A five-day hands-on training on new software for veterinarians and biologists began at B.S. Abdur Rahman University, Vandalur, here on Monday. K.S.S.V.P. Reddy, Chief Conservator of Forests and Vandalur Zoo Director, said Single Population Analysis Record Keeping System (SPARKS) and Animal Record Keeping System (ARKS) were the new software.

SPARKS would deal with single species available in all zoos across the country and the second one would deal with many animals in a particular zoo. Two resource persons from International Species Information System would conduct the training programme.

The new software would help in keeping and maintaining proper record of animals, genetic diversity, demographical profile, stud book data validations, captive population management, editing records groups and reports.

Laurie Bingaman Lackey, Wildlife Biologist from the International Species Information System (ISIS), the organisation, which developed the software for the zoos said the ARKS software would be extremely useful. World over 950 zoos, which are members of ISIS, were using this software. The SPARKS software was used by more than 1,700 zoos across the world, she said. With the new software, biologists could be able to keep track of the number of species in the park and veterinarians would be able to keep a close watch on the health condition of animals in captivity. With thesoftware, one could track a single species of animal in different parts of the world, she added.

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