The objectives of ZSI are classified as follows:
• Exploration, Survey, Inventorying and Monitoring of faunal diversity in various States, Ecosystems and Protected areas of India.
• Taxonomic studies of all faunal components collected.
• Periodic review of the Status of Threatened and Endemic species.
• Preparation of Red Data Book, Fauna of India and Fauna of States.
• Bioecological studies on selected important communities/species.
• Preparation of databases for the recorded species of the country.
• Maintenance & Development of National Zoological Collections.
• Training, Capacity Building and Human Resource Development.
• Faunal Identification, Advisory services and Library Services.
• Publication of results including Fauna of India and Fauna of States.
• Environmental Impact Studies.
• Maintenance and Development of Museum at Headquarters and Regional Stations.
• Development of ENVIS and CITES Centers.
• Research Fellowship, Associateship and Emeritus Scientist Programmes.
• Collaborative research programmes on Biodiversity with other Organizations.
• GIS and Remote Sensing studies for animal diversity as well as for selected threatened • species.
• Chromosomal Mapping and DNA finger printing.