WWF- Kerala is joining hands with the Society for Odonate Studies (SOS) & Thumbipuranam for the first ever State Dragonfly Festival in Kerala, christened തുമ്പിമഹോത്സവം 2020. This is part of the National Dragonfly Festival organised by WWF India, BNHS & IDS in association with National Biodiversity Board, UNEP, UNDP & IUCN-CEC.
The Kerala State Dragonfly Festival, തുമ്പിമഹോത്സവം 2020 was launched on 15th August 2020 in a function organized over Zoom and attended by around 180 participants from across Kerala and even outside. Dr. Subramanian K.A., Scientist E and Officer in-charge, ZSI, Southern Regional Center, Chennai, and more over an eminent Dragonfly Scientist, in his inaugural talk, called for the promotion of Citizen Science which will attract more people to know and learn about Dragonflies, which will prompt them to protect the habitats of dragonflies and thereby conserve these flying jewels. “Pantalu” the official mascot of the Festival was also launched. Mr. Nikhil John, Consultant, Eco-Trail Program of WWF India, Renjan Mathew Varghese, State Director and A.K. Sivakumar, Senior Education Officer of WWF India and Sujith V.G. of SOS and Jeffin John of Thumbipuranam also spoke on the occasion. The Dragonfly Trivia by Sri. V. Balachandran was a really mind boggling experience.
As part of the Dragonfly Festival, a series of events are planned to be rolled out in the coming months to reach out to various sections of the society. Initially a Training of Trainers will be organized to get more people trained on Dragonflies so that they can in-turn act as Resource Persons in the various upcoming events. This will be followed by a series of webinars commencing from September onward targeting the public, especially children and youth, as they are to be responsible citizens of tomorrow. Webinars will also be organized for specific target groups like Zoology Teachers in the State, District Co-ordinator and Members of Biodiversity Management Committees, Co-ordinator of Boomitrasena Clubs, District Co-ordinators and Teacher-in-charge of Eco Clubs in the State, Forest Department personnel mainly VSS and EDC Members involved in ecotourism activities etc.
A Dragonfly Backyard Watch has been announced to enhance the participation of people and improve their observation skills, and this will turn into a Citizen Science Project in this time of Covid 19 restrictions. A social media campaign is on to spread the message around. A Field Guide on Common Dragonflies of Kerala and a Children’s Dragonfly Coloring & Activity Book is also under development. A Digital Odonate Knowledge Hub will also be established under the SOS/ Thumbipuranam Facebook page, which will host all available of Scientific Papers, Posters, Videos, Stickers etc. Various competitions will also be organized offering opportunity for people of all age groups to participate in this festival. The Festival will culminate with the State Dragonfly Summit, preferably in January.