Panaji: India, which hosts around 1400 species of butterflies, will soon have its own national butterfly. In a first-of-its-kind, butterfly enthusiasts across the country have come together to nominate national butterfly of India. Just like the other national symbols i.e. national bird, national animal, national flower and national tree, a national butterfly will be nominated.
Butterflies are an integral and vital part of our ecology. Butterflies are ambassadors of nature conservation and they are important biological indicators that reflect the health of our environment.
Seven species of butterflies were shortlisted after they fulfilled the necessary criteria. The nominated butterfly species are:- Krishna Peacock, Common Jezbel, Orange Oakleaf, Fivebar Sword Tail, Common Nawab, Yellow Gorgon and Northern Jungle Queen.
This nomination comes in foreground as butterfly enthusiasts believe that these blissful creatures get a representation at national level. Following this, butterfly researchers, scientists, lovers and enthusiasts all over India came together during the lockdown period and after several rounds of discussion have listed down criteria for nominating a National butterfly of India. The butterfly enthusiasts were asked to nominate the butterflies on the basis of the listed criteria.
The criteria for the selection are:
- The butterfly should have cultural, ecological and conservation significance for the nation as well as internationally.
2. The butterfly should be charismatic.
3. The butterfly should have an inherently attractive biological aspect that is engaging to the public.
4. The butterfly should be easily identified, observed and remembered.
5. The species should not have multiple forms.
6. The butterfly caterpillars should not be harmful or a pest.
7. The butterfly should not be too commonplace.
8. Avoid species which are already designated as a State Butterfly.
This campaign has been strongly led and contributed by Dr. Krishnamegh Kunte, Issac Kehimkar, Dr. Kalesh, Ashok Sengupta, Sharan, Mansoon, Divakar Thombre, Jatishwar, Judhajeet, Swaraj Raj, Amol Patwardhan, Hemant Ogale, Dr. Vilas Bardekar, Vijay Barwe and many more.
To recommend the National Butterfly an all India poll would be organised starting from September 11 to October 7, 2020. The butterfly which receives the highest nomination would be forwarded to the ministry in New Delhi with a strong recommendation to declare it as the National butterfly of India.
Citizens can click on the above link and nominate the butterfly of your choice, this has been strongly urged by butterfly enthusiast.