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G. B. Pant High Altitude Zoo, Nainital, Uttarakhand.

Nature Interpretation Centre

The department of forests, Uttarakhand (Kumaon Region) initiated the conceptualisation and development of the Nature Interpretation Centre at the G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo, Nainital. The objective of the project is to impart education and awareness about various concepts of nature, flora and fauna, through interactive and interesting displays.

To depict the various themes in these sections’ fibre 3D models, MDF & ACP, Acrylic cut outs, ACP boards with info-graphics, sensor-based technology depictions for interactive displays, informative signages, visitor engagement informative sections, appropriate sound and light, thematic ceiling displays, motorised movements, touch screen kiosk, LED screen and the like have been used. The interpretation centre has been divided into various sections as detailed below.

At the entrance the visitors get to see a physical map of the world. It highlights the continents, water composition and marks our country India.

1. Mother Earth

Mother Earth is the planet we live on. The Earth formed around 4.5 billion years ago. It is one of four rocky planets on the inside of the Solar System. Earth goes around the Sun once (one year) for every 3651⁄4 times it turns around (one day). Earth is the only planet in our solar system that has a large amount of liquid water. About 74% of the surface of Earth is covered by liquid or frozen water. Because of this, people sometimes call it the blue planet. Because of its water, Earth is home to millions of species of plants and animals. The things that live on Earth have changed its surface greatly.

2. Origin of Earth

Earth, along with the other planets, is believed to have been born 4.5 billion years ago as a solidified cloud of dust and gases left over from the creation of the Sun. The respective stages of its cooling down and continental drift to where it is today have been shown in this model which is also the first main theme of the centre.

3. Solar System

The Solar System is the gravitationally bound system of the Sun and the objects that orbit it, either directly or indirectly. The Solar System formed 4.6 billion years ago from the gravitational collapse of a giant interstellar molecular cloud. The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, are terrestrial planets, being primarily composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets are giant planets, being substantially more massive than the terrestrials. All eight planets have almost circular orbits that lie within a nearly flat disc called the ecliptic.

4. Earth’s Structure & Atmosphere

This section depicts the structure of the Earth which is divided into layers - both physically and chemically different, like the outer solid layer called the crust, a highly viscous layer called the mantle, a liquid layer that is the outer part of the core, called the outer core, and a solid center called the inner core.

Similarly the layers of atmosphere - the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere are depicted. A further region at about 500 km above the Earth's surface is called the exosphere.

5. Human Evolution

Six key stages of human evolution have been depicted beginning from apes to Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. The concept has been depicted with prints of the era along with 3 D models made in fibre glass.

6. Plant Kingdom

Plant kingdom holds great significance as they are an integral part of mother nature / environment. Thallophyta, Bryophyta, Pteredophyta, Gymnosperms and Angiosperms have been depicted in one of the gravities created in the Nature Interpretation Centre.

7. Animal Kingdom

The depiction of animal kingdom through prints and 3 D models classifies Invertebrates and Vertebrates. It will provide a huge knowledge and information about various living organisms and their existence.

8. Ecological Succession

Four types of successions have been depicted in the centre. These include saline water, fresh water, sand dune and succession in barren rocks. Six stages of each succession have been shown via relevant pictures.

9. Our Nainital and Altitude Zonation

This section describes the natural layering of ecosystems that occurs at distinct elevations from two sides – Kaladungi and Kathgodam upon moving towards Nainital. The layering occurs due to varying environmental conditions

Temperature, humidity, soil composition, and solar radiation are important factors in determining altitudinal zones, which consequently support different vegetation and animal species as depicted in the wall mural of altitude zonation. It bears 2D / 3 D models on the wall mural.

Nainital lake along with significant sites developed and maintained by Department of Forests, Uttarakhand have been marked.

10. Forest Fire& Animal Rescue

This is an educative section, especially for the locals as it bears the causes of forest fires along with Dos & Don’ts for the locals to follow to protect forest fires.

On the other hand, Uttarakhand forest team is one of the best forces for animal rescue. Awareness has been generated towards animal rescue through its various equipments, stages and process.

11. Climate Change

Climate change is one of the biggest global killers, affecting over 100 million people. That’s comparable to global diseases like malaria and HIV. Cleanups can save animals’ lives and discourage people from littering in the future.

12. Constitution of India & Environment Pledge

The last section shows the golden words written in the Indian Consititution. Article 48A of part iv The directive principle of state policy directs us the state to protect and improve its environment and protect its forest and wildlife.

The Indian Constitution also ensure the fundamental duties of every citizen of Mother India to protect and improve its natural environment and to have compassion for living creatures. Every Interpretation Centre visitor feels proud with patriotism exits as a Green citizen with full of knowledge and sense of responsibility to save its environment and wildlife, takes pledge the only he/she can exit.