Study On Butterflies’ Migration


In southern India, millions of milkweed butterflies travel between the Eastern and Western Ghats in search of safety from the scorching summer.

Points to Ponder:

  • To escape the scorching heat, milkweed butterflies migrate between the Eastern and Western Ghats in southern India.
  • After the southwest monsoon, the butterflies migrate, and once they reach the Western Ghats, they become active for more than two months.
  • The majority of milkweed butterflies in the Western Ghats cluster in great numbers at specific locations during the winter and dry seasons between October and April.
  • The butterflies travel eastward into the Eastern Ghats and the plains as the summer rain cools southern India.
  • According to the study, most butterflies’ wings are generally more damaged during their eastward flight than during their westward migration.
  • The Western Ghats’ mid- and high-altitude evergreen and semi-evergreen forests do not support breeding populations of the two prominent species that participate in the migration, the Dark blue tiger and Double-branded crow.
  • The researchers hypothesise that the adults of these species, which first appeared in the Western Ghats, may now be travelling in the opposite direction and breeding in southern India’s plains and Eastern Ghats.
  • Milkweed butterflies are pollinators, and their migration has a significant ecological influence because it can change entire ecosystems.
  • Climate change and habitat damage are threats to their movement.
  • In the face of increasing changes in land use, habitat degradation, and global warming, the researchers hope that their work can help save these butterflies and their migratory.
  • The Ferns Nature Conservation Society has started tagging these migratory butterflies in order to track them over time and learn more about their feeding and migration behaviours.
  • The Journal of Insect Conservation published the study.The study was directed by P.A. Vinayan, head of the Ferns Nature Conservation Society.
  • Researchers from the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, the Wildlife Institute of India, and the Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History were also a part of the study team.
  • According to Mr. Vinayan, we may contribute to the preservation of these lovely creatures and their habitats by solving the puzzles surrounding the migration of milkweed butterflies.
  • These migratory butterflies can be tagged and subjected to long-term observation to learn more about their migratory routes and food preferences.
  • The fact that the adults of the major species participating in the migration are travelling in the opposite direction and breeding in the Eastern Ghats and the plains of southern India has to be confirmed by additional research.