Projects, Activities and Achievements

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House Sparrow Population in the City Shows a Chequered Pattern

Travancore Nature History Society (TNHS), the city-based NGO, striving to protect the environment and create an awareness for up-keeping the rich bio-diversity of southern Western Ghats and its penumbral regions, has been engaged in taking counts of the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) seen in and around Thiruvananthapuram city, ever since March 20 has come to be observed as World Sparrow Day (WSD) in 2010.

Read more 20 March, 2020
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Munnar Survey adds new Birds & Butterflies to the high-range landscape

A scientific survey of the Munnar Wildlife Division conducted last week came out with interesting results. A total of 13 new bird records and 8 new butterflies were recorded for the landscape.These include those species that were not recorded previously in the Management Plans of the regions National Parks and Sanctuaries.

Read more 20-23 February, 2020
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‘Punarjani’, conservation project for Olive Ridley Turtles launched

‘Punarjani’, a novel project conceived by the Social Forestry wing of the Department of Forests and Wildlife, Kollam, in association with Travancore Nature History Society (TNHS),a Trivandrum-based N.G.O working in the field of nature conservation, was launched on January 23 at Chillakkal beach, Paravur near Kollam.

Read more 23 January, 2020
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Faunal survey of Agasthyamalais

The major wildlife sanctuaries of Trivandrum Wildlife Division namely the Neyyar and Peppara sanctuaries were surveyed for fauna after a gap of 8 years. The exercise was done as a part of the faunal inventory preparation for the Management Plans of these critical wildlife areas.

Read more 09-12 January, 2020
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Annual faunal survey of Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

A three-day annual faunal survey of Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary jointly conducted by Kerala Forest Department and Travancore Nature History Society (TNHS), concluded here with interesting finds.The 171 sqkm sanctuary was covered by 10 teams of experts using basecamps in all elevations and habitats.

Read more 27-29 December, 2019
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Bird-Butterfly-Odonate-Ant follow-up survey at Munnar Wildlife Division

A 4-day follow-up faunal Assessment of Munnar Wildlife division concluded here with noteworthy findings. The survey was conducted as a joint exercise of Munnar Wildlife Division of Kerala forests and Wildlife department and experts from various NGO’s and Institutes from South India. A total of 201 species of butterflies, 175 species of birds and 30 species of odonates were recorded over 4 days. Chinnar topped the Odonate list as well as the Bird and Butterfly lists.

13th - 16st December 2018
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Conference on Public participation in generating biodiversity information, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun

The survey started with the meeting at Cairn Hill Eco Awareness Centre on 11th October under the chairmanship of the DFO, Ooty Mr. Sumesh Soman who inaugurated the event. Mr. Manoj Sethumadhavan WBA, gave the inaugural address, Dr. Kalesh Sadasivan TNHS explained the survey methodology and camp divisions and Dr. B Ramakrishnan in his address emphasised the importance of butterflies as ecological indicators. The four day exercise was conducted with the help of experts and delegates from the States of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka and students from the Wildlife Biology Department of the Government Arts College, Ooty . A total of confirmed 206 species of butterflies were recorded during the exercise which included the largest butterfly of the country the Southern Birdwing and the smallest one the Grass Jewel. Nilgiris had a total of 301 species to date to which the survey successfully added 3 of new records.

11th - 14st August 2018
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Conference on Public participation in generating biodiversity information, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun

The conference “Public participation in generating biodiversity information” at WII, Dehra Dun. Dr Kalesh S and Ramesh Iyer represented the organisation and presented how platforms like Ebird works and the way data is drained to foreign countries in the pretext of Citizen science.

20th - 21st June 2018
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Ant survey at Ponmudi

10th June 2018
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Field Trip to Kattilappara

6th June 2018
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Field trip Kunthakulam

12th May 2018
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Ponmudi Ant Survey

18th February 2018
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Kanyakumari Wetland Bird Workshop

Identification of Wetland birds presentation followed by field survey orientation lass.Training by Ramesh Iyer to the Staff of Kanyakumari Wildlife department & Field trip to Puthalam for Wetland birds.

