Jalandhar, May 21
Pushpa Gujral Science City is observing International Bio-Diversity week by holding series of webinars for students and general public.
The first webinar in this series was organised on “Diversity in Butterflies and Moths and their role in Ecosystem”. Around 300 students and teachers from all over Punjab participated in it. Dr HS Rose, former Pro-Chancellor, Guru Kashi University, Talwandi Sabo, was the key speaker on this occasion.
During his talk, he said basic objective of celebrating this day is to create awareness about conservation of biodiversity and its importance on account of planned/unplanned urbanisation, industrialisation, monoculture and ever-growing needs of the vast human population. He said butterflies and moths have a lot of diversity and play a very important role in our ecosystem, act as a pollinator, a food source and an indicator of the ecosystem’s wellbeing, whereas quite a good number of moth species are pests of various agricultural and horticultural crops.
Further, butterflies are diverse insects found in many colours and sizes and there are more than 28,000 species of butterflies worldwide with about 80 per cent in tropical regions. Their survival depends on nectar that is produced in flowers and also extra-ripe fruits, he added.
Dr Neelima Jerath , Director-General, Science City, in her introductory remarks said butterflies were one of the most conspicuous species of Earth’s biodiversity and are identified as useful bio-indicators due to their responsive behaviour to any changes in the environment — temperature, humidity, light, rainfall patterns etc. Further, butterflies are also called flying flowers, displaying their beauty. These insects enhance the aesthetic value of the environments by their exquisite wing colours. She urged the participants to minimise chemical use in the gardens as pesticides and chemicals are lethal to insect biodiversity.
On this, Dr Rajesh Grover, director, Science City, said there has been an alarming rise in industrial and automobile pollution in Indian metropolitan cities. He stressed on the need to include a variety of nectar producing plants in the gardens so as to ensure that butterfly-friendly food was available throughout the year thus conserving biodiversity. — TNS