Uttarakhand News

No recent record of 51 Himalayan butterfly species, zoologists fear extinction

According to a research conducted by an eminent zoologist, there are 51 species of Himalayan butterflies that have no records in Uttarakhand since the mid-20th century. The absence of butterfly records may indicate that the these fragile species have gone locally extinct and everything is not well with Himalayan ecology. Butterflies, in general, are considered best indicators of adverse changes in our environment.

Prof. Jagbir Singh Kirti, a zoologist in the Punjab University, believes biggest factors related to fewer records of some butterflies species could be habitat loss, forest fragmentation, climate change, use of pesticides etc. There are two major species of Himalayan butterflies –  forest species which an be found in densely wooded slopes of the outer Himalayan ranges and valley; and the other ones are found in high altitudes which never travels below timeline.

We found one species, which used to live high up in the Himalayas, has now come down for its survival. It was found down in Solan area, where it was never found earlier. The fact is that only a few butterflies can adapt and change, while the rest will vanish for their failure to cope with the changes in the Himalayan ecology.

– Prof. Jagbir Siingh Kirti, zoologist, Punjab University

Butterflies found in the western Himalayas constitute nearly 30% of the total Indian butterfly biodiversity in the country.

Inputs from Hindustan Times