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Jammu and Kashmir prepares for Big Butterfly Month : India 2020


Jammu and Kashmir prepares for Big Butterfly Month : India 2020

Last Updated on : 2 Sep,2020 | Source : Universal News Timeline

The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is all set to be the part of nationwide campaign, the first of its kind to understand the importance of butterflies, their distribution and ecology through a series of events slated for the fortnight beginning from September 05-20, 2020.  More than fifty organizations working on butterflies all over India including the big organizations like National Centre for Biological Sciences and Bombay Natural History Society are getting involved in this maiden endevaour. The event named ‘Big Butterfly Month: India 2020’ aims to bring together the butterfly enthusiasts, hobbyists and scientists from across different states and union territories of the country. Dr. Shakha Sharma, the regional head for UT of Jammu and Kashmir highlighted the series of activities being organized at national and regional level. This includes webinars, expert talks and group discussions besides several competitions. Individual entries are being invited for butterfly photography, videography, life cycle, journal writing and butterfly drawing at national level and butterfly painting/sketching, poetry, collage/craft and rangoli making at the regional level. This is fetching very encouraging results, she added. A massive citizen science initiative, the big butterfly count is being run from September 14-20, wherein the interested butterfly enthusiasts are encouraged to record the butterflies around and upload them on the online repositories like Butterflies of India, Indian Biodiversity Portal and INaturalist. The data so generated will be helpful in understanding the distribution pattern and population dynamics over space and time, she added. 
The Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir is actively partnering with other states and UTs in this national endevaour, she impressed. The butterfly enthusiasts, hobbyists and researchers mostly the students, are linked to each other through social media. The regional head coordinates        with the district coordinators for the dissemination of information and necessary feedback from time to time. The interest and enthusiasm of the participants has been phenomenal, she said. Webinars and group chats have been organized from time to time to acquaint the participants about the basics of butterfly identification, counting and online uploading at regional level. We will continue to hold such events in future too including the organization of butterfly festival at regional level in collaboration with our partner, Dr Neeraj Sharma, Head Institute of Mountain Environment, University of Jammu next summer.  This would definitely bring the hitherto butterfly rich but under-represented union territory of Jammu and Kashmir to limelight in the north western Himalayas, she maintained.

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