Insect everyone loves: Butterfly month ends with count in city
New Delhi: Enthusiasts and experts flocked to the green corners of the city on Sunday morning and took part in the third annual butterfly count of the city, organised by Bombay Natural History Society. Around 115 species of butterflies are known from the capital.
September is being celebrated as Delhi Butterfly Month 2019. The celebrations culminated with the Big Butterfly Count, across 45 locations (500 participants) in NCR, and few locations in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The locations were aptly chosen to cater to all the varied habitats of NCR, and more importantly to involve the maximum number of residents across the city, a BNHS official said.
The city locations included Delhi Development Authority’s flagship seven biodiversity parks, namely Yamuna, Aravalli, Neela Hauz, Northern Ridge, Tilpath Valley, Tughlaqabad and South Biodiversity Park.
“Butterflies are the most studied insects in the world and the best pollinators, along with bees. Biodiversity parks and their butterfly conservatories provide special niche for butterflies and bees catering to the requirements of host plants and nectar-bearing plants. Biodiversity parks in a way provide important ecological services through large number of pollinators to the crops in the Yamuna river basin and Aravalli hill ranges,” Faiyaz A Khudsar, scientist in-charge, Yamuna Biodiversity Park, said. He added that this year, rain, along with wind, might have led to sightings of comparatively lesser number of species.
Butterflies are cold-blooded insects and sun-loving creatures. For their survival, they need host plants to lay their eggs on. The caterpillars eat green leaves of host plants and form cocoons. Generally after remaining dormant for a week or two, a beautiful butterfly emerges out of a cocoon.
According to Sohail Madan, CEC, manager, BNHS, the team leaders leading the count on Sunday were all trained by leading lepidopterist Peter Smetacek of Bhimtal Research Centre.
“He explained how to observe, identify and document the number of species on the day of the butterfly count with precision, keeping habitat in mind. With participation of so many people across the city, the butterfly month has made a strong statement in bridging the gap between knowledge and implementation, thereby providing a platform to citizens to learn about butterflies, their behaviour, habitat and conservation,” Madan said.
Yamuna Biodiversity Park Aravalli Biodiversity Park Neela Hauz