Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pune : Butterfly garden coming up in city

By rajesh, Section Environment
Posted on Tue Dec 12, 2006 at 01:20:02 AM EST


Pune: The first butterfly garden in the city, and only the second one in India, is set to be inaugurated at Aranyeshwar, Sahakarnagar, this week.
Nearly half-a-hectare garden, developed through the initiative of corporator Aba Bagul, will breed around 10,000 species of butterflies. A jogging track has also been developed as an extension to the garden. The track, with trees on both sides, runs along the nullah in Aranyeshwar.
Special species of trees and plants are planted in the garden to attract butterflies.
Speaking to TOI, Bagul said the garden has been developed as butterflies were becoming extinct from cities due to large-scale construction and reduced green cover.

"There are plans to include the garden in the `Pune Darshan' bus service being run for tourists. Information boards about various species of butterflies and their life cycle have been put up in the garden, which will be helpful to children."
The first butterfly garden in the country is in Bangalore.
Source:Times Of India


Visakhapatnam : Butterflies to attract visitors

URL: http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/mp/2006/06/10/stories/2006061001540100.htm

Children can learn about the lifecycle of the fascinating insects at the proposed butterfly park, writes B. MADHU GOPAL


VISUAL TREAT Colourful butterflies will soon be the new attraction at the zoo

Imagine scores of brightly coloured butterflies fluttering in the zoo. The scene could lift one's sagging spirits and make one wonder about nature.

This is soon going to be a reality at the sprawling Indira Zoological Park, with the authorities planning to develop a butterfly park at the zoo.

Children can spend time in the lawns and learn about the life cycle of the colourful creatures.

It is ironical that nature which created butterflies so beautifully has given it a short lifespan of only four or five days. Some of the species survive up to two weeks.

During their short lifespan the male butterflies sometimes travel thousands of kilometres, in three to four days, to find a mate!

Crow butterflies migrate in large groups from the Western Ghats to the Eastern Ghats during certain periods of the year, according to a study conducted by Sanctuary magazine.

Their migrations were observed in Bangalore, Tumkur and Mysore in Karnataka, Palakkad in Kerala, Coimbatore, Udhagamandalam, Vellore and Chennai in Tamil Nadu and Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh and in wild life sanctuaries in the region.

Their migratory habits are attributed to climatic conditions, availability of food and conditions conducive to breeding.

Butterflies belong to the insect order Lepidoptera, derived from the Greek word, which means `scale wing. The butterfly wing scales create wonderful colours and patterns observed in their wings. A butterfly's mouth(proboscis) has a long tube which is kept rolled up until ready for use as a straw to draw nectar from flowers. Their sizes vary from 1/8th of an inch to 12 inches for the big varieties. There are four stages in the life cycle of butterflies. They look like butterflies only in the final stage.

An adult butterfly lays eggs on the leaves of plants. The egg hatches into a caterpillar and subsequently forms into a chrysalis or pupa.

The chrysalis matures into a butterfly. There are about 1.60 lakh species in the world.

Ants, bats and lizards are the main predators of these cold-blooded creatures.

Butterfly park

"We have about 50 species of butterflies in the open in and around the zoo. We have plans to put up enclosures and special boxes with food to attract the butterflies.

An adult butterfly lays a minimum of 200 eggs. We have identified a small piece of land close to the rear gate of the zoo for the purpose," says the Zoo curator B. Vijay Kumar.

"The plan is to construct a water body, provide shade by growing plants and develop lawns and sit outs to attract different species of butterflies.

The larvae starts feeding on the leaves of mulberry, castor, citrus, hibiscus and other nectar yielding plants. The butterflies feed on nectar of flowers.

When there are no flowers, we can hang a thread dipped in honey or even place rotten fruits", he says.

"Initially, the plan is to start an open type park with 15 to 20 varieties without much investment.

Later, it could be developed further by adding more species, erecting information boards on their lifecycle, mating habits and different stages," he says.

