Kerala readies to host its first dragonfly festival
‘Thumbimahotsavam’ will encourage varied participation, with Pantalu as its official mascot
The WWF-India Kerala unit has joined hands with the Society for Odonate Studies (SOS) and Thumbipuranam for the first-ever State Dragonfly Festival in Kerala, named Thumbimahotsavam 2020. ‘Pantalu’ is the official mascot forthe festival.
Several programmes are set to be rolled out in the coming months to reach out to various sections of society. A ‘dragonfly backyard watch’ has been announced to enhance the participation of people and improve their observation skills — it will be a citizen science project in view of COVID-19 restrictions.
A social media campaign is also on to spread the message around.
A field guide on the common dragonflies of Kerala, and a children’s dragonfly colouring and activity book are also under development.
A digital odonate knowledge hub will also be set up under the SOS/ Thumbipuranam Facebook page, which will host all available material in the form of scientific papers, posters, videos and stickers on dragonflies. Various competitions will also be organised.
The festival is expected to culminate with the State dragonfly summit, which is likely to be held in January.
The events are a part of a national dragonfly festival being organised by the WWF India, Bombay Natural History Society and the Indian Dragonfly Society in association with the National Biodiversity Board, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Initially, a training of trainers will be organised to so that more people can serve as resource persons for the upcoming events. This will be followed by a series of webinars, commencing from September and targeting the public, especially children and youth.
Webinars will also be organised for specific target groups such as zoology teachers; district coordinators and members of biodiversity management committees; coordinators of Bhoomithrasena clubs for students; district coordinators and teachersin-charge of eco-clubs; and Forest Department personnel, mainly Vana Samrakshana Samithy and Eco Development Committee members involved in ecotourism activities.
Readeres interested in participating may contact A. K. Sivakumar of WWF India at email@example.com or Sujith V. Gopalan of SOS at firstname.lastname@example.org.