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JNU plans a Butterfly Park!

The Jawahar Lal Nehru University (JNU) has decided to develop a Butterfly Park within its premises to attract more species of butterfly and preserve the already existing ones.

“During bird-watching in JNU campus I was amazed to see so many butterflies. I have already written to the Rector to designate the area in front of the Administration Block as ‘Butterfly Garden’,” Dr. Surya Prakash of the School of Life Sciences (SLS) told Ravleen Kaur of Expressindia.com’s Delhi edition.

Dr. Surya Prakash had spotted a Common Palm Civet in the JNU Campus a few days ago. Read about that story here. 

The following is the report published in the Delhi edition of Expressindia.com

JNU plans a park to preserve 50-plus butterfly species on campus

Ravleen Kaur
 
New Delhi, April 10: As the population of butterflies is depleting in the Capital, the colourful pollinators have quietly made a corner of the city their regular hub. Encouraged by the number of butterflies visiting its campus, the Jawaharlal Nehru University is all set to develop a Butterfly Park within its premises to attract more species.

More than 50 species of butterflies can be seen fluttering around in the university this spring season. Dr Surya Prakash from the School of Life Sciences has digitally recorded 37 of them, including some endangered species like Danaid Eggfly, Common Pierrot and Tigers (Plain and Stripped) that are protected under Schedule-I of the Wildife Protection Act, 1972.
 
Other rare species often spotted are the Red Pierrot, Common Jay and Peacock Pancy. “During bird-watching in JNU campus I was amazed to see so many butterflies. I have already written to the Rector to designate the area in front of the Administration Block as ‘Butterfly Garden’,” said Prakash.

Special plants such as sunflower, asters, dianthus, cosmos, petunia, salvias, dahlia, calendula and candytuft have also been planted in the area to attract butterflies. “We use organic manure for lawns and flowering plants, instead of pesticides, which is one of the main reasons that brought butterflies to the JNU to reproduce,” Prakash said.

“Our Horticulture Department has also planted many seasonal flowering plants, which attract butterflies and other nectar-eating insects such as honey bees and wasps.”

Many species of butterflies are almost on the verge of extinction owing to excessive use of pesticides. Poaching for decorative items has also threatened their existence.

“We are trying to restore the vegetation typical of the Aravalli terrain as it was 100 years ago and for that we have designated certain areas in the campus (30 per cent of the total area) as biodiversity parks where no construction will be allowed,” Professor Rajendra Prasad, JNU Rector, said. “An Environment Task Force, with experts from outside the campus like Pradip Krishnan, are advising us on that.

“Certain areas will also be designated as special zones to preserve the 150-year-old heritage of the Aravalli rocks. No construction will be allowed in these demarcated zones.”

The article can also be read here.

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Dr. Govind Singh is Co-Founder of Delhi Greens organisation and the Editor-in-Chief of the Delhi Greens Blog.

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