by 2010 (Ceib n/d ). The reserve has different attractions in cluding trails, birding and wil dlife viewing ( e.g. , howler monkeys, jaguarundi, parakeets, pale browed tinamou,


14 pygmy owl) ; it also offers basic lodging f or scientific research, volunteer programs and others (Ceiba n/d ) . These complement other top attractions in the province such as beaches, whale watching, and well recognized gastronomy. The objectives of the MDP practicum fit with the management plan of Ceiba for LLDF , which includes enhancing tourist visitors and scientific research at the reserve ( C. Woodward comm. pers) ; indeed, the monitoring and building capacity components might complement ongoing projects by Ceiba in the area such as community e nvironmental education . Ceiba was therefore a major partner for the MDP practicum along with the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, where I am an associate researcher and professor. This academic position allowed me to tra in biology students about butterfly research techniques in LLDFR. The major stakeholders in Manabi province (Western Ecuador) are the local government, including representatives of the Ministry of Environment, Ceiba Foundation , researchers, and local commu nities (Tabuga and Camarones). 4 . METHODOLOGY 4 .1 Conceptual framework: The strategic planning process The strategic planning encompassed different steps to accomplish the mission of reconciling biodiversity conservation and human development in communities adjacent to natural reserves . In order to accomplish this , I developed several steps of a strategic planning scheme , following Patterson (2007) , during the MDP practicum , including review of t he environment, review of business capabilities, market analysi s and product definition (Fig. 2 ). Three additional steps of strategic planning were not developed: objective setting, select ing strategies (business plan) and project implementation.


15 Figure 2 . The strategic planning process to e stablish a butterfly exhibition at LLDFR from mission to implementation . Through the MDP Practicum, I addressed two main weaknesses: lack of technical capacity and biological knowledge about butterflies . Based on Patt erson 2007. The review of the environment consisted in analyzing competitors and identifying competitive advantage s in the marketplace . Moreover, this step also involved an assessment of government regulations for developing a butterfly exhibition at the reserve . These analyse s and assessments were based on a literature review; a list of competitors was also developed using information gathered in the field through exploration of similar business es in the surroundings of the reserve. The review of business capabilities consisted in defining strengths and weaknesses but also opportunities and t hreats through a SWOT Analysis; this analysis can better inform the planning process to achieve the mission. In order to complete this analysis, information was gathered from personal experience durin g the field practicum, from the literature review, and a semi structured


16 interview with Dr. Catherine Woodward , director of the Ceiba Foundation. The following ste ps, analyzing the market place and product definition will be explained below. Analyzing t he market and product definition Market analysis focus es on determining market demand and market segments (Patterson 2007). The market demand means the relative interest of people to visit a butterfly exhibition; meanwhile, the market segment refer s to cha racteristics of potential customers (age, gender, geographic origins, interests). The market analysis for a butterfly exhibition and other related activities ( e.g. , lodging and meals in the reserve, trekking trips, and others) was done using data gathered from surveys carried out with tourists, who were conveniently sampled on the beaches (tourists on the beach during surveys) , during the peak tourism season in Manabi province (July 2013) . Moreover, survey data was useful to define th e business product s and services customers were potentially interested in getting at the reserve , related to a butterfly exhibition and natural forests. Product description also involved de scribing the price customers were willing to pay to get a product or service (see Patterso n 2007). Surveys also provided relevant information for future marketing activities ( i.e., where to promote products). In total, 401 surveys were carried out at four different beaches located closed to the reserve: Pedernales, Canoa, Bah’a de Car‡qu ez y San Vicente. A literature review was also performed to complement information gathered through surveys. Appendix 1 shows questions included in the survey. Surveys were performed on the beaches surrounding the reserve because , rather than creating Ônew' tourism at its initial stages, the butterfly exhibition can take advantage of the Ôwell established' tourism in surrounding beaches, and further complement it. To directly measure market demand, I asked , twice in the


17 surveys in order to validate responses, whether respondents were interes ted to visit a butterfly farm at the reserve (see Appendix 1). Possible answers were Ôyes', Ônot sure' and Ôno'. Participants were also asked about their interest to perform other activities such as visiting a souvenir shop , walking in the forest and lodging/eating at the reserve. Comments given when these questions were posed were also recorded to get additional insight for product definition. The Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) was used to gather information about fees p otential customers are willing to pay ; the method allows participants to state their willingness to pay through responses to open ended or dichotomous choice questions in surveys (see Hejazi et al. 2014). I used choice questions to determine the preferred fee; each participant was asked if they would be interested to visit a butterfly exhibition if the cost were a fee from US 2 to US 10 dollars. The first choice given was a randomized number; if par ticipants did not agree with the randomized value, they were asked to provide the preferred choice ranging from US 2 to US 10 dollars. Linear Regression Models in the form of Generalized Linear Models (GLM) were used to analyze which entrance fee groups of potential customers , depending on age and citizenship , were willing to pay to visit a butterfly exhibition at LLDFR. These models tested whether a significant relationship existed between a dependent variable (willingness to visit the reserve) and predic tor variables ( e.g . , age), and were performed using the R software. Respondents were al so asked about whether they had heard about the LLDFR prior to the surveys and information source. This data was used to recommend marketing activities such as mass dis tribution and sales promotion.


18 4 .2 Applied biological research Results of the SWOT analysis showed two main weaknesses to implement a butterfly farming project at LLDFR : lack of technical capacity and of biological know ledge. Therefore, I carried out biological research about butterfly species and trained undergraduate students and local people to monitor, collect and rear butterflies. I set up a butter fly monitoring program at LLDF in June 2009 , which consist ed of sampling butterflies using traps wit h baits during 7 days , every two months (Fig. 3 ) . The monitoring continued through July 201 4 and was planned to continue for several years . Data ob tained during the first year were part of my Master's Thesis (Department of Entomology) , and recently publish ed as Checa et al. 2014 . Data from the following years (2010 2013) will be analyzed and included in my PhD Dissertation . The experiment al design of the monitoring consisted of two transects with eight sample points each, and two traps set up at each point, one in the understory and the one in the canopy (15 20 m). During the field trips, other field assistants and I checked the 32 traps daily. The check consisted of collecting or marking trapped butterflies, and changing the baits. This monitoring scheme provide d information about effects of climate and habitat chang e on butterfly communities, and also strong indications about which species could be included in a butterfly farm ing project, taking into account their abundance and distribution (where and when they occur). A second research component focus ed on gathering biological information about several butterfly species , including information about hostplants ( i.e., food for the immature stage or caterpillar), life cycle times, survival rate of caterpillars and o ther


1 9 factors . The selected butterfly species were those potentially useful for a butterfly exhibition. This study was carried out from June t hrough August 2012. Butterfly eggs or caterpillars were collected in the forest and reared in the reserve station . Detection of butterfly eggs or caterpillars was completed through direct observations of female butterflies ovipositing eggs on leaves or through direct se arch o ver potential hostplants. After collection, b utterflies were transported to the station and kept in plastic containers until adult emergence (Fig 3 ) . Containers were washed with soup and water every day to prevent viral and bacteria l infections , and c aterp illars were fed daily with foliage from their specific hostplants. During this stage, I collected information about development time, morphology of life stages, and took photo g raphs of different life stages. Moreover , in order to ensure the availability of appropriate food , a nursery of hostplants was also established in the reserve station. The nursery was developed with s eedlings collected in the forests , which were transplanted in to plastic bags and maintained in a small plot close to the rearing station (Fig. 3 ) .


