Happy New Year 2022
Solving multiple challenges while considering biodiversity and human rights
Augmentation of biodiversity will be needed in degraded forests and other degraded natural habitats for India to achieve the 30X30 target observed by Dr. Bawa...
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Agents Of Shield: Meet Women Ecologists Working To Better Our World
The Kottigehara dancing frog lives in permanent, primary streams in the Western Ghats. Pollution, dams and the clearing of forest land for use by humans is endangering the species. Mudke’s research attempts to...
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Scientists discover snail species in M’laya cave, conduct study on mollusc across NE
Nipu Kumar Das and N.A. Aravind, both associated with the Bengaluru-based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), recently discovered the new micro snail species, found deep inside a limestone cave at Mawsmai village in Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district...
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Reforestation efforts provide hope, but more work is needed on supportive policy and community involvement
India is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. But solving India’s water crisis will require us to take a hard look at how we collect and use data in the water sector. Currently, water sector practitioners lie at one of two ends of the spectrum:...
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Pharmaceutical waste contaminates India's main rivers
India's major rivers are thick with heavy metals, dyes, toxic chemicals, and pharmaceutical products. Priyanka Jamwal at says that the projects to clean up the Ganga can work only with decentralized treatment...
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Students given the training to identify invasive species
Students of the Government Arts College here were given training as part of a citizen-science initiative initiated by ATREE and Keystone Foundation in Kotagiri to map invasive species in the Nilgiris. Speaking at the event, Milind Bunyan said that...
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Thomas Lovejoy with Margaret Lowman, Raman Sukumar and Kamal Bawa at the canopy conference.
We woke on Christmas Day to the sad news of Dr Thomas Lovejoy’s passing away. Thomas Lovejoy was one of the most distinguished Conservation Biologist of our times. Those of us who were transitioning from Tropical Ecology to Conservation Biology in the 1990s, will remember Thomas Lovejoy for his Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project, and particularly the astounding scale of that fragmentation experiment in the Amazon rainforest. This mega-experiment inspired many in India and led to scores of investigations to inform the ‘SLOSS’ (Single Large or Several Small) debate that arose from it, with studies on natural islands and in fragmented forest patches, using various taxa from insects to mammals.
Thomas Lovejoy will also be remembered for coining the term ‘biological diversity' that soon got abbreviated to ‘biodiversity’. Today the term has come into common parlance and is used by everyone from lay people to policymakers.
It was indeed a privilege to have Thomas Lovejoy be a keynote speaker at the 5th International Canopy Conference, which was organised by ATREE, in Bangalore, in 2009. His keynote address was titled, ‘Educating policymakers about tropical forest conservation,’ and I quote a line from his abstract in which he said, “For policymakers, experiencing the rainforests with intact canopies first-hand is a more compelling tool for conservation than reading about it third-hand.” His message becomes particularly pertinent now, when biodiversity conservation is more urgent than ever before. Perhaps, we should heed Thomas Lovejoy's message and take our policymakers to experience our biodiversity first hand, to inspire them to conserve India's unique biodiversity. 
- Dr. Soubadra Devy
The Canopy Conference in Bangalore organised by ATREE in 2009 bought many ‘superstars’ of conservation biology but we all knew that the ‘father of biodiversity’ Thomas Lovejoy, or Tom, as he liked to be addressed as, was the Rajanikant of conservation. As a cub researcher and part of the organising committee, I had the rare privilege to have interacted with him closely, both through emails and in person. I was astounded by his humility and his high levels of enthusiasm to engage with young researchers like us, who at times didn’t even realise the naivety of our adulation laden curiosity. His plenary was inspirational, to say the least, and I particularly liked the way he could very powerfully convey some hard to digest facts in a manner that was both entertaining and engaging, which allowed us to remember such facts even though we listened to it only once. That was my early lesson in understanding the power of effective and long-lasting communication in conservation biology. The inspirational talk combined with his incredibly easy and humble personality moved me a lot, the effect of which was not dissimilar to the impact that Rajanikant could produce for his fans. Indeed, if not for the seriousness of our vocation and the unwritten rules of decorum of the IISc Tata Memorial Auditorium, where the lecture was delivered, I felt like launching myself into whistles and dances instead of the dignified clapping, as is expected at the end of a scientific plenary.
Dr. Thomas Lovejoy's passing is going to leave a deep, unfillable void.
- Dr. Rajkamal Goswami
Tamiraparani—the only perennial river in Tamil Nadu—originates in the Pothigai Hills in Tirunelveli District. “Trails of Tamiraparani” is an attempt to capture the myriad hues of the landscape, the travails of the past, its glorious heritage, and the prosperity of the region. The book comprises four chapters—Ainthinai, Panpadu, Varalaru, and Vazhviyal as enshrined in the ancient Tamil Sangam literature. Ainthinai (landscapes), captures the five vivid landscapes of Tirunelveli from the mountains to the shores, while Panpadu (culture) reminisces the symbols of past glory. Varalaru (history) offers a glimpse into the transition from Tinnevelly to Tirunelveli and Vazhviyal is a colorful narrative of people, culture, and livelihoods.
Your donation support will make you part of our conservation education initiatives in the Tamiraparani Landscape.
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