Butterfly flaunting ‘India’ to gain official status in Arunachal

Butterfly flaunting ‘India’ to gain official status in Arunachal

An elusive swallowtail butterfly, the Kaiser-i-Hind is also found in southern China, in addition to Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Bhutan, and Nepal.

An elusive swallowtail butterfly with “India” in its name found in neighboring China will become the state butterfly of Arunachal Pradesh.

The state cabinet headed by Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Saturday approved the great Kaiser-i-Hind brightly colored like the state butterfly. The cabinet meeting was held for the first time outside the state capital, Itanagar, in an unusual location: the Pakke Tiger Reserve.

The Cabinet also adopted the 2047 declaration of the Pakke Tiger Reserve on Arunachal Pradesh, which is resilient and sensitive to climate change, with the aim of reducing emissions and sustainable development.

Kaiser-i-Hind (Teinopalpus imperialis) literally means Emperor of India. This butterfly with a wingspan of 90-120mm is found in six states along the eastern Himalayas at elevations of 6,000 to 10,000 feet in well-forested terrain.

The butterfly also flutters in Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and southern China.

Saving the species

The State Wildlife Board had accepted in January 2020 the proposal of Koj Rinya, the divisional forestry officer of the Hapoli Forestry Division in the lower Subansiri district to accept the Kaiser-i-Hind as the state butterfly. The proposal was made with a view to promoting butterfly tourism and saving the species from extinction in the state.

The protected areas under the Hapoli Forest Division are popular with butterfly enthusiasts. Although the Kaiser-i-Hind is protected by Schedule II of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, it is hunted for supply to butterfly collectors.

According to Assam-based butterfly expert Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi, the species is confined to very few foci in Arunachal Pradesh and could become extinct if not preserved. “The state butterfly label can translate into habitat conservation,” he said.

The first dead Kaiser-i-Hind specimen was recorded in Sikkim by Usha Lachugpa, a senior state forestry official, in 2012. It was captured live on camera by a few participants during a butterfly-watching meeting at Talle Valley Wildlife. in Arunachal Pradesh. Sanctuary in 2014.

A red-listed species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Kaiser-i-Hind generally flies at treetop level and descends to sit in low vegetation when there is strong sunlight in the morning. . It flies during April-July and lays eggs on the underside of the leaves.

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