23 August 2020.
WWF-India State unit and the Society for Odonate Studies (SOS) and Thumbipuranam have joined hands for the first-ever State Dragonfly Festival in Kerala, named as Thumbimahotsavam 2020.
- This the first ever State Dragonfly festival to be held in India.
- It is being organised by WWF India,Bombay Natural History Society and Indian Dragonfly Society.
- Pantalu is the official mascot of the festival.
- Festival will include training of personnel, webinars and competitions.
- Webinars will also be organised for specific target groups such as zoology teachers, district coordinators and members of biodiversity management committees, coordinators of Boomitrasena clubs, district coordinators and teachers-in-charge of eco-clubs, Forest Department personnel, mainly Vana Samrakshana Samithy and Eco Development Committee members, involved in ecotourism activities.
- A ‘dragonfly backyard watch’ has been announced to enhance the participation of people and improve their observation skill .
- The festival will provide opportunity to people to undertake citizen science projects in their backyards during COVID 19 restrictions.
Society for Odonate Studies (SOS)
SOS is a non-political non- profit organisation formed to impart knowledge to the public on insects of order Odonata( which comprises of dragonflies and damselflies) and to conduct scientific studies,with the objective of conservation of the species and their habitats.
Odonate Konwledge hub:
- A digital odonate knowledge hub will also be established under SOS/Thumbipuramfacebookpage, which will host materials in the form of scientific papers,posters videos and stickers.
Significance of Dragonfly:
- They are bioindicator species of aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity.
- The dragonflies require clean water to thrive and their survival also require healthy vegetation to provide them with oxygen.This makes them the best indicator of oxygen levels in aquatic environment.
- India has 500 spp of dragonflies.
- Numbers have been declining due to destruction of aquatic habitats,canalisation of streams and rivers.
- The main threat is deforestation.
The IUCN SSC Dragonfly Specialist Group (DSG)
- It is a global network of 50 scientists and conservationists from 28 countries, working on dragonflies and dragonfly related issues.
- Members have been involved in several Freshwater Biodiversity Projects coordinated by IUCN’s Freshwater Unit in Cambridge: Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Western Ghats, East Himalayas, Indo-Burma, New Zealand. Assessments for other regions are planned.