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Publication Date : 07-03-2013
A nature park in Chittagong is the only sanctuary in Bangladesh dedicated entirely to butterflies
Butterfly Park Bangladesh Ltd has set out to prove that doing business and protecting the environment can go hand in hand. It just takes creativity and love for nature.
Sprawling over six acres, the Butterfly Park is located at Patenga on the outskirts of Chittagong, in Bangladesh's south-east. Although formally inaugurated on October 12, it opened its doors to visitors two years ago.
There are only two parks owned and managed by Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) that city dwellers have free access to. In addition, the city has four privately owned parks; Butterfly Park is one that attracts visitors for its scenic beauty.
The park draws in large crowds as it is the only sanctuary for butterflies in Bangladesh, said AKM Moinuddin Sagar, project director of the park.
Butterflies play a vital role in pollination, helping trees breed, he said. The park runs a cell to carry out research on butterflies.
The number of butterflies in the country is declining because of urbanisation. The park aims to protect this important element of nature by creating awareness among people, Sagar said.
Syed Selim Ershad, general manager, said they invite schools to send their students to the park for a tour and to brief them on butterfly breeding. They explain the importance of butterflies in biodiversity and conservation, he added.
The park sees an abundance of host plants, where butterflies lay eggs. The park also comprises an open reservoir and a large pond with an abundance of fish.
The company plans to organise countrywide training programmes on breeding, nurturing and protecting butterflies from extinction.
Researcher Dr Shafiq Haider Chowdhury, an ex-professor of zoology of Chittagong University, works as a consultant for the park. Researching butterflies for 20 years now, it has been his long cherished dream to preserve a place for butterflies where different breads could roam freely.
Chowdhury said his dream came true when Intraco Group initiated this park. About 200 butterfly species have been discovered so far in Bangladesh and he is trying to collect more. “At present, about nine butterfly species are being bred in the park.”
Butterfly Park Bangladesh Ltd received the HSBC- Daily Star Climate Champion Award 2012 in green business for its effort to protect the fast-disappearing species of butterflies and attracting people towards nature. “It will inspire everyone to study nature,” he said. “It will also encourage entrepreneurs to undertake nature and environment-friendly businesses.”
The park remains open from 9 am to 11 pm every day but the best time to visit is between 9 am and 3 pm on a sunny day, as butterflies are cold-blooded insects and come out in search of food when it is warm.