Green rules: Old debates, new dialogue

Green rules: Old debates, new dialogue

Text by Meghna Krishndas and Divya Karnad, photograph from Wikimedia Commons To back up its strong electoral promises of vikas, the Modi government had promised to ease bureaucratic hurdles for development projects. Getting environmental clearances is one such hurdle that was allegedly slowing down the country’s economic growth. In his...
Diversify the economy, boost biodiversity

Diversify the economy, boost biodiversity

Text and photograph by Divya Karnad As a fast-developing country, India’s economic growth is allowing millions to escape poverty. A new government has risen on this mandate of overcoming economic debacles, and is doing so by leaning on the primary sector of the economy, such as mining, a sector that...
Claim of human and tiger ‘coexistence’ lacks perspective

Claim of human and tiger ‘coexistence’ lacks perspective

Text by Chaitanya Krishna and photograph by Kalyan Varma Nepal’s Chitwan National Park was the site of a study, published in September 2012 by Carter and others, which concluded that, tigers coexist with humans at fine spatial scales. This paper has ignited a scientific debate regarding its implications for large...
Mayawati and other river monsters: In search of gharials in the Ken River

Mayawati and other river monsters: In search of gharials in the Ken River

Text and photographs by Tarun Nair and Suyash Katdare The dry, deciduous landscape of Bundelkhand treated us to its summer splendour, with the sweet mahua (Madhuca indica) and flaming palash (Butea monosperma) yielding soothe’ stimuli. But, the cool crisp air under a warm, winter sun held its own charm too....
A Different Energy

A Different Energy

Text by Divya Karnad and Chaitanya Krishna, photograph from Wikimedia Commons A new government, a flurry of activity, and India is well on her way to becoming a country of cities. A child of this new age is fed a diet of convenience, with machines that promise to speed-up, ease,...
A Tribute to Archana Bali

A Tribute to Archana Bali

Archana Bali, alumnus of the Masters program, passed away on 8th September 2014 after a courageous and determined fight against cancer. Our hearts go out to her family and loved ones at this tragic time. It is not just the loss of a dear friend and wonderful human being, but...
RWC seeks greater clarity and transparency in the wildlife research permit granting process

RWC seeks greater clarity and transparency in the wildlife research permit granting process

Text and photographs by RWC Wildlife science is a growing field in India, and wild places and the myriad species that live in them are revealing their secrets to a growing tribe of both professional and citizen scientists. The disconnect with the natural world in urban jungles is being bridged...
RWC sees red in proposed port development near Pulicat Bird Sanctuary

RWC sees red in proposed port development near Pulicat Bird Sanctuary

Written by RWC, photographs from Wikimedia Commons and Imran Siddiqui. The Pulicat Bird Sanctuary, notified on 20th September 1976 is the second largest brackish water lagoon after Chilika in Orissa. The lake provides livelihoods to about 44,000 fishermen and is a very important refuge for several species of threatened water...
Gilding the lily and friending the fern

Gilding the lily and friending the fern

Written by Karthik Teegalapalli, photographs by Karthik Teegalapalli, Anirban Datta-Roy & Wikimedia Commons. To a first time visitor, like it was to me four years back when I came here, the landscape around the Bomdo village may seem like a random hotch-potch of currently cultivated and regenerating shifting cultivation fields, palm,...
Glimpses into life in the Chambal

Glimpses into life in the Chambal

Written by Chaitanya Krishna, photographs by Tarun Nair, Shailendra Singh & Ingo Waschkies. A wide expanse of the Chambal River. Sandbanks can be seen in the foreground. The biopic, ‘Paan Singh Tomar’, features a story of a national record holding athlete who became a dacoit in the Chambal. In the film,...
Understanding Ladakh Better

Understanding Ladakh Better

Written and photographs by Vanjulavalli Sridhar Some of the most daunting news we read come from a state of great importance in India. It is no surprise that Jammu and Kashmir is sensitive since it shares international boundaries with three countries. Despite the unrest, it has been dubbed as ‘Heaven on...
The Unseen Invaders

The Unseen Invaders

Written by Chaitanya Krishna, photographs by Sarang Mhamane and Wikimedia Commons In the past, people feared invasions by neighbouring kingdoms, because apart from the very real threat to life and limb, their culture and way of life could be lost to the invaders. A far cry from the invading armies of...
Prof VijayRaghavan conferred with Padma Shri

