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Butterfly parks to turn ‘eco-monitors’ in Kerala

Press Trust of India Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on January 09, 2018

A string of butterfly parks, providing natural habitat for beautiful flying insects that is getting endangered, will soon play as ‘eco-monitors’ in Kerala.

The State-run Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) has drawn up an ambitious programme to create a number of butterfly gardens/parks in selected schools and other spots in the State.

Toxin-free environs

The proposed parks will be toxin-free spaces as no chemicals, pesticides or insecticides will be used. Only plants grown under bio-environs will be planted in the parks, a KFRI official said.

Pollution in an area and the ‘health’ of the environs can be assessed on the basis of the presence of butterflies.

Discussions are on with the Department of Education and Kerala Tourism to set up a string of parks, KFRI Director S Pradeep Kumar said.

“We have already set up 40 such parks in schools in Thrissur district. Discussions are going on now to create similar parks in more educational institutions across the State,” he told PTI.

The objective of setting up butterfly parks was not only to provide a natural environ for the flying insects but also to use them as ‘environment-monitors’, he said.

“We can measure the pollution level in an area based on the presence of butterflies there. Larger presence of butterflies, one of the most delicate creatures of the nature, will indicate absence of pollution,” he said.

Existing parks

The KFRI recently set up a butterfly park on the premises of Kanakakkunnu Palace in the heart of the city as part of the ongoing ‘Vasantholsavam’, the annual flower show.

“Talks are going on with the Tourism Department to sign an MoU to make this park a permanent facility. This also is an experiment to know whether butterflies will thrive in the heart of the bustling city,” he said.

At present, KFRI has three butterfly gardens -- one on its main campus at Peechi, another on the campus of the Teak Museum in Nilambur and also at the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in Kalpetta in Wayanad district.

Published on January 09, 2018
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