Chat Archives
Chat on "Insect Tourism" dated November 16, 2014
  • Susan Sharma: Welcome Shubha
  • Susan Sharma: Please let us know what is Insect Tourism?
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Thank you Susan
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Thanks for inviting me to talk about Insect tourism
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Insect Tourism is indeed a new concept in the domain on ecotourism
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: The aim is to use insects as one of the components of ecotourism since they are easily found in any environment
  • Susan Sharma: Butterfly tourism is already in vogue, I believe
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Insects though are not appreciated for their services, my company thought of highlighting them
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Its rather irony butterflies are not considered to be insects
  • Susan Sharma: Butterfly parks attract good crowds
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: There is need to go beyond butterflies and this is what insect tourism aims for
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Insect tourism aims at training local youth into insect guides so that they earn additional income by showing insects to the tourists
  • Susan Sharma: Is there such an initiative in any other country?
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: This includes butterflies, moths and other insects
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: For butterflies it exists in northeast, I wanted to popularize the same in Western Ghats
  • Susan Sharma: Insect tourism can be very interesting if we can connect it to agriculture
  • Susan Sharma: Beneficial insects -their role in regulating pests
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: The plan is to hold study camps in Western Ghats take city people to the forests and then engage local community for free training
  • Susan Sharma: Insect tourism as applied to organic agriculture
  • Susan Sharma: Then you need not limit yourself to Western Ghats
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Agriculture is different field merging these will be difficult because the training part cannot accommodate agricultural practices
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: I need begin from my comfort zone i.e Western Ghats since I have travelled widely and it is here such initiatives are needed, once its popular here then it could be emulated to other areas
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Anyone who wishes to participate in our endeavours could join our group https://www.facebook.com/groups/insecttourism/
  • Susan Sharma: Is your purpose a scientific endeavour to document the insects of western Ghats?
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Yes therefore these are study camps where the participants will learn documentation process and we will prepare insect inventory of the sites we visit
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Though the idea appears to be great but so far I have been not successful in holding any of these study camps
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: I guess it needs more marketing
  • Susan Sharma: I am asking this because a casual tourist who visits Western Ghats is so overwhelmed that it is impossible to look at insects alone.
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Yes so insects cannot be learnt in isolation, I use ecological approach in learning about insects
  • Susan Sharma: The idea is great and importance of the services done by insects need to be known more.
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Ya thats my pitch
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: I have seen the its only people need to be exposed to insects in positive manner thereafter they can't ignore insects anymore
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: once
  • Susan Sharma: It is mostly a micro world and that can be a big restriction in popularising insects
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Through my company Ladybird Environmental Consulting, I am planning to build an insect appreciating community, lets see how far I will be successsful
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: In Navi Mumbai where I stay I have started Insect Appreciating Walks (IAW)
  • Susan Sharma: That sounds like a good beginning.
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: The challenges are higher therefore only fools like me are chasing this field
  • Susan Sharma: Just give magnifying glasses to all walkers in IAW!
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: I have been doing this for past 20 years which indeed has build an insect aware communities, look at the Facebook groups dedicated to insects. I was first to start insectlovers yahoorgroup in 2000
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Ya thats a good idea
  • Susan Sharma: Forest guards staying inside forests can also be sensitised to insects.
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: The BNHS entomology course was also first of its kind in the world cause nobody thought of creating a hobby course on Insects
  • Susan Sharma: Yes, Shubha.
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Ya I am beginning that at Parambikulam Tiger Reserve next week where I will be training the naturalists for butterflies and moths
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: If it starts at place then it will spread faster
  • Susan Sharma: May be we need to popularise some brand ambassadors of insects like honey bees, lady birds
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: yes thats right
  • Susan Sharma: Many resorts in Kerala like the Konni resort have abundant butterfly population. But the attendants are ignorant of even the most common ones.
  • Susan Sharma: My kitchen overlooks my backyard and the day I see a butterfly like blue jay or pansy, my day is made. Knowing the names and rudimentary details about host plants help
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Ya some in Kerala have started butterfly tourism so it will catch up soon. I am not worried for butterflies- they are on their own now....other insects now need support and attention
  • Susan Sharma: There are times when I feel surrounded by many friends whose names I know, whereas to an outsider it is just a kitchen garden
  • Susan Sharma: I really feel that Insect tourism will take off when you can connect it to gardening if not to agriculture to start with.
