Saturday, April 13, 2013

Butterflies of the Garo Hills

Title: Butterflies of the Garo Hills
Authors: Sanjay Sondhi, Krushnamegh Kunte, Gaurav Agavekar, Rohan Lovalekar, and Kedar Tokekar
Publishers: Samrakshan Trust, Title Trust, and Indian Foundation for Butterflies.
Number of pages: 200
Number of species accounts: 324. This is out of the 339 species that had been recorded from the Garo Hills at the time of finalizing the book in March 2013. The missing species are certain Swifts and other Hesperiids that cannot be easily identified in the field.
Number of color images: 521
Token price: Rs. 500 (Rs. five hundred), plus shipping costs. 20% discount on orders of six copies or more.

Copies of the book can be ordered from any one of the following four local distributors/stockers:

Samrakshan Trust, Baghmara (Meghalaya): Kamal Medhi (, 8974-986-223) and Yaranajit Deka (, 9402-396-570). Their phones often do not work, so it is best to contact them by email.

Sanjay Sondhi, Dehradun:, 9412-052-189.

Kedar Tokekar, Pune:, 9970-167-351.

Krushnamegh Kunte, Bengaluru (=Bangalore):,, (080) 2366-6085 (office), -6086 (lab), 9483-525-925 (mobile).

You can pay for the book by a bank transfer in Samrakshan's bank account (preferred method) or by cash to one of the above distributors:

Account holder name: Samrakshan Charitable Trust ET
Savings Bank Account Number: 32928955983
Bank Name: State Bank of India, Baghmara Branch
IFSC code: SBIN0004885
CIF Number: 86682627876

Please note that the book has been published with generous and full funding from the India Foundation and the Forests and Environment Department, Government of Meghalaya. The authors have decided not to take any royalty and the publishers have decided not to make any money on this book. However, we are selling this book for the token price of Rs. 500, with the understanding that all the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Garo tribes in the South Garo Hills District of Meghalaya, where we have worked in the past and continue our research. Through the sale of this book we are trying to help Samrakshan Trust generate alternative source of revenue for the Garos from the very biodiverse forests that they hold. Samrakshan Trust has been doing this for several years in various ways to encourage the Garos to keep their forests rather than turn them over to illegal coal miners. Part of this effort is butterfly tourism in the Garo Hills, about which Yaranajit, Kamal or Sanjay can tell you more.

There was also a paper published
Kunte, K., Sondhi, S., Sangma, B. M., Lovalekar, R., Tokekar, K., & Agavekar, G. (2012). Butterflies of the Garo Hills of Meghalaya , northeastern India : their diversity and conservation. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 4(10), 2933–2992. Retrieved from

And a very interesting and educating discussion about identifications in this book in Journal of Threatened Taxa:


  1. the dangers of trying to identify butterflies (and moths) from photographs alone... :(

  2. Only God can identify his creations perfectly. Hence we should avoid unnecessarily stretching these type of discussions and concentrate on collaborative approach to de-cypher the mysterious codes of nature. All the best.