Delhi

Students of Amity University hold first-ever ‘Butterfly Count’

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Event aimed at raising awareness about butterflies and the role they play in indicating the ecological balance of a region

The Amity School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Amity University, has organised the first-ever week-long Butterfly Count-2017, in and around its campus, to create awareness about the insects and promote its conservation.

Conservation effort

Kushagra Rajendra, head of the Environmental Science Department at the university, told The Hindu that the presence of butterflies was an important indicator of ecological balance in a region. The event is being held in collaboration with the Bombay Natural History Society.

“Butterflies are more common near native plants rather than ornamental plants. So butterflies indicate the status of ecological balance in the region. The National Capital Region, especially Gurugram, has witnessed rapid urbanisation over the past few years and area under forest has been replaced by residential colonies and highways. Our understanding of urban conservation needs to change and we should maintain natural habitats. Else, these creatures will vanish without even being noticed,” said Dr. Rajendra.

A team of students led by Dr. Rajendra has been conducting the butterfly count for two hours daily in the morning since September 12 and has recorded 33 species of butterflies.

“Though no major study has been conducted on the presence of butterflies in the region since 1960, we expect there could be around 100 species in the NCR, mostly in the plains of the Yamuna. Our on-field survey is complete and a report will be prepared on Monday,” said Dr. Rajendra.

Notable species

Some notable species spotted by the team, include Mormon (Papilio polytes), White Orange Tip (Ixias marianne), Lime Butterfly (Papilio demoleus), Common Albatross (Appias albina), Common Gull (Cepora nerissa), Blue Pansy (Junonia orithiya), and the Common Castor (Ariadne merione).

Dr. Rajendra said the butterflies had three types of nutritional needs: fresh and easily digestible sugars (nectar), degraded/fermented fruit with ample flesh, and salt/minerals.

A campus walk along with a lecture-cum-interactive session on status and importance of butterfly was also organised for the student as part of the programme.

The session was also addressed by wildlife photographer Alankar Chandra who gave an elaborate description about the status of bird and butterfly habitats of India.

The screening of the documentary Chasing Butterflies, based on the life-cycle of the insect, attracted students attention towards colourful world of the butterflies.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 4:23:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/students-of-amity-university-hold-first-ever-butterfly-count/article19705629.ece

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