Vijay Kumar feels that the butterfly park, planned to be set up before the start of the Karteeka masam (picnic season) would also popularise the rear entry to the zoo.

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu


Bangalore : Butterfly park fails to enthuse visitors


URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2006/12/13/stories/2006121300550300.htm

Govind D. Belgaumkar

BANGALORE: Most visitors to the Rs. 5-crore butterfly park at the Bannerghatta National Park are returning disappointed.

A cross-section of the people who visited the park on Sunday told The Hindu that they could not find more than four to six varieties of butterflies. The ones they saw were not unusual. A woman coming out of the park said: "20 rupayee danda (Rs. 20 went down the drain)". The entry fee is Rs. 20 for adults and Rs. 10 for children.

Over 50 children of a Government Higher Primary School felt that it was good. When probed further they said they saw no unusual butterflies. They were apparently impressed by the imposing dome-like structure, although they do not seemed to have understood the hi-tech audio-visual presentation in English.


The 50-metre pathway from the main gate to the domes housing the actual butterfly park and info graphic exhibition hall is impressive. Those who buy tickets near the entry point find interesting signages on the inspirational role of butterflies in literature and creative endeavours. All these build the expectations of visitors. What they get to see inside the park, however, fails to enthuse them.

In reverse order

A visitor said people should go through the park in the reverse order to make the most out of their visit. They should be shown the audio-visual show first, and then be run through the pictures, descriptions and info graphics about the world of butterflies and their lifecycle. Only after this, should they be sent to the actual butterfly park.

Many visitors wished the park had guides who could help people identify different varieties of butterflies. K. Chandrashekara, Head of the Department of Entomology, University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), said the park would be fully developed by the end of 2007 when it would have about 25 varieties of butterflies. Butterfly activity would be much better during the summer vacations. Winter was bad for butterfly diversity.

He wants people visit it to learn about butterflies rather than to look for rarity. Besides, you get a chance to look at butterflies from "close quarters," Dr. Chandrashekara said.

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Butterfly Paradise

Cheryl D’Souza
‘Step into our parlour’ say the butterflies at Bannerghata Butterfly Park, the only butterfly park of its kind in India.

If you like stories about fairies, you will love the Bannerghatta Butterfly Park. Stepping into it is like stepping into fairyland! Set in the scenic surroundings of the Bannerghatta Biological Park, the Butterfly park was opened last month and has a conservatory, laboratory and an auditorium. The conservatory, which houses almost 20 different species of butterflies, is the most exciting part of the park.

A transparent dome supported by steel girders meets in a graceful arch overhead and sunlight falls within it on a vibrant, colourful landscape– one that will likely make you gasp and pinch yourself to make sure you are not dreaming.

Masses of poinsettia, gladiolus and other brightly coloured plants wave cheerfully in simulated breeze which comes from air vents set high up in the structure. Butterflies hover midair like golden specks in the muted glow of the sun. They survey the landscape like royalty! And royalty they undoubtedly are for everything at the park has been fine-tuned to their taste. Brightly coloured flowers have been deliberately included in the landscape as butterflies love bright colours. Containers of honey are placed in the middle of artificial flowers at different places in the park as an additional food source for the butterflies.

Tan-coloured sacks called ‘echo-absorbers’ hang from the top of the dome to reduce the noise level. There is also a tinkling waterfall that ends up as a fish pond, which adds to the natural ambience within the conservatory.

A little magic!

What is fairyland without a little magic? The Butterfly Park is witness to magic of a different sort– butterfly magic! The butterfly begins its life as an egg. From the egg hatches a larva whose main aim in life is to eat as much as possible! The larva spins itself in a chrysalis or pupa and when it is ready goes into the final and most dramatic stage of development (the magical part) ‘metamorphosis’. This is when the chrysalis opens and the podgy larva turns into a graceful butterfly!

