An approach for butterfly conservation through setting up a garden in an urban area, Kolkata, India
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Biodiversity declines due to unplanned urbanization as well as anthropogenic activities. It has already been documented that native flora and fauna are disappearing as an impact of biodiversity loss. There should be urgent need to restore our lost habitats through conservation techniques. The present study was aimed to conserve and restore lost habitat of pollinators with special reference to butterflies in an urban area through setting up a garden. The study was divided into two phases. In the first phase survey of butterflies found within an unmanaged garden in the campus (Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata) was performed prior to construction activity (May 2012 to October, 2012) and it was observed previously total 31 species of butterfly visited the garden. Developmental activities caused a sharp decline in their population causing an approach to relocate our garden in another area of college campus. In the second phase, setting up a garden in an alternative sites of same campus with plantation of host plants preferred by butterfly species was done and observed for butterfly visit. A slow increase in sighting over a study period of two years (between October, 2012 to June, 2015) was recorded. The results clearly indicate that total 43 species of butterflies were recorded in the garden including 9 species, which were not seen before and with 8 species completing their life cycles. In conclusion, declining of butterfly species can be increased and conserved through setting up of a garden. Presently the garden is flourishing but problems of increase in natural enemies as birds and other anthropogenic disturbances such as excess noise and vibration, street lighting, human interference etc. should be addressed in future within present conservation approach.
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