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Wildlife Institute of India

Wildlife Institute of IndiaIn the last half century, India's once rich biodiversity has become considerably depleted. Rapid human and livestock population increase and a rather lopsided distributive development pattern have marginalized or unjustly exploited the country's bountiful wilderness areas such that the species richness and the range of habitat types that the country used to be proud of are today highly eroded and fragmented. How can this fall be checked and reversed is now a question being pondered over at most forums.

Amidst such a situation, the need was felt for an organization to help and strengthen endeavours for recovery. It was important to have an agency which, while looking at forests holistically, combined their management with conserving their biodiversity and protecting the interests of the people in their vicinity in a manner that would be practical and scientifically oriented. Such a thought process led to the setting up of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) at Dehra Dun in 1982 with a mandate to train government and non-government personnel, carry out research, and advise on matters of conservation and management of wildlife resources.

For WII, it was a challenging task, particularly when education in forest management had nothing on wildlife, and wildlife science itself had not yet been established as a subject of any significance in the university education curriculum. With no precedence to go by, WII had to virtually single handedly not only give forest education a wildlife slant but also create and develop the very resources with which it could go about fulfilling its tasks.

Wildlife Institute of IndiaThe aims and objectives are:
- to build up a body of scientific knowledge on the wildlife resources of the country.
- to train personnel at various levels for the conservation and management of wildlife resources as well as provide orientation to all those concerned therewith.
- to carry out research relevent to management, including the development of techniques appropriate to Indian conditions.
- to provide information and advice on specific wildlife management problems.
- to provide a basis for cooperation with international organizations concerned with wildlife management, research and training.
- to work towards an autonomous institution of university status, which provides graduates in natural resource conservation and management for both government and non-government institutions, including university faculty and wildlife and conservation organizations. It should ultimately become a regional centre of international importance in studies on Asian wildlife and natural resource management.

Wildlife Institute of India Some of the important activities are:
- Masters Programme in Wildlife Biology (M.Sc.)
- Training Course in Management Planning for Protected Areas.
- Training Course in Ecodevelopment Planning for Protected Areas.
- Training Course in Zoo Management and Captive Breeding.
- Training Course in Conservation Education and Interpretation.
- Short term courses for inservice Forest Officers, IAS and the Army.
- Integrated forest management (research, training and advisory aspects).
- Enlargement in the scope and quantum of wildlife research.
- International scientific collaborative programmes.
- EIA studies for developmental and industrial projects.
- Planning of a biogeographically representative national network of protected areas for biodiversity conservation and its updating with fresh flows of information.
- Establishment of a computerized National Wildlife Database.
- Application of advanced computer based Digital Image Processing (DIP) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies in wildlife research and management.
- Wildlife health programmes (research, training and advisory aspects).

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