Tracking the trajectory of coral reefs in the Andaman Islands

An edited version of this article was first published in the Hornbill, Bombay Natural History Society Magazine, April-June, 42-45. Corals are some of the simplest, yet most complex organisms on the planet. Primitive, yet amazingly modern. Smaller than a size of your nail or bigger than your car. Unbelievably resilient, yet dramatically vulnerable. I fellContinue reading “Tracking the trajectory of coral reefs in the Andaman Islands”

What makes a conference right: my views after attending IMCC 2018

I used to dislike large conservation conferences– the amount of plastic use, wastage of food and resources, carbon footprints of delegates who fly from different parts of the world in the name of conservation – all of it! In fact, a couple of years back, I decided I will not attend any conference, whether itContinue reading “What makes a conference right: my views after attending IMCC 2018”

Stop the illegal sale of coral products

When corals are threatened all over the world and are dying at an alarming rate, The Times of India is advertising calcium supplement called CORCAL, which is made from 100 % natural coral grains. A tagline of the product reads,  go ahead take control, its time you live healthy inside and stay beautiful outside. Well! this isContinue reading “Stop the illegal sale of coral products”

The hook-line-and-sinker of Andaman fisheries

 “Let your hook always be cast. Some fish will eat the bait and the free food will come your way”. This was a popular belief in the Andaman Islands until recently. However, these days, alas, one can’t be so sure of a nibble. Casual chats with senior fishermen are dotted with stories of dwindling fishContinue reading “The hook-line-and-sinker of Andaman fisheries”

Ghosts of the sea—lost nets that kill marine life

A by-product of fishing industry– lost or abandon nets also referred to as ghost nets are as deadly as their name implies. Drifting with highs and lows of the ocean currents, they often become tangled together with ropes, buoys and other debris to form what are known as ghost net conglomerates and they swallow orContinue reading “Ghosts of the sea—lost nets that kill marine life”

Of butterflyfish and angelfish and their distribution

In our recent paper, just out of the oven, we make a case that latitude and live coral independently determine the species richness of butterflyfish and angelfish communities in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The idea for this paper started in the year 2015 when an intern Sowjanya Chandrasekhar started exploring the huge dataset, thatContinue reading “Of butterflyfish and angelfish and their distribution”

Case for coexistence between humans and crocodiles

An edited version of this story first appeared in Down to Earth in December issue. Vardhan Patankar & Vrushal Pendharkar Away from the shores of mainland India, an unusual conflict has been unravelling in the picturesque islands of Andamans and Nicobars. These islands are one of the last remaining bastions of saltwater crocodiles in IndianContinue reading “Case for coexistence between humans and crocodiles”

Is there a future for the wetland birds of Sippighat in South Andamans?

Zoya Tyabji & Vardhan Patankar An edited version of this story first appeared in Down to Earth Mixed flocks of birds glide contently through the wetland waters of Sippighat, their feathers glinting in the sunlight. Some fluffing, basking under the warm sun; whereas others camouflage within the weeds, diligently foraging. On one side, a fishermanContinue reading “Is there a future for the wetland birds of Sippighat in South Andamans?”