The butterflies of Peru


Length: 43 min
Format: HD 16:9
Language: German, French
Directed by: Jörg Daniel Hissen
DoP: Kay Andersson
TV co-producer: ZDF/ARTE
Year: 2007

For a lot of us butterflies are God's best creation. The fervent Austrian, Gudrun Sperrer, has set up a unique butterfly farm close to the provincial capital, Iquitos, in the Amazonian Rainforest. That's her way of making a dream come true; saving some of the most beautiful butterflies in the world by breeding them.

Some of the more beautiful butterflies are highly desirable collectors' items on the international market and can procure high prices. Peru has the widest variety of unusual butterfly species in the world.

Peruvian butterfly hunters catch large numbers of the insect and middlemen go on to sell the dead butterflies all over the world. Not infrequently whole species are threatened with extinction as a result of this. The export of dead butterflies out of Peru is legal.

It's Gudrun Sperrer's aim to lower the asking price for rare species by breeding and setting them free, thereby reducing their desirability at the same time as stabilising numbers. In addition she wants to sensitize the local population to the subject and imbue a sense of responsibility into the indigenous population to protect the butterflies. No easy task.

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