Survey Identifies 51 Species of Odonates in Munnar

A survey conducted by wildlife division of the Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department, Munnar division has identified 51 species of odonates in the high altitude Munnar region.

Davenport’s False Spreadwing, Red Veined Darter, Laidlaw’s Clawtail and Plain Sinuate Clubtail were the rare catches of the four-day survey, organized in association with Kottayam Nature Society (KNS) and Travancore Natural History Society (TNHS).

Davenport's False Spreadwing
Davenport’s False Spreadwing

The survey was conducted after dividing the 45-members team into twelve groups covering Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kurinjimala Wildlife Sanctuary and the National Parks of Anamudi Shola, Pampadum Shola and the Mathikettan Shola.

The team also observed large scale migration of Global Wanderer, commonly known as Onathumbi, at Kurinjimala and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuaries. Global Wanderer is one of the commonest dragonflies in Kerala, which migrate all across the Indian sub-continent using the monsoon winds and cross the Arabian Sea to Africa.

Forty four species of dragonflies were spotted at Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, 17 at Anamudi Shola, 13 at Pambadum Shola and Mathikettan Shola.

Global Wanderer
Global Wanderer

The survey teams could spot only 11 species at Kurinjimala wildlife sanctuary, which is a disturbed habitat because of its wattle plantation and agricultural lands.

“The study of the odonates is important as they are good indicators of environment and habitat quality, which is evident from the results of the survey,” said Munnar Wildlife Warden, G Prasad who led the survey.

He added that parts of the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Kurinjimala sanctuary are major migration routes of odonates in the Western Ghats and frequent surveys are essential for recording the changes in the number of odonates, which is needed for observing the environmental issues as well.