Butterflies and Bees in the Indian Himalayas – Volunteer with Earthwatch

India’s Kullu Valley in the Himalayas, is famous for its apple orchards and farms. As climate change affects the region, however, flowering plants once plentiful in the region are becoming scarce due to biodiversity loss. The number of pollinators such as bees and butterflies is declining. The result: crops are suffering and farmers must hire bees at significant cost to ensure pollination. These changes are threatening the future of the region’s traditional sustainable agriculture and the livelihoods of the community.

pic 6Apis cerana, the native bee in the Himalayas


Earthwatch, together with the Govind Ballabh Pant Instituteof Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED), is undertaking a study to understand better the status of biodiversity and the impact of climate change on Himalayan agriculture. Researchers are working to determine just how climate change has affected fragile plant species and to what degree decreased plant biodiversity is reducing the number of pollinators in orchards and fields.

You can join the team, collecting vital data about the number and type of wild and cultivated plants growing at different elevations, observing and recording the activities of butterflies and bees. This information will help to develop both regional and national policies for agricultural management in Indian Himalayan Region.

See the Earthwatch website (http://www.earthwatch.org/europe/expeditions/volunteerconservation- projects-2013/) or phone 01865 318831.

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