Osmania University to become sanctuary for butterflies – Telangana Today

Hyderabad: It’s a survey with a difference on the little winged beauties that flutter by.
On the sprawling campus of the 100-plus-year-old Osmania University, researchers these days are engaged in understanding the abundance of butterflies. The exercise, apart from surveying about the diversity and seasonal abundance of butterflies, also seeks to understand the vegetation composition of habitat and their conservation priorities.
The survey led by Prof. M Madhavi, chairperson, Board of Studies, Department of Zoology, Osmania University College of Science, is aimed at contributing to the plan of biodiversity restoration on the university campus besides coming up with management strategies for ensuring the sustenance of butterflies and the ecosystem services derived from them.
As part of the initiative, the university campus which is richly dotted with greenery, will soon be home to a butterfly garden which will be coming up near the Zoology department at the University College of Science. Accordingly, plans were being drawn to create necessary habitation that will host the butterflies. Some of the butterfly host plants including Acanthus, Asystasia, Barleria, Dipteracanthus and other plant species were being planned in the garden.
According to Prof. Madhavi, the butterflies are model organisms to study the impact of habitat loss and fragmentation besides climate change.
“In principle, it has been agreed upon to set up a butterfly garden on the university campus. It will come up with the support of Vice Chancellor Prof. D Ravinder. The study is being done to restore the butterfly diversity on the OU campus. Earlier, we established one butterfly house at Nizam College,” she said.
Prof. Madhavi and her students had also recorded the diversity of butterflies in the pre, post and Covid-19 pandemic times. The team concluded that habitation loss led to a major decline in the number of butterflies in and around Nizam College, OU. Some of the butterflies that were recorded in Nizam College included Eurema Brigitta (common name-small yellow grass), Graphium Doson (Common Jay), and Danaus Genutia (Common Tiger).
The researchers also recorded various species of butterflies in Mahabubnagar, Mahabubabad, Hyderabad, Jagityal, and Adilabad districts in the State.
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