Diversity and Communities Conservation Education of Butterflies in Salkahala Game Reserve, Kashmir Pakistan

Kashuf Batool

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3 Nov 2015

Enhancing the Capacity of Local Communities for the Conservation of Butterflies in and around Salkhala Game Reserve, Kashmir Himalaya, Pakistan

Proposed project aims to explore the butterflies diversity of Salkhala Game Reserve beside involvement of locals especially women for conservation purpose and establishing plots to help monitor this magnificent creature as an indicator of ecosystem health.

A Swallowtail butterfly.

A Swallowtail butterfly.

Butterflies are important biodiversity indicators and play an important role in ecosystems, e.g. through their pollination activities. Climate change is already having an impact on several butterfly species and their habitat and is likely to have a strong effect on many more in the future (IUCN). In this part of Pakistani Himalayan landscape, butterflies are least studied group and highest rate of deforestation is leading to habitat degradation due to increasing human population demands for natural resources. The proposed project aims to collect information on diversity of butterflies, habitat association, threats and communities conservation awareness of butterflies.

Pollard and Yates (1993) transect method will be used to conduct surveys. 500m long transect with six sub section will be laid down in different habitat type and along altitudinal gradient for data collection. At each subsection information about species, habitat will be collected by individual species in an imaginary box, 2.5m to each side and 5m in front and above as recommended by Van et al. (2012). Distance sampling and analysis for density estimates of each species will be done following Buckland et al. (1993). Community conservation education and awareness will be started to highlight the importance of butterflies as an indicator of healthy ecosystem.

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