Project: Citizen Science Capacity building
Tirupati is located at the edge of the Seshachalam biosphere reserve and has a rich biodiversity that is underexplored. With a little under half a million population, Tirupati is famous for hosting the world’s richest temple with about 150 million annual religious tourists. The tourism in Tirupati is largely religious - the Tirumala temple nestled in the Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve of the Eastern Ghats. An average of 55,000 people visits Tirupati daily. The city is also an educational hub with over 25 major educational institutions, including four universities. Approximately, Tirupati hosts 20,000 students in higher educational institutions alone and has a great potential to support citizen science activities.
Despite the proximity to Seshachalam biosphere reserve, strong student base, and high tourist footfall, Tirupati has very few reports of biodiversity on citizen science portals – only about 100 records until 2015 on e-bird. There is an immediate need to increase the citizen science capacity building in the landscape.
Our plan is to link the local biodiversity with citizens of Tirupati by organizing activities like nature walks, bird watching sessions, and workshops on biodiversity identification and recording the findings on portals like ebird and iNaturalist. The data generated from these citizen science initiatives can help the scientific communities and local conservation authorities like the forest department in understanding the changes in local landscape and ecosystems. Our efforts in capacity building are mainly aimed at four categories,
Since December 2019,
Funding: Duleep Matthai Trust
Nandini Rajamani IISER Tirupati