‘There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away’ – Emily Dickinson
This issue of Current Conservation is an invitation to travel.Our first stop is the Ganga. Mayukh Dey’s article lets us explore the soundscape of this mighty river, its “[n]oise and tranquillity”, through the ears of the Ganges river dolphin. Next, we move south-eastwards, to the coconut and areca plantations on the island of Great Nicobar, to hear Ishika Ramakrishna’s stories about encounters between the long-tailed macaque and humans. From the islands, we move up, latitudinally and altitudinally, to the world’s first “organic state”, Sikkim. Radhika Gupta presents a nuanced picture of the impact of recent government policies on agro-pastoral practices and food habits of the Sikkim’s mountain villages. From Sikkim, we travel out of India, to the grasslands of Kazakhstan, to talk to EJ Milner- Gulland about her efforts to study and protect the saiga antelope. Finally, we travel all the way back to the south (yes, we know, the routing could have been better!), to the Palk Strait between SriLanka and India, to learn, from Michael Adams, about the natural and human history of the shankha. Once you have read these articles, you will probably relate much better to Anusha Shankar’s reflections on why, despite the miserable pay and often-treacherous working conditions, she chose to become an ecologist (to see the world!).
We wish you a fun journey!