Over 60 butterfly species recorded during 7th ZBM

ZIRO, Oct 5: Over 60 butterfly species were recorded during the 7th edition of the Ziro Butterfly Meet (ZBM), which concluded on Monday at Pange in the Tale Wildlife Sanctuary (TWS) in Lower Subansiri district.

This meet this year was organized by NGO NgunuZiro to coincide with the National Wildlife Week, in coordination with the Tale wildlife division and the Hapoli forest division. The other partners included the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE) and the Butterflies of North East India.

The important species recorded during the three-day meet included the extremely rare Tytlers’ Treebrown (Lethe gemina gafuri), the Bhutan Treebrown (Lethe margaritae) and the Scarce Evening Brown (Cyllogenes janetae fascialata), which are legally protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act.

The Tytler’s Treebrown was seen only once in 2010, and the photograph taken then is the only live photographic record in India. It is significant that the species has been seen and photographed for the second time during this meet after 10 years.

Other important findings included the Pale Hockeystick Sailer (Neptis manasa), which is also protected under Schedule I. The Bhutan Glory (Bhutanitis lidderdalii) was another star attraction of the meet. Among the significant recordings under Schedule II were the Pale Green Sailer (Neptis zaida) and the Yellow Owl (Neorina hilda).

The highlight of the meet this year was plantation of nectaring plants in Pange Camp and tagging of several host plants in the areas by the participants.

Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi, a scientist from the Bombay Natural History Museum, who was the resource person of the meet, made presentations on the significance of butterflies in the ecosystem, as well as the methods of butterfly identification.

Other highlights of the meet were a presentation on the lifecycle of the Bhutan Glory by Dr Joram Khopey, and on host plants and nectaring plants by Koj Mama.

Earlier, during the inaugural session on 3 October, Division Forest Officer Abhinav Kumar spoke about the TWS and the significance of the National Wildlife Week. He emphasized the importance of community participation in conservation activities, and commended NgunuZiro for leading the local communities in this direction.

The ZBM, which saw international and national participants in large numbers in the previous editions, was organized with a limited participation of only 20 local persons this year. The restriction was necessitated in view of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, NgunuZiro chairman Pura Tama informed that a webinar themed ‘ZBM – Past, present and future’ will be hosted by ATREE on 6 October at 5:30 pm. One can join the webinar at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83944819167?pwd=Tkd WRzFiZXNZUUxiY1V5VW9aeEZjUT09 (Meeting ID: 839 4481 9167 and passcode: 944476.)