For private circulation only
Branches@ATREE (A Bimonthly Newsletter)
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment
Volume 2:3
July 2004

ATREE Offices
Bangalore Office
659 5th A Main, Hebbal
Bangalore 560 024
Tel: 080-2353 3942,
2353 0069
Fax: 080-2353 0070
Delhi Office
B-80 Shivalik
New Delhi 110 017
Tel/Fax: 011-266 93299
266 93190
Eastern Himalayas Office
Bungalow No.2, Bhujiapani
Bagdogra 734 422
Tel/Fax:0353-255 1110
255 0093

Advisory Board
Dr. Kanchan Chopra
Dr. Anil K. Gupta
Dr. R.A. Mashelkar
Dr. Jagmohan Maini
Dr. Peter Raven

Executive Board

Dr. K.S. Bawa (chair)
Dr. K.N. Ganeshaiah
Dr. S.N. Rai
Dr. R. Shailaja
Dr. R. Uma Shaanker
Mr. Darshan Shankar
Dr. Gladwin Joseph

Executive Staff
Dr. Gladwin Joseph
Ms. Suparna Biswas
Dr. Bibhab Talukdar
Mr. Manoj Dabas


A biodiversity garden emphasizing butterflies was formally inaugurated on July 31, 2004 at the Delhi Public School (DPS), Yelahanka, by the Director of ATREE and the Delhi Public School Chairman, Mr. Narendra Kumar. In a unique way, pigeons or balloons were not released at the inauguration, but butterflies! thanks to Dr. Chandrasekhar and his team of UAS. ATREE has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Delhi Public School to utilize the garden as a learning resource for other schools in Bangalore. It also will serve as a model garden for other schools. The garden has been designed for butterflies, but also highlights other unsung wildife, such as ants, dung beetles, dragonflies, snails, frogs, birds etc. Important features of the garden include a Butterfly Trail, an Interpretation Center, a Hanging bridge and an Observation Point. An easy to use field guide and map is also being designed, which will help children to explore the garden on their own and identify the butterflies.
This garden is a part of ATREE's butterfly outreach initiative in collaboration with the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (India), and the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore which is part of the Butterfly park project funded by the Department of Biotechnology, GOI.

- Joseph Vattakaven
ATREE is honored to be part of a one-of-a-kind Butterfly park that is coming up at the Bannerghata National Park on the outskirts of Bangalore, India. The project is sponsored by the Department of Biotechnology, Government Of India and is spearheaded by the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK), India and the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS). Construction is in full earnest and the Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr. Suresh Kumar, also member secretary ZAK (India) who is in charge of the project is confident that it will be completed by December 2004. Scientists at UAS are developing mass rearing technologies of butterflies in addition to molecular fingerprinting of the rare species. Dr. Soubadra Devy and her team at ATREE are developing educational and outreach activities centered on the butterfly as a brand ambassador for biodiversity. ATREE will build awareness using the Butterfly park as an education resource center for students and civil society.
ATREE President, Kamal Bawa was honored by the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) at the annual meeting of ATBC , which was held in Miami, Florida, from July 12 to 15, 2004. The ATBC is the largest professional association of tropical biologists. Each year ATBC recognizes an outstanding tropical biologist whose contributions merit election as Honorary Fellow of ATBC. Kamal Bawa was recognized as the Honorary Fellow this year. He was cited for his contributions to basic research in tropical biology and conservation, the establishment of ATREE , and extensive service to ATBC. Kamal Bawa served as President of ATBC in 2000.
The ATREE sponsored 5th conservation biology course for post graduate and graduate students was held from June 14-28, 2004 in Bangalore. The objective of the course was to give the participants a flavour of conservation biology and offer them the choice to decide and pursue a carrier in Conservation biology. Similar to the previous courses this was a residential program with 5 days of intensive lectures in Bangalore and 7 days of field sampling at ATREE’s BRT field station. This was followed by 2 days of analysis and presentation. Participants came from across the country and a few from Srilanka. A total of 15 participants were selected from over 60 applicants.

