Blue Mormon

Blue mormon butterfly
With butterfly migration yet to start in the Pachaimalai and Puliyancholai hills, researchers are citing multiple factors, including the recent floods in Kerala, for this delay in micro fauna movement in the ecologically-sensitive Western and Eastern Ghats.

"In the past five years, I had observed butterfly migration in Pachaimalai and Puliyancholai hills from July onwards. But, this year, even near the end of September, there is no sign of butterflies congregating in both habitats," said Q Ashoka Chakkaravarthy, wildlife conservationist and scholar of environmental science, Tiruchy.

Though Kerala faced nature's fury in August, ecologists are suggesting the floods are among the major factors that have affected the ecology of the Ghats. "Deforestation is going in many places in the State due to widening of roads and other infrastructure projects. In fact, large-scale tree cutting is going between the Thuraiyur and Perambalur areas. This will affect the survival of several organisms."

"This is the first time migratory butterflies are behind schedule. Therefore, the recent floods in Kerala may have affected butterfly migration," he said.

Species like Common Albatross, Lesser Gull, Orange Tip, Dark Blue and Blue Mormon butterflies which travel in huge groups usually come to Pachaimalai and Puliyancholai from the beginning of September onwards. But so far, there has been no sign of them.

Meanwhile, a section of experts suggest rising temperatures could have also affected micro fauna.