New Delhi: Nature lovers now have a
chance to understand the metamorphosis and life history of
butterflies as a conservatory will be opened at the Lodhi
Gardens tomorrow by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.
The conservatory, a collaborative effort of Centre for
Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems, the New
Delhi Municipal Council, Delhi University and Green Circle, is
being viewed by conservationists as a wake-up call for
promotion of awareness about flora and fauna among citizens.
"Butterflies are considered to be sensitive to changes
in habitat and climate and are good indicators of the health
of a natural habitat. The metamorphosis and life cycle of
butterflies too can provide an education in nature
conservation," said Suhas Borker, founder member of Green
Circle, a Delhi based NGO.
The conservatory, which has been developed within a
specially landscaped area of three acres in Lodhi Gardens, has
a natural and open habitat without any dome structures or net
enclosures to contain the movement of the winged creatures.
"The conservatory has been landscaped in a manner that
visitors can view the habitat from a naturally elevated
walkway or "viewing gallery". The area has been declared an
insecticide and herbicide-free zone," Borker added.
Apart from the common species of butterflies like the
Common Mormon, Yellow Pansy, Striped Tiger and Plain Tiger,
the conservatory also houses the Grass Jewel, which is one of
the world’s smallest butterflies.
Trees of 29 species and clusters of 42 nectar and
larval food plants in a mix of sunny, shaded and damp pockets
with native bush vegetation, dense shrubs, rocks, wood logs,
mud puddle and a lotus water body will provide support to the
local butterfly species, Borker said.
An estimated 1,501 species of butterflies are there in
the country including the Nilgiri Grass Yellow (Eurema
nilgiriensis) which was discovered by Japanese researcher
Osamu Yata, in 1990.
Only 72 species of butterflies have been recorded in
Delhi recently by environmentalists, Borker added.