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Newsletter of nature conservation foundation

BushChat Monsoon '15

Ananda kumar1

M Ananda Kumar, among out earliest researchers has won a Whitley Award! His innovative efforts in using SMSes and flashing lights to alert people to the presence of elephants, have helped save lives in the Valparai plateau of the Western Ghats.

Watch a lovely film about his work

News from our programmes

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Endemic Bird Day (EBD)

Braving the heat of summer, 176 intrepid birdwatchers cross India went out to look for endemic (and other) species on Endemic Bird Day: 9 May. They saw over 500 species and made over 620 bird lists, containing over 11,000 bird observations! Click below to read more about the new citizen birding movement that is becoming popular all over the country.

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New crew on board!

Several new people have joined us between last issue of BushChat (when it was still print only). Many are field staff from local communities, who form the backbone of every project we undertake. Several research students as well as young professionals who have left corporate jobs to work in conservation, have also come aboard.

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Crocheting for Conservation

Nestled in the Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh, Kibber and Chichim villages are at an altitude of ~4200 m. Spitian people share their lands with rare and beautiful animals like the snow leopard, wolves, ibex and bharal. But life isn’t easy for people or wildlife in this cold, harsh landscape. Primarily an agro-pastoralist community, Spitians are now diversifying their income to offset losses caused by livestock loss to snow leopard and wolves, as well as uncertainties caused by climate change.

 In 2013, we teamed up with women from the two villages on a pilot project to produce and sell local products to supplement their livelihood. We now have over 20 different products, including a variety of crocheted handicrafts, for the first round of sales.

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Project In Focus: Where are the elephants?

Elephants formaparticle

mapping the distribution of an endangered megaherbivore

Conservation is very often about making choices. Take elephants, for example. Sure, we agree that they must be conserved. Yet, there are fundamental questions for which answers have long proven elusive, such as: where must we conserve elephants? Where should the needs of elephants take priority over those of humans? Where should it be the other way around? And how should we decide? Answers to these questions may not be easy, but without reliable knowledge, they may well be impossible. To put conservation planning for Asian elephants on a firm foundation of reliable knowledge, NCF’s researchers facilitated a collaborative effort to map Karnataka’s elephants.

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NCF voices in the press


Crop cycles: Fire and renewal in Mizoram

(By T.R. Shankar Raman)

“Do you really want to go all the way to see that?” he asked. It would turn out to be the loudest, hottest, most spectacular fire that I had witnessed at close range. A deliberate fire that would reduce to ashes what had been, until some weeks ago, a dense bamboo forest. And yet, the fire did not signify destruction as much as it did a new beginning.

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The life of a fry

The life of a fry

(From our column for children in The Hindu's schools edition)

Remember Nemo – the famous clownfish from the film, who was raised by his parents in an anemone ‘nest’? Many fish rear their young, in makeshift nests. The trusty male seahorse nurtures his partner’s eggs in his stomach. Some fish like cardinalfish even rear their eggs in their mouths! But did you know that most coral reef fish do not look after their eggs at all?

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