Bhopal: Less Funds Allocated For Studies On Small, Elusive Mammals

Bhopal: Less Funds Allocated For Studies On Small, Elusive Mammals

Funding agencies prefer major species for research

Staff ReporterUpdated: Sunday, January 28, 2024, 12:48 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The funding agencies don’t appear to be interested in spending money for small species like insects, mollusks, amphibians, reptiles, birds, small and elusive mammals. This is despite the fact that they are the major drivers of natural ecosystem. The funding agencies are keen on major species of animals that can catch donors’ attention.

Additionally, the studies on vegetation, habitats and ecosystem values are yet to receive attention. These are some of the findings of Madhya Pradesh Wildlife Action Plan 2023-24.

According to report, there are several species and aspects of wildlife management in Madhya Pradesh that await urgent research. They include eurasia, smooth coated otters, hispid hare (reported from Kanha Grasslands), mouse deer and Indian pangolin, which faces extinction due to poaching and illegal international trade.

The study of small cats is also a victim of funders’ bias. Among the birds, knowledge on distribution and abundance of raptors, many of which are threatened and represent ecosystems including grasslands and wetlands, is scanty.

Several decades of research on Bengal florican (reported from Kanha Grasslands) and lesser florican have not answered questions about their migration.

Many species of birds are facing varying degrees of threats and need immediate management interventions based on sound scientific studies.

Vertebrates such as caracal, gharial (critically endangered) Ganges River dolpin (endangered), marsh crocodile (vulnerable), smooth coated otter (vulnerable), red crowned roofed turtle (critically endangered), narrow headed softshell turtle (endangered), India skimmer (endangered) and black bellied tern (endangered) are victims of human influenced alterations to the ecosystem.

When contacted, former principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) Jasbeer Singh Chouhan said sufficient funds should be provided for research for every species including the lesser known species as everyone has its own importance in the ecosystem.

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