Wildlife biologist Aparajita Datt wins Whitley Award “Green Oscars” for her “Hornbill” project
Ms Aparajita Datta, a wildlife biologist has won Whitley Award for a project to conserve “Hornbill” bird in Arunachal Pradesh State. Aparajita Datta is the Winner of the 2013 Whitley Award donated by WWF-UK.
- Whitley Awards – known as ‘Green Oscars’ are organized by ‘Whitley Fund for Nature ‘to recognize the conservators for their outstanding study in the field of conserving the nature, forest and environment.
Objectives of project to conserve Hornbill:
- Hornbills are ecologically important as seed dispersers.
- The project’s inclusive approach transforms hunters into passionate guardians of nature.
- Expand the Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme from 9 to 14 villages and give local people a sense of ownership.
- Set up a pilot forest restoration project.
- Establish The Hornbill Nyishi Festival to popularize the role played by local tribes in conserving hornbills across the region.
Other Achievements of Dr. Aparajita Datta
- Publish various papers on tree species, forest logging, seed survival of bird and new bird species since 1998.
- Conserve and improve the status of the bird’s populations and spreading awareness of threat to ecological system.
- Organize a study and create awareness to conserve hornbills in the Indian Eastern Himalayas at the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), an NGO established in 1996.
Winners of 2013 Whitley Award awarded with a prize share worth £295 000:
- Daniel Letoiye: Restore grasslands for the coexistence of Grevy’s Zebra and free-ranging livestock, Kenya
- Zafer Kizilkaya: create first community-managed marine protected area in Gökova Bay, Turkey.
- Eugene Simonov: save the Amur River basin and wetlands in China, Russia and Mongolia.
- Ekwoge Abwe: Protection of the endangered great apes of Ebo Forest. Cameroon
- Aparajita Datta: conserve Hornbill bird, Arunachal Pradesh, India
- Zahirul Islam : Conserve sea turtle community, Bangladesh
- John Kahekwa: Protect last eastern lowland gorillas, Congo
- Cagan Sekercioglu: Conserve Turkey from the environment crises and succeeded in getting Turkey’s first bird nesting island built on the lake.