The conservation experts, scientists and researchers highlighted various aspects of conservation of primate species under threat and their shrinking habitat during an international symposium in Guwahati.
The issue of primate species was discussed during a three-day 7th Asian Primate Symposium-2020 and the 1st International Conference on Human-Primate Interface attended by conservation experts, scientists and researchers from about 20 countries.
The symposium, attended by over 200 participants on the first day, has been organised by Aaranyak, a biodiversity conservation and research organisation in collaboration with Zoology department of Gauhati University and the Primate Research Centre, Northeast India.
The symposium has been supported by various other organisations including Global Wildlife Conservation, ICIMOD, Primate Conservation INC., ASTEC, One Earth Institute and Centre for Global Field Study of the University of Washington, informed Aaranyak.
Inaugurating the symposium, the Vice-Chancellor of Gauhati University, Dr Pratap Jyoti Handique, stressed the importance of introducing DNA-based analysing in research works carried out on different primate species.
The Gauhati University VC pledged to extend support from the university to hold such international symposium in future, Aaranyak said.
Speaking on the occasion, noted conservation scientist and CEO of Aaranyak, Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar said, “Most of Assam’s present-day conservationists came out from Gauhati University. As such when Dr Dilip Chetri of Aaranyak had offered that the 7th Asian Primate Symposium be organised in Assam, obviously Aaranyak opted to partner with Gauhati University.”
“Northeast India being home to diverse species of primates, Aaranyak hopes that this symposium and conference would identify key priorities of research on primates so that Gauhati University and Aaranyak could follow up those by encouraging young researchers to do research on primates and its habitat,” Dr Talukdar added.
Dr Prasanta Saikia, head of Zoology department of Gauhati University, hoped that the international symposium would benefit the young researchers and students.
Three noted conservation experts – Prof. Parimal Chandra Bhattacharjee, Prof. Mewa Singh and Prof. SM Mohnot – were honoured with Lifetime Achievement Awards on the occasion in recognition to their research-based contributions towards conservation of wildlife species.