Excerpted from the Aaranyak e-Newsletter, Oct-Dec 2006

About Aaranyak

Aaranyak fosters conservation of biodiversity in Northeast India through research, environmental education, capacity building and advocacy for legal and policy reform to usher a new era of ecological security.

Visit http://www.aaranyak.org to learn more.

Accolades: Mohammad Firoz Ahmed WINS
SANCTUARY-ABN AMRO Wildlife Service Award

From frogs to turtles and langurs, Mohammad Firoz Ahmed has tirelessly worked to save them all. A Wildlife Service Award winner at this year's Sanctuary-ABN AMRO Wildlife Awards, Firoz is a prolific field biologist whose experience belies his 31 years of age. He is an Honorary Wildlife Warden in his home state of Assam and is finalising his PhD thesis on his work on the taxonomy of Rhacophorids (tree frogs) of Northeast India. Firoz has participated in a wildlife conservation and management programme with the Smithsonian Institution, U.S.A., received hands-on training on turtle conservation in New Jersey, US and attended the Applied Environmental Education Training Programme in Thailand.

Firoz has documented the herpetofauna of the Kaziranga National Park, Orang National Park and a number of community forests in Nagaland and Meghalaya. He has also studied the endangered Dark-rumped Swift in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. His assessment of the status of ten poorly known endemic Northeast Indian amphibian species is helping focus conservation action. Firoz discovered the first wild population of the black soft-shell turtle in Kaziranga. As coordinator of the Manas Biosphere Conservation Forum, Firoz is involved in community-based programmes to save the Golden Langur and its habitat. He helps rescue and rehabilitate herpetofauna and works closely with the Guwahati Zoo. Firoz believes that people must be made aware of their natural world and has organised, implemented and assisted more than 80 environmental education camps for teachers and students. He is currently working on a photographic guide to the common amphibians and reptiles of the Northeast and also on scientific descriptions for around a dozen new frog species. He recently received the Future Conservationist Award to study threatened turtles and tortoises in the Northeast sponsored by the British Petroleum Conservation Programme, U.K. We at Aaranyak congratulate Firoz and are proud to have him as part of our team.

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