The Union Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is considering a proposal to allow prominent personalities to serve as brand ambassadors for the country’s zoos. This would help build the image of the parks and encourage conservation initiatives. It was also aimed at promoting multi-sectoral cooperation in the field of animal conservation, the 39th Meeting of the Central Zoo Authority chaired by Union Minister Bhupender Yadav observed.
Incidentally, Kannada actor, Darshan Toogudeepa, early this year was named the brand ambassador of Mysuru’s Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens. L R Mahadevaswamy, the chairman of the ZAK, handed over various documents and files related to the zoo to the actor. He also transferred the responsibility of leading the zoo’s animal protection campaign.
Further, at the meeting attended by officials of the MoEF&CC, the members were informed about the various activities undertaken by the Central Zoo Authority during the financial year 2021-22. Around 18 zoos were evaluated, and 10 were given the go-ahead for the development of master plans. Over 70 animals were acquired and transferred to Indian zoos for conservation breeding and education.
The authority was informed that various initiatives were being taken to align the activities of the country’s zoos with the Vision Plan 2021-31, which aims to transform them into a more prominent force for conservation. These include establishing cutting-edge research facilities and engaging the public in immersive experiences. The Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE-ZOO) of zoos (first time in the world) has been undertaken in 39 recognized zoos (Large and Medium zoos).
The various zoos across the country are participating in the ongoing celebrations of the Prime Minister of India’s “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” program, which began on March 12, 2021. Through this initiative, the public has been able to get a glimpse of the country’s rich biodiversity. Over the course of 72 weeks, the program has covered 72 different species.
One of the other initiatives that the authority is planning to implement is the establishment of a research collaboration between the scientific institutions and the country’s zoos. This will help them develop effective conservation programs and improve the efficiency of their operations. A web-based application, Zoo-MIS, was also developed to help the authorities manage their various operations.
The Central Zoo authority updated about the ongoing conservation breeding program of species such as Snow Leopard, Red Panda, and Gaur and efforts to release captive-bred individuals in the wild viz. Indian Chevrotain, Red Panda, Western Tragopan.
During the meeting, the recommendations of the Technical Committee and Administrative Committee were reviewed and approved. Other deliberations included the Annual report (2021-22) of the Central Zoo Authority and the proposals for the Acquisition/ Transfer of animals between Indian Zoo.