Zoological Survey of India
The logo of Zoological Survey of India
|Formation||July 1, 1916|
|Purpose||Animal taxonomy and conservation|
|Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (India) (moef
The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) is a premier Indian organisation in zoological research and studies. It was established on 1 July 1916 to promote the survey, exploration and research of the fauna in the region. The activities of the ZSI are coordinated by the Conservation and Survey Division under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India.
- 1 History
- 2 Objectives
- 3 Divisions and Sections at Headquarters
- 4 National Zoological Collections
- 5 ZSI After 1947
- 6 Publications
- 7 Titles of Publications
- 8 Records of the Indian Museum
- 9 Memoirs of Indian Museum
- 10 Memoirs of the Zoological survey of India
- 11 Fauna of India and the adjacent countries
- 12 Technical Monographs
- 13 Zoologiana
- 14 Bulletin of ZSI
- 15 Occasional Paper
- 16 Handbook Series
- 17 Special Publications
- 18 Status Survey Reports
- 19 Annual Reports of ZSI
- 20 Bibliography of Indian Zoology
- 21 State Fauna Series
- 22 Conservation Area Series (National Parks/Reserves/Protected Areas)
- 23 Prani Jagat (in Hindi)
- 24 Ecosystem Series
- 25 ZSI Digital Archive
- 26 ZSI Library
- 27 See also
- 28 References
- 29 External links
The annals of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) reflect an eventful beginning for the Survey even before its formal birth and growth. The history of ZSI begins from the days of the Asiatic Society of Bengal founded by Sir William Jones on 15 January 1784. The Asiatic Society of Bengal was the mother institution not only to the Indian Museum (1875) but also to the institutions like the Zoological Survey of India and the Geological Survey of India. ZSI’s establishment was in fact a fulfillment of the dream of Sir William Jones, the founder of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, whose vision encompassed the entire range of human knowledge. The Asiatic Society had started collecting zoological and geological specimens since 1796 and set up a museum in 1814. Nathaniel Wallich, the first Superintendent of the “Museum of the Asiatic Society”, was in charge of the increasing collections of Geological and Zoological specimens; he had augmented the animal collections to the Zoological Galleries of the Museum.
The genesis of Zoological Survey of India was in 1875 with the opening of the Indian Museum. The new museum on its inception comprised only three sections: the Zoological, the Archaeological and the Geological. The zoological collections of the Asiatic Society of Bengal were formally handed over to the Board of Trustees of the Indian Museum in 1875.
Zoological Section of the Museum during the period from 1875 to 1916 steadily expanded, growing to the greatest collection of natural history in Asia. By the care and activity of the Curators of the Asiatic society of Bengal and the Superintendents of the Indian Museum, viz., John McClelland, Edward Blyth, John Anderson, James Wood-Mason, Alfred William Alcock and finally Thomas Nelson Annandale and his colleagues, the museum was richly endowed with a magnificent collection of animals, especially of the larger vertebrate groups. Further additions of both land and aquatic fauna to the valuable collections came through during several political and military expeditions, including a number of collections purchased, notably those of Francis Day of Indian Fishes, Lionel de Niceville of butterflies, Dudgeon and Edward Ernest Green of moths, Jacob R. H. Neervoort van de Poll of beetles and Godwin Austen of mollusks.
The Zoological Gallery at the Asiatic society Museum under the care and charge of Nathaniel Wallich served the impetus for the formation of the Zoological Survey of India, which was later born as an independent organization on 1 July 1916. The excerpt from the ‘Constitution of the Zoological Survey of India’, released by the Government of India, Department of Education, Resolution no. 19-Museum, dated Shimla, the 20th June 1916, states: “In March 1913, the Chairman of the Trustees of the Indian Museum forwarded a representation from the Superintendent of the Zoological and Anthropological Section of the Museum regarding the recognition of the Zoological Section as Zoological Survey. The Government of India, who had already under consideration the desirability of establishing on a sound basis a Zoological Survey of India, informed the Trustees of the Museum that they would be prepared to consider a scheme for such a survey on lines somewhat similar to the existing Botanical Survey of India and asked to furnish with the necessary details. The trustees accordingly submitted their proposals at the end of September 1913.”
