Despite various restrictions due
to the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have managed to collect thousands of fauna samples from 16 regions of the country, a top official said on Monday.
These samples are now under the process of being listed, ZSI director Kailash Chandra said.
"Across 16 regions including Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Chhatisgarh, we managed to collect different species, sub-species and fossil species from different pockets as the unlock phase started gradually. We could not work in containment zones though," Chandra said.
The work of ZSI was not suspended entirely during the period of lockdown or partial lockdown since the pandemic struck in March, he said.
"Never in the history of the 104-year-old institution, collection of fauna samples was totally halted for several months, not even this year. We managed to get a large number of samples, running into several thousands, till this date," he said.
Since its inception in 1916, the ZSI has been documenting the diversity and distribution of the fauna of India towards carrying out its mandate of conducting exploration-cum-taxonomic-research programmes.
The samples collected in 2020 will find a place in a document to be published next year.
Chandra said such a document was released on October 9 listing the newly discovered fauna from different geographic regions of the country.
"The publication of Animal Discoveries 2019 is illustrious in the history of Indian faunal discoveries by ZSI and it portrays the new addition in biodiversity account in Indian context, he said.
The document released on Friday contained records of 360 new species, four sub-species and four fossil species collected in 2019.
The ZSI has been publishing such documents since 2007.
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