20 Figure 3 . Model of traps to collect butterflies (1). Butterfly caterpillars and eggs reared in plastic containers until adult emergence (2). Hostplants transplanted to plastic bags (3) and maintained in a nursery closed to the reserve statio n (4). 4 .3 B uilding capacity Local people: I trained l ocal people about butterfly research within the monitoring scheme set up in the LLDFR . Training was provided d uring five field trips from March to November 2014 . Trainees learned about the experiment design in the reserve consisting of two transects with eight sample points each, and two traps set up at each point, one in the understory and the one in the canopy (15 20 m). During the field trips, trainees assisted me to check 32 t raps daily , during which we collected or marked trapped butterflies and changed the baits. The marking consisted of writing a number o n the butte rfly wing; the butterfly was then released after determining the species name and taking note of collection place and date. During the inspections , trainees learned how to collect, identify and gather collection information ( i.e., site collection, date) about butterflies. Trainee s learned how to identify butterflies in the field using a photographic guide.


21 Local people also received training about butterfly rearing techniques of butterflies in May and July 2014. They learned how to collect eggs and caterpillars in the field, and h ow to clean and feed butterflies in the rearing station. Trainees also gained knowledge on nursery production , and helped to establish the hostplant nursery in the station. Undergraduate students: Capacity building was also carried out with Undergraduate students from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador . Three practical classes on biological monitoring techniques and applied research were given . T hese courses offered hands on experience to research butterflies, analyze effects of anthropogenic d isturbance , and understand the importance of biodiversity for human well being . Two courses on Insect Ecology were taught as intensive fiel d courses for 7 8 days at LLDFR, one in July 2013 and the second in January 2014. A third course, Biology of B utterflies, was given throughout the semester at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador in Quito, but was complemented with a 3 day workshop at the LLDFR in March 2013. The Insect Ecology courses included talks given by the instructor (me) , group di scussions, fieldwork experiments and group presentations. Students worked in groups to collectively learn about step s required to carry out scientific research: establish the ecological hypothesis, develop the experiment al design, gather field data, carry out data analysis and present result s , discussion and conclusions. The talks were given during the first four days, and focused on ecological aspects relevant for insect and habitat conservation including population dynamics and related key factors, niche partitioning at spatial and temporal scales, and community structure and organization. Topics about basic statistical tools to analyze ecological data were also covered. The course emphasized the importance of biodiversity and sustainable


22 development, and possible effects of climate and habitat change. Two group discussions were carried out to analyze topics about conservation challenges and applied research in Ecuador. Along with talks and discussion, s tudents also received training during the first five days about how to sample and identify butterflies . During t he last three days of the course, students worked in groups to apply information received about ho w to organize data and perform statistical ana lysis. Students presented resul ts of their efforts on the final day of the course. During the 3 day workshop of the course Biology of Butterflies, students learned how to collect and identify butterflie s in the field using baited traps. Moreover, students carried out an exercise to lear n how to use more sophisticated tools to identify challenging species (scientific dichotomous keys) such as those from the genus Adelpha (an approximate 15 species look identical). Group discussions were done about the importance of biodiversity conservati on , and challenges Ecuador faces to promote it. 5 . RESULTS 5 . 1 Strategic Planning 5 .1.1 Review of the external environment External Regulations: Setting up a butterfly exhibition business requires obtaining two permits in order to operate, one from the Ministry of Environment to breed local fauna, and another permit from the Ministry of Tourism, to offer ecotourism activities. The latter is indispensable , if the butterfly farm is legally defined as an ecotourism venture . Ministry of Environment: Butterf ly exhibitions require a specific permit called Ô Patente anual de funcionamiento ' to operate , according to Article 126 (Book IV about Biodiversity, Title IV) from the Environmental Policies of Ecuador (Presidencia de la


23 Repœblica n/d ). Butterfly exhibition s fall under the category of Zoocriaderos de producci—n comercial (Wildlife breeding centers for commercial purposes), which are allowed to research and commercialize inside and outside the country (Article 123, Title IV). In order to request the permit, the breeding centers need to submit an application to the Regional Office of the Ministry of Environment in Portoviejo (Province of Manab’). This application has to contain the name of legal representatives, a management plan of the breeding center , and pr oof of property righ ts to the land where the center is located (Article 126). The request is accepted or denied within a 30 day period; if accepted, the center needs to be subscribed in the Forestry Register , with the report processed by the Ministry of En vironment. The permit has to be renewed every year with a description of performed activities and work program for the next year (Article 128). Furthermore, the Ministry of Environment can make random visits to the breeding center in order to control and r egulate activities. Ministry of Tourism: Any ecotourism enterprise in Ecuador must obtain a Licencia annual de funcionamiento or annual permit for operation (Art. 171, Title V)(Presidencia de la Repœblica 2008). The Ministry of Tourism considers ecotouris m to be when touristic activities occur in natural areas without affecting the integrity of natural ecosystems and local culture; moreover, these activities are also expected to provide economic opportunities to promote conservation of natural resources an d development for local communities (Art. 156, Title V). These companies can also get a sustainability certification from the Ministry and get some benefits (e.g., preference in promotional planning of the country) (Article 170, 172). The Ministry of Touri sm has specific


24 regulations applicable for centers offering lodging (Title I, Chapter I) and professional tourism guides (Title I, Chapter IV). Analysis of competitors There are no butterfly exhibitions in the coastal area of Ecuador; a butterfly exhibition at LLDF would therefore be one of a kind in the region. In fact, butterfly exhibitions are still scarce all over Ecuado r with some concentrated in Amazonia at lo dges mainly targeting foreign visitors (Checa 2008). The most famous ex hibition is located in northwestern Ecuador in Mindo (96 km from Quito) called Ô Mariposas de Mindo ' (2012) which has been in the market for several years and receives hundreds of visitors every year. This exhibition is 240 km away from LLDFR. Moreover, exc epting for whale watching activities in June July, there is a limited availability of natural attractions in the area due to a very scarce number of natural fragments and /or limited availability of i nfrastructure/services. Nevertheless, there are increasin g local efforts to attract more visitors to adjacent natural reserves, improve awareness for environmental protection, and promote community outreach, agroecology and other topics (see Monocien 2014, Third Millenium Alliance 2014). Two main reserves are lo cated in the surrounding area of LLDFR: the Jama Coaque Ecological Reserve , located 3 km away from the LLDFRS and 7 km away from the Pacific Ocean (Third Millenium Alliance 2014) , and Cerro Pata de P‡jaro , which contains a mixture of primary and secondary forests, and agricultural lands (Birdlife International 2014) . Both reserves offer limited services for tourism , and low accessibility . A clear comparative advantage for the LLDFR is its easy access for tourists , as it is located next to the main highway , and visitors are not require d to do long walks to visit the natural habitats.