Thomas Nelson Annandale, who joined the Indian museum as Deputy Superintendent (1904), and later as the Superintendent (1907), after years-old struggle, achieved his aim in establishing the Zoological survey of India, and became its founder Director and continued till his premature death in April 1924. Dr.Annandale was Honorary Secretary to the Trustees of the Indian Museum for several years; he was also the President of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1923.
- Exploring, Surveying, Inventorying and Monitoring of faunal diversity in various states, selected ecosystems and protected areas of India.
- Taxonomic studies of the faunal components collected.
- Status survey of Threatened and Endemic species.
- Preparation of Red Data Book, Fauna of India and Fauna of States.
- Bio-ecological studies on important communities/species.
- Preparation of database for the recorded species of the country.
- Maintenance and Development of National Zoological Collections.
- Training, Capacity Building and Human Resource Development.
- Faunal Identification, Advisory services and Library Services.
- Publication of results including Fauna of India, Fauna of States and Fauna of Conservation Areas.
- GIS and Remote Sensing studies on recorded animal diversity as well as on threatened species.
- Chromosomal Mapping and DNA Barcoding.
- Environmental Impact Studies.
- Maintenance of Musea at Headquarters and Regional Centres.
- Development of ENVIS and CITES Centers.
- Research Fellowship, Associateship and Emeritus Scientists Programme.
- Collaborative research programmes on Biodiversity with other Organizations in India and abroad.
Divisions and Sections at Headquarters
Divisions & Sections
- North Eastern Regional Centre (NERC), Shillong, Meghalaya (Estd. 1959).
- Western Regional Centre (WRC), Pune, Maharashtra (Estd. 1959).
- Central Zone Regional Centre (CZRC), Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh (Estd. 1960).
- Desert Regional Centre (DRC), Jodhpur, Rajasthan (Estd. 1960).
- Northern Regional Centre (NRC), Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand (Estd. 1960).
- Southern Regional Centre (SRC), Chennai, Tamil Nadu (Estd. 1961).
- Gangetic Plains Regional Centre (GPRC), Patna, Bihar (Estd. 1965).
- High Altitude Regional Centre (HARC), Solan, Himachal Pradesh (Estd. 1968).
- Marine Biology Regional Centre (MBRC), Madras, Tamil Nadu (Estd. 1973).
- Andaman and Nicobar Regional Centre (ANRC), Port Blair (Estd. 1977).
- Freshwater Biology Regional Centre (FBRC), Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (Estd. 1979).
- Sunderbans Regional Centre (SRC), Canning, West Bengal (Estd. 1979).
- Estuarine Biology Regional Centre (EBRC), Ganjam, Orissa (Estd. 1980).
- Western Ghats Regional Centre (WGRC), Kozhikode, Kerala (Estd. 1980).
- Arunachal Pradesh Regional Centre (APRC), Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh (Estd. 1983).
- Marine Aquarium Cum Regional Centre (MARC), Digha, West Bengal (Estd. 1989).
National Zoological Collections
The Survey acquired the zoological collections of more than a century old from the former museum of the Asiatic Society of Bengal and the zoological section of the Indian museum (1814-1875) in Calcutta. Zoological Survey of India thus became the custodian of the collections of zoological specimens of the Indian subcontinent, stocking and safeguarding the collections from India, Srilanka, Myanmar, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The United Kingdom tried to carry all the zoological specimens to British Museum (despite having with them, already, a huge Indian collection), staking that these collections were from the erstwhile ‘British Indian Empire’. Britain was of the view that the infrastructure of the newly born ZSI, and such institutes of the other countries in the subcontinent, will not be able to care, preserve and maintain the hundreds of thousands of zoological specimens preserved in Spirit/Alcohol, or Formalin.
