The Agasthyamalai Community Conservation Centre (ACCC) was set up to engage with the biologically unique and culturally diverse Agasthyamalai landscape in southern Tamil Nadu. The goal is to understand how ecosystems respond to natural and human changes and explore governing mechanisms and management strategies that address biodiversity and conservation issues. The ACCC’s approach to conservation combines existing knowledge, engagement with state authorities and applied research. The focus on conservation priorities in the human-dominated landscape, and coordinates all programmes conducted in the Agasthyamalai region.

Outreach and Facilities

Engaging with multiple stakeholders (district administration, local bodies and the local communities) in the larger Tamiraparani river basin of the Agasthyamalai landscape.

Conducting several environmental education programmes for children and youth in the Agasthyamalai landscape and beyond.
The ACCC campus at Manimuthar, Tirunelveli district, comprises one of the most eco-friendly infrastructures to do research. The campus boasts a workstation, a well-equipped field lab and accommodation for visiting researchers and guests.

The Centre works with over 20 government and private schools across five districts – Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Thoothukudi, Virudhunagar, and Kanyakumari of Tamil Nadu.  It has designed a specific  activity based, ‘Ainthinai Arivom’ curriculum about various ecosystems that the landscape is endowed with – mountains, wetlands, forests, grasslands and coastal lands. In addition, the ACCCenvironment education team regularly organizes events, citizen science programmes, talks,exploratory nature trails and has produced nature education resources including documentaries to enable children and teachers to experientially and cognitively engage with the Tamiraparani landscape and its associated Wetlands’ ecosystem services.

Key Areas of Work

Biodiversity Monitoring

Ecological research and biodiversity inventorying in the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve. This has resulted in the description of multiple new plant, frog and moth species.

Long-term Phenology

Ongoing long-term monitoring of vegetation, tree phenology and pollinators – a signature programme of ACCC. It is perhaps the only long-term data available for any wet evergreen forests in the country.​

Tamiraparini Annual Waterbird Count

A flagship water bird counting project, done every January with citizens of the landscape. A unique citizen-based initiative in the country.