ZSI documenting climate change in five Himalayan states

Kolkata:  The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has launched long-term monitoring studies in five Himalayan states to document the effect of climate change on animal biodiversity, an official said here on Tuesday. "We are documenting the effect of climate change in Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh as part of a new project. "Initially, the duration is for three years... it could be extended as well," said ZSI director Kailash Chandra. The emphasis would be on the distribution of indicator species, such as fish, which would help in understanding the current status. "Climate change effects can be assessed by observing these organisms.A We will compare the species distribution based on our records from the last 100 years and analyse the present situation to document the effects in the Himalayan landscape," said ZSI scientist K.C. Gopi. The project under the Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change is budgeted at Rs. 2 crore and uses latest technologies such as GIS mapping and bioinformatics. It was launched on April 1. Faunal diversity in Indian land and seascapes and modern approaches in faunal taxonomy research would be key themes at the forthcoming aNational Conference on Faunal Diversity in the Indian Land and Seascapes' in Kolkata where Union Minister of Forest, Environment and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar would release several books and catalogues on July 1.