When the claim for the collections became intense, Late Dr. S.L.Hora was, then, the Director of ZSI (as well holding the post of the Director of Fisheries of West Bengal). By virtue of his position, he was the Advisor, on zoological matters, to the hon’ble First Prime Minister of India, Late, Pt.Jawaharlal Nehru.
To combat the claim and right for the specimens by the other countries, Dr. Hora was able to convince the Govt. of India to declare the ZSI collections as “National Zoological Collection”. Dr. Hora submitted a proposal to the Govt. of India, Ministry of Scientific Research and Cultural Affairs to construct the ‘Fire-Proof-Building within the Indian Museum Campus. The building was envisaged to be made fire-proof, acting as a fire-resisting unit, so that all the spirit-preserved specimens would remain safe and protected. This move for constructing the ZSI’s own building for such a purpose was made during a period when the financial crisis of the Govt. was very acute. ZSI then had been functioning from hired accommodations, scattered at a few places in Calcutta.
The establishment of a permanent building as a proposal for reorganization and expansion of a Zoological Survey had been suggested and recommended by Lt-Col.R.B.Seymour Sewell, former Director of the Survey (England) as requested by the then Govt. of India, in the year 1945. It was a postwar development plan proposed by him shortly after the Second World War was over. He submitted the proposal in the form of a memorandum for the gradual reorganization of the Survey. The important items in the scheme included, albeit other things, a plan for a fire-proof building for the Survey at a suitable place.
ZSI After 1947
Although Dr. Sewell’s proposal, which had been prepared in pre-partitioned India, could not be implemented for financial reasons, the scheme was suitably modified after the independence in view of the changed political and economic set up of the country. A committee, under S. L. Hora as Convener, appointed by the Govt. of India, examined the Dr. Sewell’s Scheme and made its recommendation to the Government during December 1949. The committee in its report stressed for a permanent building for the Survey.
During the First Five Year Plan (1951-52 to 1955-56), it became essential for the Government to seriously grapple the question of the reconstruction, growth and development of the Zoological Survey. After Dr. Hora, who died in harness on 8 December 1955, Dr. Mithan Lal Roonwal was appointed Director of the Survey. Dr. Roonwal pursued the matter with the Government of India. However, the Second Five Year Plan period was rather uneventful with regard to the development of the department was concerned since no programme of expansion could be taken up. During the Third Five Year Plan (1961-62 to 1965-66), the Govt. of India in view of the biological importance of the collections, recognized the same as the “National Zoological Collection” through a gazette notification dated the 11th July, 1964.
The need for finding better accommodation for the department’s rapidly increasing collections became urgent and imperative. By 1964, the Fire Proof Spirit building (FPSB) in the Indian Museum, solely constructed for ZSI, became a reality and ready for occupation. But only three of the six floors of the newly built FPSB, Kolkata, were occupied by the Zoological Survey of India in 1965. The Freshwater and Marine Fish Sections, Amphibia Section, Reptilia Section, Crustacea Section, General Non-Chordata Section, and Museum and Taxidermy Section of the Survey were shifted to FPSB. The Fire Proof Spirit Building, as its name indicates, was constructed exclusively for the Zoological Survey of India with the idea of protecting the invaluable, registered “National Zoological Collection” preserved in rectified spirit/alcohol. The building was made fire-proof, acting as a fire-resisting unit, so that all the spirit-preserved specimens would remain safe and protected.
In the post independence period, in April 1955 the Govt. of India called a conference of eminent zoologists to suggest a programme for the development of the Zoological Survey of India under the Second Five-Year Plan. The necessity for having the headquarters of the Survey in a suitable central place in India was also realized and the recommendation was taken up for consideration.
