Talk on Conservation of Rhinos through Integrated Management by Dr. Pukazhenthi from Virginia, USA
Rhinos are among the endangered animals on earth and its number is decreasing day-by-day due to various reasons. Keeping in mind the continuous depletion in the number of Rhinos, the Dept. of Life Science of Central University of South Bihar (CUSB) organised an expert talk on the topic “Integrated Management for Conservation of Rhinos” on September 14, 2021. The talk was organised through online mode as a part of the Lecture Series of the department. Dr. Budhan S. Pukazhenthi, Research Physiologist at Center for Species Survival, Smithsonian National Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Institute Front Royal, Virginia, USA joined the webinar as the main speaker. In his talk Dr. Pukazhenthi gave an elaborate account of how Rhinos can be conserved by taking into an integrated management approach by focusing on their nutrition, health, reproduction and assisted reproduction techniques. He described how changes in diet of Rhinos kept in captivity results in altered levels of hormones leading to reproductive asynchrony and reduction in their fertility. Also, he explained how diet affects microbiota in black as well as white rhinos as iron overload alters the composition of gut microbiota causing conditions such as hemosiderosis affecting survival of Rhinos. Therefore, he highlighted the key factors that need to be considered for a well-designed integrated strategy for conservation of threatened and vulnerable Rhinos.
As the Patron, CUSB Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kameshwar Nath Singh highlighted the need for biodiversity conservation. He expressed his concern on the increased rate of species extinction and appreciated the global efforts being put forward for in situ and ex situ conservation.
The talk received an applauding response with over 100 participants from all over the country and abroad. Renowned participants included Dr. Theya Sankar, Deputy Director, Vendalur Zoo; Prof. Amita Kannaujia, Head, Dept. of Wildlife, Lucknow University; Prof. Nita Shah, Bombay Natural History Society; and others from reputed institutes like Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History, Coimbatore; Tamil Nadu Veterinary & Animal Science University, Chennai; Bihar Veterinary College; Assam University, Carmel College for Women, Goa; Bodoland University, Assam; Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun; Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly; National Zoo, New Delhi among several others.
At last convener and Head of Dept. of Life Science Dr. Ram Pratap Singh proposed the vote of thanks appreciating the speaker for his knowledgeable guidance. He also thanked Proctor Prof. Umesh Kumar Singh, Dean of Student Welfare Prof. Atish Parashar and deans of different schools and participants for their presence and encouragement.