25 Indeed, t his proximity has allowed an increasing number of tourist visits to LLDFR over the past years . 5 . 1. 2 Review of business capabilities SWOT Analysis: Several strengths and opportunities were determined to establish a butterfly h ouse at LLDFR. Nevertheless, four important weaknesses were detected but only two were addressed during the practicum : lack of biological information and technical capacity, and lack of business visi on in the reserve administration. Table 1 summarizes the main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to implement a butterfly exhibition at LLDFR. A brief description of each point is discussed below. Table 1 : SWOT analysis for a butterfly exhibi tion at LLDFR in ManabÂ’ Province, Ecuador. Strengths Weaknesses Internal origin !" Access and proximity to markets #" Extensive biodiversity/natural beauty $" Ongoing scientific research %" Expertise on conservation projects &" A butterfly exhibition fits the management plan of the reserve. '" Well established relationship with stakeholders (" Strengths of NGO administration )" Well established volunteering program at the reserve. 1. Lack of biological information 2. Lack of technical capacity for butterfly farming 3. Lack of b usiness vision at the reserve . 4. Very b asic infrastructure available. Opportunities Threats External origin 1. Emerging domestic and international markets for tourism. 2. Extensive littoral and marine resources. 3. Low competition for natural based touristic activities in the region. 1. Natural Disasters (flooding). 2. National/International recession


26 Strengths: 1. Access and proximity to markets. The reserve is close located to recognized beach destinations (national and international) such as Canoa, Pedernales, P unta Prieta and Bah’a de Car‡quez. It is indeed part of a major touristic route called Ô Spondylus Route' , analogous to the Ô Ruta del Sol ' or Sun Route in Colombia. Moreover, t he LLDFR is located next to the highway connecting main beaches along the Ecuado rian Coast. The highway system in Ecuador was recently renovated , making it easier to travel from main cities (e.g, Quito, other cities in Manab’) towards the coast. Proximity to cities from both regions, coast and Sierra ( i.e. , highlands) offer s extended access to these markets during holidays and two main seasons: December March (vacation period for the coast) and July September (vacation period for the Sierra). 2. Extensive forest biodiversity: West Ecuadorian dry forest is one of the most important areas of endemism worldwide (Davis et al . 1997) hosting dozens of species only distributed in this region and nowhere else. The LLDR is located in a transition zone (2¼ latitude) from northern wet forests (Choc— Region) that extends towards Costa Rica, and southern dry forests (Tumbesian Region), which reaches the Atacama dessert in Chile, among the driest spot on earth. The reserve therefore hosts a mixed and exuberant biodiversity of species from wet and dry forests. Hence, t he LLDFR offers the opportunity for a rich experience of nature enjoyment and wildlife watching. Some species easily seen are howler monkeys, parakeets, pale browed tinamou, pygmy owls, and toucans, among others. Moreover, the butterfly diversity goes up to 600 species , offering a diver se pool


27 for butterfly farming , including dozens of colorful and large species ideal for a butterfly exhibition. 3. Ongoing scientific research. National and international scientific researchers have been investigating at the reserve for several years and rece ived constant support from Ceiba to continue researching different groups such as butterflies, plants, birds, monkeys and aquatic invertebrates. Furthermore , a monitoring scheme of butterflies set up in 2010 can provide relevant information for butterfly f arming ( e.g . , temporal and spatial distribution of butterfly adults) and offer the opportunity to build local capacity for butterfly research including rearing and collection techniques. This r esearch community can be an important contributor to implementi ng future outreach and educational programs. 4. A butterfly exhibition fits the management plan of the reserve. The management plan of the LLDFR encompasses promoting ecotourism and scientific research at the reserve as primary objectives and sources of incom e for the following years. A butterfly farming initiative fits this plan, and promise s to provide more benefits such as complementing conservation and environmental education efforts Ceiba Foundation has initiated, and in the long term, promoting sustainab le development in the region. Given these potential advantages, representatives of Ceiba Foundat ion provided complete support to research the feasibility of a butterfly farming initiative at the reserve and further implement it. 5. Expertise on local conservation initiatives. The reserve has implemented a project of environmental education for local communities, which includes regular visits to the reserve by primary school and high school students. A library was also


28 built and equi pped at Tabuga , an adjacent community . Special workshops are also held every year at near by communities through an exchange program with the University of Wisconsin , in which undergraduate students come to teach local children and youth. The butterfly exhi bition can build on these efforts to enhance awareness for biodiversity conservation and buy in of local people for the project. 6. Well established relationships with stakeholders. The local government has supported activities carried out by Ceiba ( e.g . , pr ovided funding to build a center for environmental interpretation at the reserve). There also exist s a close relationship with local people who regularly participate in activities and projects proposed by Ceiba. 7. Strengths of LLDFR administration. Non prof it organizations such as Ceiba promote strong public participation, conservation objectives, transparency and accountability (Eagles 2009 ). Moreover, Ceiba has the expertise to get funding, promote networking and develop conservation and environmental educ ation projects, which are all required to implement/complement a butterfly exhibition. Butterfly farming projects are more likely to succeed if assisted by a Ôdedicated umbrella organisation' , particularly to overcome the initial lack of funding (Parsons 1992). 8. Well established volunteering program at the reserve: The reserve receives several international volunteers (4 5 in average) each year who pay their own expenses , and collaborate in developing projects at the reserve. These volunteers could work in different areas of a butterfly farming initiative and hence decrease operational costs.


29 Opportunities: 1. Emerging domestic and international markets. Tourism has continuously increased to surrounding destinations of LLDFR due to better accessibility ( i.e., r enovated highways, co nstruction of the bridge in Bah’a de Car‡ quez) and government policies. The national government launched a campaign several years ago to promote the consumption of national services and products ÔFirst Ecuador, Consume our products' (Ô Consuma lo nuestro. Primero Ecuador' ) (MPE 2009). Moreover, government policies tend to congregate holiday days and weekends in order to increase available days for travel. The Ministry of Tourism has also launched several campaigns to increase national an d international tourism (EcuadorTravel 2 014). A butterfly exhibition could benefit from this tourist influx and thus complement the tourism package offered in the region. 2. Extensive littoral and marine resources. The coastal region of Ecuador is rich in nat ural resources , offering a wide variety of attractions f or tourists from whale watching to exquisite gastronomy and marvelous scenery along the beach line. 3. Low competition for natural based touristic activities . The Nature based tourism is very limited in the region compared to the well recognized and established tou rism in the Ecuadorian Amazonia, despite the presence of attractive local wildlife ( e.g . , howler monkeys, seabirds in mangr oves, etc) and forest remnants. Limited te chnical capacity and fundi ng may explain this situation. Weaknesses : 1. Lack of biological information for butterfly farming. Relevant biological information for butterfly farming is limited at LLDFR in terms of butterfly natural