The recommendations made by the Conference were later fructified in the form of further development of the Survey. The activities of the survey, both as a bureau of systematic zoology and a centre of training in higher specialized research in zoology increased steadly. The scientific and technical activities of the department, viz., field surveys,, research, development of the National zoological collections, identification and advisory service, maintenance of the Zoological Galleries of the Indian museum, etc., were augmented. The department was being constantly referred to by other scientific departments and institutions and the general public in connection with zoological, biological and allied problems. The expansion cum developmental programmes of the Survey was in continuum with the increasing interest in life sciences and with the advent of country’s Five-Year Plans. The Survey has so far established sixteen Regional Centres in different parts of the country, and has developed into a major National Institution. It functions as the custodian, rather guardian, of the National zoological Collections, containing over a million identified specimens from all animal groups, from Protozoa to Mammals. Both Extensive and intensive field explorations and expeditions are undertaken by the Survey in different parts of the country --- in diverse ecosystems, Conservation Areas, biodiversity ‘hotspots’, etc.--- for the studies of land and marine fauna, systematic zoology, animal ecology, wildlife, zoogeography, animal behaviour, animal population.
Ever-increasing collections and inadequate space to house them made it imperative for the Survey to have its own permanent building. It became a reality when its scientific/administrative building at New Alipore came into being in 1987. The assets of the Survey: huge lots of zoological dry-collections, which were being cared in different hired buildings, ZSI Library from the Indian Museum building, Kolkata, and the Publication Division from Nizam Palace, Kolkata, were shifted to the new building.
The Govt. of India in 1987 made a critical review of ZSI’s activities in order to clearly redefine its objectives and delineate its perspectives, and also to spell out the strategy for realization of the various objectives. A meeting of the eminent Zoologists of the country was held at New Delhi during July 1987. Some of the relevant issues were also considered by the Joint Programme Advisory Committee set up to advise on scientific activities of ZSI and BSI. Based on the recommendations of these different committees / forums, the Govt. of India decided to redefine the objectives of ZSI. These objectives, classified into Primary and Secondary Objectives, included: Primary Objectives: i. Exploration and Survey of Faunal Resources; ii. Taxonomic Studies; iii. Status Survey of Endangered species; iv. Publication of Results through Departmental Journals; v. Publication of Fauna of India; and vi. Maintenance and Development of National Zoological collections; Secondary Objectives: i. Maintenance of Museums at Headquarters and Regional Centres; and ii. Environmental Impact assessment Studies wherever specially asked for by the ministry of Environment & Forests. One exciting achievement during the recent years was the inclusion of a scientist from Zoological Survey of India in the teams for the expeditions to Antarctica from 1989 onwards. ZSI also streamlined the procedure for the participation of ZSI scientific workers at National and international Conferences which had helped in projecting its best talents. The institution also encouraged its scientists in dissemination of knowledge by setting up new trends in training programs, holding scholarly scientific lectures. A clear-cut publication policy, with priorities defined, was also initiated. All the scientific assignments of the Survey are now being closely monitored at phased intervals, by various committees, envisioned with a focus on realistic progress and significant achievements
Efforts have been made in recent times towards an integrated approach to zoological investigations so as to have a more purpose-oriented research incorporating biological, ecological and ethological aspects. Despite the inclusion of other areas of research in the institution’s programme, taxonomy continues to occupy a prominent role. However, the morphology-based classical taxonomy, the crux of scientific research of the Survey, has further been supported with the high-end, modern tools of molecular taxonomy, viz., DNA Fingerprinting Techniques, for improving the quality and scope of the taxonomic research of the institution.
