Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea and Hesperoidea) and other protected fauna of Jones Estate, a dying watershed in the Kumaon Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India

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P. Smetacek


Two hundred and forty three species of butterflies recorded from Jones Estate, Uttarakhand between 1951 and 2010 are reported. The ongoing rapid urbanization of Jones Estate micro-watershed will destroy the habitat of 49 species of wildlife protected under Indian law, as well as several species of narrow endemic moths and butterflies. The only known Indian habitat for the butterfly Lister’s Hairstreak Pamela dudgeoni will be destroyed. The effect on the water flow of both the Bhimtal and Sattal lake systems will clearly be adverse, as is evident from the drying up of Kua Tal and the reduced flow of perennial water springs during the dry season on the Estate. The undoubtedly negative effect of urbanization on these valuable fresh water resources will be irreversible in the long term. The trend can be reversed by extending protection to Jones Estate by re-declaring it a Green Belt of Bhimtal and by banning construction in the catchment area of Bhimtal lake, as has been done in Nainital and Mussoorie, both in Uttarakhand.

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Author Biography

P. Smetacek

Peter Smetacek is an authority on Indian Lepidoptera and has pioneered the use of insect communities as bio-indicators of climatic change and ground water.

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