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Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

Going against the norm in the past, the annual migration of butterflies from the hill ranges of the Eastern Ghats towards the Western Ghats is an early phenomenon this year.


  • Usually, butterfly migration in south India begins in October-November, with the onset of the northeast monsoon, from the plains to the Ghats, and in April-June, just before the advent of the southwest monsoon, from the Ghats to the plains.
  • The southwest monsoon is the season for the breeding of butterflies, especially milkweed butterflies, in plains of south India, after which they migrate.
  • But this year, the first migratory sighting was recorded in the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve in Palakkad district by forest watchers in July 2020 (Instead of October as usual) and since then their migration has been observed the Nilgiris and regions of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka (towards the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, and Palani hills).
  • A recent study revealed that four species of milkweed butterflies belonging to the Danainae subfamily are mainly involved in the migration — the Dark Blue Tiger, Blue Tiger, Common Crow and the Double-branded (commonly known as tigers and crows).
  • Species like Lime Swallowtail, Lemon Pansy, Common Leopard, Blue Pansy, Common Emigrant and Lemon Emigrants are also involved in the migration but their numbers are very low.

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Parambikulam Tiger Reserve

  • Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, which also includes the erstwhile Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area in Kollengode Block, Chittur taluk in Palakkad district of Kerala.
  • It is in the Sungam range of hills between the Anaimalai Hills and Nelliampathy Hills.
  • The Western Ghats, Anamalai Sub-Cluster, including all of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.
  • The sanctuary is the home of four different tribes of indigenous peoples including the Kadar, Malasar, Muduvar and Mala Malasar settled in six colonies.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023