The Publications of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has played a pioneering role in contributing to the scientific knowledge on Indian Zoology, taxonomic knowledge in particular. As being a scientific research organization of national and international repute, ZSI has been publishing since 1906, scientific journals, books, as part of its mission to advance the science of taxonomy and systematics and disseminate the scientific information on Indian fauna. The ZSI publications provide an outlet for the researchers/ scientists not only of ZSI but also of other institutions to publish their results of zoological studies of scientific nature, taxonomy and systematics in particular, thereby contributing to the knowledge base on Indian fauna. It was ZSI that had made an impetus on the taxonomic research on Indian fauna in the country and carried the message to the people of the rich diversity of the animal wealth of the country and the awareness about their conservation through the media of its scientific publications. The ZSI publications have over the years brought to light India’s rich and diverse faunal diversity richness. The publications of the Survey are widely circulated throughout the world.
Even prior to the inception of ZSI in 1916, during the period of the British Indian Empire, the scientific knowledge on Indian zoology had started streaming out. ZSI had inherited the wisdom and will from the erstwhile British India Government about the importance of exploring and documenting the faunal wealth of India towards contributing to the scientific knowledge on Indian zoology. The ‘Fauna of British India…’ , a series of Handbooks on Indian Zoology dealing with the revised and descriptive works on the animal groups of India and the adjacent countries was made by the British Government in India, with the 1st volume published in 1888.
Since 1906 the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum, the progenitor of the Zoological Survey of India, started publishing two important series of publications, namely ‘Records of Indian Museum’ (A quarterly Journal of Indian Zoology) and Memoirs of Indian Museum, which dealt with varied topics of research on Indian fauna, viz., taxonomy and systematics, phylogeny and biogeography, including biological and ecological studies on fauna. After the Independence of India (1947), in continuation of the publication of the ‘Fauna of British India…’ series, further more volumes under the new name of Fauna of India were published.
Before Independence, 44 Volumes, comprising 176 publications of ‘Records of Indian Museum’, 13 Volumes comprising 55 publications of ‘Memoirs of Indian Museum’ and 91 Fauna of British India were published.
Titles of Publications
- Records of the Zoological Survey of India
- Memoirs of Zoological Survey of India
- Occasional Papers
- Fauna of British India
- Fauna of India
- Annual Report since 1961-62
- State Fauna Series (20 States)
- Conservation Area Series
- Ecosystem Series
- Wetland Series
- Estuarine Series
- Marine Series
- Himalayan Series
- Animal Discoveries (New species and New records)
- Handbooks/Pictorial Guides
- Special Publication Series
- Status Survey of Threatened Animals
- Bibliography of India Zoology (Discontinued)
- Zoologiana (Discontinued) Vol. 1 to 5
- Technical Monograph (Discontinued) Vol. 1 to 17
- Bulletin of ZSI Vol. (Discontinued) Vo. 1 to 8
Records of the Indian Museum
The ‘Records of Indian Museum’ was the only journal for publishing the taxonomic research papers, description of new species and new records, revisionary studies, etc. for the researchers and taxonomists of the Survey during its formative years. The journal was being published under the aegis of the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum, the progenitor of ZSI, with the first issue published in 1907, even before the formal establishment of ZSI in 1916. After India’s Independence, the ZSI has published 21 Volumes comprising of 88 issues under the ‘Records of the Indian Museum’. The journal-series was renamed as ‘Records of the Zoological Survey of India’ in the year 1968.Records of the Zoological Survey of India The journal, formerly known as The ‘Records of Indian Museum’ which was renamed in the year 1968 as the ‘Records of the Zoological Survey of India’ , is a quarterly in-house periodical that acts as a journal of Indian Zoology. The journal provides media for zoological communications dealing with taxonomy, faunistics, biology, ecology and population of any taxon. Since 1947, 44 volumes containing 180 issues have been published so far as Records of ZSI.
Memoirs of Indian Museum
The Memoirs are meant to publish works on systematics, phylogeny and biogeography of a group of animals or of groups of animals occurring in an ecologically defined area, or any other work of monographic nature. It is an occasional publication, the periodicity depending upon the availability of work of monographic nature. Its publishing was started in 1907 before the establishment of the Zoological Survey of India. After India’s Independence, the ZSI has published 2 Volumes comprising of 8 issues under ‘Memoirs of Indian Museum’. After 1968, the series was renamed as ‘Memoirs of the Zoological Survey of India’.
