- The Bombay Natural History Society, founded on 15 September 1883, is one of the largest non-governmental organisations in India engaged in conservation and biodiversity research.
- BNHS is the partner of BirdLife International in India. It has been designated as a ‘Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’ by the Department of Science and Technology.
- The BNHS logo is the great hornbill, inspired by a great hornbill named William, who lived on the premises of the Society from 1894 until 1920, during the honorary secretaryships of H. M. Phipson until 1906 and W. S. Millard from 1906 to 1920. The logo was created in 1933, the silver-jubilee year of the Society’s founding.
BNHS-India, a pan-India wildlife research organization, has been promoting the cause of nature conservation for the past 133 years, since 1883.
BNHS Mission: Conservation of Nature, primarily Biological Diversity through action based on Research, Education and Public Awareness
BNHS Vision: Premier independent scientific organization with a broad based constituency, excelling in the conservation of threatened species and habitats.
Other important points from BNHS Site:
- Ecology and assessment of the conservation status of an endemic and Critically Endangered Kondana Soft-furred Rat Millardia kondana in the northern Western Ghats, India, through participation of the local community.
- The critically endangered Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis is a bird inhabiting the tall alluvial grasslands of Terai region along the foothills of Himalaya. It is included in Schedule-1 on the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. At present threats to the bird, beyond the protected areas, include loss and degradation of habitat due to unsustainable human activities.
- Jerdon’s Courser Rhinoptilus bitorquantus is a critically endangered nocturnal ground bird, now restricted to Kadapa District and possibly some surrounding areas in Andhra Pradesh. In the past it was recorded from several locations across Andhra Pradesh and even from one location in eastern part of Maharashtra. It is included in the Schedule-1 of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It was considered extinct until it was rediscovered to science by BNHS in 1986. The area was subsequently designated as Sri Lankamaleswara Wildlife Sanctuary by the government. At present the bird and its habitat is under considerable pressure from habitat conversion, uncontrolled agricultural expansion enabled by new irrigation facilities, uncontrolled livestock grazing and bird trapping.
Vasai Fort Trail
Formerly known as the Bassein fort, it is a perfect place to witness a unique blend of natural history and its historical significance. The site has a variety of butterflies and other insects. Here a combination of wetland and adjacent wooded areas attracts a good number of resident as well as migratory birds. You may see Asian Openbill, Black-capped Kingfisher, Baya Weaver, Brahminy Kite, Asian Palm Swift, Wire-tailed Swallow, and several other species.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary
Take an enjoyable walk through the moist deciduous base forest of Karnala Bird Sanctuary. During this time the forest starts to come alive with bird calls. Birds like Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Black-naped Monarch, Small Sunbird, Nilgiri Flowerpecker, Rufous and Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Greater Racket-tailed and Bronzed Drongo, Crested Hawk-eagle, Crested Serpent-eagle, and Gold-fronted Leafbird, can be seen.
Wild Flowers trail at Kanheri – SGNP
Sanjay Gandhi National Park lies in the northern part of the city. It encompasses an area of 104 sq.km. and is surrounded on three sides by this mega metro city. It is notable as one of the major national parks existing within a metropolis limit and is one of the most visited parks in the world. After the first monsoon showers, the forest rejuvenates and changes its face. This is the time when the blooms of the wildflowers are seen, yellows pinks, purples litter the forest with a vivid pattern among the fresh greens.
Species like Dragon Stalked Yam, Spider Lilly, Milk & Wine Lilly, Yellow Ground Star, White Musli, Wild Turmeric, South Indian Squill, and other wild lilies, and if we are lucky we can spot the Nervilia ground orchid.
