Enviornment

A safe haven for rare dragonflies

The News

  • According to a recent survey, the buffer zone of the Silent Valley National Park is emerging as one of the largest havens of dragonflies and damselflies.
  • The survey confirmed the presence of 82 species of dragonflies and damselflies, among which 14 are extremely rare.
  • The survey was conducted jointly by the Forest Department and odonate enthusiasts under the Indian Dragonfly Society.

Silent Valley National Park:

  • It is the last remaining rain forest of Kerala.
  • Silent Valley was declared as National Park in 1984 and formally inaugurated in the year 1985.
  • Initially there was only 89.52 sq.km. area under the Division which forms the core zone of the National Park.
  • In 2007, an area of 148 sq.km. was added to this Division as buffer zone.

What is buffer zone?

  • Areas peripheral to a specific protected area, where restrictions on resource use and special development measures are undertaken in order to enhance the conservation value of the protected area.

Buffer zone emerging as safe haven:

  • The buffer zone is providing the flies a conducive atmosphere for foraging, feeding, and breeding.
  • Proximity to the core areas of the national park, with high-altitude shola grasslands and different types of forests, availability of water, and good habitat diversity, are also the contributing factors.

Rare Species found

  • Indosticta deccanensis (Saffron Reedtail),
  • Burmagomphus laidlawi (Plain Sinuate Clubtail),
  • Macrogomphus souteri (Pigmy Clubtail),
  • Onychogomphus nilgiriensis (Nilgiri Clawtail),
  • Euphea dispar (Nilgiri Torrent Dart),
  • Indionyx travancorensis (Travancore Daggerhead),
  • Megalogomphus hannyngtoni (Giant Clubtail), and
  • Lestes dorothea (Spreadwing).

Concern

  • The number of several common species of damselflies found in the region is alarmingly low.
  • This could be owing to the recent floods. The floods might have carried away the larvae of damselflies downstream.

Facts

  • Odonates are amphibiotic (having aquatic larval form and terrestrial adult form) insects.
  • Among the 488 species of odonates found in India, the Western Ghats are home to 193

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