Friday, June 3, 2016

The Butterfly Fauna of Sri Lanka, by George and Nancy Van Der Poorten, launched at the Met Office yesterday

The long anticipated release of the most definitive guide on Butterflies was held yesterday, in the presence of many experts and lovers of Wildlife Conservation.

I will not go into the details of the event except to say that both the Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, the Hon. Gamini Jayawickrema Perera and The Director General of Wildlife Conservation, Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya gave short speeches, and were presented with Books by the Authors. Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda, another environmentalist was the MC, well known to the Authors who filled us with the background.

The introductory price of the Book which attendees purchased was Rs6,200 and I believe the RRP is Rs9,000. The book is written in terms that laymen like me can understand and all I can hope is that the interest in Conservation of Habitat and planting Butterfly friendly trees become the rage, as well as getting people involved in establishing butterfly gardens.

I was most encouraged by the fact that the Butterfly Conservation Society of Sri Lanka, is made up of young people who had taken charge of handling the sale of the books at the event.

I spoke with a young man I know personally, and was informed that he had a project in hand to speak to school kids on the importance of Butterfly Conservation, and actually getting them interested in studying about them.

I sincerely believe that pre-schoolers are the AGE to get interested in Butterflies. They will then have in interest in their conservation for the rest of their lives, and hey presto, we will automatically develop a Country of environmentally conscious and protective individuals coming out of rural areas, where it is needed most if we are to stop the rot, of deforestation, and begin reforestation, and regeneration of old growth forests that are rapidly depleting.

I have been trying to find out the key to awakening the interest in Wildlife Conservation, Environmental Protection, and knowledge of flora fauna and Medicinal Plants amongst youth in Rural Areas of Sri Lanka.

I believe this key is BUTTERFLIES! Preschoolers can easily get interested in these little creatures, and that can start the effort that we need to encourage, harness, and develop. Let us all get involved in making this happen.

I was also encouraged that the Van Der Poortens are now turning their focus on Moths, of which we apparently have 10,000 species and they are currently NOT mapped, or studied. Nancy is also world President Designate of the Dragonfly Association, which with Moths, Bees and Butterflies are all categorized together. This is the future if the Earth is to have a chance of seeing in 2200~ 

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