Prof VijayRaghavan conferred with Padma Shri

Dear visitors. Please join us in congratulating Prof VijayRaghavan, our trustee, on being awarded the prestigious Padma Shri this year.
A Silent Spring

A Silent Spring

Written by Divya Karnad, photograph by Sarang Mhamane Good fences make good neighbours. Robert Frost might have been describing a different era, but the words ring true even today. Our neighbours are defined by fences. Walls, bare and high, soaring into spikes, can only let the persistent pass. Crows are the...
Tracking the tides

Tracking the tides

By Bhanu Sridharan I have lost count of the days. It’s the tide I track now. My eyes automatically scan the tide chart every few hours. How many hours of low tide? How long can I walk freely trying to learn the mangroves? Trying to understand the nature of the...
A bird in hand

A bird in hand

By Deepthi Bharadwaj As the four young boys ambled past me, I stole a curious look at the gunny bags they carried. Innocuous looking, but bearing ominous tell-tale splashes of red. I casually stopped and asked what the bags contained. Not shy of the stranger, the teenaged boy drew open...
Trawling in Real Hot Water

Trawling in Real Hot Water

By Divya Karnad In a sea of a thousand fishing nets, hope floats. It is what helps the gill netters and trawl fishermen sail out day after day. While competition is intense, there are a few factors that skew the balance in favour of the larger, more technologically savvy boats....
Hunters are Invited

Hunters are Invited

Written by Nandini Velho, photograph by Pooja K I’m often witness to and an integral part of mini-field disasters, but I learn something each day and that keeps me going. I remember that this particular day did not hold too much promise. We had spent five hours trying to dig...
Wild and Wonton: The Illegal Trade in Wildlife

Wild and Wonton: The Illegal Trade in Wildlife

By Uttara Mendiratta, photographs © FREELAND Foundation Two jewelry storeowners recently entered into a plea agreement with the Manhattan District Attorney's office. The stores were selling illegal ivory in midtown Manhattan. The ivory seized from one of the stores (Raja Jewels, owned by Mr. Gupta) alone was estimated to cost...
थमती साँसे

थमती साँसे

Written by Nachiket Kelkar, photograph by Sushant Dey सुनहली धुप ने गंगाजी की लहरों को रंग दिया था | एक निःश्वास के साथ कोई अनोखा जलचर पानी से उभर आया | यही था ‘सोंस’, गंगाजी का वाहन | तभी छोटा-सा सोंस शिशु पानी से ऊपर उठा | मैं स्तिमित होकर देखता...
RWC responds to the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel Report

RWC responds to the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel Report

Written by RWC, photograph from Wikimedia Commons Researchers for Wildlife Conservation (RWC) supports the Report of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP; henceforth ‘the Report’) prepared by a team headed by Dr. Madhav Gadgil. Based on our experience with research and conservation in the Western Ghats, we believe the...
The Cheetah Reintroduction Debate

The Cheetah Reintroduction Debate

Photograph from Wikimedia Commons Why leave the Cheetah out? Giving the African cheetah a run for its money Plan well to reintroduce Cheetah
Blackbuck lekking at Velavadar, Gujarat

Blackbuck lekking at Velavadar, Gujarat

By Shivani Jadeja The semi-arid parts of Gujarat, just as other arid regions, go through different seasons of extremes. There is extreme cold in winter, then there is extreme heat in summer and when the clouds decide to precipitate during the monsoon, they can bring floods in other wise drought...
Thinking outside the farm: the Adis and their shifting cultivation practice

Thinking outside the farm: the Adis and their shifting cultivation practice

Written by Karthik Teegalapalli, photographs by Karthik Teegalapalli and Robin Abraham ‘Why doesn’t the government provide them with alternate food rations, so they don’t cut all these trees’ was a friend’s response while we gaped at a hill-slope stripped of its trees for cultivation. This was at the edge of...
Do net gains cause species loss?

Do net gains cause species loss?

By Divya Karnad There is something important about the way Indians eat that is gradually turning into grandmother’s tales. Its significance lies not so much in its truth as in its consequence. Over fifty years ago, or about 2 generations ago, all food had its time and place. Travelers returning...
Leap of faith: the journey of the hoolock gibbon from forests to Garo villages

Leap of faith: the journey of the hoolock gibbon from forests to Garo villages

Written by Divya Vasudev, photographs by Varun Goswami I look up at the two figures in the trees, one jet black and one a soft fawn. The hoolock gibbon pair is high up in the only surviving fig tree in the village, surrounded on all sides by the arecanut trees that...
The Grassland Spirit

The Grassland Spirit

Written by Chaitanya Krishna, photographs by Sarang Mhamane. Mention the word “blackbuck” to a city dweller and after just a moment’s thought, “Salman Khan” comes the reply. It is indeed tragic that one of the most beautiful and iconic animal in India today is known primarily from an attempt to kill...
Cold desert conflicts: A snow leopards tale!

