Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rare species of butterflies spotted

THRISSUR: Rare and endangered species of butterflies were spotted in Vazhachal forest near Athirappilly in the district during a nature trek undertaken by the Butterfly Art Foundation researchers recently.

Talking to newspersons here, director of the foundation Unnikrishnan Pulikkal said that redspot duke, great evening brown, Malabar flash and five-bar sword tail were the newly spotted species in the region.

He said that the spotting pointed out the ecological importance of the Vazhachal forest stretch.

Unnikrishnan said that during the sighting of these rare species of butterflies he was accompanied by Biju, research coordinator.

He said that the spotting was at a time when the region was under the threat of submerging owing to the proposed Athirappilly hydro power project .

He said that the Peechi Kerala Forest Research Institute researcher H H George Mathew has confirmed the rarity of the butterflies which had never entered the research documents of KFRI from this region so far.

“This finding can influence even the future of the Athirappilly project, in the light of the environmental implications of this important sighting”, he said. Unnikrishnan had spotted another rare and endemic species of butterfly, the Southern Duffer, from the same region two years ago.

He was one of the best 10 nature photographers of India selected by the Better Photography magazine last year.

He was also the first Indian to exhibit in the prestigious Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Ohio, USA, when he did an exhibition of butterfly photographs last year in the museum.


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