The Madhya Pradesh forest department will help the state eco-tourism board set up a butterfly park in Bhopal that will house more 150 species found in the state, a top forest official said on Saturday.
The forest department is helping the state eco-tourism board to set up a butterfly park in Bhopal that will be the first of its kind project in the state, said RP Singh, additional principal conservator of forests (wildlife).
“Given the variety of butterfly species found in the state, we are looking at four to five places in the city, where the local vegetation, flowering plants can support such variety of species,” he said.
The project will not only create awareness about butterfly wealth of the state but will also help in protecting and conserving the colourful winged insects.
More than 153 species of butterflies are found in Madhya Pradesh, said lepidopterists–people who study butterflies–at the Zoological Survey of India in Jabalpur. More than 1,600 species of butterflies are found across the country.
The number of butterflies is coming down due to habitat destruction, use of insecticides and other environmental changes, some of them said.
Setting up a successful butterfly park is a big challenge, said Dr Sangeeta Rajgir of Bhopal Birds Organisation, who has been holding butterfly camps and created an Android-based mobile app– Titli– on the butterflies in the state.
“In 2006, wildlife officials tried to set up a small butterfly park in Van Vihar National Park in Bhopal but it was not successful,” she said. “You have to first research on the butterflies species that you want to have within a park and then you have to ensure that it has the host plant for that particular species and also take care of many other factors.”
She further said a butterfly park project can be good for awareness, but if the authorities want to protect the butterfly wealth of the state, they have to first protect the host plants in the respective areas where they are found in the state and lessen the use of pesticides and insecticides.
On threats to butterfly species, she said there are different threats in the rural and urban areas. “In urban areas, people prefer exotic flowering plants, which support few species of butterflies. The urban areas have also less greenery compared to rural areas.
SPECIES FOUND IN STATE
Scientific name Common name
Graphium sarpedon Common Bluebottle
Papilio polymnestor Cramer Blue Mormon
Papilio polytes Romulus Cramer Common Mormon
Delias eucharis Common Jezebel
Colotis amata Small Salmon Arab
Pareronia ceylanica ceylanica Dark Wanderer
Cynthia cardui Painted Lady
Polyura athamas Common Nawab