Sikkim marked the World Environment Day in an apt manner, announcing the Blue Duke as the state butterfly. Of the 720 butterfly species in Sikkim, Blue Duke was selected as the state butterfly securing 57 per cent of the votes in a recent online poll.
Blue Duke, also called Bassarona durga durga, is unique to Sikkim and Eastern Himalayas, first discovered in the state in 1858.
The idea of a state butterfly was brought by butterfly enthusiast Nosang M Limboo from Darap as part of The Butterfly Society of Sikkim (TPCF) in 2018.
Blue Duke falls in Schedule 2 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and is a highly protected butterfly species in the Himalayas.
Krishna Peacock (Papilio krishna) secured 43 per cent of the votes in the online polls to secure the second position.
The online poll included 4,036 votes with 3700 votes from Sikkim.
Nosang M Limboo, also known as the Butterfly Man of Sikkim, shared, “The Blue Duke represents Sikkim with its two unique colours blue representing the sky and white depicting the snow-clad mountains of the Himalayas, it is befitting to Sikkim and its unique identity. There can be no other butterfly that can represent Sikkim than the Blue Duke.”
Blue Duke is found at an altitude below 1500 metres in the Himalayas and is commonly found in places like Pakyong, Passingdong and Hee Gyathang in Dzongu, Lingee in South Sikkim and Yangsum in West Sikkim and closer to the State capital in places like Tadong-Ranka.
Nosang found the species in 2012, around the area of Nar Bahadur Bhandari Degree College in Tadong. Since then he has approached both the previous and the current government to recognise the butterfly species as the state butterfly.
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