History of Zoological Survey of India
The Zoological Survey of India came into existence in the year 1875, inside the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum in the city of Kolkata. Alfred William Alcock had asserted about the establishment of ZSI. Training programmes, workshops and regular conferences are organised by the ZSI frequently. The Survey consists of its own journals for the purpose of publishing the outcome of the research activities.
During the initial days of its inception, Zoological Survey of India boasts of an ancient zoological collection which belonged to the museum of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. This happened between the years 1814 to 1875. Later, these belongings were transferred to the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum between 1875 and 1916.
In December 1941, the Zoological Collections were vacated from the Indian Museum. The Class I exhibits were decided to be shifted to the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, during the time of Second World War. In May 1942, the remaining collections were temporarily shifted to Kaiser Castle which is located in Varanasi.
Objectives of Zoological Survey of India
The secondary functions involve the regular maintenance of Museums at Headquarters and Regional Stations and presentation of Environmental Impact Studies on being asked to release it by the Ministry of Environment & Forests.
Divisions of Zoological Survey of India
Zoological Survey of India or ZSI consists of 16 Regional and Field Stations. It also acts as the supervisor of the National Zoological Collections, which contain innumerable specimens from the animal groups.
Red Data Book
The Zoological Survey of India had published its very first account which described the categorization of rare animals laid down by the IUCN or International Union for Conservation of Nature in the year 1983. The name of the book was 'Threatened Animals of India' and it was authored by B K Tikader. 47 birds, 81 mammals, three amphibians and 15 reptilians were mentioned in this book. However, in the year 1993, the Zoological Survey of India modified its criteria, after which the Survey published the Red Data Book on Indian Animals (Vertebrata). This occurred in the year 1994. This time, the book included information about one amphibian, 55 birds and 20 reptilians which was categorized under IUCN.
Further amendments were made in the year 2000. In addition, the Zoological Survey of India imbibed guidelines from the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act and CITES. The Survey was known to have published a list of 150 mammals that deserve immediate conservation.
Zoological Survey of India is also a participant in the Indian Antarctic Program, ever since its establishment in the year 1989. In its 15th expedition, about 29 species of invertebrate fauna from East Antarctica were mentioned by the participants of ZSI. Scientists associated with ZSI were involved in the 17th Expedition which took place between the time periods of 1997 to 1998. They studied about the species of Nemathelminthes, Arthropoda and Phylum Protozoa in this expedition. In the 22nd Expedition, this was organised between 2003 to 2004 contained research studies which included the studies regarding the hair of mammals.