Butterfly Dragonfly Race - 2017
The Butterfly and Dragonfly Race organized by Butterfly Conservation Society of Sri Lanka (BCSSL) was held on 30th July 2017 for the second consecutive year, at Biodiversity Study Park, Thalawathugoda. This time around the event was succeeded by another short program solely dedicated to kids – “Grow with Nature”.
Butterfly – Dragonfly Race – a fairly new kind of event to Sri Lanka, was conducted in the form of a competition where the participating teams would compete with each other by trying to record the highest number of butterfly and dragonfly species in a given area within a given time. The aim was to promote butterfly and dragonfly watching in urban wetland parks around Colombo in order to increase public engagement with nature and increase awareness on their conservation.
This time a staggering number of 22 teams participated, which consisted mostly of university students and other youngsters. Each team was given brochures about common wetland butterflies and dragonflies and everyone was seen looking energetically for the insects around the park. Winners of the competition were awarded prizes and certificates were given to all the participants. Winners, who recorded the highest cumulative number of butterfly and dragonfly species, was Team YBA while team UoC and Team Psyche were the runners-up.
Renowned lepidopterist Dr. George van der Poorten and his wife Ms. Nancy Vander Poorten - the co-authors of the book “The butterfly Fauna of Sri Lanka” – attended the event as honorary guests. Field sessions and lectures were conducted to improve the knowledge of the contestants on field techniques and conservation.
The kids’ program “Grow with Nature” too was a huge success with around 30 kids taking part. Kids of different age groups were entertained with different fun activities such as bug hunts. The aim was to create awareness on nature and its minute aspects among kids; the next generation who should be shown the right path to save the nature.
With the leadership of president Mr. Himesh Jayasinghe, everyone at BCSSL put a great effort to make this event successful.
As a conservation society, we always try to create public awareness on the importance of insects like butterflies and dragonflies for the balance of nature and in turn for the existence of human beings. Our hope is to conduct the Butterfly - Dragonfly Race annually