Leading up to the National Moth Week on July 22, we interview some contributors of moth observations.Listen to the first podcast episode with Nagesh O. S. on the IBP blog.

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  • Title
    Butterflies of the Garo Hills of Meghalaya, northeastern India: their diversity and conservation
    Journal Article
    The Garo Hills of Meghalaya, northeastern India, form the westernmost boundary of the globally recognized Indo-Myanmar Biodiversity Hotspot. The butterfly fauna of the Garo Hills is expected to be diverse, but it has not been properly sampled before. We surveyed butterflies in Balpakram National Park, Baghmara Reserve Forest and Siju Wildlife Sanctuary in southern Garo Hills, and Nokrek National Park in Western Garo Hills during four visits amounting to 49 days spread over two seasons, pre-monsoon (April-May) and post-monsoon (November-December), between 2008 and 2010. Here we report 298 butterfly species for the Garo Hills, eight of which are legally protected under Schedule I and 33 under Schedule II of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Our species accumulation curve suggests that many species remain to be discovered in the Garo Hills, and we expect the total species richness to be closer to 600-650 species. Little quantitative information exists on populations and seasonal occurrence of butterflies in India. Therefore, we recorded the number of individuals of each species in one or three hour counts during our surveys, and here we report season-wise relative abundances of 298 species from 3,736 individuals. We also report significant range extensions of two Schedule I species: Elymnias peali and Prothoe franck regalis, from the Garo Hills. These findings underscore the significance of the Garo Hills for butterfly conservation in India, and our work forms a baseline for future quantitative work on the diversity and conservation of butterflies in this biodiversity hotspot.
    Kunte K., Sondhi S., Sangma B.M., Lovalekar R., Tokekar K., Agavekar G. (2012). Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(4) pp. 2933-2992; doi:10.11609/JoTT.o2945.2933-92