30 history such as hostplant use, development time, spatial distribution of caterpillars, and others. 2. Lack of technical capacity for butterfly farming. Local people do not have the technical skills to set up a butterfly farming project, including skills for breeding butterflies, and managing an exhibition, including financial and business skills. 3. L ack of business vision . There is not a business plan for the reserve , and marketing actions are clearly limited. The latter is supported by survey information showing visitors of nearby bea ches have barely heard about the reserve. According to Eagles (2009 ), this is a general weakness for environmental organizations administering natural reserves; partnerships with private companies can solve this shortage of a business vision. 4. Very b asic i nfrastructure. Basic infrastructure is available for lodging and serving meals; these facilities are located 25 min away from the parking lot and there is not electricity. However, an environmental interpretation and welcome center is located next to high way along with a parking lot and restrooms. As reviewed in the following section, some potential customers are willing to stay or eat in the reserve. The administration could therefore improve infrastructure in the future in order to increase revenues. Thr eats: 1. Natural Disasters. The coastal region of Ecuador is highly vulnerable to flooding and landslides that can potentially obstruct highways during the rainy season. Business plan should therefore consider shortages of revenues during this period .


31 2. Nationa l/international recession. This potential issue is inherent to tourism activities worldwide. The LLDFR administration should have additional sources of funding when tourism revenues are limited. 5 .1.3 Analyzing the market place In total, 401 surveys were carried out with tourists at adjacent beaches to LLDFR. Most of the respondents were Ecuadorians (361 , corresponding to 90%), females (55%) and aged 15 34 years (54%) (Table 2). To directly measure market demand for a butterfly exhibition at LLDFR, people were asked twice about their interest to visit the exhibition: 29 (7%) respondents changed their ans wers when asked the second time; most of them (86%) switched from Ôno' or Ônot sure' to Ôyes'. In the following sections, I analyzed responses given the fir st time the question was posed in order to get more conservative results. The majority of respondents (354) or 88% were interested in visiting a butterfly exhibition at LLDFR; 6% were not sure ; and 6% were not interested (Table 2). Table 2: Demographic ch aracteristics of survey participants who answered Ôyes', Ônot sure' and Ôno' when asked: are you interested in visiting a butterfly exhibition at LLDFR?


32 Market segment: The market s egment of potential customers was characterized by Ecuadorians (91%), females (56%) and people aged 15 34 years old (56%) (only 5 people were under 18 years old in the surveys). Further details of the market segment are included in Table 2. Respondents shared different comments when aske d about their willingness to visit a butterfly exhibition (Table 3). Many (n=15) believed having a but terfly exhibition in the area was a very interesting and fun idea, and 5 believed that was an additional attra ction to visit the region . Some respondents believed an exhibition might promote conservation and more contact with nature. Other respondents were also interested in observing more animals and visiting the forest (n= 15), and expected to have additional attractions for children and a place to buy dr inks and food (n= 7) . Table 3. Comments given by respondents about visiting a butterfly exhibition at the LLDFR. Comments Response: Interest/doubtful yes # responses Very interesting and nice idea 15 I would like to see the entire reserve/all animals 12 Better to have more attractions particularly for children 7 Nice to have a place to have drinks and food 7 It is an additional local attraction 5 It promotes conservation, more contact with nature 3 Visit depends how close the reserve is 3 Very good for children 3 Visit depends on the cost 3 To observe new things in life 2 Nice to take photographs 1 Better if exhibtion has lots of butterßies 1 Response: Not interested I have visited other butterßy exhibitions 4 I do not like butterßies 3 I come to be in the beach 2 It is better for buttterßies to be free 1


33 Moreover, potential visitors showed different levels of interest to do other activities at LLDFR such as visiting a souvenir shop, walking in the forest, and staying overnight and dining. Most po tential customers (220, 57%) were Ôvery interested' or Ôinterested' to visit a souvenir shop (Fig. 4 ), although some (39%) respondents initially doubted , to later provide a Ôyes' as an answer (Ôdoubtful yes'). Some respondents were Ôvery interested'/ Ôinterested' to walk in the forest (33 %) and staying overnight and eating (25%) at the reserve, but there was also a major group of potential customers who do ubted their willingness, particularly to stay overni ght and have meals (67%) (Fig. 4 ). Figure 4 . Interest of potential customers to carry out different activities at LLDFR : walking in the forest, visit ing a souvenir shop, and staying overnight and having a meal. These results showed evi dence of a market demand for a butterfly exhibition and a souvenir shop at LLDFR , which could make it feasible in economic terms to set up a butterfly exhibition at LLDFR. !!" ##" $%" &%$" !''" !$(" !!(" ##" &&)" )" *)" !))" !*)" &))" &*)" $))" +,-./01"/0"234" 567482" 96:1/01;4,<01" =6>?40/7"=36@" !"#$%&'()'&%*+(,-%,.*' A47B"/02474824:; /02474824:" C6>DE>-"F48" G62"/02474824:"


34 There is less clear evidence of market demand for the other activities: lodging/eating and walking in the forests. More detailed surveys are required to detect why respondents are dubious about having these services at the reserve and/or how the reserve could increase their interests if these services are implemented. About the specific comments respondents provided when asked about a souvenir shop, the most frequent was their willingness to get a n Ôauthentic' or Ôunique' souvenir; unique referred to find something special not available at other place s (Table 4). Respondents dislike d finding the s ame souvenirs and handicrafts at all adjacent beaches, and insisted they would be interested in having items with moderate prices, not too expensive. They also frequently emphasized their intention to buy souvenirs made with local materials and /or representing local flora and fauna. On the other hand, respondents who were not interested in a souvenir shop mentioned among other comments, that a shop is not important at a natural reserve (Table 4). Table 4. Respondent's comments about visiting and purchasing in a souvenir shop at the LLDFR.


35 5 .1.4 Definition of products and services Defining what customers will actually buy is not an easy task, and a Ôhandful of surveys isn't like to uncover th e answer' (Mullins & Komisar 2009). This affirmation points out the fact that customers may actually not visit a butterfly exhibition even though survey data suggested a market demand existed. Therefore, a plan focused on limited investment at initial stag es is required to reduce risks, and through a continuous monitoring, new approaches or expansions can be implemented to improve the butterfly exhibition business. It i s importa nt to "rigorously stress test that plan, as quickly and inexpensively as you can , at its most cr itical points of vulnerability". I f evidence suggest s the need to change the plan, it should be done , while continuing to monitor the process again (Mullins & Komisar 2009). Hence, a small butterfly exhibition could be initially set up at LLDFR to test the market demand found through survey data. The exhibition might be small (greenhouse 14 x 12 m) built with basic infrastructure to exhibit 8 10 species and 250 300 butterflies flying at each time. Rearing could focus on butterflies with relatively fast development times (2 months) and feeding habits requiring fast growing hostplants (more details about butterflies are given in the 3.2 result s section). The exhibition could be c omplemented at initial stages with a coffee shop where customers could get soft drinks and snacks, and a souvenir shop. The shop might sell items such as t shirts and shopping bags with loca l flora and fauna prints. It could also distribute handicrafts mad e by adjacent communities ( e.g. , lamps made with bamboo and colorful textile s made in Tabuga ). Additional research should be done in order to devise


