Nurturing nature appreciation

Rekindling conservation awareness and connections with nature

Islands of rainforest amidst monoculture plantations, people living amidst endangered animals and plants – this is Valparai plateau. To conserve this remarkable ecosystem and cultural landscape and foster human –wildlife coexistence, we use education as a tool for nature appreciation, discovery, and conservation.

  • Students participating in LTM watch - A campaign to create awareness about the vulnerability of Lion-tailed Macaques

  • Interiors of Ecoquest - Nature Discovery Center at Iyerpadi, Valparai

  • Nature walk in progress

Education to conserve rainforest wildlife

In 2007, we initiated a conservation education program  in the Anamalai hills. The scope of the programme encompasses diverse sections of the population such as schools and colleges, self-help groups, estate workers, plantation managers, forest department officials, visitors, and the public in general. The programme aims to inform, educate, and generate an abiding and deeper interest in nature and conservation, and to make people feel a part of nature.

We identified specific conservation issues and relevant target groups. Various ways to foster sensitivity to nature and participation in conservation efforts were adopted. We addressed people using slide shows and screening of wildlife documentaries.  Students and other target groups were brought to or encouraged to visit our nature discovery centre, EcoQuest. We took school students and others along on nature trails and walks in rainforest fragments and surrounding plantations. We addressed students, tourists, forest department staff, estate workers and general public, with presentations on human-wildlife interactions. Educational materials such as books, posters, games, and other audio-visual material was produced in English and vernacular Tamil. In a wide cross-section of English and Tamil magazines, newspapers, and through blog posts, we reached out to readers with a large number of articles on natural history and conservation issues of this region. 

EcoQuest Nature Discovery Centre

EcoQuest Nature Discovery Centre is a unique facility established in 2007 in collaboration with Parry Agro Industries Ltd, an environmentally-conscious plantation company. This centre, located in Iyerpadi near Valparai,  has got information on plants and animals of the Valparai plateau and the Anamalai hills landscape. The centre has four themed rooms: habitats, biological diversity (2 rooms), and conservation, with posters containing photographs and educational information in English and Tamil. Seventy posters have been displayed. Various aspects of nature, conservation issues and ecosystem functions, especially on rainforests, are brought to life in the posters and on the walls, through beautiful artwork by a wildlife artist, Maya Ramaswamy. Educational films about nature are maintained and screened for local people and school children. Programmes are conducted for school and college students, estate workers, forest department officials, local people and tourists who visit the centre to create awareness on wildlife and nature conservation and on responsible tourism. Educational posters and books on nature-related aspects have been produced by us and are being sold in the centre or distributed to children in schools during activities. A good library of wildlife films, books, and other materials useful for educational programs is also available at this centre.

People

Partners

  • Parry Agro Industries Ltd

Funding

  • M. M. Muthiah Research Foundation

Publications

  • Popular Article
    2018
    Kolap Paravaigal கோலப் பறவைகள்
    The Hindu Tamil News Daily, Uyirmoochu Supplement. 27th January

    Jeganathan, P. (2018). Kolap Paravaigal (On birds in Pongal Kolam (Rangoli) in Tamil Nadu). The Hindu Tamil News Daily, Uyirmoochu Supplement. 27th January 2018.Link here.

  • Popular Article
    2018
    Paravai Thangigal பறவைத் தாங்கிகள்
    The Hindu Tamil News Daily, Uyirmoochu Supplement. 17th February 2018

    Jeganathan, P. (2018). Paravai Thangigal (On natural and artificial bird perches). The Hindu Tamil News Daily, Uyirmoochu Supplement. 17th February 2018.Link here.

  • Popular Article
    2018
    Nadiyai Nadi நாடியை நாடி
    The Hindu Tamil News Daily, Uyirmoochu Supplement. 8th September 2018.

    Jeganathan, P. (2018). Nadiyai Nadi (On watching Lesser Noddy in Tamil Nadu). The Hindu Tamil News Daily, Uyirmoochu Supplement. 8th September 2018.Link here.

  • Book Review
    2017
    Marangal- Ninaivilum Punaivilum: Vanakathukuriya Noolமரங்கள் - நினைவிலும் புனைவிலும்: வணக்கத்துக்குரிய நூல்
    The Hindu Tamil News Daily, Uyirmoochu Supplement.

    Jeganathan, P. (2017). Marangal- Ninaivilum Punaivilum: Vanakathukuriya Nool (Book review on Marangal- Ninaivilum Punaivilum). The Hindu Tamil News Daily, Uyirmoochu Supplement. 29th April 2017.Link here.

  • Popular Article
    2017
    Sengal Narai darisanamum, aaru mani kuruviyin azaippum. செங்கால் நாரையின் தரிசனமும், ஆறு மணிக்குருவியின்  அழைப்பும்
    The Hindu Tamil Magazine-Sitirai Special issue–April 2017.

    Jeganathan, P. (2017). Sengal Narai darisanamum, aaru mani kuruviyin azaippum (On the wildlife and wild places of Villupuram District). The Hindu Tamil Sitirai Malar (சித்திரை மலர்). The Hindu Magazine-Sitirai Special issue–April 2017.

    Full article can be seen in this blog here

  • Popular Article
    2017
    Thamilagathil thenbadum azivin vilimbil ulla paravaigal . தமிழகத்தில் தென்படும் அழிவின் விளம்பில் உள்ள பறவைகள்
    Manorama Year Book (in Tamil) 2017.

    Jeganathan, P. (2017). Thamilagathil thenbadum azivin vilimbil ulla paravaigal (Threatened birds of Tamil Nadu). Manorama Year Book 2018. Malayala Manorama Press, Kottayam – 686 001. December 2017.

  • Popular Article
    2017
    Oru Paravai Pola Mithakirene. ஒரு பறவை போல மிதக்கிறேனே.
    The Hindu Tamil News Daily, Uyirmoochu Supplement. 14th January

    Jeganathan, P. (2017) Oru Paravai Pola Mithakirene(on birding dreams). The Hindu Tamil News Daily, Uyirmoochu Supplement. 14th January 2017.Link here.

    Full version of this article (Title - Enathu Paravai Kanavugal|எனது பறவைக் கனவுகள்) can be seen in blog post here

  • Book
    2016
    Thattangal, Usithattangal: arimuga kaiyedu. (A field guide on dragonflies & damselflies in Tamil)
    P Jeganathan, R Bhanumathi
    Cre-A. Chennai.Pp1-224

    தட்டான்கள், ஊசித்தட்டான்கள்: அறிமுகக் கையேடு. க்ரியா வெளியீடு. சென்னை 1-244. Link here

  • Popular Article
    2016
    தன்னை அறியும் யானைகளின் துயரை அறிவோம். (On threats to Asian elephants)
    The Hindu Tamil Diwali Malar.

    Jeganathan, P. (2016). Thannai Ariyum Yanaigalin Thuyarai Arivom (On threats to Asian elephants). The Hindu Tamil Diwali Malar. The Hindu Magazine-Diwali Special issue–November 2016. Pp.222-230. Link here.

  • Popular Article
    2015
    வானில் பறக்கும் புள்களைத் தேடி. (On my eBirding Big Year)
    தி ஹிந்து சித்திரை மலர். The Hindu Sithirai Malar. January 2015

    Jeganathan, P. (2015). வானில் பறக்கும் புள்களைத் தேடி. தி ஹிந்து சித்திரை மலர். January 2015. (On my eBirding Big Year). Vanil Parakkum Pulgalai Thedi. The Hindu Sithirai Malar. January 2015. 

    My personal blog link here and Sithirai Species issue link here.

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