Friday, October 27, 2017

Exotic butterflies come calling - Article on The Hindu newspaper about Baiju K's & Kalesh S's work on Trivandrum Zoo Butterfly park (June 20, 2014)

The Red Pierrot warmed up quickly to its new ‘hosts.’ This striking little butterfly fluttered around the new plants in the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, brought here only a couple of hours ago on Monday morning. R. Baiju watched, almost endearingly, as the unusual butterfly species finally adopted a leaf as its home, or egg-laying spot, even before the plants were taken out of their bags and planted into the soil.

He is a Hindi teacher of a government upper primary school in Palode but he was on leave on Monday to engage in a serious hobby of his. Mr. Baiju is one of the more active members of the Travancore Natural History Society (TNHS), the group that is supporting the city zoo in its endeavour to transform the neglected ‘Butterfly Park’ on its premises.

Both he and naturalist S. Kalesh are overseeing the landscaping and gardening activities at this 480 sq. metres section beside the exotic birds’ enclosures.
This avid interest even led to the formation of a Butterfly Club in his school, where children of Classes V, VI and VII are split into groups and asked to look after different patches of greenery within the school campus and identify and document the species found flitting about there.

“On Monday mornings, they tend to the plants and try and spot the butterflies. On Wednesday, I take a lesson on peculiarities of different species and on Friday we hold a quiz,” said Mr. Baiju. He said that these students then go on to guide children of the lower primary section.

Both he and Dr. Kalesh subscribe to the philosophy that this Butterfly Park must be an entirely natural setting and not an artificially controlled, closed environment that is in the case in Bannerghatta National Park in Bangalore for instance.

One of the challenges they are facing with this section in the city zoo, is that it is an entirely flat tract of land.So they need to artificially create mounds and slopes which would allow for more plants.It would also help with a layering effect that would make this limited space seem more lush and ‘rainforest-like’.

No comments:

Post a Comment