Is habitat heterogeneity effective for conservation of butterflies in urban landscapes of Delhi, India?

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Monalisa Paul
Aisha Sultana


The present study which was conducted in 2015–16 and 2016–17 emphasizes the nine different types of habitats used by 40 listed butterflies in six different urban landscapes of Delhi. Assessment of flowerbeds, grasses, hedges/crops/bushes, artificial light, wet soil/damp patches/humus, trees, open spaces/grounds, bird droppings, and roads/pavements/concrete spaces in conserving butterfly diversity in highly urbanized landscapes by testing the hypothesis that diversity of butterflies across all the habitats are similar, was the focal point of the study. Except for the artificial light and the paved roads or concrete spaces, all other habitats were natural in surroundings. The families Lycaenidae and Nymphalidae had the largest habitat share (26%), whereas the family Hesperiidae had the minimum share (9%). Aravalli Biodiversity Park, New Delhi maintained the serenity of natural ones. Species richness and diversity was the highest at flowerbeds and lowest at the artificial light. The study highlights the choice of heterogeneous habitats by city butterflies to integrate the concept of the urban green spaces into a wide variety of urban development projects which in turn can help their own sustenance. 

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