60 species identified in first-ever Aravalli region butterfly survey

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60 species identified in first-ever Aravalli region butterfly survey

The outcome of the survey will form the basis for observing the impact of habitat disturbance

60 species identified in first-ever Aravalli region butterfly survey

New Delhi: Sixty species of butterflies were identified in the first of its kind survey organised by Haryana Forest and Wildlife Department in Rewari district on Tuesday. The survey was conducted to check the floral diversity in the Aravalli region and to record and make inventories of the species. The survey coincides with Butterfly month which is observed from September 5 to October 4.

Divisional Forest Officer of Rewari, Sunder Sambharya, during an interview with The Hindu, said the survey included sixty experts from across the country including, Delhi, Mumbai and Faridabad, took part in the survey and expressed satisfaction at the identification of a large number of species in a single day in a semi-arid region.

The survey was conducted in 10 villages in Rewari namely Palra, Ahhrod, Bassduda, Khol, Manethi, Bhalki, Majra, Nandha, Balwari and Khaleta, with a continuous stretch of hillocks.

Rare species found along Aravallis, Haryana

60 butterfly species were identified between 9 am to 4 pm reflecting a rich flora and fauna in the area. Rare species including Branded Swift, Indian Skipper, Conjoined Swift, Lesser Grass Blue, Gram Blue, Tiny Grass Blue, Pea Blue, Bright Babul Blue, Forget-Me-Not, Zebra Blue, Common Pierrot and Rounded Pierrot.

Moreover, as gathered by research, the outcome of the survey will form the basis for observing the impact of habitat disturbance and climate change on the ecology of the region. It will also help in chalking out management strategy for the conservation of butterflies and moths. Sambharya said that butterflies were sensitive to habitat disturbance and pollution and their conservation was important for the sustenance of life on the planet.

After this positive development, Neelam Ahluwalia from the Aravalli Bachao Citizens Movement highlighted the need to declare Haryana Aravallis as a wildlife sanctuary. She said, “One of the demands of the Aravalli Bachao movement is that Aravallis in Haryana needs to be declared as a wildlife corridor to connect Asola wildlife sanctuary in Delhi with Sariska in Rajasthan. Neelam added that in 2017 the Wildlife Institute of India did a survey and found more than 30 leopards and other mammals in Delhi-NCR. In 2019, CEDAR did research to find 217 species of birds in Mangar alone.”

Neelam added that large sections of Aravallis have not even been declared as forest land. Such animal and bird surveys will help strengthen the demand to bring Haryana Aravallis under forest laws and save them from illegal mining and encroachments.