Population monitoring and awareness building for Ludlow’s Bhutan Glory in India

Sarika Baidya

Bhutanitis ludlowi (Ludlow's Bhutan Glory) is an endangered butterfly endemic to parts of Bhutan and North-East India. In India, this species is known to have only one pocket population at Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh. Unfortunately due to data deficiency on this population, conservationists do not have any current structured plan for its future conservation and legal protection. Local community are also not aware of the conservation needs of Bhutanitis ludlowi. Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary is currently undergoing a large-scale developmental changes which if not judiciously done, can cause severe risk for this lesser-known species and its habitat. Thus, there is an immediate requirement of assessment of the current population status of Bhutanitis ludlowi and generation of community awareness about its conservation. In order to achieve this goal, we will conduct status survey of the target species, identify potential habitat patches of it and conduct a number of community outreach programmes to share the knowledge among local stakeholders and policy makers. Our work will eventually generate a baseline database of current population trend of B. ludlowi, its habitat map and a group of local aware stakeholders which will eventually assist to plan further developmental work judiciously while conserving the habitat in Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, India.

"Bhutanitis ludlowi (B. ludlowi) is one of the most charismatic butterfly species. It will be a big loss and a matter of shame if we can’t protect it from extinction and let our future generation enjoy such beauty of nature. This grant makes me believe that real work on conservation of insects will have a brighter future worldwide. From now on, this will remain as a big source of motivation for me to pursue my goal of conservation of butterflies in my country in future".