15 teams record 50 butterfly species across Delhi, Painted Lady spotted after years

Updated on Sep 23, 2017 05:23 PM IST

Delhi’s Big Butterfly Count initiative was led by researchers from Bombay Natural History Society. Psyche, Indian Red Flash, Red Pierrot, Chocolate Pansy, African babul blue and Painted Lady were spotted in the drive.

The sighting of butterfly species like Painted Lady (above) was among the highlights of the drive.(HT FILE)
The sighting of butterfly species like Painted Lady (above) was among the highlights of the drive.(HT FILE)
Hindustan Times | By

In a survey to make people aware about the ecosystem of butterflies, over 15 teams fanned out across Delhi-NCR and spotted around 50 species of butterflies on Sunday.

On an average, 30 species were recorded from all locations and the highest recorded from one site was 49. Delhi’s Big Butterfly Count initiative was led by researchers from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

Butterflies are cold-blooded creatures and need sunlight for energy. They play an important role in the ecosystem. A large number of butterflies indicate a healthy environment, experts say.

“The highlights of the survey were sighting of species like Psyche, Indian Red Flash, Red Pierrot, Chocolate Pansy, African Babul Blue and Painted Lady. They were spotted after years. In our count, Psyche butterfly was recorded after three years,” Sohail Madan, project head of Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, BNHS, told Hindustan Times.

He said some unusual sightings like Chocolate Pansy, which is normally present in humid forests, were also recorded. In addition to this, southern ridge areas were found to be especially rich in butterfly diversity, he said.

Indian Red Flash
Indian Red Flash

“These findings indicate that we have seen over 70 per cent of the historical record of butterfly in Delhi. In 1986, European scientist Larsen Torben conducted a study on butterflies of Delhi, which collated historical record dating back to 1944. He had recorded a total of 85 butterflies,” Madan added.

African Babul Blue
African Babul Blue

The areas covered by the teams were Asola Butterfly Park, Aravalli Biodiversity Park, Yamuna Biodiversity park, Lodi Gardens, Tilpath Valley, Swarn Jayati Park, Bhodsi, Aravalli Biodiversity park, Gurgaon, Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Kaya Maya Park, Tuglakabad Park, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Amity University Manesar and Mangarbani, among others.

According to Madan, the city needs an integrated conservation management plan to further increase the number of butterflies.

“There are easy steps Delhiites can follow like banning the use of pesticides and planting native vegetation in local parks, home garden and balconies. Common sense solutions under taken by concerned citizens can lead to great strides in wildlife protection,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ritam Halder has been a journalist for nearly a decade and has worked in multiple roles across organisations. He has been a features writer, a digital journalist as well as a desk hand. He now covers environment, water and urban issues in Delhi.

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