Andhra Pradesh

Rallying for the key pollinators

The State government must initiate measures to spot butterflies and study their behaviours, say environmentalists.  

Environmentalists have urged the State government to announce a State butterfly on the lines of neighbouring Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra.

Maharashtra has declared Blue Mormon species as the State butterfly, followed by Uttarakhand (Common peacock), Karnataka (Southern birdwings), Kerala (Malabar banded peacock) and Tamil Nadu (Tamil Yeoman), they pointed out.

“With their unique colour patterns, the butterflies play a key role of pollinators in the ecosystem. Without butterflies, all the fruits, flowers and vegetables can not undergo pollination, leading to a food crisis. Butterflies are the most important indicators of the health of an ecosystem. It is time butterflies were spotted and their behaviour studied so that the ecological health could be maintained,” says N.S.V. Sarath Chandra, an environmentalist.

The presence of butterflies improves the biodiversity and matains the ecological balance of a region as they attract birds, spiders and other reptiles. In the absence of butterflies, the ecological cycle gets upset, he explains.

Andhra Pradesh has somewhat less richer biodiversity when compared to that of the north-eastern and Himalayan States or the Eastern Ghats. Certain weather conditions such as high temperature during the summer and drought-like conditions make it difficult for the survival of these key pollinators.

Under threat

A report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) on pollinators has warned that about 75% of pollinators, most of them being butterflies and moths under threat.

Hence, the nature conservationists argue that the State government must initiatie measures to protect butterflies and declare a species as the State butterfly.

Expolration activities

Recently, Mr. Sarath Chandra says a heart warming news has come that 129 butterfly species have been recorded in the Papikondalu National Park. “Similar exercises and studies should be conducted in the biodiversity zones in the State. More exploration activities to trace new species must be carried out by the Forest Department,” he says.

The government can consider species such as Crimson tip, Blackvein sergeant, Yellow Jack sailer, Red helen, Red breasted Jezebal, Blue tiger and others before announcing the State butterfly, he says.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 12:50:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/rallying-for-the-key-pollinators/article33188488.ece

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