AmityInstitute of Wildlife Science started “Young Ecologists Talk and Interact(YETI)” Conference at University Campus, Sector-125, Noida Campus.
Thethree day Conference is being attended by over 400 students and researchers ofEcology, Evolution, Behavior and Conservation who are presenting and discussingtheir research work, exchanging ideas and have been trying to explorecollaborations with contemporaries.
Dr.Suhel Quader- Senior Scientist, Nature Conservation Foundation and Dr. N. P.S.Chauhan- Director, Amity Institute of Wildlife Science inaugurated theConference.
Theinauguration was followed by Technical Session on Ms. Prerna Singh Bindra- Wild-life Enthusiast on “Saving Wild India: AHistorical Perspective and the Challenge ahead” wherein she highlighted theissues related to Conservation v/s Development and stressed that one should notbe perused at the cost of other. Dwelling on the surging infrastructure whichis affecting wildlife and forests, Ms. Bindra said that India’s road network issecond biggest in the world ie. 4.42 million kms and has a target to expand atan ambitious rate of 30 kms of National Highways everyday. She stressed thatroads fragment already highly fragmented habitats, break forest contiguity,impinge on forests and well worn migratory paths of animals. Forests serve asconduits to soil erosion and landslides but due to massive urbanization,forests and trees are being razed down. Citing an example, she remarked thatdue to the construction work of NH- 7 and NH-6 that cut through Kanha- Pench-Navegaon and the Kanha- Tadoba- Indravati Corridor in the Central Indian TigerLandscape, many trees have been cut and forests cleared. She highlighted thatthe CAMPA Bill (already in Lok Sabha) stresses on greening, artificialplantations, infrastructure development rather than conserving existing forestsand ecosystems. She stressed that the need of the hour is enlightened society,strong political will to conserve wild life and forests and giving dueimportance and prioritizing wildlife and forests.
Deliveringhis talk on “Conservation is the art of the possible”, Mr. Vivek Menon- CEO, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) shared hispersonal experiences of wildlife conservation while working on various projectsin different States. Citing his experience in Arunachal Pradesh, he remarkedthat the head dress of Nyshis Tribe in Arunachal included the beaks ofhornbills, which posed a great threat to the existence of hornbills. Henarrated how WTI and forest authorities took up the challenge and designedfiberglass and wooden replicas of hornbills and provided them an alternativeand reversed the age old tradition. Young Nyshis promoted the use of artificialheadgear that was weatherproof and didn’t decay over time. He shared theProject of “Rehabilitation of Elephants and Rhinos in Manas National Park,Assam”, “Anti-Shahtoosh Campaign” and “Conservation of Amur Falcons inNagaland”. He remarked that Conservation is the art of possible which includesconvincing centuries old tribes to break with their past; convincingpre-dominantly hunting tribe to save a migratory bird; convincing politician inmodern India to set aside huge chunks of forests for wildlife and to convinceladies that their expensive shawl is unfashionable.
Duringthe day, plenary sessions and discussions unfolded on topics such as “ForesterResearcher Relationships”, “Behavioral Ecology and Conservation Issues ofIndian Primates”, “Flight for freedom- Satellite Tracking the Long DistanceMigration of Amur Falcons” and “Human-Wildlife Conflict Scenarios in India”
Duringthe Second Day, talks and discussions will be held on “From Species Biology toConservation Planning : Research Journey of An Ecologist”, “Groundwater andSurface Water Pollution and Mitigation Strategies in Urban Environment”,“Conservation Conundrum and Beyond the Comfort Zone: The Story of TigerRecovery in Panna Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh”, “Ethics in EcologicalResearch” and others by eminent Environmentalists and Wild-life Enthusiasts.