Booklet on Tropical Butterfly Conservatory

The lush green Tropical Butterfly Conservatory at Srirangam.   | Photo Credit: M_SRINATH


The Tamil Nadu Forest Department has come out with a glossy booklet on Tropical Butterfly Conservatory at Srirangam, which has been attracting a steady stream of visitors, to create awareness among public on its conservation and how these beautiful insects are excellent indicators of biodiversity.

The 23-page booklet brought out involving Act for Butterflies, a Coimbatore-based organisation working on butterfly conservation and awareness creation, contains a host of information about butterflies and the mission of the conservatory in helping public understand butterfly ecology and its importance.

Priced ₹ 20, the booklet, which is all set to be released soon for sale at the conservatory, contains colourful photographs along with scientific names of 103 butterfly species recorded at the lush green conservatory which was thrown open to visitors in November 2015.

The bilingual booklet starts by mentioning the State Butterfly of Tamil Nadu – Tamil Yeoman, a colourful and attractive species found in the Western Ghats.

It gives a crisp account of the Tropical Butterfly Conservatory established on the Upper Anicut Reserve Forest covering 27 acres sandwitched between the Cauvery river and the Coleroon river at Srirangam, besides highlighting various facilities created inside, including Outdoor Conservatory, Indoor Conservatory, interpretation centre, breeding lab for non-scheduled species, ponds and fountains, plant nursery and a children’s infotainment park.

The conservatory has 298 species of plants most of which are larval host plants and nectar plants for butterflies providing them with the sustenance they need. The booklet also gives a brief account of how ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese considered butterflies as a sign of joy, love and spiritual importance besides giving its diversity in North East India, Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, Tamil Nadu and in the Tropical Butterfly Conservatory and how it was the most loved creature in the insect group.

Serving as a ready reckoner, the booklet also contains information relating to life cycle of butterfly; facts on butterfly; butterfly watching tips; butterfly behaviour and butterfly gardening. The booklet states that butterfly watching was a fascinating hobby as it would reduce stress level and improves happiness irrespective of the age.

Some of the interesting facts on butterfly as mentioned in the booklet were that this insect was protected under the Wild Life Protection Act 1972. It goes on to state that butterflies don’t have lungs, but breathe through opening on their abdomen called spiracles.

The colour of a butterfly was important in many ways as it functions as a camouflage to absorb heat besides aiding in finding a mate and serves as warning. The Southern Bird Wing was the largest Indian butterfly with its wing span being 190 mm and Grass Jewel the smallest with its wing span being 12mm in size.

Butterfly conservation activities taken up at the conservatory and how its conservation would improve the whole environment also finds place in the booklet. Some of the butterfly species recorded at the conservatory include Grass Demon, Straight Swift, Grass Jewel, Peacock Royal, Apefly, Red Pierrot, Zebra Blue, Large Oakblue, Pale Grassblue, Blue Pansy, Peacock Pansy, Striped Albatross, Blue Tiger and Double Branded Crow.

A Forest Department official said the booklet would be released soon for sale for general public at the conservatory. The official said the 104th butterfly species Monkey Puzzle was recorded at the conservatory recently. The visitors’ footfall at the conservatory has exceeded 10 lakh since its inauguration in 2015, the official added.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 5:07:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/booklet-on-tropical-butterfly-conservatory/article29833237.ece

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