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Wildlife Week celebration

Pushpa Gujral Science City, Kapurthala organized a webinar on October 4, 2020 on “Impact of Corona Pandemic on Wildlife” as a part of Wildlife Week celebration. The objective of the event was to raise awareness among participants about conservation and sustainable management of wildlife resources. Dr. Neelima Jerath, Director General, Science City presided over the occasion. She said that human actions including deforestation, encroachment on wildlife habitats, intensified agriculture and acceleration of climate change have pushed nature beyond its limit. Further, she added that about one million species of flora and fauna have already become extinct due to deforestation and 50,000 species were being lost annually that was creating an imbalance in our eco-system. If we continue on this path, wildlife loss will have severe implications on humanity, including the collapse of food and health systems. The emergence of Covid-19 has underscored the fact that, when we destroy forests, we destroy the system that supports human life. Nature is sending us a message which we need to decode and take collective action. Sh. Basant Rajkumar, Chief Conservator of Forests, Punjab was the guest speaker. He said that the world is fighting against an invisible opponent that has forced us all to push the pause button in our lives. This global pandemic has set off a ripple effect across the nations. This crisis has also had a deep impact on wildlife. While the world has come to a complete and utter standstill, nature seems to be reclaiming its territory, and the wild animals near urban cityscapes are taking this opportunity to step beyond the comforts of their forested homes. All around the world, there have been reported incidents of animals venturing into cities as people have started confining themselves to the safety of their homes in an effort to control the spread of Coronavirus. This global pause has given us a chance to rethink our relationship with nature. We must learn to co-exist if we want to sustain our urban ecology. Quarantine is affecting wildlife in unexpected ways. In countries like India, monkeys and several other wildlife species are very much adapted to urban environments and are heavily dependent on human-generated food waste to survive. An e-book titled “The Lost Species” portraying extinct animals and plants was released at the occasion to mark the celebration of Wildlife Week. Dr. Rajesh Grover, Director Science City, was also present on the occasion. He urged the participants to sensitize masses towards conservation and sustainable management of wildlife resources.