Monday, August 13, 2007

Symposium at Ahmedabad on "Emerging Conservation Strategies for Endangered Species"

For the first time in Gujarat, Vanishing Herds Foundation (VHF) and Gujarat Forest Department (GFD) jointly organised a two days global symposium on “Emerging Conservation Strategies for Endangered Species” with special focus on Asiatic Lion. The function was held at Karnatvati Club in Ahmedabad on 27th and 28th Feb 2007. The speakers at symposium were experts in the wildlife field from UK, USA, Kenya and India who shared their knowledge, experience and latest technologies in the conservation field.

The symposium was inaugurated by Hon Minister for Forests & Environment Shri Mangubhai Patel by lighting the ceremonial lamp. Mr. P N Roy Chowdhary, Chief Secretary to Gujarat Govt. for Forests & Environment addressed the audience. There after Shri Harshadbhai Patel, founder of VHF gave his speech followed by introduction and information about VHF by Arrow Sinha Roy with the aid of Audio-Visual presentation. After coffee break national and international wildlife celebrities took over the dice.


List of speeches delivered on 27th Feb. 2007

“Bio-diversity & its Conservation in Gujarat” - Shri Pradeep Khanna, PCCF - Wildlife Gujarat Forest Dept.

“Saving Endangered Species” - Mr. Don Hunt, Chairman, Mount Kenya Conservation

“Conservation of Asiatic Lion” – Mr. Bharat Pathak, CF, Junagadh, GFD

“Conserving & Managing the Habitat in the Sanctuaries” – Dr. S A Chauhan (Ex-PCCF, GFD)

“Vulture Conservation” – Mr C N Pandey, Director, GEER Foundation. GFD

“Population Monitoring of Tigers & Lions” – Dr. Y D Jhala, Scientist, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun

“Population Census Monitoring & Behavioral Ecology of Lions” – Dr. Stephanie Dloniak, Head – Mara Carnivore Conservation

“Conservation of Endangered Species” – Dr. M K Ranjitsinhji, Chairman, Wildlife Trust of India, New Delhi

“An Introduction to disease in wild animals” – Dr Roger S Windsor, M.B.E. who has also worked with Joe & George Adamsons of Born Free fame.


List of Speeches delivered on 28th Feb 2007:

“Man – Animal Conflict in Gir Sanctuary” – Mr. H S Singh , CF, Research, GFD

“Man – Animal Conflict in Elephants” – Ms. Winni Kiiru, Project Incharge, Amboseli Park, Born Free Foundation, Kenya.

“Conservation through Mass Education” – Ms. Stefanie Powers, William Holden Wildlife Foundation, Mount Kenya, W/o Late Mr. William Holden and Holywood actress

“Reproduction aids for Endangered Species” – Dr. Betsy L Dresser, Vice-President & Director (Research), Audubon Centre for Reproduction Research in Endangered Species, New Orleans, U.S.A

“You need more than Medicine – Some thoughts on Animal Survival” – Dr. Roger Windsor, MBE

“A presentation on Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary” – Negi H. S., CF, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh

“Importance of Animal Shelters for Endangered Species” – Ms Iris Hunt, Mount Kenya Animal Shelter

“Translocation of large Mammals” – Ms. Winni Kiiru, Project Incharge, Amboseli Park, Born Free Foundation, Kenya.


Introduction of speakers


Shri Pradeep Khanna:

Shri Pradeep Khanna is Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF). During his tenure with GFD wildlife of Gujarat has not only been conserved but also has flourished. His contribution to Gujarat forests and wildlife is a landmark achievement.

Don Hunt:

Don Hunt is Chairman of Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy. Don Hunt helped save two species of animals which would have become extinct otherwise from Mt. Kenya – They are White Zebra and Mountain Bongo.

Iris Hunt:

She is the founder of Mount Kenya Animal Orphanage – a much needed, privately funded animal shelter and refuge for all and any wild animals with special needs.

Dr. Betsey L. Dresser:

Dr. Dresser is an internationally renowned animal reproductive physiologist. She is director of Audubon Center for Research in Endangered Species. She has lectured around the world and written prolifically on the use of assisted technologies for the preservation of the endangered species.

Dr. Roger S. Windsor MBE

He is consultant to Governments of several countries on Veterinary Science and its branches. He is widely acknowledged as GURU with experience of 40+ years in veterinary sciences. He has designed and equipped some of the foremost veterinary hospitals ranging from Kenya to Vietnam.

Shri Bharat Pathak:

He is Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) for Gir forest since last about six years. Due to his expert management and guidance population of Asiatic Lion has shown steady growth and conservation of biodiversity of Gir has been noteworthy.

Ms. Stefanie Powers

She is founder member and Chairman of The William Holding Wildlife Foundation. By profession she is an Hollywood actress and leads a double role as a hardcore preservationist for animals in the natural world.

Dr. Stephanie Dloniak

She is director of The Mara Carnivore Conservation Project. She holds a dual PhD in Zoology and Ecology. She did her doctorate on Spotted Hyenas in Kenya and currently she is working on conservation biology and behavioral ecology of the large carnivores including lions.

Ms. Winnie Kiiru

She is director of ‘Man-Animal Conflict’ project at Amboseli Park in Kenya by Born Free Foundation. She has successfully trans-located 250 elephants. She emphasizes and promotes simple, cheap and local resource techniques to reduce man-animal conflict.

Shri S. A. Chauhan:

Shri Santak kumar A. Chauhan is Ex-Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Govt. of Gujarat. He also is author of famous book “The Gir Forest” and is considered as one of the few authentic experts on Asiatic Lion.

Dr. Y D Jhala:

He is scientist with Wildlife Institute of India – Dehra Dun. He has done many studies and has published many research papers on Gir and Asiatic Lion. From time to time he has also suggested conservation and protection measures to both State and Central Govt.

Kishore Kotecha’s comments:

Dr. Maradia and I attended this symposium on behalf of Wildlife Conservation Trust. It was a opportunity of us to have been invited to be part of it. For WCT and VHF this became turning point as both the Charitable Trusts joined hands to do activities together.

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