The look of wonder and delight on the faces of those visiting the recently renovated Butterfly Park at the Nehru Zoological Park in the city says it all.
Days after the country’s first open Butterfly Park was reopened to the public, the crowd — comprising of people of all age groups —simply cannot stop raving about it.
“Earlier, this park had around 30 species of butterflies, but now there are around 40 exotic species, and counting,” says Curator N. Kshitija, adding that several species of flowering and nectar-yielding plants and trees have also been planted to attract the butterflies.
Significantly, the entire park was closed for renovation over the last three months in order to give visitors a better experience.
“We have kept barricades on the pathway to restrict the entry of visitors. And all across these walkways, we have planted around 40 larval host plants to attract different kinds of butterflies,” explains Kshitija, adding that mud puddling centres have also been created along the pathway.
“Sometimes butterflies lack some important nutrients for reproduction. They visit mud puddles, and by sipping moisture from them, take in salts and minerals from the soil. This behaviour is called puddling,” she explains, adding that the whole objective was to have an eco-friendly butterfly park.
“The entire life cycle of the butterfly (metamorphosis) can be seen here. Unlike all other parks where the larva is collected and bred, in this park, we have planted various nectar and larval host plants that produce essential alkaloids to attract the butterflies,” explains wildlife botanist Sandeep.
Apparently, India boasts of around 1500 species of butterflies, with nearly 155 species recorded in Telangana state alone. “Work on identifying more number of species is in full swing. Just like how migratory birds make a new habitat in certain seasons, we have been witnessing new species of butterflies this winter,” he states.
Ever since it has thrown open its gates, the response to the renovated park has been excellent. “All our efforts are paying off. In the future, we have plans to set up an interpretation centre that will explain the butterfly life cycle and sign boards that will describe the different species of butterflies,” beams Kshitija....