Panaji: Big Butterfly Month: India 2020 would be the first of its kind in India where butterfly experts, enthusiasts and organizations across India are joining hands for a month-long event.
From 5th to 20th September 2020 various activities such as Big Butterfly Count, Butterfly Online Workshops and contests on Butterfly Photography, Butterfly Journaling, Butterfly Videography, and Butterfly Lifecycle, will be conducted.
This year the Big Butterfly Count would be held on an all-India level from 14th to 20th September 2020 where all participants would be encouraged to log in their submissions into our well-established and preferred citizen science digital platforms: Butterflies of India, iNaturalist, and India Biodiversity Portal.
The celebration would also include competitions and outreach programs through the virtual media educating and sensitizing people about butterflies. Such programs will be conducted in most of the States including Goa.
Butterflies play a vital role in the ecosystem. They act as a food source for various other organisms such as spiders, wasps, dragonflies, birds and lizards. They also help in plant pollination and, importantly for us, act as very good indicators of the health of the environment and ecosystems. So, studying butterflies is imperative to understand our surroundings.
The aim of the Big Butterfly Month: India 2020 is to bring the citizens of the country together under one umbrella to promote observation of butterflies in the field which will give us an indication of their abundance and seasonality. In the process, appreciation for not only butterflies but our native biodiversity will be developed, which is very much needed.
The popularity and scope of citizen science appears almost limitless. For citizens, the motivation is to contribute to science, public information and conservation with their strength in numbers, unmatched enthusiasm and a broad geographic spread. Scientists, on their part, offer a systematic way to collect information in a strong scientific framework and on a scale that would otherwise not be possible.
The Big Butterfly Month is being held on an all-India level, where the participants would collect the data in their backyard of the species of butterflies that are seen. For the first time in India, more than 30 organizations working in the field of Biodiversity and its conservation have come together towards the common goal of involving citizens in large scale monitoring programs.
Some of the partners across India include:
- i) Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)- India
- ii) Diversity India
iii) National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS)
- iv) Biodiversity India
- v) Indian Foundation for Butterflies (IFB)
viii) The Valley Biodiversity Conservation & Livelihood Network, Nagaland
- x) Titli Trust, Dehradun
xiii) Green Plateau, West Bengal
xiv) Sammilan Shetty’s Butterfly Conservation and Research Trust ®, Belvai
- xv) Rhopalocera and Odonata Association of Rajapalayam, Tamil Nadu
xvi) Butterfly Conservation Society, Hyderabad
xvii) Nature Club, Surat
xviii) Act for Butterflies, Tamil Nadu
xix) Nature Mates, West Bengal
In Goa, the Foundation for Environment Research & Conservation (FERC) is the co-ordinating organization. FERC is a NGO established under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in 2017 and works in the field of nature conservation. One of the objectives of the organization is to motivate youth towards bringing about a change for a sustainable society and fostering an informed society that gives importance to knowledge based decision making. The Foundation runs a monthly lecture series titles Kasturi : Spreading the fragrance of knowledge, wherein experts from diverse fields are invited to talk to students and community on the first Wedensday of every month at MES College, Zuarinagar. The Foundation has also set-up a butterfly garden in the MES College campus.