Vembanad Post Flood Fish Count
Vembanad post flood fish count was conducted by ATREE CERC, Alappuzha, in association with ANTRIX Corporation, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Panangad and, State Wetland Authority, Kerala recently. The fish count was conducted in the southern and northern regions of the Vembanad Lake. 

Post flood fish count began with orientation of the participants followed by the first round of survey in the northern regions of the Vembanad Lake. A total of 40 participants and three cruises conducted the survey in the northern region. Each cruise covered 5-6 sites in the lake. In the southern side, the count was completed by three cruises.

The fish count recorded 115 species including fin-fish and shell-fish from both regions. Species diversity showed an increase compared to ATREE'S annual fish count held in May 2018. This might be due to availability of exotic fish species. The survey also recorded extra marine fish.

While commercial fishing, post floods saw an initial increase, it later declined. Market survey and fishermen survey data are indicative of this trend. The prohibited exotic culture fish species like Redbelly, African Vala and Tilapia were the dominant fish species in the landing centres and markets till a month before the floods. However, post floods, the fish count recorded only one exotic fish species in small quantities. After the floods heavy deposition of silt on the lake bed had made fishing difficult.

The other important observation was the low availability of commercial fish like Pearl Spot, Giant Freshwater Prawn and Shrimps. This decline in commonly available fish, prawn and shrimps has impacted livelihoods of fishing communities. With climate change likely to adversely affect breeding, foraging and migratory patterns of inland fish there is a need for research to better evaluate the negative impact of floods on fisheries at Vembanad lake.
ATREE at Water Care 2019
ATREE Fellow, Priyanka Jamwal, gave the keynote address at the Science and Engineering Research Board - SERB and Department of Atomic Energy- Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences sponsored National Level Workshop - Water Care 2019. The workshop on 'Recent Advancement in Water Quality Monitoring and Sustainable Management for Human Health Care' was held at Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore from January 3rd to January 5th, 2019.

The workshop intended to introduce young scientists to recent advances in assessing and managing water systems. It also aimed to help them develop strategies to protect water resources.
ATREE at the U.S-India Campus Tech Connect
ATREE Fellow, Priyanka Jamwal, PhD scholar, Sumita Bhattacharyya and, Communications Associate, Kruthika Rao were part of the U.S-India Campus Tech Connect, a mega exhibition at IIT Madras’ SHAASTRA 2019. The exhibition held on January 4th and January 5th, 2019 showcased US-India relationship in areas of science and technology, innovation and, research and development.

The projects showcased by ATREE included  the following : Strategic In-stream Systems (STRAINS), Streamflow generation in a drying catchment outside Bangalore, The Banni grasslands in a time of change: Ecological and socioeconomic resilience in a coupled human-natural system, Citizen Lake Dashboard on Bangalore’s Lakes and Managing India's Forests for Biodiversity and Human Well-being in the Face of Global Environmental Change.

These five US funded projects highlighted the role of collaborative research in addressing environmental issues in India.
Workshop on Communicating Science to a Non-Scientific Audience
ATREE conducted a one-day workshop, 'Communicating Science to a Non-Scientific Audience', on January 18th, 2019 for researchers and non-researchers. The workshop intended to explore ways of engaging non-scientific audiences with ecological research and also aimed to convey complex information in an accessible way. 
After a discussion on best practices, the participants had an opportunity to apply them to their own research using a communication medium of their choice. It ended with a feedback session where participants were given new ideas to communicate research in an effective manner. 
Dr. Matthew Creasey conducted the workshop. Dr. Matthew is an ecologist and science writer, currently undertaking a writing fellowship with ATREE and the Dakshin Foundation. 
PREP (Preparing, Researchers, Educators and Practitioners) Talk
The Academy for Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies inaugurated a new bi-monthly talk series called PREP (Preparing, Researchers, Educators and Practitioners) Talk which will be anchored by experienced resource persons from within and outside ATREE. 

They will advise and share stories and ideas for reading and writing habits, and general student well-being. It will include a range of topics from grammar, procrastination avoidance, resistance theatre, sustainability, mental and physical health. The intent of the talk is to help the students gain novel and implementable insights and knowledge.

