National Moth Week welcomes forestry student Karuna Pandey as the new country coordinator for Nepal. She will be replacing Sajan K.C., who served in this role for the past three years with great enthusiasm, and put Nepal’s moths on the map!
Karuna’s love for moths and butterflies started with photography. She tells us about herself:
“I am currently studying forestry at the Institute of Forestry, Pokhara Campus in Nepal. As a forestry student, I am very interested in working in wildlife research, conservation, and management. I am currently working on my thesis, which is titled ‘Contribution of butterflies in pollination of native and invasive plant species in IOF, Pokhara.’
“My fascination with butterflies and moths has grown since I began photographing them. It all began as a hobby. I used to take photographs of butterflies at day time and moths at night near my hostel lights and post them to insect identification groups on Facebook or message them to my seniors for identification. Moths’ distinct patterns, colors, shapes, and sizes have always attracted me towards them.
“At the Butterfly Research Centre Bhimtal, I even took a basic training in butterfly curation and identification. It was an honor to meet and learn from Mr. Peter Smetacek. He has an incredible collection of butterflies and moths. It was pleasure to see all of them and learn about them from him. The course lasted three days and was the best three days of my life. After that training, my curiosity and interest in moths and butterflies grew even stronger.
“Sajan K.C. informed me in 2020 that there was a Facebook page for National Moth Week, an initiative that dedicates a week to monitoring moths and allows you to join by registering an event.
“When I was offered the post as NMW’s Nepal country coordinator this year, I was overjoyed. As a coordinator, I would aim to encourage more individuals to join in this international event and build support networks with more people in order to give these group of insects the recognition they deserve.”
Welcome Karuna! And many thanks to Sajan for his service to National Moth Week since 2020.