MYSORE: Wildlife biologist M.D. Madhusudhan has been awarded the Whitley Award in recognition of his work to reduce human-wildlife conflict in the Western Ghats. He is the Director of the Mysore-based Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF).
The award, reckoned to be one of the most important international nature conservation awards, includes a £30,000 project grant to carry forward outstanding science-based research and conservation efforts. The grant comes from HSBC.
Dr. Madhusudhan did his B.Sc. at Yuvaraja’s College, University of Mysore. He obtained a Master’s from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun. He has been with the NCF for 13 years.
He has worked extensively in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve with focus on Bandipur. He has studied issues related to wildlife and human conflict across Karnataka. His research and conservation work took him across the Himalayas.
He was part of a team that discovered a macaque species in 2005.
NCF sources described the award as a recognition of the work by the Foundation which has research scientists all over India working on wildlife issues.
The prize money will be utilised to implement conservation programmes and harness the research knowledge and experience gained in the field to devise policies to mitigate human-wildlife conflict.
A release said the award recognises Dr. Madhusudhan’s efforts to win community support for the NCF’s conservation work. This he did by helping local families to reduce the risk of wildlife damage to crops while improving crop production and their incomes. To be considered for a Whitley Award, entrants need to display a strong track record in science-based conservation work and a viable plan to take their work further.
Two other Indian conservationists also received Associate Awards. Sudipto Chatterjee will receive £10,000 to develop an action plan to conserve wild rhododendrons in the Eastern Himalayas. Supraja Dharini will receive similar support for a community based initiative to protect sea turtles and dolphins in Kancheepuram.