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  • Himalayan Day Celebrations at the Wildlife Institute of India on 9th September, 2014

    The Himalayan Day was celebrated at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun on 9th September in which over 50 participants including the scientists, researchers, and students participated. Dr. Ravi Chopra, Director, Peoples Science Institute, Dehradun was the Chief Guest on this occasion and he delivered a talk on “Sustainable Development in the Himalaya”. 

    Dr. S. Sathyakumar, Scientist-G of the Institute, welcomed Dr. Ravi Chopra and participants, providing a brief background of WII’s research and conservation initiatives in the Himalaya and why we celebrate the Himalayan Day.

    Dr. Ravi Chopra in his talk presented an overview of all the environmental and social problems in the Himalayas region due to the rapid pace of ill-planned development. He stressed the importance of sustainable development through community participation, better risk preparedness and environmental friendly livelihoods.

    Dr. Ravi Chopra and his team have innovated creative approaches to put science and technology in the service of India’s poorest people, through capacity building of the local communities, helping them to prepare their own development, implement projects, and then manage the assets created. 

    The 9th of September was chosen as Himalayan Day in 2010 by individuals who were concerned about the conservation of the Himalayan ecosystems to bring awareness amongst the common people to save the Himalaya which is severely threatened due to increasing human activities.  Since then, many institutions and organizations in the Himalaya celebrate this day as “Himalayan Day” and undertake various discussion forums and awareness creation activities.

  • Commencement of XXXVI Post Graduate Diploma Course

    XXXVI Post Graduate Diploma Course began on 1st September 2014.  10 month long Diploma Course comprises teaching at the Institute and field tours to different protected areas of the country, and also foreign exposure tour. Wildlife Institute of India received overwhelming response from States and finally nominations of 21 officers were accepted.  Out of these 21 participants 17 officers are from 14 Indian States and 4 are foreign nationals from Bangladesh. Seven officers have joined the course after completing their induction training during the current year-2014. On the first day a brief introductory session with Director, faculty and sectional heads of Wildlife Institute of India was organized. Dean, Faculty of Wildlife Sciences in his address to the officers emphasized the need of scientific training for managing natural resources. The Director, wildlife Institute of India advised young officer trainees to make best use of the training, and develop specialization in their respective fields.

  • Special Certificate Course in Wildlife Management

    3-month Special Certificate Course in Wildlife Management commenced on 1st September 2014. A request from the Bangladesh Forest Department was received by the Wildlife Institute of India for conducting a 3-month certificate course. 16 officers of the rank of Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Officer and equivalent were nominated for the course under the project “Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection” by the Government of Bangladesh. The course has been tailored in order to meet the requirements of the participants. The participants would be undergoing 10 modules in the form of class room lectures, hands on and field exercises. The participants would be staying in WII till 15th October 2014 and would be travelling to the various protected areas in the country for Wetland, Techniques and Management Tour. The course will conclude in Kolkata on 1st December 2014.

    Md. Kamruzzaman Md. Manirul Islam Allama Shibli Sadik Md. Azizar Rahaman
    Md. Kamruzzaman Md. Manirul Islam Allama Shibli Sadik Md. Azizar Rahaman
    Hatem Sazzat Md. Zulkar Nine Israt Jahan Md. Mofizur Rahaman Chowdhury Md. Monirul Islam
    Hatem Sazzat Md. Zulkar Nine Israt Jahan Md. Mofizur Rahaman Chowdhury Md. Monirul Islam
    Md. Monzurul Alam Pinkee Kumar Dhar Raju Ahmed Md. Rashedul Kabir Bhuiyan
    Md. Monzurul Alam Pinkee Kumar Dhar Raju Ahmed Md. Rashedul Kabir Bhuiyan
    Salma Akter Md. Sharifuzzaman Md. Tarik Kabir Zahirul Kabir Shaheen
    Salma Akter Md. Sharifuzzaman Md. Tarik Kabir Zahirul Kabir Shaheen
  • Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of the UNESCO’s Training Centre for Asia and the Pacific Region at WII