36 how to include other items suggested by customers to fulfill their expectations. Based on survey data, pote ntial customers are interested i n authentic souvenirs representing local flora and fauna, and low priced products. They suggested different items such as bracelets, necklaces, t shirts, postcards, key chains, souvenirs for fridge doors, and photo service a vailable against backdrops representing butterflies, wildlife or natural habitats. A coffee and souvenir shop could further increase revenues since these customer facilities can be largely more profitable than entrance fees (Rafi et al. 1990). Increased re venues from additional facilities are further more important for reserves receiving low/medium numbers of visitors (Spergel 2007, Eagles 2002). At later stages, a restaurant could also be implemented and expand the butterfly exhibition. The well recognized butterfly exhibition in Mindo (probably the first exhibition targeted for Ecuadorians) started with a basic butterfly greenhouse hosting 10 butterfly species. The exhibition expanded to offer excel l ent customer facilities such as lodging, restaurants and complete tourist packages; the souvenir shop and butterfly e xhibition have also been greatly improved (Mariposas de Mindo 2012). There must be also space for innovative fundi ng with other private ventures o n special purpose merchandise (Eagles 2002) or lin king tours with other attractions in the region , to further increase revenues. The initial butterfly exhibition would demand at least four people from adjacent communities for the breeding program and exhibition management. Nonetheless, the possibility of a future expansion of the souvenir shop offers additional economic opportunities for more local people to get engaged in the project. Other butterfly farming projects have successfully implemented this component (e.g., Tanzania and Kenya), which provided economic income for local women through the elaboration of handicrafts


37 such as jewelry and frames using butterfly wings (Rios 2002, Morgan Brown 2003, Kipepeo 2006). Involvement of local communities in the butterfly farming business would therefore make the project socially more just, but also more viable in the long term as a real ecotourism venture. This would occur because the project could accomplish one of the mos t challenging characteristics of ecotourism: providing financial benefits and empowerment for local people (see Honey 2008). The business should also be aware of the other ecoto urism characteristics: minimize impact, build e nvironmental awareness, provide direct ben efits for conservation, respect local culture , and support human rights and democratic movements (Honey 2008). Pricing Strategy: Survey results suggested that Ecuadorians were willing to pay a higher average entrance fee (US $ 4.9) in comparison with foreigners (US $ 4.6) to visit a butterfly exhibition at LLDFR (Figure 5), a lthough, it is possible that the reduced sample size of foreigners (n= 41) compared to nationals (n=361) biased the results. Furthermore, the ol dest and youngest age groups wer e willing to pay higher fees (people aged >55 and 15 24) compared to the other age classes. However, the results of GLM showed age and nationality were not significant predictors of entrance fee willingness to pay (Table 5).


38 * Figure 5 . Entrance fee potential customers are willing to pay to visit a butterfly exhibition at LLDFR according to nationality and age class. Error bars represent standard deviation. Differences are not statistically significant (GLM results see Table 5). Table 5: Test of model effects Type III. Wald Chi square, degr ees of freedom (df) and significance of predictors are displayed. The model included entrance fee as dependent variable, and age and nationatility as predictors. Source Wald Chi Square df Sig. Intercept 2024.9 1 1 Age 59.3 61 61 Nationality 0.8 2 0.7 Respondents shared different comments about entrance fees. Ecuadorians perceived that foreigners should pay more (n= 11), and expect ed to find discounts for children (n= 25), elderly (n= 5), and groups (n= 16). When higher prices were proposed, respondents expected to have more services and of better quality ( e.g . , expert natural guides, more attractions, to have food included in the price), but also some agreed to pay more in order to support local forest conservation (n= 8). A butterfly exhibit ion at LLDFR should consider offering a reduced fee for Ecuadorians, children and elderly, but pricing policy must reflect costs of production (see Eagles #"+* $"+* %"+* &"+* '"+* ("+* !&,#%* #&,$&* $',%&* %',&%* -&&* ./0* 1234567849:* ;6708/907:* !"#$%"&'()''(*+,-(


39 2002). It is a common strategy for reserves including protected areas to offer a reduced fee for nati onal visitors, but still foreign visitors are charged far less than they are willing to pay in many parks (Spergel 2007). The difference between foreign visitor and national visitor's fee can be up to US $ 94 in areas such as the Galapagos National Park (Fo reign visitors pay US $ 100, Ecuadorians US $ 6) (GNP 2014). It is important to emphasize that foreign visitors may be willing to pay more, but they also expect Ôvalue for their expenditures' in terms of excellence in service and experience enhancing feature s (Wight 2001). The reduced fee is intended to ma ke the visits more affordable for local people, hence promoting local awareness and appreciation for conservation and biodiversity. Indeed, Ceiba Foundation already has a differential pricing system for visi tors depending not only on nationality, but also on number of lodging days and activity ( i.e. , volunteers, researchers or students), with Ecuadorians paying a reduced fee (see Ceiba 2014). This strategy can also be applied for a butterfly exhibition with r educed fees for Ecuadorians, and extend it to children who are important targets for environmental education. 5 .1.5 Identification of advertising strategies Information for a dvertising and p romotional Strategies: Only 62 (15%) respondents had heard about the LLDFR prior to the surveys; from this sample, only 8 people had actually visited the reserve. Respondents knew about the LLDFR through different sources, mainly through the road sign that signals the entrance to the reserve (29%), radio/television (26%) and comments from other people (16%) (Fig. 6 ). This information can be useful to define how to diffuse promotional materials.


40 Figure 6 : Information sources of respondents who previously kn ew about the Lalo L oor Dry Forest Reserve in ManabÂ’, Ecuador. The need for marketing and business plan Survey data revealed the LLDFR needs to develop marketing and advertising strategies in order to increase number of tourists , and hence revenues. Marketing is one of the most important components of the travel industry in general (Honey 2008) , but is often overlooked. The lack of adequate leisure marketing and tourism management capabilities has been a key challenge common to many protected areas worldw ide (Eagles 2002). Moreover, research analyzing which major themes ecotourism operators wished they had known about before entering the business were marketing ( i.e., strategic marketing, price, promotion) and business planning ( e.g., business planning, f inancial management and research) (see McKercher & Robbins 1998, Page & Dowling 2002). During an interview, Ceiba Foundation mentioned that limited inve stment for marketing efforts had taken place. Nevertheless, marketing strategies must carefully be imple mented in order to make the butterfly exhibition economically successful. '<* #<* !'<* $<* #<* #=<* !%<* #<* #'<* >789?05*@4?0784A* B6378:@*4/092C* D675*6E*@63?F* G8:8?*?6*70:07H0* I9?0790?* J645*K8/9* L6?*70@0@M07* K6286*N6:O30* J4586PBG*


