Rebuild zoology courses in educational institutions: ZSI director

Rebuild zoology courses in educational institutions: ZSI director

 Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) Director Kailash Chandra, on Friday, urged the policymakers to rebuild zoology courses in educational institutions.

Delivering a lecture on ‘Status of Fauna Diversity in India and Role of Zoological Survey of India’, organised by the Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH), Mysuru, as a part of its 21st foundation day, the director said, zoology played a dominant role in preserving and conserving species. But, many colleges and universities are not offering the course.

The director said, various museums in the country house more than 250 years old species, which were not available in the nature and the collections were the future of science.

Speaking about the ZSI, he said, it functions as the guardian of the National Zoological Collections, containing over a million identified specimen from all animal groups ranging from protozoa to mammals. Extensive and intensive field explorations are undertaken by the survey in different parts of the country for studies of fauna, systematic zoology, animal ecology, wildlife and zoogeography, animal behaviour, animal population and also marine fauna.

Recently, efforts have been made for an integrated approach to zoological investigations to have more purpose-oriented research, comprising biological, cytotaxonomic, and ecological aspects and taxonomy, that continues to occupy a prominent position. There is an increasing interest in matters pertaining to animal life on the part of the public and a constant stream of enquiries continue to pour in, reflecting public confidence in the institute, he added.

Highlighting the objectives of the ZSI, he said, exploration, survey, inventorying and monitoring of faunal diversity in various states, ecosystems and Protected Areas of India, taxonomic studies of all faunal components collected, periodic review of the status of threatened and endemic species, preparation of Red Data Book, fauna of India, bioecological studies on selected important communities/species, are the primary objectives.

This apart, environmental impact studies, maintenance and development of museum, development of Environmental Information System (ENVIS) and Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) Centres, collaborative research programmes on biodiversity with other organizations, GIS and Remote Sensing studies for animal diversity as well as for selected threatened, species and Chromosomal Mapping and DNA finger printing are also undertaken.