By Jessica Frei:
Wildlife conservation is one of the most thought after issues in India. Unfortunately, the gap between the thoughts and the actions taken was quite wide. For cutting this difference short, there was a need of professionals who have sound knowledge of wildlife as a scientific concept. Considering the same, the respective governmental body introduced educational courses in wildlife sciences.
Education and wildlife conservation
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
- Nelson Mandela
Thus in order to bring a change in the field of wildlife conservation, Masters in Wildlife Sciences (2 year post graduation course) was introduced. This course generates a passion in the students with respect to wildlife. Students come close to the nature, they start learning the different aspects of the environment. The course not only educates the students about the importance of environment, but also helps them in building logical and scientific grounds for wildlife conservation. Students turn into scientists and look for new and better ways to protect the beautiful environment from different threats.
List of Indian institutes offering masters in wildlife sciences
Earlier, educational courses in wildlife sciences were only found in foreign universities. But now the scenario has changed, since with the abundance of the presence of wildlife destinations in India like Jim Corbett-UK, Bandhavgarh-MP, Panna National Park-MP and more. There are various reputed Indian institutions that offer these courses. Some of them are mentioned below:
• Wildlife Institute of India
• National Centre for Biological Sciences
• University of Kota
• Aligarh Muslim University
• Kerala Agricultural University
• Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture Technology and Sciences
• University of Pune
There are various other institutes in India that offer the respective course. The above list is just to provide a glimpse.
Impact of wildlife courses
The wildlife courses in India attract students irrespective of geographical boundaries. Students from different corners of the world take up the course, so as to generate a logical ground for wildlife conservation. In such a scenario, it would be inappropriate to believe that people are unaware of the importance of wildlife. It’s just that they have turned ignorant towards it. The courses intend at dragging off the people from this ignorant attitude. The point to consider is that conservation of the wild is only possible when the thinking process of people will change, and the course aims at the change.
Aparajita Datta – The wildlife expert who sets an example
For the people who think the course in wildlife science is limited to books and researches, Aparajita Datta breaks the illusion. She is a 43 year old Indian scientist at the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), who has turned hunters into saviors of birds.
Aparajita did her Masters in Wildlife Sciences from the Wildlife Institute of India and has been working with a team of researchers for protecting birds via different programs for many years. Her passion for conserving birds brought her to the Nyshi tribe dwelling around the Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh. Here she came for the conservation of the beautiful Hornbill. She interacted with the tribal people, made them understand the importance of preserving the splendid species. She even initiated the conversation between the tribe and forest authorities, other researchers as well as scientists.
With all these efforts, finally she was able to change the attitude of hunters and turned them into saviors of birds. For this excellent work, she has been recently honored with the UK’s Whitley Award, better known as the Green Oscar. If you are someone who is willing to be a part of wildlife conservation, you can even opt for it as your career. Educational courses with respect to wildlife conservation are nothing less than a revolution and the impact is very much visible by the example set by Aparajitta.