The lifecycle of these amazing insects is depicted on large screens in the laboratory at the park. Specimens of moths and butterfly are also on display here, along with some rare species of butterfly. Some of these threatened butterflies are– the Danid Eggfly, a pretty little butterfly with white spots on its black wings and the Gaudy Baron, which is not gaudy like its name but a dainty, crimson-spotted fellow. The Southern Birdwing, Blue Mormon, Peacock Butterfly and the Crimson Rose are larger insects with strikingly coloured wings. The Common Wanderer– a delicate white butterfly with slender wings, is another butterfly on display.

The park is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Tuesdays. Do visit it if you want to see what fairyland looks like.

How are butterflies beneficial to us?

  • Butterflies are good pollinators.
  • They are also ‘cleaners’— The butterfly larvae control excessive growth of vegetation by feeding on them
  • They are food for other organisms. Butterflies are eaten by birds, frogs etc so if the butterfly population were to be wiped out, it would affect the entire food web.
  • Butterflies are called ‘umbrella species’, which means protecting the butterfly’s habitat helps conserve other species too.
  • And finally they are good bio-indicators. This means they indicate and assess the health of any ecosystem.

Did you know that...

Butterflies belong to the order lepidoptera (in the class insecta), which includes moths as well.

Butterflies smell with their antennae and taste with their feet!

One of the most precious books on lepidoptera is The Aurelian (1766), by Moses Harris. The word ‘Aurelian’ comes from the name taken by early butterfly collectors.

Some differences between butterflies and moths

  • Butterflies are mainly active during the day, moths are active during night time.
  • Butterflies have smooth bodies while moths have plump, fizzy bodies.
  • Butterflies wings are perpendicular to the body when at rest. Moth’s wings are open.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Butterfly beauties


The newly opened Butterfly Park at the Bannerghatta Biological Park promises to be an exciting place. Situated in the forested hills of Bannerghatta and spread over seven-and-a-half acres it houses educational, scientific and training facilities. The Conservatory Dome is a 10,000 sq. ft. enclosure, has been created as a tropical setting, with streams supporting colourful shrubs and creepers, which attract a wide variety of butterflies.

The Bannerghatta National Park, situated in Karnataka was established in the year 1971 and includes ten reserve forests of the Anekal Range. The hills surrounding the forest are dotted with temples and the park boasts of a rich variety of flora and fauna. .


पुण्यात देशातील दुसरे फूलपाखरांचे उद्यान तयार

पुणे, ता. १० - देशातील फूलपाखरांचे दुसरे उद्यान पुण्यामध्ये अरण्येश्वरमध्ये तयार करण्यात आले असून, ते उद्‌घाटनाच्या प्रतीक्षेमध्ये आहे. ........
हे उद्यान पूर्णपणे विकसित झाल्यानंतर त्यामध्ये विविध जातींची दहा हजाराहून अधिक फुलपाखरे पहावयास मिळणार आहेत.

नगरसेवक आबा बागूल यांच्या प्रयत्नांतून हे उद्यान विकसित होत असून, आंबिल ओढ्याच्या कडेला असलेल्या एक एकर सामाईक जागेमध्ये ते तयार करण्यात आले आहे. सहकारनगर परिसरातील वसंतराव बागूल उद्यान ते अरण्येश्वरदरम्यान आंबिल ओढ्याच्या कडेने सुमारे अडीच एकर लांबीचा "जॉगिंग ट्रॅक'ही तयार करण्यात आला असून त्याच्या बाजूला हे उद्यान विकसित करण्यात आले आहे.

