Three-day North-East Butterfly Meet 2017 held at Dzongu

Gangtok, 06 Sept:

A three-day national level butterfly meet, North-East Butterfly Meet-2017 (NEBM-2017), was organized by Butterflies and Moths of Sikkim – Nature Conservation Society (BAMOS-NCS) in collaboration with Butterflies of North Eastern India group from 03 to 05 Sept at Namprikdang, Dzongu, North Sikkim. This was the 4th NEBM in India and for BAMOS it was its 2nd meet, the first being held at Yuksam in 2015.

A BAMOS press release informs that the meet was attended by more than 35 participants from different states of India as well as participants from the state. School students from nearby schools also participated. Renowned scientist and author, Issac Kehimkar and Lepidopterist, Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi were the resource persons.

Minister of Forest, Environment and Wildlife Department, Government of Sikkim, TW Lepcha inaugurated the NEBM-2017 while Deputy Speaker of SLA cum Dzongu MLA, Sonam Gyatso Lepcha was the guest of honour.

The programme was attended by Forest Officials, representatives of different agencies like WWF, ATREE, KCC (Yuksam), Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure and Eco-Tourism (IHCAE, Chemchey), Sikkim University, BAC Dzongu, SDO Dzongu, Zilla Panchayat and Gram Panchayat units and local youth.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister, Mr Lepcha appreciated the initiative of BAMOS-NCS for the conservation of butterflies and moths in Sikkim and congratulated president of BAMOS, Nawang Gyatso Bhutia for his entry into the Limca Book of Records for attracting 95 species of butterflies on his body and presented him the Record Certificate.

Addressing the participants, he said that such types of programmes need to be organized on a regular basis for the awareness of nature conservation in general and butterflies in particular. The Minister further highlighted the commitment of the Chief Minister of Sikkim towards the conservation of environment through different programmes like Green Mission, 10 Minutes to Earth, Paryavaran Mahotsav, etc.

He also emphasized the potential of the rich biodiversity like butterflies and birds to generate alternate sources of income for the people of Sikkim through sustainable ecotourism. Addressing the gathered students, he advised them to take maximum benefit out of this programme to learn about the conservation of natural resources and consider a career in this field.

As guest of honour, Dy. Speaker of SLA cum Dzongu MLA, Sonam Gyatso Lepcha, congratulated BAMOS for conducting a national level Butterfly Meet at Dzongu which would help the people of Dzongu to be aware of the rich butterfly biodiversity. He advised the students to sincerely attend the program.

DFO (Territorial), North Division, TN Bhutia highlighted some parts of the Forest Act which were relevant to the participants for this meet.

The meet was sponsored and supported by Forest department, Kanchendzonga Conservation Committee, IHCAE (Chemchey), ATREE, WWF, BHNS, AARANYAK and Flutters, the release mentions.

During the three days, extensive survey was carried out during the day while evenings were allotted for presentations and brain storming sessions. Both the resource persons delivered lectures on field study, identification and scientific conservation of butterfly diversity of Sikkim.

Principal Chief Research Officer and mentor of BAMOS-NCS, Usha Lachungpa, highlighted the rich biodiversity of Dzongu and need for quality research conservation in scientific manner.

During the meet, the participants documented 163 species of butterflies among which some were rare species like, Dark Tinsel, Khaki Silverline, Himalayan White Flat, Purple Spotted Flitter, Northern Jungle Queen, Evans Snow Flat, Jungle Glory, the release informs.