Seven Species Shortlisted for National Butterfly to be announced Soon

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Seven Species Shortlisted for National Butterfly, to be announced Soon

Mangaluru: We have the Peacock as the national bird, the Bengal tiger as the national animal, the Elephant is the national heritage animal and the King Cobra as the national reptile but we do not have a national butterfly so far. The good news is that now seven species of butterflies have been shortlisted and the government will soon announce one of them as the National Butterfly.

It was a memorable journey for me to Kodagu. On October 2, eleven members from WE R Cycling began their journey to Coorg to take part in the Cyclothon to create awareness for ‘Saving the Elephant Corridors’ organized by the Karnataka Forest Department as part of the 66th wildlife week 2020.

The 80 km Cyclothon was flagged off by the Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani at 7.30 am at Kaveri Nisargadhama, Kushalnagar. The Cyclothon passed through Kushalnagar – Dubare Elephant camp. At Thithimathi, all the cyclists from Myruru, Bengaluru and Mangaluru assembled for lunch where Professor in Botany at the Forestry College at Ponnampet, Coorg, Jade Gowda as well as his student Pallavi who is the Secretary of Western Ghats Nature Foundation and Assistant professor (CT) College of Forestry Ponnampet were present and spoke addressing the cyclists.

Pallavi speaking to said, “Our NGO Western Ghats Nature Foundation (WGNF) works on nature conservation aspects. One of our major objectives is to bring awareness among the students, youth and the general public about nature. We are trying to sensitize the students, youth and the general public about nature, forest, wildlife and its role in balancing the ecosystem.”

Pallavi further said, “We believe that people’s participation is important to achieve long term conservation goals. In this regard, we are making everyone aware of the current situation and scenario, and the tools to achieve it.”

Recently, 7 species of butterflies were shortlisted and soon the National Butterfly will be announced. Last month, the Butterfly month was celebrated, and in 2020 India will select the National butterfly.

The seven shortlisted species of butterflies are:

1.Common Jezebel
2.Five-bar swordtail
3.Krishna Peacock
4.Yellow Gorgon
5.Common/Indian Nawab
6.Northern Jungle Queen
7.Orange Oakleaf

                                       Common Jezebel (Delias eucharis)

Five-bar Swordtail

 Krishna Peacock

Yellow Gorgon

Common/Indian Nawab

Northern Jungle Queen

Orange Oakleaf 

Common Jezebel: These butterflies are especially found in Northeastern states, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Chhattisgarh.

Five-bar swordtail: Are found in the Northeastern states, Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka.

Krishna Peacock: These butterflies are found in West Bengal, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

Yellow Gorgon: Are found in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and West Bengal.

Common/Indian Nawab: Are found all over the country.

Northern Jungle Queen: Are especially found in Sikkim, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

Orange Oakleaf: Are also found all over the country.

The criteria for selection are:

  • The butterfly should have cultural, ecological and conservation significance for the nation as well as internationally.
  • They should be charismatic and must have an inherently attractive biological aspect engaging to the public.
  • They should be easily identified, observed and remembered.
  • The species should not have multiple forms.
  • The butterfly caterpillars should not be harmful or pests.
  • They should not be common, nor should they be the species already been designated as the State Butterfly.

At present, the southern birdwing, “Troides Minos’, is the state butterfly which has a large and striking swallowtail. The Southern birdwing is also endemic to south India. It has red, yellow and black colours.

Butterflies are very easily sighted and play a vital role in our ecosystem. Butterflies are important for pollination, and retaining them is equally important for the ecosystem.

About Pallavi

Pallavi is from Byndoor, Kundapur. She did her schooling in Byndoor and later moved to Ponnampet to pursue her BSc Degree Course in Forestry. Later, she moved to the College of Forestry in Sirsi where she completed her MSc in Forestry. After her post-graduation in Forestry, Pallavi started working as JRF at IWST Bangalore, which is a constituent under ICFRE.

Further, Pallavi moved to SACON (Centre of Excellence, MoEF and CC) as Junior Research Biologist to work on edible nest swiftlet bird conservation in Andaman and Nicobar islands. Currently, Pallavi is working as an assistant professor (CT) at the College of Forestry, Ponnampet.

Pallavi has been selected for the Subhas Chandra Bose ICR fellowship. She will be going to Germany for her PhD and to Indonesia for her fieldwork.

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