The butterfly population of Bengaluru sees a steady increase despite the rapid urbanization.
An increase in rainfall and urban vegetation over the past few years subsequently increased the number of butterflies in Bangalore. ‘Climate change scenario in Karnataka: a detailed parametric assessment’- a study by Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre, shows that there is a 13 percent increase in average annual rainfall in Bengaluru Urban district over the last few years.
“We are having a much wetter Bangalore as compared to earlier years. The rainy season gets extended by almost 3, 4 months” said Ulhas Anand, a butterfly hobbyist, and the co-founder of EcoEdu. “therefore, you are seeing a lot more butterflies which otherwise were not found other than in Western Ghats now trying to come and spread here”- he adds.
Bengaluru lies in an important transitional zone between the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats which makes it a favourite spot for migratory butterflies too. The number of people taking interest in butterfly watching has also increased in the last years which helps in identifying and recording different species. There are around 179 different species of butterflies in Bengaluru to date.
Butterflies are an important indicator of a healthy ecosystem. The Bannerghatta butterfly park in Bengaluru is spread across 7.5 acres. It has four divisions ranging from a plant section to a laboratory. “The butterfly park here at Bannerghatta is unique. Almost 300 butterflies are released every day – the butterflies we breed” Said, K. Harish, Deputy Director, Bannerghatta Biological Park
Butterflies are also important for their aesthetic value, attests butterfly watchers. Insects are the backbone of our ecosystem and butterflies are the flagship species when it comes to insect conservation. Bengaluru, with its unique climate and geographical location, is a natural home for butterflies. Protecting their habitat is the key to conservation.