Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
From UPSC perspectives following things are important:
Prelims Level: MaOI Repository
Mains Level: Utility of such repository for conservation of mammals in India.
- As per current estimates, 426 species of mammals are found in India; of them 47 species are endemic to the Indian subcontinent.
- Along with well known species, the mammals of 100 species of rats and 126 species of bats and 24 species of whales of dolphins.
- Now one can contribute to the cause of science by sharing the picture of the animal on a specific website, providing the location of spotting.
- This will make more information available about lesser known mammals of the country.
Mammals of India (MaOI) Repository
- Scientists and researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) in Bangalore have come up with a new citizen-science repository on Indian mammals, called Mammals of India (MaOI).
- The website, www.mammalsofindia.org, aims to develop individual species pages for all Indian mammals with information on identification, variation, distribution, breeding and non-breeding ecology and species conservation.
- It is an online, peer- reviewed, freely-accessible portal that was launched late September 2018.
- By October 25, as many as 768 images, of 161 species of mammals, were uploaded.
- It is a first such repository of Mammals in India.
Utility of the repository
- These photographic records will help us in having distribution map of mammals in the country.
- The photographs will not only help gather information on the distribution of the various species but also interactions between different species of mammals, like predation and mutualism.
- The website provides an opportunity to any person to upload geotagged photographic observations about mammals with information on habitat age of the observed individual.
- Over time, these observations will be reviewed by subject experts and uploaded on the website.
Spotting and geo-tagging rare species
- This citizen-science initiative has seen photographs of rare species — such as Red Serow from Manipur, Lynx a species of wild cat from Jammu and Kashmir, Asian Golden Cat from West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh and Binturong, also known as bear cat, from East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh –
- These photos being shared will benefit the researches and public alike.
Biodiversity Atlas (India)
- MaOI is a part of the Biodiversity Atlas (India project), which is an initiative of Krushnamegh Kunte, associate professor at NCBS.
- Under the project, a popular citizen-science website on butterflies of India www.ifoundbutterflies.org had got to 55,000 reference images in eight years.
- Under the same project websites dedicated Moths of India, Cicacds of India, Odonatas of India (dragonflies and damselflies) , Reptiles of India, Amphibians of India and Birds of India are operational.