It’s an offbeat celebration for the forest dept this wildlife week

The Wildlife Week will be celebrated between October 2 and 9, and aims to create wide awareness on the importance of all forms of wildlife and its conservation.

Published: 26th September 2021 05:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th September 2021 07:31 AM   |  A+A-

Representational Image. (File | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Breaking away from the monotonous way of celebrating the annual Wildlife Week, this time the State Forest Department has decided to engage members of the public in attractive events such as scuba diving and snorkeling. Not just that, short film competitions are also on the anvil, the winners of which will win a department-sponsored trip to Kaziranga National Park, a stay at jungle lodges in Karnataka, and explore the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.

The Wildlife Week will be celebrated between October 2 and 9, and aims to create wide awareness on the importance of all forms of wildlife and its conservation.

As per the schedule, on October 5, scuba diving and snorkeling training will be given to a group of nearly 80 participants at two places in the State -- Vaan Island in Gulf of Mannar and near Vandalur zoo in Chennai. About 20 to 30 participants, having prior training and preferably belonging to student fraternity, aged above 18 years, will be allowed at the Vaan Island. The dive is to be organised by Sugathi Devadasan Marine Research Institute (SDMRI) in Thoothukudi. Meanwhile, in Chennai, about 50 participants will be given training in fresh water scuba diving.

After the training, interested people will be encouraged to enrol for ocean scuba diving at the Gulf of Mannar in November and December, Chief Wildlife Warden Shekar Kumar Niraj told TNIE. "It's a very good opportunity for youngsters to explore the marine wildlife in Gulf of Mannar, home to one of Asia's largest coral reef beds," he said.

The once sinking Vaan Island was restored by the State government by deploying artificial reefs. Coral population has rejuvenated around the island and it now attracts colourful marine life, which can be witnessed by the participants during dives, said the official. Nominations can be sent to tncwlw21@gmail.com and the respective email IDs of District Forest Officers (DFO) available at the forest department's website.

Similarly, a wildlife short film competition is also planned. The themes may include marine wildlife, mammal ecology, water birds, nesting behaviour, urban wildlife, climate change and wildlife, man-animal interaction, wetland wildlife, reptilian life history, etc. Soft copies of the entries should reach the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Chief Wildlife Warden office by October 4, an official note said. The best 3-minute film and 5-10 minutes films will be screened at the Tamil Nadu Forest Academy in Coimbatore on October 7.



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