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ZOOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA - STORY

The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) is the premier taxonomic research organization in India. It was established on 1 July 1916 to promote surveys, exploration and research leading to advancement of our knowledge of various aspects of the exceptionally rich animal life of India. The ZSI had its genesis as the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum at Calcutta in 1875. Since its inception, the ZSI has been documenting the diversity and distribution of the fauna of India towards carrying out its mandate of conducting exploration-cum-taxonomic-research programmes. The ZSI has published an extremely large amount of information on all animal taxa, from Protozoa to Mammalia. This information is a boon to researchers, students, conservation managers and amateur naturalists.

“ The ZSI has ushered in the era of digitisation with an ambitious archives project, encompassing all its published documents (more than 200,000 pages of printed material). This large body of information is now available as a text-searchable, easily accessible digital archive. All the volumes published by the ZSI have been digitised using state-of-the-art technology and software. ZSI is now presenting the digitization of Fauna Species data preserved in various departments of ZSI. The high quality photographs, taxonomy, description and other details are available for each species on this ZSI Species Page Web portal.”

DIRECTOR'S DESK

Dr. Kailash Chandra - Director, Zoological Survey of India

The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) was established on 1st July, 1916 to promote survey, exploration and research leading to the advancement in our knowledge of various aspects of exceptionally rich life of the erstwhile ´ British Indian Empire ´ . The survey has its genesis in the establishment of the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum at Calcutta in 1875. By gradually strengthening its staff and expanding its research program, the Survey has met the challenge of the past and is on its way to meet the demands of the future. It has maintained its primary objectives unchanged from its inception.

Initially, the Survey acquired the Zoological collections of more than a century old from former Museum (1814 -1875) of the Asiatic Society of Bengal and Zoological Section of the Indian Museum(1875-1916) in Calcutta. With the increasing interest in the life sciences and with the advent of country´s Five Year Plans, the expansion programme of the survey was initiated. The Survey has established so far 16 Regional and Field Stations, and has developed into a major National Institution. It functions as the guardian of the National Zoological Collections, containing over a million identified specimens from all animal groups ranging from Protozoa to Mammals. Extensive and intensive field explorations are undertaken by the Survey in different parts of the country for the studies of fauna, systematic zoology, animal ecology, wildlife and zoogeography, animal behavior, animal population and also marine fauna and the results of the explorations and research are published in its own journals as well as National and International periodicals of repute regularly.

Recently efforts have been made towards an integrated approach to zoological investigations, so as to have more purpose oriented research comprising biological, cytotaxonomic, and ecological aspects. However, taxonomy continues to occupy a prominent role. There is an increasing interest in matters pertaining to animal life on the part of the public, and a constant stream of enquiries continue to pour in, reflecting public confidence in the Institute. The department has never lacked a constant succession of distinguished Zoologists.