The Telegraph
Sunday , December 13 , 2015

Training on wildlife genetics

Guwahati, Dec. 12: Aaranyak has reached out to Bhutan in the field of wildlife genetics.

Thirteen officers of the department of forests and park services from Bhutan are here to participate in a special capacity-building training on application of genetic techniques for wildlife population monitoring. The programme, which started on December 7, will conclude tomorrow.

An official of Aaranyak said the training, titled Hands- on Training on Genetic Population Estimation, covers various aspects of application of genetic tools for population monitoring, such as study design, development of sampling strategies, various molecular biology laboratory techniques and statistical data analysis.

The training is being organised by Aaranyak's wildlife genetics division and sponsored by the government of Bhutan.

Both share common concerns in wildlife with Bhutan sharing a common border with Assam along with a portion of Manas tiger reserve.

The head of the wildlife genetics division at Aaranyak, Udayan Borthakur, said the training would help the officers in planning for undertaking advanced genetic research for conservation of various threatened wildlife species in Bhutan and would also strengthen trans-boundary monitoring of various species between the countries.

"The training is informative and hands-on. It has given the much-needed impetus for us to plan and carry out national elephant survey using the genetic sampling method," said a senior officer of Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan.

Apart from working in the country, the wildlife genetics laboratory of Aaranyak has been working as well as providing support to other countries such as Bhutan and Indonesia in application of genetic techniques for research and conservation of wildlife species. It has carried out conservation genetic research on tigers, leopards and elephants in India, Java and Sumatra rhinos and Bhutan's white-bellied heron and snow leopard.

The Assam government has recognised the wildlife genetics laboratory as a facility for wildlife genetic and forensic DNA analysis.

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