Lev Bely, 06.11.2012 22:38
A unique butterfly park will officially open in the next few months in Karnataka state, India. It was founded by college lecturer Sammilan Shetty and now located at Santhadi House in Beluvai village 8km off Moodbidri and 42km off Mangalore. This park makes up an ideal place for relaxed contemplation and camera exercises as well for everyone in nature photography.
27-year-old Sammilan S Shetty, who teaches at Lakshmi Memorial College of Hotel Management, has been building the park for the last two years and did well: now it has over 100 butterfly species including few endemics such as the Malabar Banded Peacock (Papilio buddha) with gorgeous azure and black wings.
Sammilan scheduled the official park opening for next year. As he told The Times of India, this will be a unique private butterfly park of the kind in Karnataka state with over than 100 species of bright and colourful butterflies fluttering freely among flowers.
“I have confirmed the presence of 102 butterflies with the identification two more species, the Tawny Rajah (Charaxes bernardus) and the Black Rajah (Charaxes solon) on (next-to-last) Tuesday. The actual number of butterflies in the park is yet to be ascertained as it is difficult to identify small varieties. Though the park was not opened officially, people from various parts of the state visit here on holidays,” Sammilan said.
“My objective is to conserve butterfly population, which is being reduced due to the cutting of host plants, deforestation, habitat destruction, use of insecticides, weedicides, forest fire and illegal poaching. Butterflies, which form an important part of food chain and important pollinators in nature, should be preserved. Its food constitutes of nectar from flowers, rotten food liquids, bird droppings, cow dung, minerals from soil, alkaloid rich plants, dead crabs, human sweat and so on. The 7.5-acre park provides environment with focus on nectar, rotten food liquid, alkaloid rich plants and importance is given on host plants too. About 3.5 acres is the secondary forest land where host plants have been identified and are being conserved. Host plants that support the larval stage of the butterfly are being grown in one acre and nectar plants in three acres,” he said adding that he himself got interested in butterflies making a project by his Zoology teacher in graduation course in Microbiology.
There are such rarest butterfly species in the park as the Malabar Banded Peacock (Papilio buddha), Southern Birdwing (Troides minos), Paris Peacock (Papilio paris), Clipper (Parthenos sylvia), Redspot Duke (Dophla evelina), Great Evening Brown (Melanitis zitenius), Large Oakblue (Arhopala amantes) and others.
The Times of India, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Photo: Sammilan S Shetty in the butterfly park, http://www.bangaloremirror.com
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