Picture Courtesy: Kado Rinchen (JSWNP)

New butterfly species sighted in JSWN Park

The Khaki Silverline, a rare butterfly species, has been spotted in Tongtophey, Trongsa dzongkhag, within the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park.

The Khaki Silverline was spotted last month by senior forester, Kado Rinchen of the Langthel Park Range office, while surveying and exploring the butterfly diversity in the park.

The butterfly belongs to Lycaenidae (Blues) family and its presence in warm broadleaved forest below 1016 meters above sea level was known only recently.

Karma Wangdi, a research assistant with the Ugyen Wangchuk Institute for Conservation and Environment (UWICE), has confirmed the butterfly as rare and a new record in the list.

Karma Wangdi said the chance sighting makes it an important record for the purpose of butterfly conservation and could prove to be a good reason for its inclusion in the Schedule List of Butterflies in Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan.

Existing literature says that the butterfly is endemic to Bhutan, Sikkim and Northern Myanmar and such butterflies are likely to be found in other places, which have similar climatic conditions.

Butterflies are also said to be an indicator of how healthy and functional an ecosystem is. This is because they depend on a particular habitat, which means they are considered to be more habitat specialists requiring one set of habitat component to thrive.

Bhutan has more than 728 species of butterflies, with the addition of this new record. Bhutan now has 174 species of Lycaenidae.

Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park (JSWNP) is the third largest park in the country covering an expanse of 1,723 sq. km. The park has recorded 391 bird species, the highest among all the protected areas in the country and some rare species of butterfly.

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