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Butterfly Conservatory to get more facilities

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The Tropical Butterfly Conservatory at Srirangam would soon have an interpretation centre, a vermi compost shed, another eco shop and a rest shed for the public. These facilities, involving an expenditure of ₹ 25 lakh, would be ready by this month-end.

The interpretation centre would give a host of information to visitors regarding butterflies and their life cycles, their importance in maintaining ecological balance, their behaviour, the number of species recorded inside the conservatory so far, among others, said a senior Forest Department official. It would have about 12 partitions to put across information on butterflies to the visitors.

The number of butterfly species recorded so far at the conservatory that was thrown open to visitors in November 2015 was 102.

Maintaining several host and nectar plants inside using organic manure, the department is in the process of creating a vermi compost shed with a three-tonne capacity. Vermi compost thus generated would be used to enrich soil and enhance growth of plants.

The department has fixed around 200 foggers inside the Indoor Conservatory to maintain cool temperature and humidity. Connected to pipelines, they have been fixed at various spots sprinkling very fine water droplets like a fog or mist. The droplets would help butterflies to breed, said the official.

The conservatory which has emerged as a major tourism attraction in Tiruchi has seen a steady growth in the number of visitors since November 2015. The footfall has exceeded nine lakh. In view of the summer vacation, the department has decided to keep the conservatory open on all Tuesdays this month.

The Forest Department established the conservatory on a 25-acre reserve forest land between the Cauvery and the Coleroon.

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