Granjas de mariposas

Apenas Martín Garrone comentó que iba a construir un mariposario en las Cabañas de la Isla junto a la Fundación Ecológica Argentina, se volvió un blanco fácil para las bromas. Seguramente pensaron que la bohemia le había ganado la pulseada al emprendedor que hay en él.

La realidad es que el proyecto es parte de la “pata” educativa de su empresa, que está concentrada en el turismo ecológico: el mariposario estará allí para educar y mostrar parte de la fauna autóctona del Alto Delta.

Pero, de hecho, hasta la cría de mariposas puede ser un negocio en sí mismo. Llamativo como pueda sonar, existe un mercado floreciente en el mundo ligado a la cría de mariposas, en parte para abastecer a los “zoológicos de mariposas”, que son tan populares hoy en el mundo desarrollado, como lo eran hace quinientos años en las cortes europeas. El palacio vienés de Schonbrunn, antaño sede de la monarquía austro-húngara, atesora uno de los primeros zoológicos del mundo y también uno de los mariposarios más exóticos y completos.

Mucho más moderno, el zoológico de mariposas de San Diego es un cliente regular de granjas de mariposas creadas y administradas por niños en escuelas rurales costarricenses, bajo la dirección de organizaciones de protección de la selva tropical. Costa Rica, un país que tiene el 5% de las 20.000 especies de mariposas que existen en el mundo, encontró que la cría y venta de mariposas es una excelente forma de proporcionarles ingresos a los campesinos que viven en las proximidades de selvas tropicales, al tiempo que se les da un estímulo por preservar sin deforestar vastas áreas de selva virgen.

Casamientos y monarcas

Sin embargo, sería un error pensar que el negocio de las mariposas se agota en el conservacionismo y los zoológicos. En realidad el grueso del mercado está relacionado con algo muy diferente: los casamientos.

Empresas como Amazing Butterflies (www.amazingbutterflies.com ) o Butterflies & Blueberries Inc. (www.butterflynursery.com ), se encargan de proveer todo lo necesario para una costumbre que gana cada vez más adeptos entre los norteamericanos: reemplazar el arroz por la suelta de mariposas durante las bodas.

Es posible que la moda se haya importado del sur de Asia, donde en algunas culturas la suelta de mariposas es una señal de buenos augurios, pero el caso es que para los americanos ya es casi tan estándar como los muñequitos sobre la torta.

Los canadienses tampoco les van a la zaga. Butterflies and Roses, por ejemplo, cobra US$ 595 por 60 mariposas de la apreciada variedad Monarca. Pero si uno se estira hasta los US$ 615 puede comprar hasta 90 “Painted Ladies”. Las mariposas llegan en una caja de estireno expandido con un recipiente con hielo y las instrucciones pertinentes.

Al parecer criar mariposas puede ser más que un evento educativo. Es un hecho que la región tendrá un mariposario. ¿Tendrá también una granja de mariposas?

Eduardo Remolins
eremolins@surnorte.org.ar

Artículo publicado en La Capital

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