Biodiversity is not uniformly distributed across the geographical regions of the earth. Certain regions of the world are flourished with a very large number of different species. Hot spots are the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on earth. There are about 34 hot spots identified in the world. Among this, India has two hot spots namely Western Ghats and Eastern Himalayas. The Western Ghats hot spot region lies parallel to the eastern coast of Indian peninsula for almost 1600 kilometers, in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Kerala.
These areas are charecterized by the presence of flowering plants, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and butterflies. This richness of Western Ghats shows the role of geography in species diversity. Wayanad, a small district of Kerala with a huge diversity in different species of birds, animals, plants and butterflies. This richness of wayanad is because of its geographical position. The presence of Western Ghats and parts of Deccan plateau are the main features of Wayanad. It shares its east with Deccan plateau and west with Banasura hills-part of Western Ghats.
Wayanad is a precious land with huge diversity in butterfly life. I have participated in last two butterfly survey camps organized by the forest department of Kerala, in Wayanad wildlife sanctuary and Brahmagiri hills. The richness and diversity of butterfly species revealed that there must be some more varieties of butterflies present. Butterflies are organisms with a short life span of 3-6 weeks only. A study, camp or a survey of 2-3 days is not sufficient to give up enough about their life cycle, life style etc .
It only give the number and varieties of species. As I mentioned above, biodiversity is not uniformly distributed across the geographical regions of the world, so that the areas such as wayanad is certain regions were more studies needed. So I am that much confident that I could do something for the world of butterflies if I get proper guidance. The only way to get the real picture of butterflies in wayanad is a comparative study between two or more places of different geography.
The east of wayanad is a part of wayanad wild life sanctuary including Tholpetty and Begur forest areas. The forests of these areas are semi-evergreen and moist deciduous. The west of wayanad is the great Banasura hills with high altitude evergreen forested areas. The hills of Banasura are very famous for the migration of butterflies. It is known that a certain species namely; common albatross (most migrating species of Kerala) spends its most part of migration in the hills of Banasura.
Through these hills they pass to the silent valley. The migration starts from Coorg hills. So that a study of Banasura hills will give some data about the migration of albatross and some other species. The studies through the evergreen forests will be a stream based one. It is easy to find butterflies along the shore of streams to collect minerals for their reproductive needs. This process is known as mud paddling. Data of moist deciduous and evergreen forests will give a definite picture about the butterfly life of Wayanad.
The life style changes of butterflies caused by the interaction of humans can also be studied. A transit of 3 days each for both evergreen and moist deciduous. That means 6 days in a week, 3 for moist deciduous and 3 for evergreen. The transit should be done in between 9-12 am, at this period the flies will be more active for basking in sun light. About 2 km walk per day is enough for a detailed data collection. Analysis of GPS data will give the change in behavior and diversity of butterflies with the altitude changes.