Cold desert conflicts: A snow leopards tale!

By Kulbushansingh Suryawanshi An hour of hard climbing through knee deep snow, I reached the crest of the Runglong plateau. Endless Tibetan steppe grassland extended in front of me. I was panting and gasping for the thin air at an altitude of 4500m. Resting my weight on the ice-axe I...
Of dams, dacoits and death - The saga of the Chambal Gharials.

Of dams, dacoits and death – The saga of the Chambal Gharials.

By Tarun Nair Emerging from the northern slopes of the Vindhyan escarpment, the Chambal River is undisputedly the last bastion of the gharial, harbouring its most significant remaining breeding populations. However, it is not without its own share of peril. Sitting at the bow, and with Kaptan Singh at the...
Silent Streams

Silent Streams

By Nisarg Prakash A sudden gust of wind, and a few bright red leaves of a grand Elaeocarpus break free, only to be unhurriedly carried away in the clear waters of the stream flowing by. Unlike trees where the young leaves are red and turn green, the leaves of the...
Money for nothing, tigers for free

Money for nothing, tigers for free

Written by Divya Vasudev, photograph by Chaitanya Krishna The most recent additions to the masses gathered in the shadow of Anna Hazare seem to be the tiger and his buddies. Recently, Hazare called out to the State Government of Maharashtra to cease illegal encroachment into forest lands. This may as well...
Land lost in time: central Indian grasslands

Land lost in time: central Indian grasslands

Written by Divya Karnad, photographs by Chaitanya Krishna.  The echoes of children’s voices from far away broke the stillness of the morning air. The belled goats that they herded lent music to the whispers of the breeze. A golden billowing grassland was waking up in southern Maharashtra, close to the city...
Latest entries
Green rules: Old debates, new dialogue

Green rules: Old debates, new dialogue

Text by Meghna Krishndas and Divya Karnad, photograph from Wikimedia Commons To back up its strong electoral promises of vikas, the Modi government had promised to ease bureaucratic hurdles for development projects. Getting environmental clearances is one such hurdle that was allegedly slowing down the country’s economic growth. In his first few months at office,...
Diversify the economy, boost biodiversity

Diversify the economy, boost biodiversity

Text and photograph by Divya Karnad As a fast-developing country, India’s economic growth is allowing millions to escape poverty. A new government has risen on this mandate of overcoming economic debacles, and is doing so by leaning on the primary sector of the economy, such as mining, a sector that is distinctly low in priority...
Claim of human and tiger ‘coexistence’ lacks perspective

Claim of human and tiger ‘coexistence’ lacks perspective

Text by Chaitanya Krishna and photograph by Kalyan Varma Nepal’s Chitwan National Park was the site of a study, published in September 2012 by Carter and others, which concluded that, tigers coexist with humans at fine spatial scales. This paper has ignited a scientific debate regarding its implications for large carnivore conservation worldwide, with scientists...
Mayawati and other river monsters: In search of gharials in the Ken River

Mayawati and other river monsters: In search of gharials in the Ken River

Text and photographs by Tarun Nair and Suyash Katdare The dry, deciduous landscape of Bundelkhand treated us to its summer splendour, with the sweet mahua (Madhuca indica) and flaming palash (Butea monosperma) yielding soothe’ stimuli. But, the cool crisp air under a warm, winter sun held its own charm too. Likewise, our seasonal ailings contrasted...
A Different Energy

A Different Energy

Text by Divya Karnad and Chaitanya Krishna, photograph from Wikimedia Commons A new government, a flurry of activity, and India is well on her way to becoming a country of cities. A child of this new age is fed a diet of convenience, with machines that promise to speed-up, ease, entertain and relieve the stress...
A Tribute to Archana Bali

A Tribute to Archana Bali

Archana Bali, alumnus of the Masters program, passed away on 8th September 2014 after a courageous and determined fight against cancer. Our hearts go out to her family and loved ones at this tragic time. It is not just the loss of a dear friend and wonderful human being, but also an excellent conservation biologist,...