I started my stint as an intern last summer in Agathaymalai community conservation center which is a requirement for my MSc in Environmental Sciences in France. Nature and wildlife fascinate me and I would like to work towards the long-term conservation of threatened habitats and species. This assignment with ATREE allowed me to discover the domain of animal and environment protection.
My project was to find an alternative method to control pests inside the paddy field through rodent and insect feeding owls. A great number of farmers in the landscape use insecticides and pesticides, when an ecofriendly method could be possible thanks to the proximity of the tiger reserve forest and its wildlife.
This meeting with wildlife, ecologist and local people reinforced my desire to work towards nature protection and encouraged me to learn more about this mysterious and great world. My work in the vicinity of Singampatti helped me get acquainted with its people. They were curious and welcoming and often times greeted me as “velakari” (white woman) with big smiles.
I had so much to take from their simplicity and happiness in what they do. I have discovered the owls and birds’ world with the help of ATREE researchers. I only hope my work will help the farmers in return, by finding an efficient, eco-friendly method to protect their crops and the wildlife in this beautiful area.