Mysore Zoo plans major reshuffle of species

Of 169 species, 63 to be deleted; 24 species to be introduced

Acknowledging the wide diversity of species at Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, a Master Plan from 2012-13 to 2032-33 has noted that the Zoo has not prioritised the need for housing animals on theme basis.

Such a display, the Master Plan noted, was very important as per the guidelines and management regulations of modern zoos. To address the drawback, Zoo authorities have come up with an Animal Collection Plan and a Layout Plan, to display different species of animals in eight zones around the Zoo.

Animal Collection Plan

Under the proposed Animal Collection Plan, the number of species put for display at the Zoo will be 130, as against 169 species currently displayed. Most of the deletions from the exhibit will be birds, which are proposed to be displayed at Karanji Lake, also a part of the Zoo.

Selection of species will be made depending on the popularity of a species among visitors, as a step to provide an ex-situ conservation site for endangered species, particulary the ones endemic to the region and also based on past performance of Zoo with regard to the upkeep and breeding performances of the species.

Keeping this objective in mind, seven mammals among the 56 displayed will be deleted, while four new species of mammals will be introduced at the Zoo.

The number of bird species will decrease from 88 to 58, with deletion of 48 species and addition of 18 new species, and reptiles displayed will decrease from 25 to 19, with deletion of eight species, and addition of two.

Animals to be deleted

Among the mammals, species of Hybrid Lion (2), Rusty Spotted Cat (1), Chinkara (1), Fallow Deer (4) and Himlayan Goral (6) will be deleted. Among reptiles, African-Slender Snouted Crocodile (2), Nile Crocodile (2), Spectacled Caimen (10), Green Vine Snake (2), Striped Keelback Snake (4), Bronzeback Snake (2), Common Kukri Snake (2), and Rough-Scaled Sand Boa (1), will be removed from display.

The Master Plan however, does not reveal the species of animals that will be added to the Zoo.

Theme wise display

Animals, thus selected will be displayed in eight zones, with separate zones for Birds of India (16 species); Mega Carnivores Zone, with mammals such as Royal Bengal Tiger and Asiatic Lion (three species); Africana zone, with African Elephant, Giraffe, Chimpanzee, Ostrich and others (13 species); Conservation Species of the region zone, with Grey Indian Wolf, Dhole, Grey Jungle and others (7 species); Indiana zone with emphasis to Nagarahole-Bandipur and North-Eastern region, consisting of 26 species; Reptile section (17 species); other mammals zone, consisting of five species, such as Jaguar, Meerkat and Capuchin Monkey; and Aquatic birds zone, with emphasis on Ranganathittu eco-system consisting of 20 species.

Exotic birds display at Karanji Lake will showcase 23 bird species, as per the Master Plan, such as Cassowary, Darwins, Rhea, Scarlett Ibis and Black Swan, among others.

Enclosures

The Master Plan has also noted a lack of species specific habitats; absence of withdrawal areas and restraining facilties in some enclosures; lack of uniformity in barricading system, and has proposed steps to overcome the same.

In the plan, funds to the tune of Rs 15.4 crore has been sought, specifically for the modification of enclosures and construction of new enclosures for animals.

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