Kerala to host dragonfly festival

Joint initiative of WWF-India State unit, Society for Odonate Studies, and Thumbipuranam

Updated - August 21, 2020 07:02 pm IST

Published - August 21, 2020 06:42 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

WWF-India State unit has joined hands with the Society for Odonate Studies (SOS) and Thumbipuranam for the first-ever State Dragonfly Festival in Kerala, christened Thumbimahotsavam 2020.

This is part of a national dragonfly festival being organised by the WWF India, Bombay Natural History Society & Indian Dragonfly Society in association with the National Biodiversity Board, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme and IUCN - Centre for Environment Conservation.

‘Pantalu’ is the official mascot of the festival. As part of the festival, various programmes will be rolled out in the coming months to reach out to various sections of society.

Training

Initially a training of trainers will be organised to get more people trained on dragonflies so that they can act as resource persons for various upcoming events. This will be followed by a series of webinars commencing from September targeting the public, especially children and youth. Webinars will also be organised for specific target groups such as zoology teachers, district coordinators and members of biodiversity management committees, coordinators of Boomitrasena clubs, district coordinators and teachers-in-charge of eco-clubs, Forest Department personnel, mainly Vana Samrakshana Samithy and Eco Development Committee members, involved in ecotourism activities.

Backyard watch

A ‘dragonfly backyard watch’ has been announced to enhance the participation of people and improve their observation skills, and this will turn into a citizen science project during COVID-19 restrictions. A social media campaign is on to spread the message around. A field guide on common dragonflies of Kerala and a children’s dragonfly colouring and activity book are also under development.

Odonate knowledge hub

A digital odonate knowledge hub will also be established under the SOS/Thumbipuranamfacebookpage, which will host all available materials in the form of scientific papers, posters, videos and stickers.

Various competitions will also be organised. The festival will culminate with the State dragonfly summit, most probably in January.

Those interested may contact A.K. Sivakumar of WWF India at asivakumar@wwfindia.net or Sujith V. Gopalan of SOS at sujith.vg@gmail.com.

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