    The foundation stone of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Category 2 Centre on World Natural Heritage Management and Training for Asia and the Pacific Region was laid at Wildlife Institute of Indiaon 30 August 2014 by Shri. Prakash Javadekar, the Hon’ble Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (Independent Charge), Government of India.The Centre’s mission is to strengthen implementation of World Heritage Convention in Asia and the Pacific Region by building the capacity of all those professionals and bodies involved with World Natural Heritage Site Inscription, Protection, Conservation and Management in Asia and the Pacific Region, through training, research, dissemination of information and network building. The Centre will (a) conduct short-and long-term capacity-building activities, including workshops, courses and international conferences; (b) undertake research on identified priority areas related to Natural World Heritage protection and management, with particular focus on models of community participation; (c) develop and maintain a documentation Centre accessible to the public on Natural World Heritage issues relevant to the region, (d) implement programmes for the exchange of experts with other regional resource Centres and (e) facilitate the development of a World Heritage site managers' regional network and coordinate its activities with the States Parties to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and the network of existing Category 2 Centres related to World Heritage. While UNESCO has established such Centres in eight other countries viz. China, Norway, South Africa, Bahrain, Mexico, Italy, Brazil and Spain on Culture Heritage, the Centre at WII is the world’s first Centre dealing with Natural World Heritage.

    In the event organized to commemorate the foundation stone laying of UNESCO Centre at WII, Dr. V.B. Mathur, Director of WII provided an overview of the Centre and highlighted that this Centre marks the global recognition of WII’s strength to contribute to national as well as international efforts to preserve Natural Heritage. The Hon’ble Union Minister Shri. Prakash Javadekar, in his address to large gathering of professionals and staff (http://youtu.be/2bjOuKbzydI), credited the efforts of WII including the establishment of UNESCO Centre and various applied research projects providing space for integrated development and conservation planning. He elaborated on his keen interest and appreciation of nature and reiterated his commitment for safeguarding the natural wealth of the country. He welcomed the role played by WII in providing technical advices to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and pledged support for overall welfare of the organization and nation building.

    The foundation stone laying and subsequent commemorate events were attended by various dignitaries including Dr. S.S. Garbyal, Director General of Forests & Special Secretary to Govt. of India, Shri. A.K. Srivastava, Additional Director General of Forests, MoEFCC, Chief Executives and senior officials of sister Organizations in Dehradun and WII family members consisting of faculty members, staff, research fellows and students. During the event, the Hon’ble Minister released an ENVIS Bulletin on ‘Coastal and Marine Protected Areas in India: Challenges and Way Forward’, edited by Dr. K. Sivakumar, Scientist-E of WII. As a token of appreciation and gratitude, the Hon’ble Minister was also presented with newly created line drawing of the Institute’s campus by Director WII, Dr. V.B. Mathur and a framed photograph of a rare plant, Brahma Kamal (Saussurea obvallata), found in the high altitutes of the Himalaya, by Dr. B.S. Adhikari, Scientist-E of WII.In the end, Dr. P.K. Mathur, Dean of WII, summarized the entire process and duly acknowledged the Hon’ble Minister and all others who participated in the event

     

  • Release of ENVIS Bulletin ‘Coastal and Marine Protected Areas in India: Challenges and Way Forward’

    ENVIS Bulletin release by the
    Hon’ble Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar,
    Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India

    ENVIS Bulletin on
    ‘Coastal and Marine Protected Areas in India: Challenges and Way Forward’

    Wildlife Institute of India has published the ENVIS Bulletin Coastal and Marine Protected Areas in India: Challenges and Way Forward, which was released by the Hon’ble Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India in presence of Dr. S.S. Garbyal, Director General of Forests & Special Secretary to Government of India in Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun on 30 August, 2014.
  • 68th Independence Day Celebrated at WII

    The 68th Independence Day was celebrated at the Wildlife Institute of India with the unfurling of the national flag by Dr. V.B. Mathur, Director, Wildlife Institute of India in the Institute’s foyer. Addressing the gathering of Institute’s faculty, staff, researchers and students Dr. Mathur recalled the supreme sacrifices made by millions of Indians during the freedom struggle leading to Indian independence on 15th August, 1947. He emphasized on the need to dedicate in the task of both nation and institution building. He enumerated some of the recent changes introduced in the Institute’s functioning and urged everyone to contribute towards achieving excellence in all institutional activities.

    On this occasion awards were given to 5 employees of the Institute viz. Shri Pyar Chand Aswal, Shri Vijay Prasad, Shri N.K. Chettri, Shri Suresh Kumar and Smt. Sadhna Verma for maximum use of words in Hindi language in their official work.


