GANGTOK: Sikkim has embarked on a journey to select its state butterfly. Two species — Blue Duke and Krishna Peacock Butterfly – are vying for the coveted position as ‘State Butterfly of Sikkim’. An online voting process has begun for people to cast their votes.
The Himalayan state is home to many species of butterflies due to its rich biodiversity and unspoilt nature. A total of 689 species of butterflies have been recorded in Sikkim with many new species still being discovered.
The state government has entrusted Forest and Wildlife department to conduct the process of selecting state butterfly. “A committee has been formed with prominent stalwarts in the field of butterfly biology and conservation across India came together on a single platform to derive the following criteria for selecting the State Butterfly,” said a state forest official.
He further said, “Considering the ecological importance, conservation significance, and growing popularity of butterflies among the general public, it is high time we nominated the State Butterfly. In a true democratic manner, we believe that ordinary citizens should drive this effort, which might be a first for Sikkim.”
Many species of Butterflies were considered for the final contest which has criteria including having cultural, ecological and conservation significance for the nation as well as internationally.
Considering the above criteria, the committee headed by the ACS-cum-PCCF, Forest and Environment Department arrived at a final list of about 10 (ten) butterfly species. From these, a scoring system was used in voting by all the consortium members to shortlist the final two species — Blue Duke and Krishna Peacock.