41 But not only is a marketing plan needed, a complete business plan also is required to make the business successful. Business plans for ecotourism projects can prevent several problems by making vulnerable areas of business detectable in advance, and are an effective tool to guide business strategies (Patterson 2007). The bus iness plan involves a business description, products and services, sales and marketing, operating requirements and financial management (Patterson 2007). Through an innovative approach called ÔGetting to plan B: breaking through to a better business model' , it has been proposed to improve conventional ways of doing business (Mullins & Komisar 2009) ; a butterfly farming initiative at LLDFR should consider this proposal . For the authors, the business model is "the pattern of economic activity Ð cash flowing i nto and out of your business for various purposes and the timing thereof that dictates whether or not you run out of cash and whether or not you delive r attra ctive returns to your investors" . The business model is constructed based on four building blocks : analogs (learn from others), antilogs (be different), leaps of faith (ask the right questions, test the unknown and set up experiments) and dashboards (guide and track experiments and hypotheses that will prove leaps of faith). So far, the product define d in the previous paragraphs was built based on some analogs and antilogs analyzing successful butterfly exhibitions , but could be further improved. The initial butterfly exhibition would make it possible to test the Ôleaps of faith' and track ways to cont inue improving the business. The model comprises five key elements: revenue model, gross marginal model, operating model, working capital model and investment model. Joining both the elements and building blocks provi de s a business model grid (Table 6 ); un derpinning each of the cells


42 in the grid would improve the business model and deliver the Ônumbers needed' (Mullins & Komisar 2009). Table 6: Busin ess grid proposed by Mullins & Komisar (2009) to improve likelihood of success. A business model would require hiring specialists on marketing and financial management to build the business model. Additional capacity building is required to train staff and local people about business and financial management, customer service , and other skills required to run a butterfly exhibition. Training local people will allow them to be eventually in charge of all tasks related to the butterfly business, which must be an ultimate goal of the project in order to make a sustainable impact. 5 .2 Applied Biolog ical Research This section along with the capacity building component of the MPD practicum were developed to address two weaknesses (out of four) that, according to the SWOT analysis, exist to implement ing a butterfly farming project at LLDFR: lack of tech nical capacity and of biological knowledge. Previous experiences in other countries revealed that initial stages to set up a successful butterfly farming project require d research about the natural history of butterfly species, implementation of rearing fa cilities including a nursery, and capacity building for butterfly research (Morgan Brown 2003, Sambhu & van der


43 Heyden 2010). These examples thus emphasize the importance of capacity building and biological research as initial steps for butterfly farming. Biological Information: An approximate 150 caterpillars and eggs were reared at the LLDFR Reserve from June through August 2012. From this sample, I gathered relevant information for a butterfly farming project for 12 species, including photographs of life stages, hostplant species, development t ime and collection area (Table 7 ). Photographs of these butterfly spec ies are included in Appendix 2. These results along with detailed methodology to rear butterflies will be published as a pamphlet, in order to gi ve back to the local people and make the information available to others interested in developing a butterfly farm. Table 7 . Butterfly species reared in the LLDF Reserve from June through August 2012. Hostplant refers to plant species caterpillars feed on ; dev elopment time is number of days an egg takes to develop into an adult butterfly. Some species were collected as caterpillars or pupa (life stage from w hich a winged butterfly emerge s ); photographs of eggs and/or larvae were therefore not obtained a nd are


44 not included in the appendix. It also explains why development time could not be estima ted for all species (see Table 7 ), and in some cases, it was estimated based on publications about these species ( i.e. , Mulanovich 2007). In addition , a nursery w as established at the LLDFR with hostplants for ten butterfly species excepting for Papilio anchisiades, Thracides phidon and Celaenorrhinus sp1 (see Table 7 ). The hostplant of P. anchisiades is a canopy tree located closed to the station, but it was not possible to find seedlings or seeds for the nursery. In the case of T. phidon and Celaernorrhinus (species from the group Hesperidae) , hostplants were not transplanted because these species might not be completely suitable for a butterfly exhibition. A ge neral recommendation is to implement a butterfly house with species relatively easier to be managed and reared, and about which more experience and published information is available; this is the case of species from the families Papilionidae, Pieridae and Nymphalidae (see Mulanovich 2007). Information about the taxonomy ( i.e , it is challenging to identify species) and natural history of the other butterfly groups, Lycaenidae , Riodinidae and He speridae, is scarce for the Neotropics . These species thus require more research for farming and management, and should not therefore be included in a butterfly farming initiative during the initial stages. Other characteristics make some butterfly species more attractive for a butterfly exhib ition , such as larger size, bright coloration and slow flying behavior so visitors can easily admire them and even touch their bodies (Checa 2008). Moreover, it is also important to focus on species that are easy to catch , and abundant (Mulanovich 2007). B ased on these attributes, a list of butterfly species with potential to be farmed and to be included in a butterfly exhibition at LLDFR is presented in the Appendix 3. The appendix


45 also contains information about their relative abundance recorded during th e 3 year monitoring scheme at LLDFR , and collection site (habitat and strata) , in order to guide future collection effort s to set up captive populations. Some butterfly species showed low abundance ( Caligo atreus , Caligo memnon , Appendix 4 ) but are still i ncluded since these are very attractive spec ies for an exhibition due to their size and appealing coloration pattern; indeed, species of Caligo are common in some butterfly houses (see Mulanovich 2007). These butterfly species are called Ôowl butterflies' because of their ventral surface resembling an owl at rest (Apprendix 4). Butterfly diversity, abundance and the relative ease to rear some butterfly species and hostplants at LLDFR showed it is feasible to set up a butterfly house at the reserve , in terms of the biological resources present. 5.3 Building capacity Undergraduate students: A total of 39 undergraduate students in Bio logy received the courses given; 13 students were regis tered in the course Biology of B utterflies, and 26 in Insect Ecology (Appendix 5 ). Students learned how to research butterflies including collection and identification techniques using field guides or more advanced taxonomical tools (dichotomous keys) for highly diverse and complex butterfly groups. Students were very enth usiastic about collecting, identifying and touc hing butterfly diversity (Fig. 7 8 ).


46 Figure 7 . Undergraduate students learning how to collect butterflies using traps with baits (1 2) and identify species names using photographic guides in the field (3). Figure 8 . Undergraduate students learning how to use dichotomous keys to identify highly diverse and complex butterfly groups at the station (1 2), and getting in touch with biodiversity in the field.


47 Moreover, students learned and practiced the diffe rent steps required to complete scientific research , from collection and data analysis to presentation of final results. Trainees also learned about the importance of biodiversity conservation, main conservation threats for Western Ecuador and sustainable development , through talks given by the instructor , and group discussions. As a result of the courses given in association with the Catholic University of Ecuador, seve ral undergraduate students got in volved and developed their these s projects under my su pervision , as part of the butterfly monitoring scheme at LLDFR and other reserves in Western Ecuador. Three students have already finished and received their Bachelor degree s and four continued their thesis research (see Checa 2014 ). Furthermore, students were very enthusiastic about continuing their participation in the monitoring scheme in the future. Local people: Four people ( three women and one man ) from the surround ing communities of LLDFR received training on how to resea rch and rear butterflies (Fig. 9 ). Trainees practiced for five months how to collect and identify butterflies in the field, and how to record and organize biological data.


