Butterfly conservatory re-opens to moderate footfall

Since, late November the Butterfly Conservatory at Srirangam saw less number of visitors due to heavy rains in the region.   | Photo Credit: M_SRINATH

More than three weeks after it reopened after a gap of over seven months, the Tropical Butterfly Conservatory at Srirangam here, a major tourist attraction in the district, has seen a moderate footfall of visitors.

Not letting their guard down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic period, the Forest Department which established the sprawling conservatory, sandwiched between the Cauvery and Coleroon river, has been strictly adhering to the stipulated standard operating protocols issued by the government, say the department officials.

The lush green conservatory which has been attracting several species of butterfly and birds inside the 27-acre facility was reopened for visitors on November 12 following relaxations announced by the State government which spelt out a detailed set of standard operating protocols to be adhered to by the Forest Department while allowing the visitors inside. Although the conservatory remained shut for visitors since March 17 a few days before the lockdown was officially announced, regular maintenance works continued inside.

Forest Department officials say ever since the conservatory was reopened over three weeks ago, the visitors' footfall at this popular tourist attraction was 8,230 till December 6. The conservatory is closed for visitors every Tuesday. The visitors’ footfalls during the first two weekends post reopening was encouraging but it declined thereafter. On an average, the conservatory attracted about 400 visitors every day following its reopening notwithstanding the pandemic period. However, the figure was less as compared to any normal day during the pre-COVID-period when the visitors' footfalls used to be about 700 to 800 daily on an average, say the officials.

The visitors’ footfall to the conservatory have been "moderate" since its reopening, say the officials adding that the standard operating protocols as stipulated by the government was being strictly adhered to. Visitors without masks were being asked to buy one at the entrance of the conservatory prior to being allowed inside. Heavy and widespread rains that lashed several parts of the State in the wake of the recent Nivar and Burevi cyclones saw a sharp drop in visitors footfall to the conservatory since late November, they say.

The conservatory recorded yet another butterfly species recently taking the total number of species recorded to 121 so far. The latest species to be recorded was Banded Blue Pierrot. Officials say 94 bird species have also been recorded so far at the conservatory since it was inaugurated in November 2015. Some of the bird species recorded include Painted Stork, Scally Breasted Munia, Bayback Shrike, Tricoloured Munia and Black Naped Monarch.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 6:53:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/butterfly-conservatory-re-opens-to-moderate-footfall/article33271722.ece

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