Kerala to host dragonfly festival

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News: World Wide Fund for Nature(WWF)-India State unit has joined hands with the Society for Odonate Studies(SOS) and Thumbi Puranam for the first-ever State Dragonfly Festival in Kerala called Thumbi Mahotsavam 2020.

Facts:

  • State Dragonfly festival: It is a part of a national dragonfly festival being organised by the WWF India, Bombay Natural History Society & Indian Dragonfly Society.
    • It is organised in association with the National Biodiversity Board, UNEP, UNDP and IUCN – Centre for Environment Conservation.
  • Mascot: ‘Pantalu’ is the official mascot of the festival.

Additional Facts:

  • Dragonfly: It is an aerial predator insect most commonly found near freshwater habitats throughout most of the world.
  • Significance: Dragonflies act as important bio-indicators of the ecological health of an area as they feed on mosquitoes and other insects that are vectors to life-threatening diseases like Malaria and Dengue.
  • Bioindicators: These are living organisms such as plants, plankton, animals and microbes which are used to assess the health of the natural ecosystem in the environment.
  • Examples of Bioindicators:
    • Lichens are powerful Bioindicators of air quality.
    • Algae blooms are often used to indicate large increases of nitrates and phosphates in lakes and rivers among others.