    A tree planting programme followed the flag hoisting in which children of Institute’s faculty and staff planted saplings of flowering trees/shrubs.


  • Campus Biodiversity

    Elevational species replacement, Campus Biodiversitythe replacement of closely related species along an elevational gradient, is one of the most widely documented but least understood ecological patterns. Our current understanding is mostly based on attempting to explain patterns across communities. The objective of the research that Sahas Barve (M.Sc. WII; Ph.D. student Cornell University) and I are undertaking is to identify the mechanisms that create this pattern.  We combine year-round studies of populations with experiments to test the importance of interspecific competition, predation and blood physiology in limiting species distributions of a group of closely related resident cavity-nesting species belonging to the family of the titmice (Paridae).The campus of the Wildlife Institute of India is one of the study sites where we can study a low-elevation great tit population in the absence of other tit species. We placed 50 nest boxes on campus and use these to study great tit reproduction. In April 2014 we colour banded all males and most females and were able to determine the use of the campus and its nest boxes.  Most of the pairs identified, use a nest box for breeding.

    Through checking the nest boxes regularly, we acquire exact dates for each step in the reproductive cycle like nest building, initiation of egg-laying, incubation period, fledging period for each pair. This not only adds data to our research but also proves important in understanding other significant aspects of great tit breeding phenology.Unlike temperate Biodiversityregions, in tropical and sub-tropical habitats, the initiation of breeding in birds is not strongly governed by the temperature but rather by the availability of food. For most passerine birds this means small insects to feed young hatchlings. Although this is speculation, but based on our observations, we feel that great tits in Dehradun synchronize breeding with the flowering of Sal (Shorea robusta) trees. Sal trees mast every year at the beginning of summer (in turn governed by the length of winter), being the dominant tree species in the forest, their flowers and seeds probably induce an arthropod explosion. Birds like great tits probably track this phenomenon closely and time their breeding in tandem with the Sal flowering and leafing cycles. In the coming years, long-term nest box studies on WII campus will shed light on how resilient breeding phenology of common birds like great tits areto the annual fluctuations in climate leading to changes in Sal flowering phenology.

    The results obtained in Dehradun can be used to compare morphology, physiology and reproduction with those of greaBiodiversityt tit at high elevation, and with those of other species (especially the green-backed tit) in plots at different elevations in the western Himalayas.

    Legend to figures:
    Top: André Dhondt (holding great tit) and Sahas Barve (holding green-backed tit), two closely related species that replace each other along the Himalayas.

    Middle: complete clutch of a great tit in a nestbox on the campus of the WII

    Bottom: a great tit pair exploring nestbox # 49. The pair used the box for breeding.

     

    Map

    Map of nest-box locations on the WII campus.

  • Wildlife Institute of India and University of British Columbia sign Memorandum of Understanding

    In a significant step to boost academic, research and training activities involving international partnership, Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun and University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), marking beginning of a formal collaboration between these two premier institutions of learning of international repute. Dr.V.B. Mathur, Director WII and Dr. John Innes, Dean UBC signed this broad based MoU which will facilitate collaborative courses, projects, workshops/seminars and academic exchange visits of faculty members, researchers and students. After signing the MoU, Dr. V.B. Mathur said “WII has always valued collaborative engagement and partnerships with reputed institutions and in this specific case, in addition to working jointly on various activities of mutual interest and expertise, WII would aim to utilize the expertise of UBC for establishing a state-of-the-art Visualization Laboratory as a priority and and also initiate joint activities looking into aspects of ecosystem services and life cycle assessment of India’s key landscapes”. The MoU, which has been duly approved by concerned ministries of Government India, is initially for five years, with scope for further extension as required. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Jorma Neuvonen, Director-Special Projects, UBC re-iterated the collective interest of UBC faculties in initiating collaborative activities with WII in identified thematic areas including climate change. Dr. P.K. Mathur, Dean WII, shared the details of MoU with the faculty members present on this occasion and suggested mechanism for initiating joint activities. Dr. K. Ramesh, Scientist, who is coordinating the collaboration, proposed a Vote of Thanks to the visiting two-member delegation from UBC and all those instrumental in making the collaboration possible.

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