The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)s Conservation Education Centre (CEC),is for the first time,organizing a bug walk on Red Cotton bug (RCB) on Saturday,a move which is a part of the insect walk series that CEC began in April to educate people about how insects fit into the forest ecology. Interestingly,RCB is considered a pest as it feeds on the seed of the cotton crop and does not allow it to germinate.
It is a matter of perception because only when you look at RCB from the human conflict perspective that it becomes a pest. For us wildlife activists,it is a fascinating insect which emerges only when the red cotton silk tree starts its seed dispersal and RCB feeds on its seeds till monsoon and then disappears, said CEC head V Shubhalaxmi,who is conducting the walk. The forest is now covered in red,due to these insects and we thought it would be a good idea to study them, she added.
The walk,which will take place from 8 to 11 am on Saturday with CEC in Goregaon East as the meeting point,will study the ecology of these insects,discussing its population and life stages.
Although CEC has been conducting insect walks for some time now,it was only in April this year when they decided to concentrate on one specific insect per walk.
The idea was to create interest about insects,as they are generally neglected, Shubhalaxmi said. The walk will feature a new insect every month. The April walk was on cicadas,which received a good response,from the young and the elderly. Next month,we will have the Monsoon Bug Walk where we will study the pollinators of lilies,a flower which emerges only after the first shower and exists only in the monsoon months, she added.
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