THE ‘APING’ MONKEYS

By Asmita Sengupta With a doctoral degree in primate ecology under my belt, I consider myself quite the expert on all things primate-y, if you will. Many moons back, I had learnt from a rather engagingly written textbook that there are no primates in Australia, USA-Canada and Europe, unless you counted the Bigfoot and humans…

Banni – of mehmaan-nawaazi and Jinns (Part II)

By Ramya Ravi My introduction to Banni’s cuisine was a thali that included large helpings of hare moong ki khichdi with even larger helpings of ghee, then some bajre ki roti with the most delectable garlic chutney, along with other vegetable curries that were familiar. While the locals are prepared to offer strictly vegetarian food…

Banni – of Kutchi Samosa and the awakening (Part I)

By Ramya Ravi Banni, meaning ‘बनी हुई’ or something that is made, is an arid tropical savanna system in the Kutch region of Gujarat. Situated in on the northern fringe of Bhuj Taluka, Banni was the only vast stretch of grassland, constituting a total of 45% of permanent pasture in the region of Kutch and…

Insects: the creepy crawlies that excited me!

By Seena Narayanan Karimbumkara As someone in charge of the Insect Museum at ATREE over the last decade, I must have interacted with hundreds of curious visitors. The most common questions I have encountered during these interactions were, “how did you get interested in insects?” Almost each time I searched my memory for a quick and…

The White Scar (Part Two)

By Nachiket Kelkar Mr. Singh sat on his chair, his arms spread across the glass table. He pulled out a copy of the research proposal that had been sent to his office almost two months ago. He couldn’t help preening himself a little for his virtuous habit of reading up and being fully prepared for…

The White Scar (Part One)

By Nachiket Kelkar He lifted his cup of evening tea at the little beachside café, fingers trembling. He sipped slowly and silently, wondering whether this would be the day that he would officially get his research permits to work along the island’s coastline. Nilesh was tense. His appointment had already been cancelled thrice at the…

Graffiti #2

By Ovee Thorat and Rathnavel Pandian Image credit: Ovee Thorat and Rathnavel Pandian A fellow researcher’s experience with the Right to Information Act (RTI – 2005) prompted us to draft this graffiti. After being deflected to four different departments for what he considered as a simple query, his RTI was closed due to the “unavailability”…

Burrowing to oblivion: The Indian pangolin in the northern Eastern Ghats

By Vikram Aditya The Indian Pangolin Manis crassicaudata is one of two species of pangolins occurring in India (the other being the critically endangered Chinese Pangolin M. pentadactyla). Although previously widely distributed across the subcontinent, the population of the Indian Pangolin has rapidly declined over the past decade and is currently listed as Endangered by…

The Vultures of Moyar

By Anoop NR With a featherless head and neck along with a large hooked beak, vultures have unique adaptations for scavenging dead animals. Vultures play a vital role in many ecological processes such as eliminating carcasses, controlling the number of other scavengers and epidemic pathogens. They are in severe decline across the globe due to…