The only butterfly park in east India will soon become more colourful with authorities planning to breed more species of the winged insect. The park situated inside the premises of the Tata Steel Zoological Society here presently breeds 12 species of butterflies.
The director of Tata Steel Zoological Society (TSZS), Bipul Chakraborty, said butterflies play an important role as a pollinator, a food source and indicator of the well-being of the ecosystem. Set up four-and-a-half years ago, the park hosts more than 25 species, 12 of them being bred in its premises. The 12 comprise regional and pan-India varieties, Chakraborty said.
Common Mormon, Common Crow, Plain Tiger, Common Caster and Emigrant were among the 12 species being bred round the year in the park. "No other park in the country breeds so many species and we are now aiming to develop the park into a conservatory for butterfly breeding," he said.
Chakraborty pointed out that the availability of a variety of plants, facilitating breeding of butterfly species, was one of the reason why the authorities decided to develop the park as a conservatory for breeding. Noting that majority of the butterfly parks in the country are either closed or are on the verge of closure for various reasons including improper up-keep, Chakraborty said round-the-clock monitoring and proper maintenance was done at the facility.
This has been acknowledged by officials of the Central Zoo Authority, who paid a visit to the park recently, the official said. "As butterflies feed on nectar, we have to take special care to arrange for larvae feeding plants and artificial food suitable for them, SK Mahto, curator of the butterfly park, said. Chakraborty said last year a whopping 4.5 lakh people visited the park and it is likely to touch five lakh this year.