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Arunachal- a hotspot for researchers

21 Jul,2022 09:04 PM, by: Posy Lui
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Arunachal Pradesh, the land of the rising sun is the largest state area-wise in the region of the northeast. It covers a distance of approximately 83,743 square kilometres. It is located at 26.28° N -29.30° N latitude and 91.20° E-97.30° E longitude and is situated in the region of the Eastern Himalayas and is known as one of the richest provinces of the Himalayan zone with numerous rivers, flora, and faunas.

Arunachal Pradesh has beautiful rivers that are suitable for boating, rafting, and angling. There are several rivers and the major ones are Kameng, Subansiri, Siang, Dibang, Lohit and Noa Dihing rivers. It is to be noted that flows of subsurface and snow melting in summers play a huge role in the contribution to the volume of water. The highest peak of the state is named Kangto, situated at 7,060 metres. Other high Himalayan peaks are Negi Kangsang, Gorichen peak, and the Eastern Gorichen peak. Mountain ranges of the state are always the first places to see the sunrise in the region, thus it is known as the land of the rising sun. It is the first soil of India to greet the rising sun and one of the unexplored states. It is highly known for its breath-taking beauty and floral and faunal possessions.

The state is also known as the Orchid State of India or the Paradise of the Botanists. For the same reason, it is also known as a hotspot for researchers. State provides shelter to a number of exotic animals, and visitors quite love its faunal richness. More than 500 rare species of Orchids can be found in the jungles of Arunachal.  Moreover, there are more than 500 species of birds available in the state. Some of them are highly endangered and are restricted to the state itself. These endangered species of birds are the white Winged duck, Sclater, Monal bangal florian, etc. Wildlife is rich in the state and includes elephants, tigers, leopards, jungle cats, white gibbon, red pandas, musk, and the “Mithun”. Other than that, it is also a haven for several species of butterflies. It is indeed a biodiversity hotspot with a number of species of fascinating butterflies.

It has been evaluated that there are approximately 582 species of butterflies in the state, and the counting is still on. The great part is that new species of butterflies get recorded in the state almost every year! There is a huge contribution of wildlife hotspots such as Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Namdapha National Park, Tale Wildlife Sanctuary, etc. in discovering new species of butterflies. Some naturalists and butterfly enthusiasts recently discovered a beautiful species of butterfly from the hills of Mishmi located near Mayudia Pass. This newly found species is known as Bhutan Glory (Bhutanitis lidderdalii). The reason for this name is that it is usually found in Bhutan. The existence of these beautiful butterflies is truly a matter of curiosity. Various volunteers, butterfly enthusiasts, and departments of forest and wildlife in the state have taken an initiative to organize several events to raise awareness regarding butterflies and their conservation. It has been studied that the utilization of pesticides has a huge impact on the richness of butterflies in the state. Other than that, enhanced deforestation is also a threat to these fluttering creatures. Moreover, sudden climate change has been one of the reasons behind the loss of habitat for butterflies.

Butterflies are one of the essential components of the food chain along with being pretty fluttering creatures. They play a huge role in a healthy ecosystem. The rich diversity of butterflies in the state is a major attraction for tourists all over the country. Tourism provides employment to local people and also helps in the generation of state revenue. Keeping the importance of butterflies in mind, the government of Arunachal Pradesh has taken a huge step by declaring (or still in discussion) Kaiser-i-Hind (Teinopalpus imperialis) as the State Butterfly. This huge and crucial step was taken at one of the cabinet meetings at the Pakke Tiger Reserve in Pakke Kessang. It is indeed a sincere effort to protect the existence of wildlife in the state. Annual events are also being held by wildlife spots such as the Butterfly Meet of Ziro, the Namdapha Butterfly Meet, the Pasighat Butterfly Meet at Ledum, etc. The motive of these events is to attract enthusiasts and tourists to the state from all around the country. These events indeed play a crucial role in raising awareness among the local people and the discovery of new species of these beautiful fluttering creatures.

With diversity in flora and fauna, the land of Arunachal Pradesh is still raw and yet to be uncovered, making it one of the hotspots for researchers.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Critical Script or its editor.

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