Kali Tiger Reserve home to 4,500 individual butterflies, reveals survey

KFD and the club had also spotted 160  butterfly species in a span of two days. The number, according to them, is overwhelming.

Published: 21st December 2019 03:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st December 2019 03:48 PM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only. ( File | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Karnataka Forest Department (KFD) and members of the Bangalore Butterfly Club (BBC) have spotted more than 4,500 individual butterflies in Uttara Kannada’s Kali Tiger Reserve. On December 14 and 15, for the first time in Karnataka, an assessment or a butterfly survey was carried out in the reserve. KFD and the club had also spotted 160  butterfly species in a span of two days. The number, according to them, is overwhelming.

A team of 20 members from the club along with members of the department, divided themselves in teams of five and surveyed butterflies in Ganeshgudi, Dandeli, Castlerock, Kulgi and Anashi from 9 am to 3 pm. “In  two days, we spotted 4,500 butterflies. Many rare species were also spotted. The department has also planted a number of plants to attract more butterflies,” said Rohit Girotra, founding member of the club.

Ashok Sengupta, another founding member of the club, said that in spite of this being an off-season for butterflies, they spotted a good number. “The peak butterfly season is during monsoon. We see a good number in September and October. From November-end and December, the population goes down ... but here we still spotted a good number due to late monsoon. However, if we visited in the peak season, we could spot at least 10,000 butterflies,” said Sengupta.

Some of the rare species of butterflies they spotted are Blue Nawab, Onyx, Tree Flitter, Golden Tree Flitter, while the uncommon species were Southern Birdwing, Southern Duffer, Tawny Rajah, Black Prince, Common Man, 6- Lineblue, Toothed Sunbeam and many more. “The Blue Nawab species is legally protected in India under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and it is an extremely rare species.

I have so far spotted only two of them, one in Kerala and now in Karnataka,” said Sengupta.
Karthikeyan Srinivasan, chief naturalist at Jungle Lodges and Resorts, appreciated the department’s decision to start a butterfly survey and hopes that it will continue. B R Ramesh, General Manager (Forests) said, “We have got the data and now we will send it to the reserve director.”



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