Several conservation biologists, ecologists and economists from various institutes in Bangalore and outside delivered lectures. The field component of the course largely pertained to forest ecology and threats that forest ecosystem are currently facing. A brief orientation was given to Biligirirangan hills, its biodiversity, indigenous people living there and role of local organizations in conservation in the hills. The students chose a problem that could address issues relating to threats to biodiversity, community impacts on conservation and general distribution of biodiversity. The faculty reviewed the student projects before collection of data was done. Several interesting projects on the issue of coffee plantations and its influence on local biodiversity, distribution of herpetofaunal diversity, debarking by elephants, habitat use by gaur and several others were conducted. The data was then analysed by the students and presented to the panel at Bangalore. On successful completion of the course, the students were given a certificate and a best participant prize

- T. Ganesh
Agroforestry practices as old as agriculture itself got neglected for the sake of mechanization and commercialization in many parts of the world. Need for soil friendly agriculture and de-linking excessive dependence on forests point towards the contemporary relevance of agroforestry systems. Agroforestry began to attain prominence in the late 1970s, when the international scientific community realized its potential in the tropics and recognized it as a ‘practice in search of science’. Over the past 25 years significant progress has been made in building a scientific foundation for the design, installation, and management of agroforestry systems. The need of the hour is to expand these gains to better meet societal demands.
Participants from 82 countries gathered in Orlando, Florida for the 1st World Congress of Agroforestry in the last week of June 2004. India was represented by officials from MoEF, professors from different universities and Dr. Seema P. from ATREE. The plenary sessions discussed Improvement of Rural Livelihoods, Enhancement of the Environment and Landscape, Agroforestry Science and Education, Policy, Social, and Institutional Issues and agroforestry in the next 25 Years. Keynote speakers Norman Borlaug, MS Swami Nathan and PK Nair expressed the view that the technological breakthrough of the Green revolution could be sustained across regions and crops by popularizing agroforestry methods.
The Congress declared that the adoption of agroforestry systems and technologies during the next decade will greatly enhance the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The ‘Orlando Declaration’ called upon the international community, international organizations, international donor community, private enterprise sector, non-government organizations, conservation, scientific and educational communities and governments to foster synergies and collaboration on dry land management in countries with low forest cover, to spark an evergreen revolution.
– Seema P.
ATREE successfully conducted the Vacation Program on Bioresources-2004” from May 26-June 21, 2004 for the schools from Chandigarh and adjoining areas.
Supported by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, the program was implemented in coordination with Department of Botany, Panjab University (Chandigarh), Institute if Microbial Technology, Chandigarh and Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (Solan).
The program was divided into four modules. The first three modules were coordinated by Panjab University, IMTECH and Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry respectively. The fourth module was conducted at Churdhar Environmental Facility and was coordinated by ATREE- Delhi.
Dr. S. Natesh, Adviser, NBDB, Department of Biotechnology, Govt of India, was the Chief Guest at the Valedictory function held at Panjab University. Prizes were given out for overall best work, for Quiz and for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions. Participants and their parents also shared their views and experience about the program

While several groups have addressed the conservation concerns of bamboo and rattans in the past, it is rarely that different perspectives ranging from the spatial distribution and population biology to socio-economics and livelihoods are covered in one breath as is presented in this book. Illustrated profusely with data
sets and boxes to highlight certain critical issues, the book is easy to be followed by people from different backgrounds including foresters, scientists and policy makers. An exhaustive bibliography of bamboo and rattans in the Western Ghats is also provided. Besides, the book also includes a CD offering a digital guide to bamboo and rattans of the Western Ghats. The CD includes a query-based bibliography, species-specific maps of distribution, snapshots of images of bamboo and rattans and an interactive species identification key for rattans. This book is published jointly by ATREE, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI) and the University of Agricultural sciences. It is authored by R. Uma Shaanker, K.N. Ganeshaiah, (UAS and ATREE) K. Srinivasan (ATREE), V.Ramanatha Rao, and L.T. Hong (IPGRI). It will be available in October 2004.
- Srinivasan K.
Ms. Aarthi Sridhar has joined ATREE as a FORD Research Fellow. She has a Masters degree in Social Science from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
Ms Awani Saraogi has joined ATREE Delhi as a Program Associate in the plaNETwork (education) program.
Mr. Manoj Dabas, Regional Director of ATREE was invited by the Embassy of The United States of America, New Delhi to attend a 3 Week International Visitors Program (IVP) on Urban Environmental Issues. The IVP is organized by the State Department, Government of United States of America. IVP brought together 19 professionals from 19 countries to expose them to the efforts in the US to manage and improve urban habitats as well as to interact with individuals in governmental and non-governmental organizations workjng on related issues. The program was modular and took the participants to Washington, Montana, Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, Boston and Puerto Rico. Mr. Manoj Dabas was also invited by University of Toronto, to attend the conference in Economics of Sustainable Forest Management at Toronto from May 19-23, 2004.

