It can be a treacherous thing, hunting this particular butterfly.
The peacock swallowtail, Papilio blumei, lives only here, on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, and only at a certain altitude. Its mountain home is a steep rock covered with a thin layer of wet earth, where every handhold and step sends away a small mudslide. And somewhere along the way, between the valley and the peak, an economy becomes clear: This is why some butterflies are valuable. This is why there’s a black market for the rare ones.
The hunter, a man named Jasmin Zainuddin, stops a moment. He carries a stick that he uses to prod the mud, testing it. “Only a little bit higher,” he says.