14-DEC-2016: Dr Mohammad Ali Raza Khan, Dubai based Principal Wildlife Specialist recently delivered the 'Dr Salim Ali Memorial Lecture' in the Aligarh Muslim University. The lecture was organised by Department of Wildlife Sciences, AMU.
While speaking on the topic of 'Ecology and Conservation of Black and Orange Flycatcher in Nilgiri Hills, India', Dr Khan shared his experience of working with the great Birdman of India, Dr Salim Ali and how Dr Ali urged him to pursue a doctorate degree. Meanwhile, he also spoke on the currently under-construction Dubai Safari in UAE.
Dr Khan pointed out that Dr Salim had no university degree, but there were eight scholars including Dr Khan, who completed their doctorates under Dr Salim Ali.
"Dr Salim Ali had a vision in 1930s and 1940s that other people did not have at the time," said Dr Khan adding that the great Birdman was the first Indian Ornithologist, who could think beyond collecting, preserving, shelving and cataloguing specimens.
Dr Khan further said that Dr Salim Ali was the first to start noting the ecology and behavior of birds, which was later, published in the 'Book of Indian Birds' in 1939.
Dr Khan also recalled of developing a project proposal on the Black and Orange Flycatcher after which Dr Salim Ali asked him to report to Mr E R C Davidar, who had last seen the bird in Coonoor in Nilgiris. "It was at this time that I discovered that the Flycatcher lived in dark undergrowth of Shola-type evergreen forest and some public parks like Sim's Park, Ooty Botanical Gardens and certain areas in the Kodaikanal town," said Dr Khan.
While presiding over the lecture, AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah (Veteran) recalled meeting Dr Salim Ali in Ladakh during one of his postings. "I found out that Dr Salim Ali was committed to his field and it was amazing to see his work," said General Shah.
He added that it is interesting to notice the migration of birds as seems like a miracle that birds exactly remember all the places they have stayed. Gen Shah said that humans might forget the locations of places but birds never fail to do so.
Appreciating Dr Khan's lecture, the Vice Chancellor said that today's lecture was very informative and it will help students and faculties in their further researches.
Professor S H A Yahya, Chairperson, Department of Wildlife Sciences delivered the welcome address to introduce the Chief Guest. During the lecture, he pointed out that Sheikha Jheel in Aligarh has a big strength of migratory birds from various parts of the world.
Dr Orus Ilyas conducted the programme while Prof Syed Asif Akhtar Naqvi, Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences proposed the vote of thanks.
Related PicturesDr Mohammad Ali Raza Khan (fourth from left) and other guests present at the Dr Salim Ali Memorial Lecture