new millennium marks times of change. Conservation movement that began from
scattered protection of wilderness areas gradually grew up by embracing broader
rural landscape through afforestation related routes, ultimately touching the
outskirts of cities and even public places within like roads. But this focus on
environmental restoration ignores the profound wilderness values that even
cities harbour. Emerging realisation is that biodiversity forms the living
environment of the city and its conservation is as important as conservation of
in this urban biodiversity can sometimes serve as vital signs of environmental
change, as some predict from current loss of sparrows in Bangalore city. Thus,
urban naturalists need not take pleasure in visiting just remote forests and
wetlands, but monitor urban wildlife and strive to conserve it. The monitoring
cannot begin without an initial record of the existing wealth. RANWA is
attempting to do this in its latest initiative `Pune Alive- a directory of Pune
database will pool wisdom of expert naturalists regarding `what', `where' and
`how much' of various plant and animal groups; trees, butterflies, fishes,
frogs, snails, ants being a few to name. The compilation will appear first on
the internet for the reference of worldwide community including Puneites, even
abroad. If this activity can generate funds, it could be printed in the book
effort is inspired by WWF Bangalore's book on biodiversity of a megacity like
Bangalore, besides the book on birds of Sultanpur, a wetland near Delhi, by
Kalpavriksh, and the millennium local ecosystem assessments launched globally by
the United Nations.
of current and historical levels of species diversity and abundance, places and
habitats preferred by species etc. are now being computerised, and would hit the
web before the millennium bang year ends.
effort draws strength from enthusiastic voluntary contributions by amateur
naturalists, not formal taxonomists. RANWA is only coordinating the effort.
hopes that this effort inspires more naturalists across the country, at least
numerous nettizens, to prepare millennium status reports of local biota.
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