Starting from the early months of 2020, even as the pandemic situation became serious, we began this project to explore multiple aspects of Bengaluru’s biodiversity.
The project included publishing a series of stories on the topic for the general public, workshop for journalists, resource kits and events to engage young people.
We have explored a range of topics, from colourful solitary bees easily found in urban gardens to the many rare species that are disappearing fast – for example, the slender loris that lives on tree canopies to the disappearing traditional food crops, and butterflies that can’t bear the city’s bright lights.
We found that the Hesaraghatta grasslands, which is under threat now, houses rare species like the Lesser Florican and the Lilac Silverline. We also covered Bengaluru’s neglected mini water bodies — keres and kuntes, that host many birds, insects, and animal species. The bigger water bodies — lakes, also host a lot of biodiversity, and have traditionally provided food and livelihood to local residents. Though lakes have been disappearing fast, fishermen and others have been reviving some lakes while also protecting their biodiversity.
Covering critical issues of our city, day after day, connecting the dots, contextualizing problems, identifying solutions – and sharing this knowledge with millions – has had an impact.