48 Figure 9 . Local people from the surrounding communities of LLDFR receiving training about how to identify butterflies (1), and collect them using traps with baits (2 3). Local people also learned how to find and collect eggs and caterpillars, and related techniques to rear them in captivity. Women were more enthusiastic and further participated in the projec t compared to men. An important constraint for men's involvement was the irregular nature of work, since trainees were only required to work every two months for one week , and each received a payment of US$ 100 per week . Men were looking for more stable jo bs providing regular monthly income. This finding might indicate that women would be more willing and able to participate in a butterfly farming project at LLDFR , depending on the nature of available jobs and opportunities in the project . The implications of this situation will be further discussed in the final sectio n of the report. Two women continued to work and received training in the butterfly


49 monitoring project set up at LLDFR since 2009; it is expected that they are capable of doing the research an d therefore being in charge of the monitoring for the coming years. This continuous collaboration of local people in the butterfly project , i nvolving collection and handling of butterfly species , showed that may be feasible in terms of a social perspective to set up a butterfly exhibition at the reserve. Further evide nce for social feasibility came from strong support provided by Ceiba Organization and the willingness to participat e of undergraduate students who could serve as trainers for additional local people. 6. Cross scale and cross discipline considerations 6 . 1 Sustainable livelihoods: Butterfly farming can promote local livelihoods and diversify household economies (Parsons 1992), even in marginal mountain lands (Rafi et al. 1990). In Kenya, the annual per capita income doubled after a butterfly farming project was implemented (income prior to project in 1993 was US $ 40) ; and the earnings can reach up to US $ 1000 per year depending on individual efforts (Kipepeo 2006). The Amani But t erfly Project in Tanzania increased local income by at least 15 20%, and butterfly farming became an additional livelihood component , complementing other farm and off farm activities (Mpand et al. 2014). Sustainable livelihoods are enhanced since butterfly farms are set up near natural reserves decreasing the pressure to increment unsustainable use of forests by creating jobs and additional sources of income (van der Heyden 2011, Sambhu & van der Heyden 2010). At LLDFR, butterfly farming ca n provide additional livelihoods as l ocal people can get involved as farmers or participants in additional economic activities such as the


50 elaboration of handicrafts using butterfly wings in later stages of the project. Moreover, this initiative can also f acilitate the distribution of handicrafts made by other communities to incoming tourists . 6.2 Human Capital : Involvement of local communities in the butterfly business might produce far reaching consequences such as enhancement of social capital through improved governance, organization and leadership skills of local communities , and women's empowerment (see Morg an Brown 2003, Kipepeo 2006, van der Heyden 2011). Governance is enhanced since butterfly farming might require the creation and organization of democratic committees and boards (see Morgan Brown 2003, Kipepeo 2006, van der Heyden 2011). Women's empowerme nt is promoted due to new sources of income and jobs for women. In Tanzania and Kenya, most butterfly farmers are women (Morgan Brown 2003, Le Roux 2012). Moreover, women farmers can earn up to US $ 950 per month, much more compared to other traditional bus iness such as charcoal production or farming chickens (Le Roux 2012). It is also interesting to note that farming g roups formed mainly by women ( or having at least 50% women in the group s ) progressed faster because women tended to provide more consistent e fforts and attention to daily butterfly farming activities (Morgan Brown 2003). F arming butterflies is less capital in tensive than breeding other domesticated animal s , but it requires consistent care and attention. Butterfly farming can also be more suit able for women as farmers can rear butterflies or elaborate handicrafts in their own home as operations involved fit with domestic chores


51 (van der Heyden 2011), and are comparable and compatible with other women's activities such as chicken raising (Mpand et al. 2014) Enhanced human capital can additionally encourage the development of Ôgrassroot s ' initiatives towards conservation , as has occurred with butterfly farmers from African countries. The s e initiatives included higher participation in environmenta l committee activities, planting trees, preserving natural forest in household land, community led expansion of existing protected areas and discouraging illegal cutting in protected areas (Morgan Brown 2007). Butterfly farming can thus enable local p eople to create bottom up solutions , being the actors and leaders of their own sustainable development. Finally, butterfly farming projects can be a model by which main stakeholders such as local and national governments, NGOs and local communities can collabo rate and promote sustainable dev elopment (Morgan Brown 2003). This occurs because each stakeholder has specific responsibilities and strengths, and the performance of each member is thus essential for the project success (Sambhu & van der Heyden 2010). Strong partnerships with local people provide political legitimacy that often is lacking , and conservation and management efforts become more efficient (Painter & Kretser 2012). 6.3 Biodiversity and ecosystem conservation: Butterfly farming can directly promote conservation through the creation of additional source s of income for rural communities, and indirectly through education (Parsons 1992). In the case of e nvironmental education , the butterfly exhibition s or related activities ( e.g. , workshops for s chool teachers, students, etc) can be a useful tool . Butterflies are ideal


52 organisms for environmental education due to their charismatic appearance for the general public, aesthetic value and ease to Ô get in touch' through exhibitions. The exhibition can consequently offer a hands on experience for visitors, and make the Ôabstract' concept of biodiversity more real . The exhibition also offer s new ways to teach biological concepts ( e.g., metamorphosis) to general visitors including rural Ecuadorians, studen ts and others. Moreover, the butterfly house could expand and diversify in the future to include additional species such as orchids, fishes and frogs. Potential customers (survey data) were also interested in carrying out additional activities in the reser ve such as trekking and staying overnight. These activities along with an expanded exhibition can deepen the natural experience for visitors , and increase awareness and interest in forest conservation (le Roux 2012, Boender 1995) and environmental sustainability, particularly for local communi ties involved in the initiative (Le Roux 2012). 6.4 Scientific research closely associate d with a sustainable development initiative : The buttefly monitoring scheme set up at the LLDFR as part of my PhD thesis , to detect impacts of climate and habitat change , offered the opportunity to train local people and get biological information about which species to include in a butterfly farming project. If the butterfly exhibition is set up, i t would closely link ongoing s cientific research with a socioeconomic initiative with broader impact s . This is so because l ocal based biodiversity monitoring projects that integrate ecological research, capacity building and income generation are effective tools to achieve conservation and poverty reduction (Sekercioglu 2011). Few biodiversity monitoring programs in the tropics have involved capacity building of local people ( e.g. , training them as parabiologists), despite its cost


