churumuri.com is delighted to join in the celebrations at noted wildlife biologist M.D. Madhusudan bagging the prestigious Whitley Award also known as the “Green Oscar”, in recognition of his efforts to reduce the human-wildlife conflict in the Western Ghats of Karnataka.
Dr Madhusudan, son of M.D. Doraiswamy, a retired reader at the Regional College of Education (RCE), and C.S. Anandalakshmi, a retired teacher at the CFTRI school, is director of the Nature Conservation Foundation, which he founded in 1996.
Madhu, as everybody calls him, received the 30,000 pound award from Princess Anne (in picture, above) at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Wednesday.
Madhu told the gathering that his work—showing farmers how to reduce crop raids, improve their incomes and avoid park encroachment—was partly inspired by an elderly couple, whose crop was destroyed by marauding elephants despite keeping strict vigil.
“One morning, I found the couple disconsolate. The night before, the exhausted man had nodded off briefly yet in those few moments, their entire crop had been destroyed, leaving them with nothing. For someone raised in the city, like me, it showed the true harshness of marginal life and the high cost our very poorest people pay for wildlife conservation.”
An alumnus of CFTRI school, Madhu did his BSc at Yuvaraja’s College, and then obtained a masters from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun. Madhu hit global headlines in 2004 when he and his team photographed the Arunachal Macaque, a species of monkeys unknown to science.
Photographs: courtesy The Whitley Fund for Nature; NCF
Also read: BBC on the Arunachal macaque