Vena Kapoor

Programme Coordinator, Education and Public Engagement

Vk 20profile

MPhil Conservation Leadership - University of Cambridge, UK
Masters in Ecology - Pondicherry University, India
Bachelor of Commerce - University of Madras, India

Since 1998, I have worked in the areas of conservation research and practice. My early research was on rainforest restoration in the Western Ghats using spiders as an indicator species and developing conservation education and outreach material. From 2006 - 2010 I managed the administrative and finance team in NCF's head office in Mysore.

I received the Ravi Sankaran Inlaks Scholarship in 2010 for the MPhil in Conservation Leadership, University of Cambridge. This interdisciplinary course enabled me to engage with international conservation organisations and I worked for three years with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative which was set up to help improve collaboration between conservation organisations in Cambridge, UK. 

I joined the Education and Public Engagement Programme of NCF in March 2015 and am currently based in Bangalore, India.

I am also part of the organising committee of the Student Conference on Conservation Science - Bengaluru. 


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Nature Activities

Nature Calls activities for children

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NCF's education and outreach material

Collating more than a decade's worth of nature and conservation material


  • Popular Article
    Monsters in sand pits
    The Hindu in School, 24 February
  • Popular Article
    An alien in the woods
    The Hindu in School, 3 August
  • Popular Article
    Stupendous spiders
    The Hindu in School, 16 September
  • Popular Article
    The spit in the grass!
    The Hindu in School, 2 September
  • Poster
    Invertebrates of the Western Ghats - Spiders
    S U Saravanakumar, Vena Kapoor
    supported by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund

    PDF, 8.1 MB

    Spiders, Spinnerets, Arachnura, Giant Wood Spiders

  • Journal Article
    Restoring rainforest fragments: survival of mixed-native species seedlings under contrasting site conditions in the Western Ghats, India.
    Restoration Ecology 17: 137-147.

    PDF, 617 KB

    Historical fragmentation and a current annual deforestation rate of 1.2% in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot have resulted in a human-dominated landscape of plantations, agriculture, and developed areas, with embedded rainforest fragments that form biodiversity refuges and animal corridors. On private lands in the Anamalai hills, India, we established restoration sites within three rainforest fragments (5, 19, and 100 ha) representing varying levels of degradation such as open meadow, highly degraded sites with dense Lantana camara invasion, abandoned exotic tree plantations (Eucalyptus grandis and Maesopsis eminii), and sites with mixed-native and exotic tree canopy. Between 2000 and 2004, we planted annually during the southwest monsoon 7,538 nursery raised seedlings of around 127 species in nine sites (0.15–1.0 ha). Seedlings monitored at 6-monthly intervals showed higher mortality over the dry season than the wet season and survival rates over a 2-year period of between 34.4 and 90.3% under different site conditions. Seedling survival was higher in sites with complete weed removal as against partial removal along planting lines and higher in open meadow and under shade than in sites that earlier had dense weed invasion. Of 44 species examined, survival across sites after 24 months for a majority of species (27 species, 61.4%) was higher than 50%. Retaining regenerating native species during weed clearing operations was crucial for rapid reestablishment of a first layer of canopy to shade out weeds and enhance survival of shade-tolerant rainforest seedlings.

  • Journal Article
    Effects of rainforest fragmentation and shade-coffee plantations on spider communities in the Western Ghats, India.
    Journal of Insect Conservation 12: 53-68.
  • Book
    Secrets of the Rainforest – Nature Activity Book for children in Arunachal Pradesh. 
    A Nature Conservation Foundation publication

    PDF, 14.2 MB

  • Book
    The Alphabet Book

    PDF, 6.14 MB

    This Alphabet book was produced mainly for Lisu children at several Kindergarten schools in remote villages of eastern Arunachal Pradesh near the Namdapha National Park that are supported by Katha, New Delhi. The Katha-Lisu schools set up in 2003 are managed by the Nature Conservation Foundation (as part of its community-based conservation program) and Lisu villagers. Lisu youth are employed as school teachers. We felt the need for making a book that uses words from nature (animals, plants) and everyday objects that rural children are familiar with and would more readily identify with than those that are usually used in such books. We have tried our best to do this, although we faced difficulties with some letters!

  • Popular Article
    Spinners and Stalkers.
    Deccan Herald (School Edition), December 19, page 3. Bangalore.

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