Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: In a piece of good news especially for Twitchers and ornithologists, the Odisha Forest department is mulling to conserve the specimens of the migratory birds at the Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH) in the capital city here.

The RMNH already houses several varieties of skeletons and remains of animals including elephant, dolphin, rhinoceros, African zebra, cheetah, insects and reptiles. Now, the department is planning to conserve dead bodies of migratory birds which throng Chilika Lake every year.

Not only the avian species, the RMNH is contemplating to preserve carcass of animals, birds and other species that naturally die in the zoos, parks and sanctuaries across the State.

The State Principal Chief Conservator of Forests has also urged the concerned zoos and parks to inform the museum authorities regarding the death of any bird or animal.

"The RMNH authorities have proposed that if they are informed about the death of any bird or animal within 24 hours, they will collect and conserve it in the museum. All the zoos and parks across the State will be instructed to do the same so that the zoological remains can be persevered. It will help the students a lot in their researches," PCCF Hari Shankar Upadhyay told reporters.

The RMNH authorities said that there are enough data on the local birds but the State do not posses much information about the migratory winged guests that flock Odisha every year from foreign lands. So a holistic conservation initiative of animal specimens will go a long way in establishing a fine research base in the State.

"If we are able to collect the dead bodies of the migratory birds on time, we will be able to conduct research on them and people will also get to know about the various species of the birds that fly to the various parts of the State. If the entire process is streamlined, this will be good for posterity, in terms of education and awareness of students as well as the public," believes RMNH Scientist 'C' Devi Priyadarshini.

The Regional Museum of Natural History at Bhubaneswar was set up in 2004 under the Ministry of Environment and Forests New Delhi. It aims at imparting non-formal environmental education to the public in general and the student community in particular, so they understand the importance of flora, fauna and conservation of natural resources.

The museum showcases the vibrant biodiversity of Odisha, the Northeast and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, African forests and even Madagascar.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)