Of Dragons and Damsels
Odonatology- the study of odonates(dragonfly, damselfly, etc). Pankaj Koparde recounts his experience at the first ever meeting of Odonatology enthusiasts at the DragonflyIndia meeting of August 2014.
In August 2014, DragonflyIndia organised its first ever meet in Nagpur, Maharashtra. A part of DiversityIndia, DragonflyIndia is a system of web-portals founded by Vijay Barve for encouraging biodiversity data deposition through crowdsourcing. DragonflyIndia aims to provide a common platform for experts, researchers, photographers and amateurs in the field of Odonatology. Hislop College, located in Nagpur, was selected as the venue for the meet. Dr R. J. Andrew, Secretary of South Asian Council of Odonatology, graciously agreed to combine the meet with the 8th Indian Symposium on Odonatology and Tropical Biodiversity that was being held in the college at the time. The meet was in association with India Biodiversity Portal, which has been working on creating usable faunal databases.
Thirty-five participants, representing ten states from across the country, participated in the workshop which spanned over three days. The workshop had a good mix of experts and enthusiastic amateurs, which resulted in some excellent interactions, both in classroom sessions and outdoor field trips. The topics discussed in the meet included the taxonomy of Odonates (covered by Dr. Subramanian and Parag Ranganekar), importance of scientific documentation of Odonata fauna and geographical gaps in faunal knowledge, threats to freshwater habitats (as odonates are dependent on freshwater ecosystems) and popularising this taxon amongst enthusiastic wildlife (by Dr. Jegan). A lot of time was spent on participants discussing their work and the idea of creating a network of Odonatologists across India to fill in gaps infaunal data.
Cover Photo by Shuvendu Das
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