53 effectiveness to achieve conservation (Sekercioglu 2011) . So, this initiative could become a leading effort for the future at a local and national scale . Fu r thermore, a monitoring scheme associated with a butterfly farming project at LLDFR can offer additional advantages. According to Parsso ns (1992), "the research and monitoring part of a butterfly farming system can ensure the implementation and promotion of educational aspects that a purely economic enterprise might not have time to do" (Parsons 1992). For example, Wildl ife Clubs conformed by local children in Guyana have traditionally performed bird surveys, but became interested in researching butterflies after butterfly farms were set up in their communities (Sambhu & van der Heyden 2010). 6.5 Capacity building for bio logical applied research ÔUnless the people of biodiversity rich countries in the developing world are able to take the lead in the conservation of their own regions, long term, sustainable solutions are unlikely to be found and the limited funds for conse rvation are likely to be misspent' (Rodr’guez et al. 2006). In addition, c apacity building can establish strong partnerships among stakeholders including conservationists, local people, government, and international organizations. It can also promote coope ration between national universities in th e capital city and rural people , thereby helping to decentralize knowledge and research. The i nstitutional linkages would improve the multiplier effect of capacity building (Clubbe 2013). Finally, the implementation of a butterfly farming initiative at LLDFR can become a Ômodel' to be established in other reserves at a national level where scientific and social


54 approaches can act in a synergistic way to promote scient ific research, conserva tion and sustainable development . 7 . Conclusions Natural resources are fundamental to human development , so any effort to further development must address issues of sustainability. The challenge exists of balancing and even combining biological conservatio n with economic benefits for local populations , particularly near protected areas in the tropics, where abundant natural resources are found in conjunction with serious problems of poverty. Many efforts have been made to further conservation and development objectives, and in this light, butterfly farming has been economically successful and promoted sustainable development in several developing countries. This is important since many Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs) have fallen short of their objectives. Despite their potential benefits, efforts to carry out butterfly farming are very scarce in Ecuador, a highl y biological ly diverse country facing high rates of environmental degradation and poverty . While many factor s may limit butterfly farming in Ecuador, lack of information, technical capacity and entrepreneurship best explain the paucity of efforts to date . T h rough the MDP field practicum, I found that it appears feasible from environmental, economic (a market demand exists) and social perspectives to implement a butterfly farming initiative as a tool for promoting sustainable development in Western Ecuador. Furthermore, through the MDP practicum, I was able to address two key weaknesses t hat would impact project implementation: lack of relevant biological information and technical capacity of local people for butterfly farming at the reserve. I was able to co mplement my ongoing scientific research for my PhD Thesis (Department of


55 Entomology) to monitor butterfly responses to climate and habitat change with additional activities linked to the MDP . In this way, my field practicum offered the opportunity to broad en my scientific research Ôvision' to encompass and facilitate the achievement of social goals. Moreover, my results and analysis showed how biodiversity conservation and economic development can be reconcile d and even work together in a synergistic way. T he effort suggests that the sustainable use of natural resources (as tiny and char ming as butterflies) can generate , if wisely implemented , both economic benefits and positive conservation outcomes, and in this way promote human development by enhancing so cial capital . 8 . Recommendations I conclude that i t is feasible and thus recommend efforts to be made to implement a butterfly farming project at LLDFR in Manab’, Ecuador. Nevertheless, additional work will be required to set up the project , specifically supplementary biological research, development of a business model, devising marketing strategies and enhancing technical capacity of local people for managing a butterfly exhibition at the reserve. Partnerships with academic institutions and/ or private o rganizations are important especially during the startup phase of this innovative rural enterprise. Through the MDP practicum, I provided a preliminary strategic planning to set up a butterfly exhibition at LLDFR. It is recommended to review this planning through a participatory process where stakeholders participate and provide input. Additional biological research should be focus ed on rearing more attractive butterflies including large species such as Morpho and Caligo , which are also among the largest


56 sp ecies worldwide, and other medium sized species possessing attractive coloration ( e.g . , Siproeta , Archaeoprepona , Elzunia ). A business plan should be developed integrating s everal key components including a business description, an overview of products an d services, information on sales and marketing, operational requirements and financial management. Designing a marketing strategy is essential to promote the reserve and particularly given the limited investment that has been made i n this sector in previou s years by the Ceiba administration . It is also recommended to develop a business model following the scheme proposed by (Mullins & Komisar 2009) in order to increase the likelihood of the project to succeed. This model includes an analysis of relevant analogs, antilogs and leaps of faith along with business model elements: revenue model, gross margin model, operating model, working capital model, and investment model.


57 APPENDIX 1 Survey: Feasibility of butterfly exhibition at LLDFR Usted como participante puede no responder cualquier pregunta o dar por terminada esta encuesta en cualquier momento que desee. Age: Sex: Citizenship: Area of residence (province, town): Area where interview is done: 1. Reason to visit the area: Tourism Work Family Other 2. How long will you stay? 3. Who are you traveling with? Partner Family Friends Alone Other 4. How frequent ly do you visit this area? 1 st time Rarely (once every two years) Often (1 2 times a year) Very often (3 o m‡s veces) 5. Have you heard about the LaloLoor Dry Forest Reserve? Yes No 6. If yes, how did you hear about it? Internet Tourism agency Local restaurants Other 7. Have you visited the reserve? Yes No 8. Would you like to visit a butterfly exhibition (greenhouse with hundreds of butterflies flying around) in the reserve? Yes No 9. Would you visit the reserve if it costs? US 2 US 3 US 4 US 5 US 6 US 7 US 8 US 9 US 10 10. What activities would you like to do in the reserve? Stay overnight Hav e a meal Visit a souvenir shop trek in the forest trails Visit a butterfly exhibition 11. How much do you spend in lodging? 12. H ow much do you spend in meals? 13. How did you come? Bus Car Other


58 Appendix 2. Butterfly species reared during the summer 2013 at LLDFR. Photographs of different life stages (eggs, caterpillar, pupa and/or adult) are included. Consul fabius : caterpillar (1), pupa (2) and adult (3). Dryas iulia : caterpillar (1,2), pupa (3) and adult (4). Heliconius erato : pupa (1), caterpillar (2) and adult (3). Itabalia marana : egg (1), caterpillar (2), pupa (3) and adult (4).


59 Thracides phidon : pupa (1) and adult (2). Papilio anchisiades : pupa (1), caterpillar (2 3) and adult (4). Magneuptychia libye : egg (1), caterpillar (2), pupa (3) and adult (4).


60 Memphis artacaena : caterpillar (1 2), pupa (3) and adult (4). Opsiphanes cassina : caterpillar (1), p upa (2) and adult (3).


61 Scada zemira : egg (1), caterpillar (2 3) and adult (4).


62 Appendix 3. List of butterfly species with potential to be farmed and included in a butterfly exhibition at LLDFR. The relative abundance recorded during the last three years at LLDFR and collection site (habitat and strata) is included in order to guide future colle ction effort to set up captive populations.


63 Appendix 4. Photo of an owl butterfly ( Caligo atreus ) at rest (showed at its original size).


64 Appendix 5. Undergraduate students who received training at LLDFR and registered for the course Biology of butterflies (1) and Insect Ecology (2).


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