बंगळूरमध्ये देशातील फूलपाखरांचे पहिले उद्यान तयार करण्यात आले आहे. पुण्यामध्ये सुमारे दीड वर्षांपूर्वी या उद्यानाच्या उभारणीस प्रारंभ करण्यात आला. बंगळूरमध्ये त्यानंतर उद्यानाचे काम सुरू करण्यात येऊन त्याचे उद्‌घाटनही करण्यात आले. फूलपाखरांचे आयुष्य वीस दिवसांचे असते हे लक्षात घेऊन या उद्यानामध्ये एका वेळेस किमान दहा हजार फूलपाखरे राहतील असे नियोजन करण्यात आले असल्याची माहिती श्री. बागूल यांनी दिली. हे उद्यान तयार असून महापौरांच्या सोईने येत्या आठवड्यामध्ये त्याचे उद्‌घाटन करण्यात येणार आहे. हे उद्यान हे पुण्यात येणाऱ्या पर्यटकांच्या आकर्षणाचे विषय ठरावा असे नियोजन करण्यात आले आहे.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Butterfly Park to be inaugurated today

Staff Reporter

The park has been established with a grant of Rs. 5 crore

  • It is spread over 7.5 acres in Bannerghatta Biological Park
  • It comprises butterfly rearing house, museum and host plant garden

    Bangalore: The country's first Butterfly Park that has been established at the Bannerghatta Biological Park will be inaugurated on Saturday by Union Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal.

    Speaking to presspersons here on Friday, Chandrashekara, head of Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture Sciences, Bangalore, said the park had been established with a Rs. 5 crore grant from the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and the State Government.

    The collaborative agencies are the Zoo Authority of Karnataka, University of Agricultural Sciences and the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE).

    The Bannerghatta Biological Park was an ideal location for the Butterfly Park because of the presence of natural vegetation and varied habitats. The biological park supported at least 100 species of butterflies.

    "After studying all the pros and cons of the project, the National Bio-Resource Development Board, Department of BT, GoI, decided to promote a greater awareness, appreciation among the public and facilitate the conservation of butterflies," Dr. Chandrashekara said. It would serve as an active centre for environmental education, research and conservation.

    Tropical setting

    The Butterfly Park is spread across 7.5 acres of land. It comprises a butterfly conservatory, museum and an audio-visual room.

    The butterfly conservatory has a polycarbonate roof and is a 10,000 sq.ft. circular enclosure, inside which the living environment has been carefully designed to support over 20 species of butterflies.

    The environment has a tropical setting — complete with the humid climate, an artificial waterfall and host plants and shrubs that attract butterflies. The conservatory leads into the second and third domes, which have a museum that will have dioramas and exhibits. The park also encompasses a butterfly rearing house, plant rearing house and host plant garden.

  • Story

    Butterfly park to come up at Thenmala

    S. Anil Radhakrishnan

    Thiruvananthapuram: A butterfly park and a fresh water aquarium will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs.1 crore as part of the second phase of development at Thenmala.

    The butterfly park will come up behind the musical fountain housed in the cultural zone of the eco-tourism village. The Ecotourism Directorate has entrusted the work of setting up the park to the Entomology Department of the Kerala Forest Research Institute.

    "The area needed for the park had already been demarcated and the work for the Rs.25-lakh project has commenced," Director of Eco-tourism T.P. Narayanan Kutty, told The Hindu. On commissioning, it would be the first butterfly park in this part of the country and would be a big attraction.

    The fresh water aquarium to be set up in the village would also come up in the cultural zone. The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has been given the responsibility of preparing the design and other facilities needed for the aquarium.

    The Rs.75-lakh aquarium would come up in a two-storeyed building. The aquarium would have an interpretation centre for the benefit of the eco-tourists and general tourists alike. The marine aquarium and the butterfly park would be made part of southern eco-tourism circuit, he said.

    Already, the musical fountain is a big attraction. Thenmala tourism village situated in Kollam district is witnessing a steady increase in visitors over the years.

    But, the lack of proper accommodation is the biggest hurdle faced by nature lovers coming from different parts. The green rooms in the amphitheatre located in culture zone are being rented out as dormitory to the visitors.

    Mr. Kutty said the authorities decided to provide tented accommodation for trekkers wishing to camp overnight in the destination. Swiss tents used worldwide would be made available for trekkers. Sleeping bags would be provided for individuals and students coming to the village.