AMBOLI – LAND OF THE FLYING FROG
Nestled at the crest of the Western Ghats, Amboli is the last hill station in Maharashtra before the coastal highlands of Goa. Misty weather, rejuvenating rain, cool climate, and lush evergreen forest form the perfect setting for reptiles and amphibians. It is also one of the best places to see the Malabar Gliding Frog. The forest here reverberates with the calls of various frogs and toads in colourful and loud display, singing in beautiful synchronisation to attract their lady love. Amboli is part of a Biodiversity Hotspot and we can see amphibians and reptiles like Fungoid Frog, Bi-coloured Frog, Amboli Bush-frog, Amboli Toad, Beddome’s Cat Snake, Ceylon Cat Snake, Green Vine Snake, Malabar Pit Viper, and various caecilians.
Valley of Flowers
Western Himalaya is well-known for its meadows of diverse alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty. The beauty of Valley of Flowers has been acknowledged by renowned mountaineers and botanists. Its gentle landscapes, breathtaking beautiful meadows of alpine flowers and remoteness make the journey to this valley an enchanting experience. One can see gorgeous flowers like the Brahma Kamal, Blue Poppy, Brook Anemone, and Forget-me-not. Also birds like White-capped River-Chat, Plumbeous Water-redstart, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, and Blue Whistling-thrush can be seen along the way.
Lahaul–Spiti & Pin Valley National Park
The desolate northern and eastern tracts of Himachal Pradesh are among the most spectacular and sparsely populated regions on Earth. The Spiti River is joined by the Pin River, flowing out of a wind-scoured but beautiful valley from the heights of the Great Himalayan Range. This forms the Pin Valley National Park, with its snow-laden slopes is a refuge for one of the world’s most threatened and elusive animals, the Snow Leopard. The Park is also home to Siberian Ibex and Tibetan Wolf.
RARE AND ENDANGERED FLOWER: Khandala
Khandala is a hill station in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra and is located atop the Bhor Ghat. The Semi-evergreen forests, along with a few plateaus and grasslands, harbour a diversity of micro-habitats and are rich in flora and fauna.
Rocky outcrops are isolated habitats known for their uniqueness with respect to environmental variables and biodiversity, and well-known as centres of species endemism. The monsoon flora of the region includes scores of ground orchids, Ceropegias, and other rare species that are endemic to the region. Threatened and endemic species like the Sahyadri Ceropegia, Peacock Fly Trap, Evans Ceropegia and orchids like Single-leaved Habenaria, Spreading flower Habenaria, Green Habenaria, Fox-tailed Orchid, and Thread-like Eria are found in the region.
Malshej Ghat, known for the misty hilltops and ice cold cascades, is in its prime during the monsoon. During this time, the plateau sprouts wildflowers that add colour to the lush green background. We take a walk through the rejuvenated forest to search for Maharashtra’s state animal – Indian Giant Squirrel, while the Malabar Whistling Thrush heralds our arrival. Even during the night, the place is alive with different kinds of moths.
WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES OF GOA
Chorla Ghat region of the Western Ghats of Goa has been acknowledged as a Mega Biodiversity Hotspot. Using Wildernest Resort as a base we explore the forests of Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Mollem National Park, and Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary. The Wildernest Resort is situated in the lap of Chorla Ghats. The resort itself is a symbol of wildlife conservation, the forest around the cottages is pristine and home to an array of wildlife. Just a stroll outside the eco-cottages at Wildernest is rewarding. Birds like Malabar Grey Hornbill, four types of bulbul namely Grey-headed, Yellow-browed, White-browed, and Square-tailed Black Bulbul, can be seen during this camp. Other wildlife like Indian Giant Squirrel, Sambar and Chital Deer, Hump-nosed Pit Viper, Green Vine Snake, Bronzeback Tree Snake, Malabar Gliding Frog, and Blue Mormon butterfly are also seen here.
Sikkim is recognized as one among 34 global biodiversity hotspots, with 47% of the state under forest cover and home to almost 50% of the Butterfly diversity of the Indian Subcontinent, the state is a treat for all nature lovers. Even a casual walk on the trail can be fruitful, with species like Paris Peacock, Orange Punch, Colour Sergeant, and Punchinello. Join BNHS to explore this butterfly paradise.