India—a megabiodiverse country—is host to a spectacular number of butterflies, many of them endemic. Butterflies of India is a peer-reviewed biodiversity platform that is designed to disseminate comprehensive information on the biology of butterflies, encourage their observation to study natural history, gather population and distributional data in a centralized database, and spread awareness about butterfly conservation. It is developed by the Indian Foundation for Butterflies (“IFoundButterflies”), a group of butterfly biologists and naturalists. It is a model of citizen science, where ordinary citizens participate in gathering scientific data on a free, yet authentic, online platform.
(a) To provide a species-based bioinformatics platform that is designed for aggregating, displaying and analysing peer-reviewed data on Indian butterflies, and (b) To build a strong community around research and conservation of Indian butterflies through citizen science and outreach.
This is an advanced biodiversity informatics platform, home-grown and custom-made to serve native citizen scientists, and hosted in a national research institution. The focus is on collecting data on numerous aspects of butterfly biology and therefore it is helpful in serving long-term goals of research and conservation.
No prior preparation or expertise is required, although prior experience will help contributors and users get more out of this platform. Thus, beginning as well as advanced naturalists, nature lovers, students and practicing scientists can participate in this project.