International colloquium on squirrels

From March 22 to 29 the Periyar Tiger Reserve will witness a lot of debate about squirrels, about flying squirrels in particular.

The National Institute of Advanced Studies in association with the Kerala office of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature is hosting the Fourth International Tree Squirrel Colloquium and the First International Flying Squirrel Colloquium on those days.

According to R. Nandini a NIAS research scholar, the colloquia will act as a forum for "the exchange of a wide spectrum of research ideas ranging from the ecology, life history strategies, evolutionary biology and comparative phylogenetics to the conservation biology and tree and flying squirrels." The colloquia will be open to students and researchers from all over the world. This will be for the first time that a squirrel colloquium is held in India, according to Ms. Nandini.

The colloquia will also focus on the lack of knowledge about the distribution, ecology or conservation status of most tropical squirrels. It will also seek to highlight the conservation needs of squirrels in the developing world by bringing together biologists, wildlife managers and field researchers who can share case studies of squirrels affected by human factors.