Mysore zoo to promote research in the wild

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28BG_LTM_PG-4_2175742fMYSORE:  After its success with the captive breeding of threatened species, the management of the century-old Mysore zoo has set its eyes on carrying out research on these animals in the wild.

The zoo is at present engaged in conservation breeding of Indian grey wolves, wild dogs (or dholes) and lion-tailed macaques (LTMs), which have been listed as endangered speciesIt is now thinking of conducting studies on these animals in the wild to get an actual account of the status of these animals, including their numbers, in the wild to further its conservation programme.

The lion-tailed macaque is found in the Western Ghats, while the grey wolf is found in Chitradurga, Bijapur and nearby areas, whereas the wild dog is found in Nagarahole and Bandipur forests.

Chief Conservator of Forests and Zoo Executive Director B.P. Ravi told The Hindu, “We must have accurate statistics on hand to develop new strategies for the conservation programme. It is helpful and essential to have data on the species (identified for captive breeding) in the wild. Therefore, the zoo is thinking of funding research on wolves, wild dogs and LTMs after taking approval from the competent authorities.”

Mr. Ravi felt that community involvement in conservation plays a key role, and current information field studies would be valuable in spreading awareness. “Through research and population studies, we get a larger dimension,” he added.

The zoo’s successful breeding of endangered species in captivity has earned it the recognition of being one of the country’s key centres for conservation. The Mysore zoo has introduced a new strain of gene to produce stronger, healthier offspring of tigers, Indian grey wolves, sloth bears, giraffes and baboons. The zoos, according to the Central Zoo Authority, have not only to sustain their own population, but also augment the depleting population of endangered species in the wild.

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