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Over 600 bird, butterfly, moth species recorded in Zunheboto district of Nagaland
CORRESPONDENT
 DIMAPUR, Nov 8 - A survey conducted by New Delhi-based The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) recorded about 222 bird, 200 butterfly and more than 200 moth species in Zunheboto district, including special sightings such as grey-headed parrot bills.

The TERI conducted the second “Nagaland Biodiversity Meet” from October 27 to November 4 in Zunheboto. Eco-tourists from the Institute and two Naga visitors carried out a survey in three villages – Sukhai, Ghukhuyi and Kivikhu – in the district with the support of State Forest department.

The event was sponsored by Global Environment Fund (GEF)-Satoyama project through Conservation International Japan to facilitate local people’s conservation efforts and to develop nature-based ecotourism.

The GEF-Satoyama project aims to achieve societies in harmony with nature, with sustainable primary production sector based on traditional and modern wisdom, and making significant contributions to global targets for conservation of biological diversity. The first biodiversity meet in Nagaland was also held in Zunheboto in May this year.

Area convenor in the centre for biodiversity and ecosystem services, TERI, Pia Sethi, who was the leader of the survey team, said many new records were documented during the tour which includes the Naga wren-babbler (Spelaeornischocolatinus), Hodgson’s frogmouth (Batrachostomushodgsoni), and the spot-breasted Parrotbill (Paradoxornisguttaticollis), besides rufous-faced warbler (Abroscopusalbogularisalbogularis) among others.

He said an extremely rare species of butterflies, the endemic Naga Emperor (Chitorianaga) and the Rufous Silverline (Spindasisevansii) were recorded, while Comostolahauensteini, a species of moth, was recorded for the first time in Nagaland. The scarce tawny rajah (Charaxesaristogiton) and the tawny rajah (Charaxesbernardus) were among other butterflies recorded during the survey.

Naturalists, adventurers, photographers, students, professors and nature lovers from Nagaland, Delhi, Mumbai, and the US, numbering 13, took part in the second “Nagaland Biodiversity Meet” during which they got to experience the culture, the people, the landscape, and the rich biodiversity of Nagaland.

Sethi stated that the surprise sightings included grey-headed parrotbills (Paradoxornisgularis), malay tree shrew (Tupaiabelangeri), and the green-red snake (Gonyosoma oxycephalum). Sethi said the visitors paid a visit to Pangti village in Wokha district and were enthralled by the spectacle of more than 1.5 lakh Amur Falcons that darkened the sky in Pangti village. Amur Falcons rest and roost in the village during their journey to South Africa in the month of November and December every year.

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