New butterfly species recorded in Salem

February 18, 2020 12:09 am | Updated 12:09 am IST - SALEM

Chocolate albatross

Chocolate albatross

The three-day bird and butterfly survey conducted in Salem forest range concluded on Sunday and four new butterfly species and a bird species have been recorded by surveyors.

In the survey that was jointly conducted by Salem Nature Society members and Forest personnel, teams spotted white-rumped spinetail (Zoonavena sylvatica). According to experts, the bird is widely distributed in India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

The experts said that it was the first photographic record of the bird in Salem district and it was recorded by four students, Suryaprakasam, Mohammed Shahidh, Noorbriyan and Abdul Rehman Mahi, at the foothills of Yercaud.

The bird had been rarely recorded in the Eastern Ghats. The bird can be generally spotted over water bodies in and around forest areas.

The teams recorded Common tinsel (Catapaecilma major), a butterfly from the Blue family, for the first time in the Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu. The species was recorded by A.Pavendhan, S.Soundararaj, T.Nagaraj and R.Krishnamoorthy in Yercaud Hills.

The survey recorded sightings of butterfly species like Chocolate albatross, Pale four-lineblue and Transparent six-lineblue for the first time in the district. The survey also recorded the presence of Oriental grass jewel, the smallest butterfly, and Southern birdwing, the largest butterfly, in the ranges here.

Mr. Pavendhan, president, Tamil Nadu Butterfly Society said that the presence of the largest and smallest butterflies could be seen as an indication of presence of diversified habitat here. He said that there was good scope for butterfly studies in the region.

This is the second time the Salem forest division and Salem Nature Society is conducting a survey of this kind in Salem forest ranges. According to officials, 17 teams with 85 volunteers and 50 forest personnel conducted the survey in Yercaud, Shervarayan North, Shervarayan South, Danishpet, Mettur, Kalvarayan, Valappadi, Attur and Thammampatti ranges.

During the survey, the teams recorded 214 bird species and 136 butterfly species in the Eastern Ghats here. In the survey conducted in 2018, 276 bird species and 76 butterfly species were recorded.

According to the survey report, the drop in record of migratory birds in the region might be due to prolonged monsoon this year.

District Forest Officer A.Periasamy said that based on the proposals in the report, steps would be taken to conserve and preserve the habitats and host plants here.

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