17th - 18th February 2018
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Faunal survey of Munnar Wildlife Division

A 4-day rapid Biodiversity Assessment of Munnar Wildlife division concluded here with interesting findings. The survey was conducted as a joint exercise of Munnar Wildlife Division of Kerala forests and Wildlife department and experts from various NGO’s and Institutes in southern India. The survey was conducted at in all the National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of the Munnar landscape.

Read more 22nd - 25th February 2018
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Discovery of Sitana attenboroughii

A team of researchers has discovered a new species of Fan-throated lizard of the genus Sitana from coastal Kerala in southern India. Researchers including Dr.Kalesh Sadasivan and Ramesh M. from Travancore Nature History Society (TNHS) in Thiruvananthapuram and Mohammed Jafer Palot from Zoological Survey of India, Western Ghats Regional Centre, Kozhikode who found the lizard collaborated with Mayuresh Ambedkar and Zeeshan A Mirza from National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru (NCBS) and the team together conducted the research only to discover Sitana attenboroughii. The collaboration between TNHS and NCBS is unique example of how citizen scientists can work in collaboration with scientists to publish world class research and help in Naure conservation. The new species Sitana attenboroughii has been named after Sir David Frederick Attenborough, an English veteran broadcaster and naturalist. This is the first species of the genus Sitana to be recorded from Kerala

22ndJanuary 2018
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Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary Survey

The survey was done in Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary during 19-21 January 2018. The sanctuary was covered using 6 strategically placed basecamps - Mahendragiri, Ashambu, Balamore, Varayattumottai and Velimalai. The members were briefed at the meeting chaired by the Wildlife Warden at Nagarkoil and the survey strategy was explained. Each team had three members a bird expert, a butterfly expert and a photographer to document the findings. 191 species of birds and 9 Western Ghat endemics were observed, while earlier studies had recorded 173 species only. 26 species of raptors including three owls were recorded in comparison to the previous record of twenty species. 166 species of butterflies and 12 species of Western Ghats endemics were recorded. This is strict contrast to the earlier find of 44 species and 2 endemics

19th - 21st January 2018
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Wetland Bird Survey at Puthalam

Wetland bird survey at Puthalam in Kanyakumari in association with Tamil Nadu forest Department.

7th - 9thJanuary 2018
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Trip to Rosemala

TARG Team visited Rosemala and discovered the rare ant Calyptomyrmex and Nilgiri grass yellow.

1st - 2ndJanuary 2018
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Bird Butterfly Walk from Bonacorrd to Pandipathu

27th November, 2017
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Photo Exhibition at Cordova School on Biodiversity

14th - 16thNovember, 2017
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Shendurney Bird Butterfly Survey

Shendurney in Kerala lies in the Western Ghats Endemic Bird Area (EBA 123) (Stattersfield et al. 1998). In this EBA, 16 birds are endemic or Restricted Range. Of this 16 species, fourteen species have been recorded till date (BirdLife International 2001) Vulnerable species namely Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon Columba elphinstonii, and Broad-tailed Grass-Warbler Schoenicola platyura. Has been recorded in Pandimotta and Rosemala regions. Three are Near Threatened such as the Blanford’s Laughingthrush Garrulax jerdoni, Black-and-Orange Flycatcher Ficedula nigrorufa, Nilgiri Flycatcher Eumyias albicaudata. In the present survey 121 species of birds and 177 species of butterflies were recorded

10th - 12thNovember, 2017
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Discovery of Tyrannomyrmex alii

We have discovered and described a new species of ant Tyrannomyrmex alii Sadasivan & Kripakaran 2017, from Western Ghats and it has been published in the latest edition of Zootaxa.It is named after Musthak Ali, a legend in Indian Myrmecology. This new species can be distinguished from other Tyrannomyrmex species using morpho- logical characters, from T.dux by the petiolar shape, and from T. legatus and T.rex by surface sculpture and pilosity. The gyne of the genus is described for the first time.

