play a key role in nature. They are important component in the food chain
for birds, Spiders and other predatory insects. They also act as pollinators.
The age old relationship between the humans and butterflies is today going
through a period of great stress as humans by their activities are directly
or indirectly threatening the existence of butterflies. The presence of
butterflies depends on a variety of factors including the climate, presence
of suitable caterpillar food, appropriate adult nectar sources of other
food, suitable areas for flight and courtship and in some instances, the
presence of certain symbiotic species, notably ants.
activities everywhere are disturbing and destroying that delicate balance
that sustains these factors. These are leading to the decrease in butterfly
numbers as well as diversity. Some of the threats faced by the butterflies
today are habitat destruction, Use of pesticides, pollination, Disappearing
plants, Illegal Collection and trading.
legal protection is granted at various levels to wildlife conservation.
The Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972, with its various amendments provides
the necessary tool to prevent damage to wildlife, including butterflies,
plants and their habitats.
Schedules I to V, which classify wildlife in accordance with the risk of
survival of the species. For animals included in Schedule I total protection
from hunting is provided. Trade and commerce related to such animals are
strictly regulated. Under this ACT, the collection of the listed butterflies
from the wild, or any action leading to threatening their habitats, is prohibited,
and individuals breaking these laws are liable to rigorous punishments.
WPA has listed 450 butterfly species and subspecies in its lists, under
I, II, and the III. Schedule I lists around 15 species of butterflies that
include the Blue Nawab, Blue Baron, Danaid Eggfly, Crimson Rose etc. Schedule
II includes 47 peninsular Indian butterflies' species like the Grey Count,
Common Oakleaf, Malabar Banded Peacock etc.