Even though Chandigarh has a considerable green cover, the number of butterflies has reduced to a great extent because of the decline in number of the host plants. But it can be revived by increasing the number and variety of host plants throughout the sectors. This was explained with the help of a detailed research on butterflies found in Chandigarh carried out by the students of Carmel Convent School, Sector 9.
A special exhibition on the butterflies in Chandigarh was of high interest as it drew a co-relation between extinction of butterflies and their native plants. As part of their annual day celebrations based on the theme of bio diversity, the students of Class XI showcased various aspects of butterflies ranging from their features, evolution and extinction. Some of species extinct included Common Jezebel butterfly and the Xerces Blue butterfly. The reasons explained for their extinction was the loss of their habitat, or more specifically, their host plants.
“A host plant is one on which a butterfly lays its eggs. Every butterfly has a specific host plant on which it lays eggs. Hence the extinction of these plants leads to the extinction of the respective butterfly species. It is also alarming that the City Beautiful is now deprived of the beauty of a total of 50-60 species of butterflies due to their extinction,” said Soumya Sahay, a student of Class XI.
The children had made artificial host plants of the extinct species. They explained how planting the extinct plants (present in small numbers in specific places only) might help to revive the extinct species due to the presence of sub-species. The special corner in the exhibition showed the present 85 species of butterflies in Chandigarh. The ‘Research Centre’ put up drew special attention, as it had the instruments used for catching butterflies and studying them in laboratories. The hard work put behind the project was evidently seen through the facts, which were put together by the students.
The school is organising a two-day event on Biodiversity on their Annual Day celebrations. The exhibition encompassed numerous displays from dramatic presentations to stationery stalls. Students of Classes VI to XII had worked together for the event that had an integrated focus on Chandigarh to render a sense of responsibility and concern to the witnessing citizens.
A variety of other ideas were also expressed by way of stalls. From vultures to exotic, unusual plants and animals; from herbs, shrubs, different parts of a plant to repercussions of using gadgets like cellphones: all aspects of biodiversity were elaborately displayed in a dynamic way.
The motive of the event was to spread the word and involve as many people as possible in this endeavour. Therefore numerous inter-school competitions, including fancy dress competition, biodiversity quiz, and photography competition on biodiversity were being conducted in the school. Also, to instill enthusiasm in the students, a number of intra-school competitions are being held.