Motorists using Uppilliyapuram-Thammampatti stretch adjacent to Pachamalai hills have a responsible role to play to prevent road kill of dark blue tiger and double branded crow butterflies that end up being run over during the course of an unusual migration pattern, according to Q. Ashoka Chakkaravarthy, conservation field biologist.
These butterflies are run over by vehicles, especially two-wheelers, according to his study on migration pattern of the numerous varieties centred in Pachamalai habitat.
These butterflies are drawn towards the particular stretch of the road with agricultural and cultivated land, and thick vegetation along with bushes and scrubs on the sides since the environment is suitable for mud-puddling. The butterflies usually prefer wet soil and damp environment for mud-puddling.
The movement of the butterflies from the hills to the stretch was found to be most noticeable during daytime for a few hours before noon, the study conducted by Mr. Ashoka since October, 2018, states.
Installation of signboards by the Forest Department along the vulnerable stretch with fascinating photos of butterflies and instruction to motorists to safeguard the lives of attractive insect species with information about the significance of butterflies in the ecosystem will help in minimising the damage.
Alongside, artificial mud-puddling sites could be readied with cattle urine, fruits and cow dung, on the hills to prevent the movement of butterflies towards the plains, to cut down their mortality rate, Mr. Ashoka said.
(source : The Hindu)