PALAKKAD: During a survey aimed at identifying the total species of dragonflies and damselflies within the core and buffer zone areas of the Silent Valley National Park, three previously undiscovered species of dragonflies were uncovered.
The park’s dragonfly count has now reached a total of 103 species, thanks to the joint efforts of the Silent Valley park authorities and the Society for Odonate Studies. This comprehensive survey diligently covered all of the park’s diverse habitats.
The core and buffer areas of Silent Valley Park were methodically divided into 12 camp sheds, facilitating efficient surveying. From September 29 to October 1, a team consisting of 30 dragonfly enthusiasts and personnel from the forest department diligently conducted the survey.
Three new dragonfly species were identified during the survey, namely the Giant Clubtail (Peruvalan kaduva), Wayanad Bambootail (Wayanadan Mullavalan), and Malabar Bambootail (Vadakkan Mullavalan).
The Peruvalan kaduva, in particular, is rarely observed in Kerala, while the Wayanadan Mullavalan and Vadakkan Mullavalan are typically found in the Western Ghats region.
Balachandran, a seasoned dragonfly watcher, remarked that the survey took advantage of breaks in the rain within the Silent Valley.
The survey received valuable guidance from S Vinod, the Wildlife Warden of the Silent Valley National Park. The dedicated team of dragonfly watchers included V Balachandran, Dr Sujith V Gopalan, Ranjith Jacob Mathews, Mohammed Sheriff, and dragonfly researcher Vivek Chandran.