  • Susan Sharma: I have been giving talks to the local kitchen garden association about why not to use pesticides, trying to connect gardening to Gardening for wildlife.
  • Susan Sharma: I feel that appreciation grows when we know why the insects are important.
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: As mentioned earlier insects could be connected with everything but if my goal to make insects a marketable idea for tourism, I need to focus on forests where local communities depend on the forest biodiversity
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Its not me doing it, but more and more doing it, is what matters
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Through IAW I will connect with the city habitats but through the study camps and training programmes I will be able to engage the local communities
  • Susan Sharma: But if we try to sanitise everything around us, where will insects go? They cannot be limited to Insect Reserves(pun intended with Tiger Reserves.)
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: I hope I have shared enough on this topic, though we haven't got any members here but incase people are interested they could join our facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/insecttourism/ and they will get updates on future events
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Its the local communities that are the target group
  • Susan Sharma: Yes, Shubha it is sad none turned up. But the transcript will surely be read by many
  • Susan Sharma: And that will boost your efforts
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Engaging local communities will attract CSR funds for this initiative
  • Susan Sharma: Thank you so much for chatting.
  • Susan Sharma: I am sure you will achieve a lot once you put your mind to it.
  • Susan Sharma: All the best!
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: I am absolutely okay with this because I am used to it and I am aware that insects aren't hot topic. But yet insects are always in news good or for bad reasons Dengue, Malaria, Mealy bugs killing rain trees....in whole it communicates we can't ignore insects whether you love it or hate it
  • Susan Sharma: so true!
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Thanks Susan its a pleasure always to speak about insects than for this opportunity
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: Bye good night
  • Shubhalaxmi Vaylure: thank you
  • Susan Sharma: Good night and thanks.
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Online Courses on the study of birds - July, 2015
Rewilding degraded Land- practical experiences - June, 2015
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Green Living - March, 2015
Restoring degraded lands for wildlife - January, 2015
Insect Tourism - November, 2014
Use of GIS and Remote Sensing for Biodiversity Conservation - October, 2014
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Wildlife Film making - July, 2014
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Sharing of Experiences by our wilderness volunteers - May, 2014
Online Environmental Courses - March, 2014
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Frogs of India - January, 2014
Sustainable Development: The Right Approach - December, 2013
Tiger Cyclowalk- an Interview with Sunil Joshi - December, 2013
Tiger Cyclowalk - Highlands to Ocean - November, 2013
Volunteering at Melghat Tiger Reserve - October, 2013
Role of Citizens in Scientific Research - September, 2013
Ranthambore Adventure - January, 2013
Bats-The Night Warriors - October, 2012
Man vs Tiger-Can Science help? - July, 2012
Human Elephant Conflict - June, 2012
Saving the one horned rhino - May, 2012
"Man-Leopard Conflict - how we can deal with it" - April, 2012
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Green Hiking in the Himalayas - August, 2011
Role of Zoos in Conservation - July, 2011
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Wildlife Issues in the North -East of India - April, 2011
Trekking in the Himalaya - March, 2011
Conservation of Marine Diversity in India - February, 2011
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Human Elephant Conflict - December, 2010
Conservation and Development in Emerging India - November, 2010
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"Role of Urban Birds" - April, 2008
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Role of Captive Elephants in wildlife conservation - May, 2007
Endangered Animals of Sikkim - April, 2007
Citizen Participation in Environmental Issues - March, 2007
Vulture crisis in India - January, 2007
City Parks and Biodiversity - December, 2006
Why is bird census important? - November, 2006
Shooting Wildlife with a Camera - October, 2006
Rain Harvesting - September, 2006
Environmental Education - July, 2006
Tribal Bill - June, 2006
Trekking in the Himalaya Region - May, 2006
Trekking in the Himalayas - May, 2006
Coastal Wildlife - April, 2006
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Global Warming - September, 2005
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Wild Elephants - May, 2005
Tiger Census - April, 2005
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Migratory birds of India - October, 2004
Offences Against Wildlife - September, 2004
Man Animal Conflict - August, 2004
Recent Amendments to the Wildlife Act - July, 2004
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Captive elephant management - May, 2004
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Plight of lesser animals - February, 2004
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