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Mass migration of blue earthworms in Meghalaya underlines sustainable land-use

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    22nd Feb, 2021


Scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have for the first time prepared a report on the two-way mass migration of Blue earthworm in the district’s Mawlyngot area, Meghalya.

What is Blue Earthworm?

  • Blue earthworm (Perionyxmacintoshi) is a species of migratory worms, 'blue worms'.
  • Habitat: It was discovered in Meghalaya, which is considered as a biodiversity hotspot. The species was found at Nohron and villages in East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya.
  • Migration: These worms migrate to the uplands in the spring and move back to the warmer, lower altitudes beforewinter sets in.

Key-findings of the Report

  • Blue earthworm plays an important role in enhancing the fertility of soil. It helped farmers to shift to ecologically sustainable organic farming.
  • Impacts on migration: Unsustainable land-use practices have drastically reduced the population of earthworms to a few “lethargic wrigglers”.
  • Factors impacting their migration: Developmental activities, predation, erratic weather patterns and climate change pose risks to successful migrations of earthworms