Mumbai : In a first-of-its-kind of initiative, now comes insect tourism! Navi Mumbai-based Ladybird Environmental Consulting, an environmental social enterprise run by a team of women professionals, is coming out with an initiative into this fairly unknown area of eco-tourism which has a greater potential to develop community based projects and programme.
The first such event would be held at Matheran from August 22-24. “It is going to be an exciting event,” said Dr V Shubhalaxmi, Founder & Director, Ladybird Environmental Consulting, LLP. “After Matheran, similar events will be organised at other tourist destinations in Maharashtra like Malshej, Bhimashankar, Mahabaleshwar and Amboli. These ‘insect camps’ will go on till Novermber,” She added.
“Insects as habitat indicators are not being studied and through these study camps our participants will prepare an inventory of insects. Additionally they will get an opportunity to interact with dying tribe of entomologists too,” she said.
“The benefit of an insect camp is that you could enjoy lazy mornings and have late night coffee at the light traps. We are in no hurry to go anywhere because insects are ‘lazy’ too,” said
Dr Subhalaxmi, a trained and leading entomologist.
The three-day study tour will include field trips to study day-flying insects through different methods, though looking for insects in leech laden vegetation will be a challenge but the real fun would begin in night at the light traps.
“Besides these, participants will learn about insect identification and natural history of insects through evening lectures. We would also train local guides for insect watching,” she said.
“We also plan to involve the local youth in all our camps so that they will learn about the natural wealth they are living with and will also be able to develop livelihood options for themselves by preserving that wealth. We have chosen tourist places for now because that will highlight our purpose behind doing this. Nobody loves insects. Nobody goes to Matheran or Mahabaleshwar to see insects. We want people to see the known places from a different perspective,” said Subhalaxmi.
All research, conservation and tourism is driven for spiny animals and insects are literally treated ‘spineless’ baring the butterfly ambassadors. Being a pioneer in entomology outreach programme in India, our passion for insects remain undying. “While we have trained and lost several serious insect lovers, our drive to get more and more people ‘infected’ by the ‘bug’ of entomology is never ending,” she said.