Digital natural history hub to enhance research networking

Kolkata, Feb 27 (IANS) Complete with a virtual museum, an online hub launched by the zoology department of Calcutta University here seeks to connect students and researchers across India and abroad.

The objective is to provide the students and researchers access to natural history resources and pose related queries, said an official on Monday.

The Zoology Hub, launched earlier in February, is aimed at an interdisciplinary approach to the subject and is expected to promote networking in research, education and outreach.

“It started with the restoration and upgradation of the Centenary Heritage Zoological Museum that houses thousands of common, rare, endangered, threatened and even extinct animals from Bengal, from the rest of India and from all over the world,” Ena Ray Banerjee of the zoology department said in a statement said on Monday.

“It showcases fauna from almost all zoo-geographical realms of this planet,” the statement read.

The endeavour is an off-shoot of an international DNA barcoding programme (iBOL) and encompasses audio resources like animal noises and bird calls, embryological specimens and records of unique specimens like Gila monsters (venomous lizards) with data on their importance and current conservation status.