×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Study lists 202 butterfly species in urban spaces

Butterflies of India consortium, a collaboration of research institutions, NGOs and citizen science groups anchored the study which spanned urban green spaces across India except in the truly forested regions.
Last Updated : 21 August 2023, 22:21 IST
Last Updated : 21 August 2023, 22:21 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

An ongoing study on India’s butterfly populations has produced a pictorial compilation of “nearly all” butterfly species across the country’s urban greenery.

Butterflies of India consortium, a collaboration of research institutions, NGOs and citizen science groups anchored the study which spanned urban green spaces across India except in the truly forested regions. The new brochure has documented 202 species -- the Bengaluru region had 182 of these species while the rest of them were spotted in cities including Mysuru, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Kolkata.

With curated images and key identification features of the species, the brochure is accessible to beginners, including children. The larger idea is to improve awareness about butterfly populations and complement conservation efforts by the state forest departments to help vulnerable species persist in urban spaces.

The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Indian Foundation for Butterflies, Titli Trust, Bengaluru Butterfly Club and other organisations are involved in the larger programme through which people are trained in butterfly identification, population monitoring, studying life-cycles, migration, butterfly-plant interactions, etc.

Through the Butterflies of India website, these organisations have been compiling information about the biology of Indian butterflies since 2010.

Krushnamegh Kunte, associate professor at NCBS, said the project has recorded information on larval host plants, nectar plants, butterfly habitats and seasonal and nationwide occurrences including for endemic, rare and endangered butterflies.

“The findings from outreach programmes and other community-building efforts include the description of several new species of butterflies that were new to science, some that were new to India, and rediscoveries of over a dozen species that had not been seen in India in a very long time,” Prof Kunte told DH.

Critical to biodiversity

India is home to over 1,400 species of butterflies. While some of these species are rare and/or endemic, some are protected under the Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Act, 2022. The brochure underlines the role of butterflies in enabling biodiversity, insect-plant interactions including pollination, and food chains.

“The entire programme is driven by contributions from the people, or citizen scientists. They include valuable records collected across the country, images showing seasonal forms, sexual and individual variation that sheds light on the underlying evolution and development of colour patterns and records of specific butterflies feeding on specific plants that should help improve butterfly habitats,” Prof Kunte said.

Details on procuring copies of the brochure are available at https://www. ifoundbutterflies.org/urban-greeneries-brochure. Prof Kunte said the brochure and the larger community-building initiatives were targeted at nature enthusiasts who go beyond the observation of butterflies to be part of conservation efforts.

Butterfly species documented in the brochure.
Butterfly species documented in the brochure.
ADVERTISEMENT
Published 21 August 2023, 22:21 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT