Chief Minister P.S. Golay, during the World Environment Day celebrations, declared Blue Duke as the State Butterfly of Sikkim. The announcement was made at Saramsa Garden near Ranipool during the event organized by the Forest department. Blue Duke, a native butterfly species of Sikkim, edged past another contender Krishna Peacock to be announced as the State Butterfly of Sikkim. The two butterflies, among the 720-odd butterfly species, had been shortlisted for the State Butterfly nominations.
According to the Forest department, an online voting was conducted between April and September to select the State Butterfly. Among the 4036 votes, 57% of the votes went in favour of Blue Duke while 43% voted for Krishna Peacock.
About the Blue Duke:
- The Blue Duke represents Sikkim with its two unique colours blue representing the sky and white depicting the snow clad mountains of the Himalayas, it is befitting to Sikkim and its unique identity.
- Blue Duke is found at an altitude below 1,500 metres in the Himalayas and is commonly found in places like Pakyong, Passingdong and Hee-Gyathang in Dzongu, Lingee in South Sikkim and Yangsum in West Sikkim and closer to the State capital in places like Tadong and Ranka.
- Nosang found the species in 2012, around the area of Nar Bahadur Bhandari Degree College at Tadong, Gangtok. Since then he has approached both the previous and the current State government to recognise the butterfly species as the State butterfly.
- Blue Duke which is also called Bassarona durga durga is unique to Sikkim and Eastern Himalayas, first discovered in the State in 1858. Blue Duke falls in the Schedule 2 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and is a highly protected species of butterfly in the Himalayas.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- Sikkim Capital: Gangtok;
- Sikkim Governor: Ganga Prasad;
- Sikkim Chief minister: PS Golay.