A four-month festival featuring nature walks and trails to promote conservation of tiny insects like dragonflies and damselflies has got underway in the national capital, officials said on Tuesday. The Delhi edition of National Dragonfly Festival 2022 was launched at Sanjay Van.
The DDA in a statement said the fifth edition of the festival was launched in August 2022 across 12 states of India to bring into public eye a group of insects called odonates and build support for their conservation.
The festival will engage participants through workshops, competitions, walks and odonate counts, it said.
Dragonflies and damselflies are vital indicators of ecosystem health but are “facing increasing threats of extinction,” the urban body said which maintains Sanjay Van.
Dragonflies and damselflies, together comprising the group of insects called odonates, are ancient species that were around when the dinosaurs roamed the planet earth, the statement said.
“They are fantastic fliers and expert hunters. But more importantly, these insects are essential to our ecosystem as they are both prey and predators. With climatic changes and land degradation, many dragonflies and damselflies species are at risk of extinction. It is important to build awareness, evaluate and record odonate population trends, examine the roles these species play in ecosystems and explore effective steps towards their conservation,” it said.
The event kickstarts a four-month-long exploration and observation of dragonflies and damselflies bringing these tiny insects into the public eye and building support for their conservation.
DDA and WWF India organised a special event amid the greenery of Delhi’s Sanjay Van as part of it.
“Tiny insects like dragonflies and damselflies play a big part in our ecosystem. It is important to engage children, youth and citizens in observing and recording the different plants and animals found in Sanjay Van. This kind of public participation in research and citizen science is important in building awareness and improving the data available for scientists” Radhika Suri, Director Education, WWF India, was quoted as saying in the statement.
The event saw a participation of around 200 people including children and youth. A small session was conducted to introduce the audience to the world of dragonflies and damselflies and their morphology, behaviour, life cycle and differences. WWF India’s naturalists and odonates specialists took people on nature walks to explore the different odonates and their behaviour.
The Dragonfly Festival at Sanjay Van is a nature-based learning activity being conducted to record and build a sense of appreciation for odonates of Delhi.