The first PREP Talk was held on January 9th, 2019 by ATREE's Veena Srinivasan, Shikha Lakhanpal and Jagdish Krishnaswamy on the 'Socialisation of Research'. They had an engaging discussion with students on the importance of building and maintaining professional networks.   
Student Annual Seminar (SAS)

The Academy for Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies, ATREE organised the first Student Annual Seminar (SAS) from January 7th to January 9th, 2019.  The SAS was designed to provide students a platform to present their research to faculty outside their DACs. They also had an opportunity to get feedback from their peers regarding the progress they were making in their research.

Student presentations involved conceptual and/or methodological discussions, and field, lab or archival data analysis. The students reported on completed work and the work they intended to undertake in the upcoming year. 

As part of the Academy's larger graduate outreach (GO) initiatives, a photo-story contest was also organized for all the doctoral students at ATREE. The theme for the photo-story contest was 'Conservation and Sustainability'. Chetan Misher won the contest and Ovee Thorat and Ranjeet Kumar Sahani won the second and third prize respectively.
National Consultation on Climate and Global Change in Diverse Social Ecological Systems in India: Emerging Knowledge of Threats and Opportunities for Adaptation
ATREE organized a one day workshop on January 11th, 2019, in Chennai to share experiences from the recently completed ASSAR project. ASSAR (Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions) is a multi-institutional, multi-scale, interdisciplinary project to inform and transform climate adaptation policy and practice in ways that promote the long-term wellbeing of the most vulnerable and those with the least agency.

At the workshop, ATREE researchers, presented their work from the Moyar-Bhavani basin, Tamil Nadu. It is one of the three sites in India, where they studied the dynamics and mechanisms of adaptation to climate change at scale in diverse socio-ecological systems in the semi-arid regions.

Dr. Jagdish Krishnaswamy presented key insights from 'Dynamic Ecosystem Services' theme which was followed by a panel discussion, he led on 'Management of Alien Invasive Species in Protected Areas'. Dr. Shrinivas Badiger presented key insights from ' Social Differentiation, Gender and Governance Themes', which was followed by a panel discussion on 'Adaptive Governance of Forests in Response to Global Change' led by Dr. Siddhartha Krishnan. The ASSAR project funded by CARIAA initiative is focussed on semi-arid regions.
Workshop on Soil Quality and Organic Manure Preparation

ATREE conducted a one day workshop for farmers on testing soil quality and assessing the deficiencies in soil at Ekashipura village of Doddaballapur taluk recently. They were also taught how to prepare organic manure to improve soil health. Around 35 farmers attended the workshop.
Tamiraparani Waterbird Count-2019
ATREE’s Agasthyamalai Community Conservation Centre (ACCC), District Science Centre, Tirunelveli, Pearl City Nature Society (PCNS),Thoothukudi and Nellai Nature Club (NNC), Tirunelveli together organized the 9th edition of the Tamiraparani Waterbird Count - 2019 (TWC). The TWC this year was organized in coordination with Tamil Nadu Forest Department’s Tirunelveli Forest Division from January 25th to January 27th, 2019.

Volunteers underwent an orientation on January 25th at the District Science Centre, Tirunelveli and participated in the bird census on the following two days. This initiative was to bring attention to wetlands and engage the local community in conserving them.

A total of 34,189 birds belonging to 69 species were recorded in the 46 irrigation tanks during the TWC 2018.

Field Level Training Workshop for Birding Guides
A field level training workshop for Birding Guides was organized by ATREE in collaboration with Namdapha Tiger Reserve (NTR) Arunachal Pradesh from January 23rd to January 26th, 2019. The key objectives of the workshop were to explore the possibility of bird/nature guiding as an alternative livelihood and create awareness and sensitise communities about biodiversity, thereby reducing existing threats. Sixteen field staff members of NTR were trained in the basics of bird and butterfly identification. Besides the field staff of NTR, 11 students from the Government Upper Primary School, Deban, also participated in the orientation programme on identification of birds and butterflies. 
Field sessions were organized for the trainees to document birds and butterflies from around Deban in different habitats like tropical evergreen forests as well as the river bank along the Noa Dehing river. In the three days of field work 77 species of birds and 19 species of butterflies were recorded.
ATREE's Nitin D. Rai and Suhas Bhasme present their initial analysis of the REDD+ Strategy, to identify who benefits and who loses from the programme and what the social and environmental costs might be . Read More...
ATREE's Priyadarsanan Dharmarajan writes about the need to initiate an evidence-based review of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Read More...
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