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City sees decline in butterflies this year

| | NEW DELHI
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City sees decline in butterflies this year

Monday, 23 September 2019 | Sapna Singh | NEW DELHI

While Butterflies are considered as the most studied insects over the globe being the best pollinators, Delhi University along with Bombay Natural History Society conducted Butterfly count in all the seven major Biodiversity parks of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

This year, in Yamuna Bio Diversity Park (YBP) there were 42 different species of butterflies and in Aravali Biodiversity park 49 butterflies.

The total number of butterflies recorded less as compared to previous year.

According to Dr Faiyaz Khudsar, Scientist, incharge, University of Delhi, the reason of less number of butterflies is visibility.

Scientists observed that this year rain along with wind probably lead to sighting of little lesser number.

Explaining further about butterfly conservatories, Dr Khudsar said, "Biodiversity Parks and its butterfly conservatories provide special niche for butterfly and bees catering the requirements of host plants and nectar bearing plants."

"Biodiversity parks in a way provide an important ecological service by providing large number of pollinators to the crops in the Yamuna River basin and Aravalli Hill ranges," scientist leading various ecological projects explained.

Notably, there are total 115 species of butterflies in Delhi.

DDA's flagship seven Biodiversity Parks namely, Yamuna, Aravalli, Neela Hauz, Northern Ridge, Tilpath Valley, Tughlaqabad and

South Delhi Biodiversity Park provide natural habitat for butterflies of the Delhi region and site-specific Butterfly conservatories have also been developed in these Biodiversity Parks.

Ecologists have found in their research that the Butterflies are excellent indicator of pollution load in an urban environment.

"Butterflies are cold-blooded insects and are Sun loving creatures.

 For their survival they need host plants to lie their eggs on which after emergence their caterpillar feeds," a Scientist working on the project said.

"These caterpillars eat green leaves of host plants and grew into cocoons. Generally after remaining dormant for a week or two, a beautiful butterfly emerges out," he added.

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