    Along with this, the authorities are also working out plans to create budgeted accommodation by renovating the existing dilapidated unused quarters of Kallada Irrigation Project. The matter had been taken at the highest level in the Water Resources Department, he said.


    Monday, December 04, 2006

    Bangalore goes social for butterflies

    Posted Saturday , November 25, 2006 at 02:20
    WINGS OF COLOURS: The biological park was set up as a joint initiative of govt and NGOs. Bangalore: The country's first and world's largest butterfly park, set up at a cost of Rs five crore on the premises of Bannerghatta Biological Park near this garden city, will be dedicated to the nation by Union Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal on Saturday.

    Ms V Geethanjali, the Executive Director and Deputy Conservator of Forests, Bannerghatta Biological Park, said that the butterfly park was set up as a joint initiative of the Union Department of Bio-Technology, the Karnataka Government, University of Agricultural Sciences and NGO Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE).

    She said the butterfly park - coming up in seven acres of land - was nestled between rivulets, wetlands and a hillock, an ideal place for many species of butterflies.

    It comprised a butterfly conservatory, museum, an audio visual room, butterfly rearing house, plant rearing house and host plant garden which enabled captive breeding of butterflies throughout all seasons.

    By undertaking 'Butterfly trail', visitors would get an opportunity to watch a minimum of 45 species of butterflies, including endangered ones, all through the year.

    The huge dome of 120 x 40 size 'Butterfly Conservatory', meeting all possible habitat requirements, offered visitors a closer watch of butterflies. The Museum would have dioramas and other exhibits, including computer animations depicting various facets of its life.


    Friday, December 01, 2006

    The ’wild’ man of Thane

    Poring into the eyes of a mosquito was never so good. Ask Yuvaraj Gurjar of Thane, a columnist with Thane Plus and a wild life photography enthusiast, as his pictures recently bagged two awards at a National photography competition

    Yuwaraj Gurjar / Yuwaraj Gurjar receiving his award at the ceremony / (Left) A photograph of the loghorn beetle, which won Gurjar the prize in the close-up division. (Right) The photograph of a mosquito resting on a leaf after sucking blood from a larger animal won the second prize in the competition

    His deep study about nature, wildlife and insects enables him to get some wonderful photographs. Yuwaraj Gurjar, a talented wildlife photographer from Thane, has proved his worth in many national and international-level competitions. Recently, he again made the city proud by winning coming second in a national-level competition titled ’Lights and shades of science’, organised by RR Mehta Educational Trust, Delhi and the central government’s department of science and technology.

    Yuwaraj took a prizewinning photograph of a female mosquito in Yeoor forest, Thane. "The insect had just sucked blood and was resting on a leaf. In the photograph, we can see a drop of blood in the mosquito’s mouth. I waited a while to capture that moment," says Gurjar.

    Another photograph taken by Yuwaraj won a prize in the close-up division. Also, an international photography exhibition held recently displayed 10 of his photographs, which he plans on showcasing throughout the year.

    For the last 15 years, Yuwaraj has wandered in forest to capture some wonderful wildlife pictures. "Insects and butterflies are my favourites," he says. Although he works in JK Files, Thane, he donates all his spare time to pursue his hobby. "I visit Yeoor every Sunday and make it a point to visit a large forest at least once a year," he adds.
    Yuwaraj’s love for nature goes back to the days when you would go trekking and bird watching. From his first salary (a guide in Renthambor), he purchased his first camera. "My love for photography began from here," he reminisces.

    For the past seven years, he has written a column for Thane Plus, titled Wild Thane, which has proved popular. "I get recognition through this column," he says. His writing on environment is such that he has received fan mail from places like Jalana in Maharashtra.

    He is also the founding members of HOPE, an NGO working to preserve environment. He also organises a number of slideshows and arranges nature trails for lovers of environment. He as also written two books on the life of butterflies and has two CDs on the same. With his recent success, Thaneites expect another prize in the near future.