Memoirs of the Zoological survey of India
‘Memoirs of Indian Museum’ in the year 1968 was renamed as ‘Memoirs of the Zoological survey of India’, with similar objectives. Since 1947, 6 volumes containing 23 issues have been published so far as Memoirs of ZSI.
Fauna of India and the adjacent countries
91 volumes of ‘Fauna of British India’ on different groups were published before independence. This programme was reoriented in 1975 as ‘Fauna of India’. Since then 52 volumes have been published. Under this Series, a consolidated and up-to-date Taxonomic/systematic account of different groups of animals, based on detailed studies, are undertaken by the Scientists of eminence, who have worked on that group for more than 2 decades. The fauna volumes provide identification keys and distribution ranges of the species and genera belonging to a particular animal group. These volumes not only provide an inventory of the various taxa of that animal group within Indian region but also their distribution in whole of Asia and the World.
Transfer of the Survey to the Department of Environment made it necessary for the activities to be more elaborative, with the inclusion of the applied nature of works also, and the results are published under this series. Its publishing was started in the year 1978, and was discontinued in the year 1987 during which 17 monographs were published.
It is a semi-popular journal for publishing accounts of the general nature of faunal resources, conservation of wildlife, etc., on the basis of work done at the Survey. This journal was started in the year 1978 and, after publishing 5 volumes, was discontinued in the year 1990.
Bulletin of ZSI
This journal started in the year 1978 as a house journal was meant to cater to the growing diversity in zoological research undertaken in the Survey. The journal provided the researchers opportunities to publish the short-length papers, or communications of the research findings, especially to facilitate the quick and easy publication of new taxa, records and other findings. Till it was discontinued in the year 1987, 8 volumes, each in three parts, were published.
The publication of this series publish the results of findings on particular topics, animal groups, district fauna, checklists and other lengthy taxonomic research papers, under separate cover, which cannot be accommodated in Records of the ZSI. This publication, started in the year 1976 has so far published 334 volumes of such papers.
The ‘Handbook series’ publications are identification manuals of major groups of animals with keys and illustrations. The handbooks are important tools to help in distinguishing and identifying the species of different animal groups. Pictorial handbooks with colour photographs were also published for common people to generate interest towards fauna of the country. The first handbook on Indian Thysanoptera was published in 1980. So far 48 handbooks have been brought out.
ZSI has been publishing special publications on proceedings of symposia, seminars and workshops, etc., conducted by the Survey, and books of important and valued nature. The publishing of special publications was started with the first book ‘State of Art report – Zoology’ brought ou in 1980. 45 publications have so far been published under this series, some of which are as important as the ones like: Faunal resources of India, Red Data Books, Environmental Awareness, Ecosystems of India, Geo Spatial Atlas of Birds of Rajasthan, etc.
Status Survey Reports
The publication of this series was started with an aim to survey and monitor the status of critically endangered species and threatened species of India. So far 11 documents on status of animals have been published.
Annual Reports of ZSI
This publication, first published in 1952 for the year 1941-1951, is meant to give highlights of the work and activities of the Survey during a particular financial year. It includes important information on the research conducted and papers published, areas surveyed both extensively and intensively, staff position, publications brought out and Identification and advisory services rendered to research workers. So far 46 reports have been brought out.
Bibliography of Indian Zoology
The prime objective of this publication is to provide a handy compilation of references of scientific literature to the researchers for carrying out the scientific works on particular subjects based on the available literature. Keeping this in view, the Zoological Survey of India started compiling the Bibliography of Indian Zoology for bringing out a yearly publication, comprising a list of works done by all the Indian Scientists on Zoology. The first publication, Vol. 1 to 3 (1958-1960) was published in 1960, and so far 35 volumes have been published.This publication was discontinued after 2006, and a digitized version of the publication was initiated in 2011.
