More about GopiSouth Asia is famous for its large human population, growing developmental needs, and wildlife-human conflict. Gopi’s work since 1998 in an unprotected agricultural landscape is unique in showcasing high species diversity alongside intensive farming. This includes the largest known Sarus Crane population in the world! His Ph.D dissertation work at the University of Minnesota demonstrated that landscapes with long histories of agriculture and high human populations do not necessarily lead to poorly developed areas. Traditional farming methods aid persistence of many bird species, but retaining habitat amid the growing need for agricultural land remains a priority. This work, and ongoing discussions with state and federal governments, and conservation organizations, provides focus for our immediate and longer-term work in the region.
The new upcoming program, SarusScape, will be headed by Gopi and will focus on the landscape that the Sarus Cranes reside in. The new program will continue to use robust science, and will rely on multi-disciplinary approaches, and long-term planning to achieve continued preservation and restoration of the cultural values and wetlands that have aided crane survival for so long.