Monitoring urban biodiversity with reference to butterflies in Thevara, Kochi

Published: 29-07-2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/8y6x37mxtd.1
Abin Joseliph,
Padayatty Davis Samson


Cities and small to median towns in Kerala are on the fast move to urbanization; Kochi is not an exception. If proper strategies are not implemented the green spaces and the wet lands now exist here, may alarmingly shrink in size or even vanish in the near future. An inventory of today’s biodiversity of this area is essential and justifiable at this juncture because urbanization is a major threat to biodiversity. There are no many reports particular to urban biodiversity assessments from Kerala. In an attempt to assess the urban biodiversity, a nine month long monitoring of biodiversity with special focus on butterflies; an indicator of urban biodiversity was conducted in Thevara, a densely populated area in the city of Kochi which is under severe pressure of urbanization. The vast marshy lands with abundant growth of mangroves once existed here were largely modified for human habitation. Large number of high-rise buildings emerging here drastically change the topography of this area. Butterflies are good representatives of urban fauna because they survive well even in small patches of urban vegetation as in forests and hilly areas. So monitoring them provides valuable insights on urban biodiversity. For the present work four widely separated regions were selected in the study area and sampling was carried out at each region by line transect method during February 2013 to October 2013, once in a month. Butterflies observed were identified with standard field guides and recorded. The study provided a total of 44 species of butterflies belonging to 36 genera and 5 families. Various indices of biodiversity were calculated to analyze the result. A checklist of butterflies recorded was prepared. From the result it can be concluded that the study area harbours a modest number of butterflies indicating the richness of biodiversity. (In S. Thomas & G. K. Joseph (Eds.), Invertebrates - Systematics and Biology: Proceedings of the National Seminar on Invertebrate Taxonomy (pp. 94-101). Muvattupuzha, Kerala: Nirmala Academic & Research Publications. ISBN: 978-81-929844-0-7.)