09-11-2017 10:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
How enthusiastic residents helped to increase butterflies count
Three housing societies in Mumbai which started a butterfly conservation project are excited about the results of their efforts as the butterfly sightings have increased manifold. Since last five months,709 butterflies of 48 species were spotted.
The responsible citizens who have undertaken this project belong to Solankhi Dham, Neelkanth Heights and Gawand Baug in Thane. With the help of experts, they planted host and nectar plants for these winged beauties and have been studying about their transformation from caterpillars into pupa and then into butterflies.
Their hard work and enthusiasm have helped to increase the count of these beautiful creatures. It shot up to 80 in August, 266 in September and the highest,337 in October. They submitted a report of the findings to BNHS's butterfly expert Dr. Raju Kasambe in an event in Thane on Sunday.
Samir Gulavane, the founder of Urban Biodiversity Conservation Group (UBCG), began the project at his society in June. It was implemented under the guidance of experts like Dr. Alka Bhagwat and Dr. Kasambe. With their help, a group of eco-citizens including children spent the last five months participating in taking care of these plants and even studying their lifecycle.
Navin Augustine, resident of Neelkant Heights which recorded a total of 523 butterfly sightings said that their society’s proximity to the Yeoor forest and the host and nectar saplings that they nurtured in the gardens helped to attract 47 species of butterflies over the past few months, much to the excitement of children who wish to continue with the project.
Thrilled by the result of this unique initiative, BNHS's Raju Kasambe, who has written a book on the butterflies of Maharashtra said that these are the only societies in the country that have adopted this unique but crucial project of conserving butterflies within their complex in such a scientific manner.