First butterfly survey: 60 species spotted in Aravallis
At least 60 species of butterflies were identified in the first butterfly survey conducted by the state wildlife department in the Aravallis on Tuesday.
MS Malik, the chief conservator of forests (wildlife) for Gurugram circle, said that the presence of butterflies is a sign of a healthy ecosystem. “We received a very good response for the survey in a short span of time. With the species identified in this region, we will be able to plan our conservation strategies better, focussing on what plants should be planted to further improve the ecology.”
The survey was conducted in the Khol block of Rewari district, covering an area of about 1,000 hectares across 10 villages, namely Palra, Ahhrod, Bassduda, Khol, Manethi, Bhalki, Majra, Nandha, Balwari and Khaleta.
The striped tiger butterfly, yellow pansy butterfly, spotless grass yellow butterfly and common rose butterfly were among the popular species spotted, officials said.
Ten teams with five to six members each, including experts, forest staff and volunteers, participated in the survey. Jagdish Chander, the principal chief conservator for forests and chief wildlife warden of the Haryana forest department, also took part in the survey, officials said.
Along with him, senior officials MS Malik, chief conservator of forests for Gurugram circle (wildlife), Rajender Parsad, district wildlife officer Gurugram and Rajesh Chahal, wildlife inspector Gurugram also participated in the survey.
Sunder Sambharya, the divisional forest officer of Rewari, said, “The survey was successful with both common and uncommon species of butterflies being identified. The fact that 60 species were identified in an area of 1,000 hectares within six hours shows that the trees and shrub composition of this area is very good.”
Officials further said that maximum butterflies are visible during this season, which falls just after the larval breeding stage. Butterfly sightings are likely to continue till the first week of October.
Sohail Madan of the Bombay Natural History Society, who participated in the survey, said, “Over 60 species of butterflies were spotted during the survey, which is a good response, but more such surveys are needed to understand what species are actually common for that area and which ones are rare. Common albatross, which was sighted on Tuesday, is an uncommon butterfly, but it might be common for that area; this can be known only with future surveys. But this is a good initiative as we are trying to understand more about the habitat and what more can be done.”
The wildlife department will conduct a similar survey at the Kalesar National Park in Yamuna Nagar on Thursday. More such surveys are also likely to take place in other districts of southern Haryana in the first week of October.
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