Agasthya 5.2 - Learnings from long term monitoring
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Centre for Excellence in Conservation Science
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The summer rains in the hills had just begun and the evergreen forests of KMTR were wearing a fresh wet look; there were many species of trees in flower and as one counted them the numbers began to build up and soon it was apparent that it was a major flowering year in the forest which according to our long term monitoring data is a 'rare' event. We can say rare only because we have been monitoring such events for a long time now. Coming July 30th, the moon will start a new cycle signifying the culmination of the annual festival in the Sori Muthaian temple in KMTR. As we gear up to continue our drive for a cleaner and greener festival, I couldn't help but notice the path that we have treaded to reach this stage of our campaign. For some of us who joined ATREE in the recent past, the campaign has given us a first-hand view of the effort and dedication that is needed to carry out a long term monitoring program. The campaign essentially is divided in two parts – long term monitoring and engagement with the stakeholders. The impacts of engaging with the stakeholders are visible – entry and use of disposable plastic inside the forest has been banned; a system is in place to enforce it and; a number of volunteers from the local landscape are taking part in awareness campaigns and research activities.

ATREE has set up many such long term monitoring programs to study the dynamic systems inside the KMTR and in its foothills. Earlier, monitoring was rooted in pure natural ecological systems, parameters viz. phenology, frugivore abundances, plant-pollinator interactions and vegetation dynamics. Over time our programs have evolved to include numerous socio-economic –ecological systems. Socio-economic evaluation of the Eco-development and our awareness program exemplify this diversification. As we are getting involved in active conservation oriented programs, we realise integrating knowledge from natural systems into the human-traditional-knowledge has greater scope of success. Integration, also in a much broader sense enhances our understanding of the forests and its interactions with human beings. The wealth of information from our long term studies is the focus of this issue of Agasthya. This issue also marks the beginning of a new design and a transition to include research findings in Agasthya. However, the dissemination of the results through different media is still an important key to achieve a popular mandate on conservation and I feel this is the future challenge.



Volume 5,  Issue 2
      April 2011

Editorial Team
Editor: Allwin Jesudasan
Associate editor: Rajkamal Goswami
Editorial Review: R. Ganesan, M. Soubadra Devy, T. Ganesh
Design and presentation: Kiran Salegame

A S H O K A   T R U S T   F O R   R E S E A R C H   I N   E C O L O G Y   A N D   T H E   E N V I R O N M E N T

Learnings from long term monitoring
-Allwin Jesudasan
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