Veteran ecologist Prof Madhav Gadgil along with Liberian conversationalist Alexander Louis Peal and Tsuseki-Limthure duo from Nagaland will be conferred with the coveted Salim Ali Awards for Nature Conservation instituted by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
They will be presented at the International Conference on Wetlands and Migratory Waterbirds of the Asian Flyways in Lonavla, Maharashtra on 22 November.
The BNHS instituted the awards in 1996 in memory of Dr Sálim Ali, the legendary birdman of India, who took ornithology in India to new heights.
Peal, who will receive the Salim Ali International Award for Nature Conservation, has been working to protect and preserve the biodiversity of Liberia for decades. A former goalie of the Liberian national soccer team, Peal has used his public image as a soccer star to the advantage of the conservation movement. He helped to create Sapo National Park, Liberia’s first, and founded the country’s first environmental NGO – Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia – in 1986.
Prof Gadgil, the founder of Centre for Ecological Sciences, will receive the Salim Ali National Award for Nature Conservation. He chaired the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel, also known as the Gadgil Commission. He has conducted extensive research in the areas of population biology, conservation biology, human ecology, and ecological history.
The Sálim Ali Community Award for Nature Conservation will go to Tsuseki and Limthure, the founders of the Bhutan Glory Eco Club in the remote areas of Nagaland. This eco-club has conducted reforestation drives on community lands and is now exploring sustainable livelihoods in horticulture and animal husbandry to reduce dependence on traditional shifting cultivation.
Starting this year, BNHS has instituted the ‘J.C. Daniel Conservation Leader Award’ in the Young Women and Young Men categories, to recognize individual efforts towards nature conservation.
The J.C. Daniel Conservation Leader Award for Young Men, 2019 will go to Anant Pande, who has been active in the field of wildlife conservation for over 10 years. His doctoral research on the snow petrel, a climate-dependent Antarctic seabird, gained him the first PhD from India on an Antarctic vertebrate species. A trained biologist, he has worked on fauna ranging from zooplankton, seabirds, tigers, dugongs, to whales.
The J.C. Daniel Conservation Leader Award for Young Women, will go to Sonali Garg, who has carried out extensive studies on frogs in the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. Her research has yielded a significant body of primary data which has conservation implications for nearly half of the known Western Ghats frogs and one-third of all known Indian frogs.