- In Kharghar locality, a young naturalist & researcher Tarang Sarin from Kharghar has documented forty five species of butterflies. Four species of butterflies among these are protected species under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Kharghar is blessed to have various butterfly species in the wetlands, plains and hills. Four butterflies among 45 species which I observed in Kharghar are protected species under Schedule 2 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- The four protected butterfly species are Sahyadri Plain Puffin, Sahyadri Blue Oakleaf, Gram Blue and Danaid Eggfly. The former two are found only in the Sahyadri region while the other two are found in different parts of the country.
- A few common varieties found here include Common Grass Yellow, Lime Blue, Palmfly, Common Castor, Plain Tiger and Common Mormon and others.
- The presence of butterflies indicates a healthy environment and also they are a part of the food chain.
- They also help in pollinating the vegetation. Butterflies are a part of the ecosystem. So, the presence of rare butterflies indicates that a place like Kharghar is valuable for biodiversity.
- Butterflies are the adult flying stage of certain insects belonging to an order or group called Lepidoptera. Moths also belong to this group.
The difference between a butterfly and a moth?
- Both butterflies and moths belong to the same insect group called Lepidoptera. In general, butterflies differ from moths in the following ways:
- Butterflies usually have clubbed antennae but moths have fuzzy or feathery antennae.
- Butterflies normally are active during the daytime while most moths are active at night.
- When a butterfly rests, it will do so with its wings held upright over its body. Moths, on the other hand, rest with their wings spread out flat. Butterflies will, however, bask with their wings out-stretched.
- Butterflies are generally more brightly colored than moths, however, this is not always the case. There are some very colorful moths.
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
- This Act provides for the protection of the country’s wild animals, birds, and plant species, in order to ensure environmental and ecological security.
- Among other things, the Act lays down restrictions on hunting many animal species. The Act was last amended in the year 2006.
- An Amendment bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in 2013 and referred to a Standing Committee, but it was withdrawn in 2015.
Authorities Appointed under the Act
- The Central Government appoints the Director of Wildlife Preservation and assistant directors and other officers subordinate to the Director.
- The State Governments appoint a Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) who heads the Wildlife Wing of the department and exercises complete administrative control over Protected Areas (PAs) within a state.
- The state governments are also entitled to appoint Wildlife Wardens in each district.
Other Constitutional Provisions
- Article 48A of the Constitution of India directs the State to protect and improve the environment and safeguard wildlife and forests. This article was added to the Constitution by the 42nd Amendment in 1976.
- Article 51A imposes certain fundamental duties for the people of India. One of them is to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.
Q) Butterflies belong to which insect order?