Winged beauties, gem-like symbols of Sri Lanka’s peerless biodiversity
“These winged beauties are, after all, a part of our ecosystems, and have as much right to be here and exist in peace, as does any other creature of the island, large or small.”
The ‘winged beauties’ are the flying gems that we all love to see, and which bring back happy memories of childhood, growing up, romance, and more—our jewel-like indigenous and migratory butterflies.
The above quote is from a roar.lk online piece entitled ‘Endemic But Endangered: Five Butterflies Of Sri Lanka’, and follows a plea by environmentalist Jagath Gunawardena.
He notes that “the increasing decline of Sri Lanka’s butterfly populations is chiefly due to habitat loss, destruction of larvae feeding plants, pesticides released into the environment, and other forms of environmental pollution caused by humans”.
“An increasing number of human activities near the rainforests of Sri Lanka, along with illegal logging, expansion for agriculture, and illegal encroachment for human settlement are also recognised as key threats to the above-mentioned endemic butterflies, as well as many others.”
This despite the fact that “these five endemic species are legally protected. This means that anyone involved in butterfly preservation, exporting, or catching for sport, can be punishable by law.”
The story lists five indigenous butterflies that are, or may soon be, on the danger list, and cites the Butterfly Conservation Action Plan of Sri Lanka, and in-depth study that includes many recommendations.
At its heart is an understanding that Sri Lanka’s much-vaunted biodiversity must be protected, both for ourselves and for the many tourists and visitors who travel here to experience it.
Pledge Holidays is delighted to add its voice to the growing call for Sri Lanka’s entire ecosystem, including our wonderful butterflies, to be rigorously protected for the sake of us all, native Sri Lankans and visiting tourists alike.