Monday, Jun 09, 2003
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He said the park was part of an ambitious project that included a butterfly garden, research on butterfly as an ecological indicator, and sensitisation of the public to protect butterflies through promotional activities.
"Rarity is an inherent character of butterflies because of their evolutionary mechanism. Each butterfly has its own story of survival strategy. We aim at educating people about how nature works using this marvellous insect as a model," said K.Chandrashekar, who has been co-ordinating the project. He said butterfly was chosen as a "flagship" of the mission as it required a specific microenvironment, as any change in its numbers indicated change in ecology.
The Butterfly Park would have a "Butterfly Dome" housing 25 species of butterflies. "This dome will provide for breeding and availability of butterflies throughout the year," said Dr. Chandrashekar.
"The idea is to provide different micro-habitat and to account for various species of butterflies that are to be accommodated," said A.R.V.Kumar, another scientist involved in the project. The park would have a "butterfly walk", housing up to 50 species of butterflies.
The landscape would be in the shape of a butterfly.
The project was estimated to cost Rs. 3.81 crore, with a major contribution from the Zoo Authority of Karnataka.
The project would be implemented in a phased manner in five years, with the trial phase beginning next year.
A database on butterflies in Western Ghats covering their distribution, status of survival, and potential commercialisation was expected to be ready by the time the project was completed. Educational activities under the project would be co- ordinated by Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE). They would include education for visitors, training programmes for teachers, organisations, and interested individuals, to help them set up their own butterfly parks.
Dr. Ganeshaiah said the project was expected to provide livelihood to farmers living near the Bannerghatta National Park by training them in rearing butterflies and supply them to the park.
The project is a joint effort of the Forest Department, the Zoo Authority, the Department of Biotechnology, and the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore.
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