Home » 1st National Conference on ‘‘Lesser Known Species of Madhya Pradesh’’: A Pivotal Step towards Biodiversity Conservation

1st National Conference on ‘‘Lesser Known Species of Madhya Pradesh’’: A Pivotal Step towards Biodiversity Conservation

by In-house Editor

In the heart of India lies Madhya Pradesh, a state brimming with biodiversity that extends far beyond its well-known inhabitants like tigers, leopards, and bison. The state recently played host to the 1st National Conference on ‘‘Lesser Known Species of Madhya Pradesh,’’ shedding light on the conservation challenges faced by species that often dwell in the shadows of their more celebrated counterparts.

Madhya Pradesh boasts an impressive array of wildlife, harboring over 45 species of mammalian fauna, constituting approximately 10% of India’s wild mammals. With a vast landscape that encompasses the Deccan Plateau, the state ranks as the second largest in India, covering 9.38% of the country’s geographical area, of which 25.13% is densely forested. The state takes pride in having the largest forest cover among all Indian states, totaling 77,462 square kilometers. It is adorned with nine National Parks, 25 Wildlife Sanctuaries, and six Tiger Reserves, collectively constituting 3.25% of the state’s total geographical area.

The conference aimed to draw attention to the lesser-known species residing in Madhya Pradesh, highlighting their conservation needs and addressing the challenges faced in ensuring their survival. The event was organized in collaboration with the Madhya Pradesh State Biodiversity Board (MPSBB) and received support from the Madhya Pradesh Tiger Foundation Society (MPTFS), Bhopal Birds, Van Vihar National Park, and Zoo Bhopal.

Among the lesser-known species discussed during the conference were the Mouse Deer, Lesser Florican, Black-Bellied Tern, Indian Skimmer, Pangolin, Indian Wolf, Fishing Cat, Wild Dog, and River Dolphin. These species, often overlooked in the broader conservation discourse, play a crucial role in maintaining ecological balance.

The conference served as a platform for stakeholders, researchers, and conservationists to come together, sharing insights and perspectives on the conservation efforts and management challenges associated with these lesser-known species. The deliberations led to increased awareness, with many researchers and NGOs expressing their commitment to undertake research projects and conservation measures.

The Madhya Pradesh State Biodiversity Board (MPSBB) extended invitations for projects and financial support to encourage further study and research on these species. The collaborative efforts of researchers, NGOs, and governmental bodies underscored the collective responsibility in conserving these often-neglected species.

Shri Jasbir Singh Chauhan, PCCF Wildlife & CWLW Madhya Pradesh, expressed the Forest Department’s commitment to conserving caracals, hinting at potential reintroduction efforts in suitable regions of Madhya Pradesh. He emphasized the crucial role of NGOs in wildlife management and conservation, particularly in mitigating human-wildlife conflicts.

Shri Suhas Kumar, IFS (Retd), welcomed the focus on the status of small cats in Madhya Pradesh, highlighting the importance of this information in shaping conservation management plans for these lesser-known feline species.

In conclusion, the 1st National Conference on ‘‘Lesser Known Species of Madhya Pradesh’’ stands as a pivotal milestone in elevating the conservation discourse to encompass the richness of biodiversity that extends beyond the charismatic megafauna. It serves as a rallying point for concerted efforts towards preserving the intricate web of life that defines Madhya Pradesh’s ecological tapestry.

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