22 February 2021.
For the first time a report has been prepared on the two –way mass migration of blue earthworms in the Mawlyngot area of Meghalaya. The report has been prepared by Zoological Survey of India.
- The blue earthworms, measuring up to 1.6 feet in length, migrate up and down to 300 metres in the East Khasi Hills of the state.
- The blue earthworms migrate twice annually — uphill in spring and downhill in autumn on inclines of up to 80-85 degrees to evade environmental factors that affect them.
- Uphill migration of the earthworms starts in April-May. With the onset of monsoon, they emerge from the rivers and streams.
- Downhill migration occurs during September-October when the vegetation starts to dry and temperature & humidity drop.
- The locals in the state beat them when they observe these earthworms.
- Earthworms play a major role in enhancing the fertility of soil.
- Further, it helps in shifting the locals to ecologically sustainable organic farming.
- The population has been dwindling in areas where human interference in the form of stone quarrying and earth-cutting has increased.
- Factors like developmental activities, predation, erratic weather patterns and climate change pose risks to successful migrations of earthworms.
About Blue Earthworm:
- The scientific name of the blue earthworm is Perionyx excavates.
- It is also called as composting worms, blues, or Indian blues.
- The species is known for its ability to create the fine worm castings so quick.
- The species have become popular in North America recently where it is used for composting purposes.
- Scientists believe that its origins are in the Himalayan mountains.
- It is also suited for vermicomposting in tropical and subtropical regions.