Butterfly Watching

Butterflies have been a fascination to many people since their childhood, due to their colorful and delicate wings which made them the fairies of the real world. Sri Lanka has been world famous for the phenomenon of internal butterfly migration and it has been documented by many international authors. Locally, we call this incident as, "Butterfly pilgrimage of Mount Sri Pada (Adams Peak) in order to worship the footprint of Lord Buddha". Even though this migration still exists, the number of individuals has been drastically reduced over the years. This reduction is also true for many of the other non-migratory species as well due to two major reasons; habitat destruction and degradation. The forests were cleared for coffee and tea cultivation, and the process is still continuing at an alarming rate with the increasing human population. Many of the suitable habitats for butterflies together with other living beings are being destroyed due to these activities. Further, there are some rare butterflies who require very specific micro habitat conditions. Tree felling alters the light intensity that will penetrate into the forests, and high use of chemicals for cultivation and industrial purposes will alter the water, soil and finally the plant chemical compositions which will cause significant negative impacts on all flora and fauna. Effecting fauna population will directly influence the life cycles of lepidopterans.