Published: 26th September 2021
Not for the faint-hearted: Students in Odisha's Debrigarh are identifying new, rare spider species
During the trail, an unknown 'Salticidae' variety of spider was found. Besides, Das also found a rare 'Anuvinda' (Titanoecidae) variety of spider which is not found in Odisha
While spiders may creep you out, students in Odisha are definitely a braver lot. They are now discovering various species of the 'creepy crawlies' out there. In a first of its kind initiative, the Hirakud Wildlife Division organised an exploration trip 'Spider Talks' to discover spider species in the Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary.
Day one of the programme, which began on Saturday, was dedicated to the below 18 age group and attended by Class X students of SSVM, Burla.
The second day will be dedicated to adults including tourists and boarders at the Debrigarh nature camp. The nature trail on the day was conducted by spider enthusiast and researcher Kishalaya Das. During a trek of around one km, the students walked through the sanctuary and identified nine varieties of spider including one unknown and another rare usually not found in Odisha. The trek was followed by a presentation by Dr Das on the different varieties of spiders found in Odisha and an interaction session.
Speaking about the initiative, Das said, "While people are acquainted with Megafauna diversity, the microfauna diversity continues to be unknown to many. The megafauna is largely dependent on the microfauna and everyone should be aware of the need for their conservation. The initiative will be helpful in developing consciousness among the people." He further said, "While there are around 250 varieties of spiders in Odisha, the Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary may have at least 150 varieties." The first day of the initiative received a positive response from the school students. "They participated actively in the session and tried to identify the varieties of spiders themselves," Dr Das said.
During the trail, an unknown 'Salticidae' variety of spider was found. Besides, Das also found a rare 'Anuvinda' (Titanoecidae) variety of spider which is not found in Odisha.
DFO Wildlife, Anshu Pragyan Das said, such programmes develop curiosity among people towards wildlife and the need for their conservation. "For the initial stage we chose to explore the secret world of spiders but we will organise more such programmes in the days to come. The Spider Talks will be organised for tourists at regular intervals," she added.