- ATREE was one of the 6 institutions short-listed in the southern region for the Indira Gandhi Parayavaran Purashkar award. It is a national award given to an institution that has made a significant contribution to the environment.

ATREE in collaboration with the Karnataka Forest Department, successfully concluded a two week study tour for the Sri Lanka forest officials who traveled through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh from July 18 to August. This was the third study tour of its kind.
Seema Purushothaman ‘Economic Analysis of Stakeholder Perceptions on Land Use Options in the Peripheries of Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests of Southern India" in the first World Congress of Agroforestry. The paper was presented in the session on Economic Analysis on 28th June 2004 at Orlando, Florida, USA. 27 June to 02 July 2004. Dr. Seema Purushothaman was selected as the one from India to receive a Dell laptop along with 7 others from 7 different countries.
Aravind, N.A. ‘Geographical distribution patterns of land snails of Western Ghats, India at World Congress of Malacology’ at the University of Western Australia, Perth. 11-16 July, 2004.
Jagdish Krishnaswamy presented papers at the IUFRO Forest Hydrology workshop entitled “Forests and Water in Warm, Humid Asia” in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. 10-12 July 2004. He also participated in 3-day field study excursion to Danum Valley Field Centre between 13-15 July 2004.
Gladwin Joseph served as one of the panelist discussing the topic “Eco-development Vs Economic Development: The dilemma” at the Infosys corporate campus in Bangalore on June 28, 2004. The panel discussion was the keynote event at the launch of their `Ozone week’ which seeks to reach out to a large segment of their staff to sensitize them on urgent issues that face the environment movement in India.

Shanker, K., J. Ramadevi, B. C. Choudhury, L. Singh and R. K. Aggarwal.(2004). ‘Phylogeography of Olive Ridley Turtles Lepidochelys olivacea on the East Coast of India: Implications for Conservation Theory’, Molecular Ecology 13: 1899- 1909.

Gladwin Joseph and Rick.G. Kelsey. (2004). ‘Ethanol Synthesis and Aerobic Respiration in the Laboratory by Leader Segments of Douglas-Fir Seedlings from Winter and Spring’, J. Expt.Bot, 55:1095-1103.

Uma Shaanker, R., Aravind, N.A. and Ganeshaiah, K.N. (2004). ‘Forest Management for Conservation, in Burley, J.J., J. Evans and J. A. Youngquist (eds) Encyclopedia of forest sciences, Vol. II. pp. 215-224, London: Elsevier Science.

Ravikanth, G., Uma Shaanker, R., Ganeshaiah, K.N. and Vasudeva, R. (2004). ‘Molecular Analysis of Semicarpus kathalenkanensis (Anacardiaceae)- A newly Described Species from the Myristica Swamps of Western Ghats,
India’, The Indian Forester, 130: 101-104.

Aravind, N. A., Uma Shaanker, R. and Ganeshaiah, K.N. (2004). ‘Croak, Croak, Croak: Are There More Frogs to be Discovered in the Western Ghats?’ Current Science, 86: 1471-1472.

Uma Shaanker, R., Gladwin Joseph and Ganeshaiah, K.N. ‘Enhancing Livelihood of Marginal Forest Communities in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu by Promoting the Utilization of Lantana as a Substitute for Bamboo’. A grant from Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India.