Special Guest Lecture in Geography Department by Dr. Nima Doma Lama on Anthropogenic threats to three lentic habitats in Singaleela environs: with special reference to Himalayan Newt
On 4th September, 2015, the Department of Geography of Salesian College organized a special guest lecture. The lecture was delivered by Dr. Nima Doma Lama, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography of Siliguri College. The session was begun with the welcome speech and introduction of the speaker by the faculty members of the Department. Father Vice Principal Vallikunnel Aju Kurian inaugurated the program.
The theme of the special lecture was on “Anthropogenic threats to three lentic habitats in Singaleela environs: with special reference to Himalayan Newt”. It was actually the summarized version of the Minor Research Project which was submitted by Dr Nima Doma Lama to UGC. The lecture was about the salamanders of the Singaleela environs which have now become living fossil because of the different types of anthropogenic factors e.g. road blasting, unmanaged tourism, deforestation and other commercial reasons. The speaker started the session with the relevance of the study which was orientated to:
• Ecological Implications
• Scientific significance
• Commercial Value
• Aesthetic Value
• Ethical Value
After the relevance of the study, she introduced about the newts or salamanders of the study area, their characteristics, breeding season and all other important features. The three lentic habitats i.e. lake habitats of her study were Chitri Pokhri, Jora Pokhri and Nakha Pani of the Sandakphu Region in Himalaya of North Bengal. These are the oldest habitats of the amphibians since the time of Dinosaurs in Mesozoic Era. These salamanders are sometimes also known as Crocodile Salamander for their resemblance with crocodiles. The next concern, the speaker raised was about the reasons of extinction of these species. Madam Nima Doma Lama very systematically discussed the problems of three lentic habitats. The major reasons she pointed out were: Deforestation along the slopes of the hills which leads to rock falls down slope and onto the lakes which in turn creates problems to breathe of the salamanders, pollution of water by the pilgrims by throwing flowers and leaves which leads to eutrophication, concretization of the lakes, faulty plans of tourism etc.
She also highlighted the possible solutions to save these endangered species e.g. to generate the alternate sources of livelihood for the people of the area, sustainable tourism, role of Government and so on.
Overall, the presentation was very informative and interesting for all the students and faculty members of the Department of Geography of our college. After the presentation, there was an interactive session of the students with the Dr. Lama about this study. The session came to end with the vote of thanks by Ms. Monisha Hembram, assistant professor, department of Geography, Salesian College, Siliguri Campus.