In the years between 1965 and 1979, Buru was a 'rehabilitation centre' for political prisoners, and entering the island was virtually impossible for foreign travellers (4). In addition, certain native tribes had a reputation for extreme aggression, which deterred potential collectors from visiting the island (6). Thus, the inaccessibility of the island has certainly been to the advantage of the Buru opalescent birdwing. Furthermore, its listing on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) helps protect this endemic butterfly from excessive trade to international collectors (3), and therefore over collection from the wild. In recent years, villagers have learned to farm the butterfly, and reared specimens are now available on the international market, reducing pressure on wild individuals (5).