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Butterfly Diversity Assessment in Protected Areas in Tripura, North Eastern India

Abstract

Indo-Myanmar biodiversity hotspot is unique in having the highest number of endemic species of mammals, birds and amphibians among other animals in the tropical Asia. Whole of north eastern India is included in the Indo-Myanmar region. Several biodiversity reserves and sanctuaries have been established in this hotspot to protect the endemic flora and fauna. Biodiversity assessment of rare and endangered invertebrates from protected reserves has eluded so far. Therefore, a study on diversity of butterflies in four wildlife sanctuaries of Tripura, north eastern India, was conducted in four seasons of 2 years. Data revealed the occurrence of 151 species under 98 genera and 6 families from 2754 individuals. Recorded diversity comprised of 29 rare and 51 very rare species based on their low to very low abundance. Thirty-six of 151 species belonged to threatened categories protected by law. Gomati sanctuary, largest of the four, with primary evergreen tropical forests, showed high species richness and diversity and shared higher components of rare, very rare and threatened species in comparison to other three sanctuaries which showed a mix of moist and dry secondary deciduous forests. All the four reserves suffer from different degrees of human encroachments and face local extinction of rare taxa. These protected areas call for stricter enforcement of Indian wildlife protection act for the well-being of wild life inhabitants.

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Acknowledgements

We are thankful to the Japan International Co-operation Agency and Department of Forest, Government of Tripura for partial financial support and for permission to undertake this study including a collection of specimens. Special thank is due to Dr. A.K. Gupta, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Government of Tripura for providing logistic facilities in the four reserves and for constant encouragements. Rahul Lodh and Dipankar Kishore Sinha, Field Assistant, provided crucial supports in field survey and in laboratory study.

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Correspondence to Basant K. Agarwala.

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Agarwala, B.K., Majumder, J. Butterfly Diversity Assessment in Protected Areas in Tripura, North Eastern India. Proc Zool Soc 73, 68–81 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12595-019-00300-x

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Keywords

  • Butterfly diversity
  • Rare and threatened species
  • Wildlife sanctuaries
  • Tripura
  • Indo-Myanmar region
  • Threatened habitat