BNHS, American Alliance of Museums collaborate for e-Mammal

Mumbai, July 1 (IANS) Bombay Natural History Society and American Alliance of Museums have joined hands for project 'e-Mammal' to track, study and document mammals across selected sites in India with the help of school students, an official said here Tuesday.

The e-Mammal project will promote cultural understanding among children through applied scientific research across schools in India, the US and Mexico.

The project's Citizen Science initiatve will engage students and teachers to generate data for scientists through camera traps to document animal population sizes, activation patterns and habitat use. Camera trapping across different continents is expected to yield greater data on biodiversity.

"Citizen Science is an emerging area and engaging school and college children in wildlife monitoring will contribute to understanding and documentation of biodiversity on a large scale, and facilitate direct conservation action," BNHS's Chief Operating Officer Deepak Apte said.

"The e-Mammals project is emblematic of the Museums Connect - global partnerships, cross-cultural collaboration and serious scholarship. The young people will execute a fascinating project to educate their communities..." said American Alliance of Museums President Ford W. Bell.

The BNHS will select three sites representative of India's diverse geography and schools from a big city, a town and a rural area, with training and other support provided by BNHS.

Networking through e-Mammal website will provide a common platform for the Indian students - nearly 1,200 who will be included - and help them share observations and views with American, Mexican and Iranian students.

The e-Mammal will be implemented under the Museums Connect program of AAM whose other collaborators include North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and Smithsonian Institute, USA, besides the Museo de Paleontologia, Mexico.

Other organisations engaged in the project will be Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural history and Museum of Golestan National Park, Iran.