A study on the firefly species and their habitats in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR), has underscored the need to take proactive conservation measures to preserve their habitat and safeguard the ecosystem.
- The study stressed the need to minimise the impact of artificial light on the communication and mating behaviours of fireflies.
- Three species of fireflies — Asymmetrica humeralis, Abscondita genus (species unknown) and Curtos sp — were identified. They exhibited variation in size morphology, but shared similar types of habitat with overlapping zones.
- The well-preserved core zone of the ATR serves as a critical sanctuary for firefly activity, especially during the crucial breeding season in April and May.
- As fireflies rely on bioluminescence for communication and mating, artificial lights in the buffer zone of the reserve may disrupt their delicate synchronisation and mating behaviour.
Key facts about the Anamalai Tiger Reserve
- It is located in the state of Tamil Nadu.
- It lies South of the Palakkad gap in the Southern Western Ghats.
- Vegetation: The Tiger Reserve supports diverse habitat types viz. Wet evergreen forests, semi evergreen forests, moist deciduous, dry deciduous, dry thorn and shola forests.
- Flora: Around 2500 species of angiosperms are found in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, with several species of Balsam, Crotalaria, Orchids and Kurinchi.
- Fauna: Elephant, Indian Leopard, Nilgiri Tahr, Lion-tailed Macaque, Gaur, Nilgiri Langur, Sambar Deer, Sloth Bear Malabar
- It supports 6 indigenous people viz. Malasar, Malai malasars, Kadars, Eravallars, Pulayars and Muduvars.
- The Parambikulam – Aliyar Project and Amaravathy dam housed in this Tiger reserve which plays a vital role in the regional economy by providing water and power.
Q1) What are Shola forests?
These are a unique type of high-altitude, evergreen forest ecosystem found in the Western Ghats mountain range of India. These forests are characterized by their distinctive vegetation structure and play a critical role in maintaining biodiversity and providing ecological services.