November, 2017
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Shendurney: Jewel of Agasthyamalais - Coffee Table book release

A photo exhibition was done as a part of the Wildlife week celebrations at Shendurney and the book ‘Shendurney Jewel of Agasthyamalaais’, was released by the honourable Forest Minister

2nd October, 2017
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Faunal exploration of Dhauladhar WLS- A Preliminary Expedition

The 5-member team from Travancore Natural History Society visited the Dauladhar Wildlife sanctuary to conduct a survey on Birds & Butterflies as part of an initial study of the region. The survey began on August 11th and we covered various places such as Raj Gundha, Bara Gaon comprising Dauladhar Wild Life Sanctuary as well as Gopalpur and Pong DamWLS towards the end. The team visited Barot, Bada Gaon, Kukargundha, Raj gundha and Swarh and surveyed the lower reached of the Dhauladhar. This was a pilot expedition of the region for laying the long-term strategy for biodiversity assessment of the sanctuary and to equip the staff and stakeholders.121 species of birds were recorded during the preliminary visit.26 species of birds were added as a result of the pilot expedition making a total of 257 species for Dhauladhar WLS.A total of 49 species of Butterflies of which 15 were new additions to Dhauladhar. The total number of Butterflies recorded now is 85 species. Five species of Odonates of which one species was a new addition to India. Four species of Reptiles were observed including the Himalayan Pit Viper. Hitherto unknown species of Butterflies, odonates, Cicadas and Ants were observed and these need systematic studies after obtaining Collection permits from State Forest Department. This highlights the need for scientifically structured Biodiversity surveys in Dhauladhar.

August, 2017
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Ants of Kerala - Field book release

Ants of Kerala A field book, published by Kerala State Biodiversity Board was released by Honorable CM a function in Trivandrum.This book is the result of three years of field work in Southern Western Ghats by Manoj Vembayam, Kalesh Sadasivan and our TNHS Ant Research Team. We have covered 80 ants that can be identified in field.

22nd May, 2017
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Rediscovery of Indomyrma dasypyx ant

(TNHS Ant Research Group) have rediscovered the species Indomyrma dasypyx Brown 1986. This is a rare ant not seen after its initial description in 1986 from Western Ghats of Kerala. Indomyrma is an Asian genus of ants in the subfamily Myrmicinae.The genus contains only two known species in the world. The type species Indomyrma dasypyx known from India and Indomyrma bellae known from Vietnam.length 2.5-3mm. And needless to say this was the first ever live photograph of the species!

10th April, 2017
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Periya Reserve Forest Ant Survey

Periya reserve forests were visited by TARG team as a part of the ant exploration to rediscover Indomyrma . The team stayed for three days and discovered a colony of Indomyrma, new species of Aphenogaster, Gnamptogenys, Protanilla and Lordomyrma.

9th - 11thApril, 2017
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House Sparrows battling for survival

The city was surveyed for House sparrows. The total count in the areas of Trivandrum city and outskirts thus stands at about 57, including Connemara market at the heart of the city and chala and attakulangara by-pass road which constitutes the outskirts.“The important revelation that is brought to fore by this year’s sparrow count is that the number of sparrows is dwindling mainly because of food scarcity.

20th March, 2017
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Chokkanpatti –Pandiyanthode Ant survey

Chokkanpatty to Gavi stretch of Periyar was surveyed for ants. The 4 member team travelled form Chempakavally –Chokkampatty- Pandiyanthode over 4 days. Report of the species found were included in the ant survey report given to PTR and Kerala Forest Department. Thus marked the end of the Phase I of Ant Surveys of Periyar Tiger Reserve..

