AERO with twelve enthusiastic youngsters spent a lovely morning in Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa documenting and learning about butterflies along the Tamdi Surla stream, which meanders through lush wet-forests of the Western Ghats. The day started with an introduction to Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary, the history of its notification, the extent of the sanctuary's spread in the state and the various charismatic animals that are resident of this sanctuary. This was followed by an introduction to butterflies and how to differentiate them from the very similar looking moths. This was also demonstrated live on the field giving everyone an opportunity to try and differentiate them.
We at AERO believe in nature as our classroom and how best to understand a forest than being in one and observing it first hand?
Participants understanding how forests work and food-chains with butterflies as an important component of the ecosystem.
During the entire duration of the walk 40 species of butterflies were seen, the highlights being the Common Nawab, Black Prince and Indian Sunbeam. Participants got some great views of puddling Common Jay and Tailed Jay. Malabar Tree Nymph and Common Map gave fleeting appearances but enough to elevate the curiosity quotient of the participants.
Purple Leaf Blue Amblypodia anita
Common Nawab Polyura athamas
Black Prince Rohana parisatis
Indian Sunbeam Curetis thetis
Participants got multiple opportunities to photograph some of these beautiful butterflies and observe them closely coupled with the experience of trekking along the Tamdi Surla stream, crossing it and getting a chance to see a Green Vine Snake with a full belly, basking.
Participants observing and photographing the Indian Sunbeam
Trekking through the forests of Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary
Closer look at the basking Green Vine Snake
Everyone was all smiles at the end of the walk with many participants ticking off well earned lifers. Walks like these are AERO's efforts to raise awareness amongst people of Goa, especially youngsters to help them connect with nature with an aim to instil the need to live a sustainable life which is closer to nature.
The group all in smiles after an amazing morning of butterflying
AERO always maintains detailed biodiversity lists of sightings from its various initiatives and believes strongly in the power of citizen science. We also make sure that our observations are always reported in the sighting registers of the respective Wildlife Sanctuaries where our events are hosted. Butterfly list from this walk has been entered into the sighting register at the Range Forest Office of Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park. Butterflies observed and documented during the walk are listed below.