Someshwar Shyam Sunder: A Forest Giant is Felled

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It is difficult to believe that my conservation mentor, Someshwar Shyam Sunder, one of India’s most distinguished foresters of the post-independence era is no more. He lived a full life, even after retirement from service in 1989. On 29-4-2021, Covid-related health complications felled the forest giant. He was 90, the exact age when mature teak trees are felled by foresters.

I first met Shyam Sunder, when I was just seven years old. He was visiting his uncle (my father Shivarama … Read More

A Tribute to Dr. Peter Crawshaw

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I am sad to hear about the passing away of Dr. Peter Crawshaw, the big cat expert and conservation luminary of Brazil. Peter was not only one of the greatest experts on Jaguar biology, but also a warm and generous human being. Peter pioneered research on Jaguars forty years ago, being mentored by the legendary George Schaller.

Peter and I were graduate students at the University of Florida in the mid-eighties, both being lucky to be supervised by another star … Read More

Kaoosi Rustum Sethna — The Last Authentic Planter-Naturalist

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My friend of thirty years, Kaoosi Rustum Sethna (88), passed away recently. He was a friend to many, ranging from the legendary Salim Ali, to animal-welfare activist Maneka Gandhi, and guardian of Bhadra, DV Girish. Kaoosi grew up in Pune, dodging high school to learn falconry! He later became a professional jockey, finally settling down as a coffee planter in Chikmagalur, Karnataka. Kaoosi replicated, with brilliant authenticity, the life-style of a 19th century colonial planter-naturalist.

As a plantation manger in … Read More

Tribute — Billy Arjan Singh (1917 – 2010)

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Prerna Bindra looks back on the life of a committed conservationist whose legacy in wildlife preservation continues to inspire.

‘HONORARY TIGER’ Padma Bhushan Billy Arjan Singh breathed his last on the first day of the Year of the Tiger’ – January 1, 2010. He will be remembered as a pioneer conservationist, and for his long and courageous battle for India’s wildlife. My abiding memory of Billy dates back to five winters ago. I was at Tiger Haven, his home at … Read More