State Fauna Series
ZSI headquarters in collaboration with its 16 Regional Centres located in various parts of the country has undertaken intensive and extensive survey programmes on the faunal resources of various States of India and collected and documented the baseline data. The first of the series: State Fauna of Orissa was published in 1987. These published documents on fauna have been realised to be highly useful not only to the research workers but also to the state governments to assess/monitor the faunal wealth of their states. The faunal documents also help in EIA works/study as the base line data. The State Fauna series of the 20 States have been published; survey, study and documentation of the fauna of other 4 states are being completed; and the Survey and faunal inventorying works of 3 states are in progress.
Conservation Area Series (National Parks/Reserves/Protected Areas)
This series of publication was started to survey, study and document the fauna of reserve forests of our country in order to suggest the conservation measures based on the monitoring and inventorying works. The Fauna of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve was the first published in the series in 1987. So far 44 publications have been brought out under this series.
Prani Jagat (in Hindi)
This Hindi Journal was started to include papers of general nature related to animal diversity, and three issues have been brought out so far.
The series was started in the year 1992 to study the different ecosystems of the country viz. Estuarines, Wetlands, Himalaya, Marine, etc. The survey/ exploration, study and documentation of the faunal resources of many more ecosystems are yet to be undertaken under this programme. A total of 23 publications have been published as listed below:
- Estuarine Ecosystem Series (First Published in 1992)
- Wetland Ecosystem Series (First Published in 1995)
- Himalayan Ecosystem Series (First Published in 1995)
- Marine Ecosystem Series (First Published in 2007)
ZSI Digital Archive
All the publications of ZSI since 1916 can be accessed from here
The Library acquired the documents on zoological researches of more than a century old from the former museum (1814-1875) of the Asiatic Society of Bengal and the Zoological Section of the Indian Museum (1875-1916) in Calcutta. The Library of Zoological Survey of India started its journey on 1st. July, 1916 with 12000 volumes of documents transferred from Indian Museum. Mr. C. O. Bateman was its first Librarian. During 2nd World war, the library was shifted from Calcutta to Banaras on 11th May, 1942. Due to Varuna Flood in 1943, the library was completely disorganized and virtually shattered. But due to remarkable and efficient supervision of late Shri Samarendra Nath Ghosal, Ex-Librarian, the library was set in order and the books were reconditioned in record time. In early 1949, the library was again shifted and rehoused in the Indian Museum. In 1950, the personal collection of Dr. G. D. Bhalerao was added to the library which was a notable acquisition during that period. The Library of Z.S.I. functioned from 1949 to 2000 in Indian Museum. In the year 2000, the total collections of the library were transferred from Indian Museum to the new Annexed Building of Z.S.I. at New Alipur.
The library holdings both at the Headquarter Library, Kolkata, and 16 Regional Centers located in different part of India have a total collection of approximately 1,35,000 nos., which includes Books, Bound and Unbound journals, Monographs, Reports of Expeditions and faunal surveys, documents on non-book materials, etc.. The library is having more than 400 titles of Rare Books starting from the 17th century. The holdings have unique collections of books, periodicals and other archaic literature on the particular subject--Zoology and related animal sciences—and form perhaps the biggest library on Animal Sciences in this part of the world. Even the original publications of Carl Linnaeus and Fabricius, other monumental documents of animal taxonomy, original paintings and drawings of renowned scientists, biogeographers and Naturalists have enriched the library collections.
- Botanical Survey of India (BSI)
- Forest Survey of India (FSI)
- Wildlife Institute of India (WII)
- Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON)
- Survey of India (SI)
- Geological Survey of India (GSI) - maintains 2 fossil parks currently
- Anthropological Survey of India (ASI)
- Fisheries Survey of India (FSI)
- Zoological Survey of India-History and Progress 1916-1990 (1990). Edited by Director, Zoological Survey of India. Published by ZSI, Kolkata.109pp.
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