BBP partners with Mysore zoo to boost gaur numbers

BBP partners with Mysore zoo to boost gaur numbers

BBP partners with Mysore zoo to boost gaur numbers

The Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) has decided to support the ambitious Indian Gaur breeding program and conservation effort being undertaken at the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, better known as the Mysore Zoo.

Dr R Raju, BBP’s director said the project initiated to protect the endangered Indian gaur required several facilities, which his team would share with the Mysore Zoo.
The new calf born on August 10, 2012 has cemented BBP’s place as a partner in the conservation effort with the Mysore Zoo.

Currently there are 8-9 gaurs at Bannerghatta (including the recently added calf) of which five are male and four are female.

Dr Raju said gaurs from Bannerghatta would be used to breed with gaurs at Mysore and vice versa, in order to ensure a wider gene pool.

“Apart from the animals brought from Mysore there are gaurs which have been housed in the zoo from the Bannerghatta forests. We will have two different genetic bloodlines, which will ensure a broad-based gene pool. Through this the genetic stability is ensured,” he said.

The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZAI) had identified some endangered species to be bred in captivity so as to stabilise their numbers. The gaur is one of the endangered species chosen for this type of breeding. And the Mysore Zoo is one of the captive breeding centres.

The country’s biggest gaur breeding centre will come up near Mysore, for which the State government has already earmarked about 110 acres of land. Although the project was initiated by the Zoological Authority of Karnataka, it will be the Mysore Zoo which will co-ordinate the programme along with BBP.

The gaurs being bred in captivity here will be released into the wilderness after their population becomes stable. After Mysore Zoo, BBP has sizeable population of gaurs in the State.

The Indian Gaur (Bos gaurus), also known as the Indian bison, is a large bovine endemic to South Asia and Southeast Asia. Listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List since 1986, this species is protected under Wildlife Act, 1972 as its population has declined drastically recently.

Park to be open
To cater to the visitors during Ramzan, the park will be kept open for public on Tuesday, which is generally a holiday. In a press statement, the park authorities have stated that this decision has been taken keeping in mind the visitors after Ramzan.