Issue 1
April 2016



Veena Srinivasan and Sharachchandra Lele, Centre for Environment and Development, ATREE, wrote an Op Ed in The Hindu on why groundwater regulation policies need to be informed by sound science.
"Groundwater is inherently difficult to monitor and control, in part because of its invisibility, which also perpetuates the illusion that each well is independent. The myth is enshrined in Indian groundwater law that allows landowners to extract as much as they want. In reality, not only is groundwater within an aquifer interconnected, but aquifers and rivers are also interconnected. So depleting groundwater means drying rivers. Despite this, groundwater and rivers are regulated by different agencies that do not properly account for the linkages between them."


Dr Kamaljit S. Bawa, President, ATREE, wrote an op-ed in The Hindu on the decline of pollinators and how valuable yet understudied they are.

"For almost 20 years, my colleagues at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) have been monitoring the abundance of colonies of the giant Asian bee, Apis dorsata, in Biligiri Rangana Hills near Mysore. The number of bee colonies has shrunk significantly over the last decade. In the Himalayas, apple yields in recent years have decreased. The decreases have been attributed to reduction in the number of bees, but the exact causes of low yields are not known. In general, for the country as a whole, we have a very poor knowledge of the pollination systems of our animal pollinated crops, and how best we can manage the pollinators for optimal yields."

WATER ALSO NEEDS A BUDGET (translated from Kannada)

Janardhana Kesaragadde and Sharachchandra Lele, wrote an op-ed in Udayavani, a Kannada daily, on why it is necessary to budget water. "The recent fiscal budget for the state of Karnataka includes welcome allocations for lift irrigation, drip irrigation and wastewater treatment. But today's water scarcity cannot be alleviated by these measures alone. The Arkavathy study by ATREE helps us understand that much of the scarcity is because of unbridled groundwater extraction, aggravated by the spread of eucalyptus and other water-intensive tree crops. Policies such as increasing recharge through check-dams or subsidising drip irrigation don't work if the total consumptive use of water is not regulated."


Dr Priyadarsanan Dharma Rajan, Fellow, Suri Sehgal Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation, ATREE, and his team led the discovery of the ant species Anochetus daedalus.

Scientists discover ants that gorge on insects, invertebrates- Bangalore Mirror
New species of ant which builds maze-like nests found in Western Ghats- Livemint
Aravind Madhyastha, Fellow, Suri Sehgal Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation, ATREE, talks to on why discoveries of frog species may seem like a dime a dozen.

Why are new species of frog being discovered so often? Because there are so many-of-them
Aravind Madhyastha, fellow, Suri Sehgal Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation, ATREE, Preeti Gururaj, PhD Scholar, ATREE, and team were featured in The Hindu and Bangalore Mirror for the discovery of a frog species in Billigiri Hills. Priti Gururaj & team also discovered a tiny species of frog in Manipal, Mangaluru.

New frog species found in Biligiri- The Hindu
New frog species found in Biligiri hills - Bangalore Mirror
A tiny frog species discovered at Manipal, Mangaluru- Bangalore Mirror
Siddappa Shetty, Fellow, Centre for Environment and Development, talks to Prajavani (a Kannada language newspaper) about human-animal conflict.
Abi Tamim Vanak talks to the Economic Times about the importance of grasslands in conservation in an article about improving India's biodiversity.

How to improve India's record in biodiversity.
A new paper on the decline of tigers in India's tropical dry forests, co-authored by Abi Tamim Vanak, Fellow, Suri Sehgal Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation, ATREE, was featured in an article on Firstpost.

Encroachment on critical tiger habitats is leaving the big cats in grave danger - Firstpost
ATREE's study on Vrishabhavathi Valley Treatment Plant (VVTP) was featured in the Deccan Herald-

City's oldest STP in Vrishabhavathi underutilised

Jagdish Krishnaswamy was part of a panel discussing the current 'heat-wave' in Bangalore, in News9 TV.


Press coverage on ATREE's work investigating fish kills in Ulsoor Lake

On March 7, thousands of dead fish were found floating on Ulsoor lake. This was followed by massive public outcry on a number of citizens fora. A team from ATREE went to Ulsoor Lake to collect lake water samples for a rapid water quality assessment early in the morning of March 8th. The samples were taken from a number of different points around the lake and brought back to be tested at ATREE's Water and Soil Lab.

The team, led by Dr. Priyanka Jamwal, found that DO levels were extremely low and ammonia levels were high. The ATREE water quality test results were widely reported in various media outlets. Following the water quality reports, ATREE was asked to provide expert input at various media events and channels.

Complete list of links: TV 9 Panel discussion, 7th March 2016 Sharachchandra Lele participates in a TV Panel debate discussing the Ulsoor fish kill.

Times of India, 9th March, 2016: Release treated sewage into water to save lakes aquatic life -Experts

Times of India, 10th March, 2016: Oxygen levels in Ulsoor Lake way below limit ammonia content high

NDTV News, 10th March, 2016 Thousands of fish died due to negligence of government departments
The Hindu, 10th March, 2016: Majority of polluters go unpunished

Public TV News Report, 11th March, 2016:

Prajavani, 12th March, 2016: Ulsoor_fish_kill

Vijay Karnataka, 14th March, 2016:

The Hindu, 16th March, 2016: Result of the tests on Ulsoor lake is alarming

Economic Times, 19 Match 2016 Bengaluru's Ulsoor lake turns into fish graveyard is pollution plaguing water bodies

The Wire, 19th March 2016 Bangalore's dead fish are just a symptom of the time bomb that lies ahead

The Hindu, 22 March 2016 World Water Day save water now or there will be nothing left to save