In recent years, I have started looking into urban ecosystems and how they shape biodiversity. Our reach till now has been conducting short projects on birds and dragonflies, but we are looking forward to long-term projects that address how pace of urbanization affect diversity and distribution.
Two such programs we are participating are Pune Bird Atlas and Marathwada Dragonfly Mapping projects.
The Pune Bird Atlas Project is inspired from the Mysore Bird Atlas. It is an initiative of Bird Count India. We plan to conduct the project for three consecutive years to collect data on birds and land-use. We hope analysis will reveal bird hotspots, areas of conservation priority, habitat islands, and spatio-temporal variation in bird populations.
The Maharashtra Dragonfly Mapping Project is happening in phases. We are presently targeting Pune City and Marathwada Region (Aurangabad, Jalna, and Parbhani). The Maharashtra Dragonfly Mapping Project is a follow-up project of a study we conducted few years back.
Pune Dragonfly Project
The city of Pune is located on the edges of the Northern Western Ghats and has been a hub for ecological research. We have been studying dragonflies on Pune environs since 2011. Through our efforts we have added tremendous amount of information on dragonflies & damselflies of the Pune City. In our latest endeavor, we have started sampling larvae and come up with ecologically relevant dataset. The Pune Dragonfly Project is an on-going project with the lab.
Marathwada Dragonfly Project
The Marathwada region of the Maharashtra State is considered a draught-prone rain-shadow zone of the State. In fact, Marathwada is blessed with some great mountainous forests, UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Ajanta & Ellora Caves), scrub and grasslands, and several lakes. Marathwada Region is a void in terms of Odonata information.
The Marathwada Dragonfly Project aims at filling the gaps in knowledge, sensitizing people of the region to look after their wetlands, and creating an eco-centric generation.
Pune Bird Atlas (PBA) is a systematic long-term effort to understand urban birds. PBA is replicating standard methods used in Mysuru Bird Atlas and Kerala Bird Atlas. Several people and institutes are involved in PBA.
Bird Nest Project
The bird nest project aims at bringing back Pune’s bird diversity through the holistic development of bird-friendly landscapes and practices. Rohan Builders & Developers Pvt. Ltd. are funding the project. The project involves mapping and monitoring bird diversity in urban areas, creating suitable nesting sites for cavity nesters, promote bird watching in society, and develop bird-friendly landscapes.