In a bid to raise awareness about the importance of butterflies, the city’s Indira Gandhi Zoo Park (IGZP) will be organizing a butterfly walk and talk session on 13 and 14th of February 2021. Participants will be informed about the fascinating life cycle of butterflies, their habitat, behaviour, species varieties and other features. One hour Power-Point presentation by the butterfly park assistant B Divya Jyothi will be conducted prior to the walk.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, the curator of IGZP Dr Nandini Salaria said, “We have recently commenced this butterfly walk and talk session. We are planning to conduct a daily butterfly walk series as many visitors, especially children, are interested in activities related to butterflies. Butterflies are seen from an aesthetic point of view by most people. Very few understand the significance of the species. Through like butterfly walks we want to highlight its importance and in the process continue the documentation of the butterfly species of the region,” added Nandani Salaria.
The butterfly park in the zoo, set up in 2013, has around 60 species of butterflies of which 10 are frequent flyers and two are rare species, including Danaid Eggfly and Crimson Rose. Both species are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. In the past, the successful breeding of these two species was well documented by the zoo staff. Covered with mesh, the Butterfly Park was recently renovated to include more pollinator, nectar and host plants. “The Murraya paniculata (curry leaves) plant is the main host plant in which many butterflies lay eggs,” explains Salaria. The lantana, jatropa, cuphea, rose moss, blue morning glory plant, Egyptian cluster plant serve as the nectar source plants.
The sprawling 625 acres of Indira Gandhi Zoological Park has been witnessing a flurry of activities. And for a change, it’s not just the picnickers who are keeping the zoo staff engaged. Post pandemic, Visakhapatnam zoo has introduced a series of public engagement programmes to promote zoo as a conservation education centre. In November it kick-started its guided bird watching walks. The programme was an instant hit with the small teams of participants who not only got a glimpse of the ornithological delights of the region but also went home armed with information on the over 100 species of birds in its free-range.
Visakhapatnam zoo is located in the Eastern Ghats, one of the oldest mountain ranges with thriving flora and fauna and a critical secondary ecosystem. The butterfly walks will be organized from 9 a.m to 11 a.m with a registration fee of ₹ 200 per participant.