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Wing men

Will tourists go to see butterflies and moths? In the forested North-east, researchers and community organisers are betting they will

In the forests of the Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh, across the Brahmaputra and up the hills from Kaziranga National Park, a small team of experts has just completed a survey of butterfly and moth species. They hope it will change the fortunes of human communities in the area. How can butterflies and moths (scientific term: lepidopterans) make people better off? By bringing in tourists. Tourists come to see tigers, but not in the off season, nor in the rains. Butterflies don’t keep to the same timetable as large animals — and, it turns out, Pakke is home to hundreds of ...