COREL Programme


COREL stands for the “Conservation of Rare and Endangered Lepidoptera”. The COREL programme was proposed in December 2011 by Dave Edge of the Lepidopterists’ Society of Africa (LSA) ( (Edge, 2011). This programme was a response to the outcome of the South African Butterfly Conservation Assessment (SABCA) project which identified 61 South African butterfly taxa (species or subspecies) (see below) as threatened in terms of the IUCN Red List categories and criteria ( (Mecenero et al., 2013).

IUCN Red List Category            No of taxa
Critically endangered (CR)            14
Endangered (EN)                       28
Vulnerable (VU)                       19

The aims of the COREL programme are to promote and ensure the conservation of all threatened butterflies and moths. COREL initially focused on the Critically Endangered (CR) butterfly and moth taxa, of which there were 15, including the moth Callioratis millari ( Taxa in this category are at imminent risk of extinction, and four of these have been assessed as possibly extinct (Mecenero et al., 2013.). The COREL programme is a response to this extremely urgent situation and a call for immediate action by all persons and organisations dedicated to biodiversity conservation. For each CR taxon LSA has identified one or more custodians who have agreed to take the primary responsibility for monitoring and preventing extinction of the taxon. The COREL programme has subsequently been expanded to include some EN taxa.

The COREL programme appeals to private individuals as well as institutional and corporate funders to support this programme by making resources and funding available to prevent the tragic loss of these beautiful and charismatic emblems of our country’s amazing natural riches.


EDGE, D.A. 2011. Custodians of rare and endangered Lepidoptera (COREL). Metamorphosis 22(3 & 4): 81-96. (

MECENERO, S., BALL, J.B., EDGE, D.A., HAMER, M.L., HENNING, G.A., KRÜGER, M, PRINGLE, E.L., TERBLANCHE, R.F. & WILLIAMS, M.C.  2013. Conservation Assessment of Butterflies of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland: Red List and Atlas. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, South Africa.


COREL Annual Reports