The 7th edition of the northeast Butterfly meet was concluded at Raimona National Park in Kokrajhar district on Wednesday. Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) Executive Member for Forest & Environment Ranjit Basumatary inaugurated the event at Kachugaon.
The event was organized by Butterflies of North-Eastern (NE) India group in collaboration with the government of Bodoland Territorial Region against Drugs and Organized Crimes (BTR) and NGOs including ATREE, WWF-India, WTI, Aaranyak, SEED, flutters .org, Ngunu Ziro, BECT, BAMOS, Wiki Love Butterflies.
Nearly 100 participants from different states of India including Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu etc. participated in the event. 25 students who are perusing M Sc in Wildlife Science and Research Scholars pursuing PhD degrees from Gauhati University and Bodoland University were also involved in the programme. Six members from local EDCs were also involved in the programme to initiate butterfly tourism in Raimona National Park in BTAD districts.
During the event, participants visited Raimona National Park areas of Pepsu and Ranga Nadi to observe butterflies. More than 190 species of butterflies were recorded in Raimona National Park by the participants and experts. Out of which some very interesting findings were Brown Onyx, Yerbury Sailer, Yellow Jack Sailer, Common Shot Silverline, Hooked Awlking, and Double-banded Crow and some of them are a new record for NE India (previously known till W. Bengal). Participants also visited the famous Ultapani area of Chirang RF and observed many other important species of butterflies.
An expert from Bhutan attended the event and said that there is a need for a transboundary Indo-Bhutan butterfly survey in the future and that a similar butterfly meet with community initiative would be needed in Bhutan. Nawang G Bhutia, Butterfly man of Sikkim declared that the next edition of the Northeast butterfly meet will be held in Sikkim and Butterfly & Moths of Sikkim Nature Conservation Society (BAMOS) will host the event next year. Roshan Upadhaya, Butterfly man of Arunachal Pradesh attended the event. He emphasized that tourism potential of the area needs to be increased, including more tourist guide training including jeep safari.
Brojo Kumar Basumatary, one of the organizers, said the event aims to raise awareness about biodiversity conservation and boost tourism potential in the region. After the peace accord Bodoland has become one of the most peaceful regions, and the program will make that message heard across the country, Kamal Azad said.
Prof PK Saikia, Prof Malabika Saikia Kakati of Gauhati University, Prof Hilloljyoti Singha, Prof Kushal Choudury of Bodoland University attended the event. Menom Pertin of SEED, organizer of the Namdapha Butterfly meet and Punyo Chada also attended the meet and promised to support the Northeast Butterfly meet for coming years.