FOUNDATION FOR RESEARCH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (FRSD)

Wildlife Conservation

 

There are about 2000 vertebrate species that are found in Tamil Nadu, South India. The protected areas of Tamil Nadu provide safe habitat for these species.(Courtesy: Forest Department)

The mammals found in Tamil Nadu include the Endangered Lion-tailed Macaque.

Asian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, Indian Leopard, Sloth Bear, Gaur, Manjampatti White Bison, Wild Boar, Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Common Langur, Bonnet Macaque, Nilgiri Tahr, Four-horned antelope, Dhole, Tree shrew, Sambar Deer, Mouse Deer, Muntjac, Jungle cat, Fishing cat, Leopard cat, Small Indian Civet, Toddy cat, Asian Small Mongoose, blackbuck, Chital, Striped hyena, Nilgiri Marten, Travancore Flying Squirrel, Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Flying squirrel, Three-striped palm squirrel, Black-naped Hare, Grey slender loris, Indian Pangolin, Asian Small-Clawed Otter and Malabar Spiny Dormouse, Indian Fox, Indian Porcupine, Smooth-Coated Otter

 

 

Conservation of non-human primates, our closest biological relatives on earth, has been a serious concern facing primatologists in southern part of Tamilnadu, India.  Primates are found in the Western and Eastern Ghats range of mountains in Tamilnadu.  Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque(Macaca silenus) and slender loris face habitat loss due to deforestation, indiscriminate hunting, superstition and ignorance. Primates have played a vital role in both the natural and the cultural environments, and have contributed to the health and welfare through scientific research. Today, primates are fast disappearing at an alarming rate. Lion-tailed macaque’s habitat is disappearing due to expansion and conservation of our ancient monsoon forests to tea, coffee, eucalyptus, cardamom plantations.  Similarly slender loris (sub species: L. lydekkerianus lydekkerianus and L. tardigradus malabaricus) found in the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats face tremendous pressure due to habitat loss. Slender loris, an arboreal animal, is believed to have magical powers by rural and indigenous communities.

 IUCN has red listed the above species as Near Threatened.  Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, India classified the above species as Endangered. In Tamilnadu, South Asian Primate Network (IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group) is active in protecting primates in Tamilnadu, India.  Further research is needed to ascertain their present status, population, behavior and conservation priorities.

Our Foundation has undertaken several projects in Dindigul District (Eastern Ghats forest ranges) and in Theni District (the Western Ghats) to educate people on the necessity to protect prosimians.  The Audubon Naturalist Society and local NGOs supported our conservation education programme in the past. These programmes were coordinated by the GREEN, a reputed NGO from Chinnamanur, Theni District and the Forest Department.  As a Member of the International Primatological Society and the South Asian Primate Network, we continue our conservation education.  We have been urging the Forest Department to establish a Sanctuary for slender loris in the Western Ghats, Theni District.  Our work will continue…

 FRSD is an active memher in the following primate networks:

(a) International Primatological Society

(b) American Society of Primatologists

(c) South Asian Primate Network.