Survey finds increase in butterfly species

Survey found these 246 species of the 340 species of butterflies in Western Ghats
KOTTAYAM: In a four-day butterfly survey held by 152 persons consisting of volunteers and experts, 246 species of butterflies were found in the 925 square kilometers of the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR).
The survey, which was conducted under the aegis of the Periyar Tiger Conservation Foundation and the Travancore Natural History Society (TNHS) from October 23 to 26, found these 246 species of the 340 species of butterflies found in the entire Western Ghats. The survey also found 30 of the 32 species of butterflies endemic to the Western Ghats.
Sreehari R , Ecologist of PTR, who was part of the team which conducted the survey told Deccan Chronicle that three rare species of butterflies were found during the four day survey.
“The Baby five ring, which was recorded in the world only three times was found in the survey. The Pale green awlet, a nocturnal butterfly was found from the Velliamala section of the Periyar reserve, and the Broad Tail Royal, was recorded for the first time in Kerala from the Eravangalar region of the reserve”, Mr Sreehari told DC.
The survey also recorded the presence of 17 species of Paplionidae, 25 of Pierides, 78 nymphalidae, one Ryodinidae, 56 Lycenidae and 69 hesperidae.
“ It is expected that a follow up survey of the butterfly species count of the PTR will cross 300 species making the reserve one of the most diverse protected areas of the state”, Dr Kalesh S of TNHS.
Experts on butterflies from TNHS, Kottayam Nature History Society, Cochin Nature History Society, Malabar Nature History Society and other prominent NGOs in the field in collaboration with the Professionals of Periyar Foundation and the Eco Development Committee Naturalists of PTR also participated in the Survey. It was carried out between 9 and 11 am and at random times in the afternoon. The butterfly survey was earlier held at the (PTR) back in 1992 when 167 species were found.
( Source : dc )
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