March, 2017
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Uppupara Ant Exploration

18th - 19th February, 2017
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Shendurney Bird and Butterfly Survey

20th - 25th January, 2017
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Ant survey report Submitted to Kerala Forest Department

Report submitted to Kerala forest department for extension of the Ant survey permits. We have recorded about 300 species in 72 genera as a result of our surveys for last two years. India has 828 valid taxa of ants falling in 100 genera and Kerala has 259 species in 63 genera (Bharti et al., 2016). Bingham (1903), the first compilation available on ants of India, had some reference to ant fauna of Kerala with data on ecological and regional distribution. Bharti et al. (2016) provided state wise checklists but has no such locality or ecological data. This updated checklist of 275 species (excluding subspecies) and 69 genera is based on our fieldwork, available published literature and museum database. We have incorporated regional distribution and ecological notes for the species we have collected in the state. The Indian region has 10 subfamilies all of which have representatives in the state. Thus more then a third of all the known species in the country is found in the state highlighting the high biodiversity in the state.

January, 2017
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Bird & Butterfly Survey at Periyar Tiger Reserve

31stDecember 2016 - 4th January, 2017
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Mullakkudy Ant Survey

The TNHS Ant survey team visited Mullakudy and did a preliminary assessment of ants of the region.

20th November, 2016
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Butterfly survey at Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Concluding the two year Bimonthly assessment of Chinnar. A two year long bimonthly survey concluded at Chinnar this weekend adding 84 new butterflies to Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.The whole sanctuary was surveyed using strategic basecamps and all the available trails were meticulously covered. The exercise spanned 2 years and this has thrown light into the population dynamics, seasonality and abundance of butterflies in the sanctuary.All the altitudes from 500-2000m were covered and it included all the vegetation and habitatsThe earlier knowledge on the butterflies in the region had put up a checklist of 156 species. This number was raised to 240 species based on photographic evidence and direct sightings.

19th-20th November, 2016
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Wayanad Butterfly Survey

12th-13th November, 2016
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Ant survey at Eravikulam

The TNHS Ant survey team visited Eravikulam and did a preliminary assessment of ants of the region. The sholas surveyed were deficient in ants while grasslands has a species of Cremaogaster, Pheidole and Camponotus

8th October, 2016
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Ant survey at Eravangalar, Periyar Tiger Reserve

The TNHS Ant survey team visited Eravangalar in Periyar and did an assessment of ants of the region.

23rd-26th September, 2016
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Butterfly survey at Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

10th-11th September, 2016
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Bird and Butterfly Survey at Silent valley National Park

A total of 164 species of Butterflies were recorded during the survey.90 species of these were new additions to the checklist for the National Park. We have also incorporated the old records from previous visits to the Park and a total checklist of 180 species is provided.Thirty-five species of Odonates were recorded during the 4-day survey. Sixty-nine species of ants were recorded in the 4-day exercise. The species level identification in some groups is tough and needs much time. This process is in progress. No previous studies are available on ants of the region and hence it was the first ever survey of the National Park. The exact species identification of ants is a laborious process and requires time and this process is going on.

12th-15th August, 2016
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Bird and Butterfly Survey at Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

16th-17th July, 2016
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Ant survey at Pandiyanthode, Periyar Tiger Reserve

4th July, 2016
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Ponmudi visit for ants

Ponmudi was visited for ants and the deer park area was surveyed. Stigmatomma, Myrmoteras and Lordomyrma were the significant findings.

26th June, 2016
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Photoexhibtion at Chinmaya School Narivamod

Photoexhibition as part of World Environment day at Chinmaya School Narivamod. Class conducted against Illegal wildlife trade.

5th June, 2016
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Ant Taxonomy workshop at Vallakadavu, Periyar Tiger Reserve

16th May, 2016
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Ponmudi Ant survey

Stigmatomma species of Dracula Ant was observed

8th May, 2016
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Butterfly survey at Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

12th-13th March, 2016
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Bird & Butterfly survey at Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary

13th-14th February, 2016
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Waterbird Count at Nagarkoil & Kanyakumari

07th February, 2016
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Waterbird Count at Poovar

water bird count done as a part of the Asian Waterfowl census

24th January, 2016
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Waterbird Count at Akkulam and Veli

water bird count done as a part of the Asian Waterfowl census

17th January, 2016