During the celebration of World Environment Day 2022; the Chief Minister of Sikkim, P.S. Golay, declared Blue Duke as “State Butterfly of Sikkim”.
- This was announced at Saramsa Garden near Ranipool, in an event organized by Forest department.
- Blue Duke edged past Krishna Peacock, which was to be announced as State Butterfly of Sikkim.
- Both the butterflies were shortlisted for “State butterfly” nominations, among 720-odd butterfly species.
- As per Forest Department, an online voting was done between April and September 2021 for select State Butterfly.
- Out of 4036 votes, 57% of the votes went to Blue Duke and 43% votes went to Krishna Peacock.
About Blue Duke
- Blue Duke is a native butterfly species of Sikkim.
- It represents Sikkim with its two unique colours. Blue colour represents sky while white colour depicts snow clad mountains of Himalayas.
- The butterfly is befitting to Sikkim and its unique identity. It is found in Himalayas, at an altitude below 1,500 metres.
- Places where it is commonly found include Pakyong, Hee-Gyathang and Pssingdong in Dzongu, Yangsum in West Sikkim and Lingee in South Sikkim.
- It is also found in places closer to State capital, like Tadong and Ranka.
About the discovery of the spp:
- The Blue Duke butterfly was founded by Nosang in 2012.
- It was found around the Nar Bahadur Bhandari Degree College at Tadong in Gangtok.
- Since then, Nosang has been approaching state government to recognise it as State butterfly. Blue Duke, also called Bassarona durga, is unique to Sikkim and Eastern Himalayas. It was first discovered in Sikkim in 1858.
Blue Duke is listed in Schedule 2 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. It is a highly protected species of butterfly in the Himalayas.