First Prize at the India International Aqua Show 2010

CRGCS stall bagged the First Prize for the best exhibit in the ‘Native Ornamental Fish’ category at the India International Aqua show which was held at Kochi from 12th to 16th February 2010. CRGCS tanks showcased several native ornamentals of Kerala including the enigmatic Channa micropeltes (Tiger Snakehead), the popular Puntius denisonii (Miss Kerala) and Carinatetraodon travancoricus (Dwarf Puffer). This is the first time that CRG is putting up a stall at the International Aquashow.

The Center congratulates the team behind the show (Fibin Baby, M. Ramprasanth, Anvar Ali, Simmy Solomon, Prasobh N, Shylaja Menon, Sukanya K, Santhi P.S., Rajeev R and Benno Pereira).

IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment in the Western Ghats

Rajeev Raghavan, Fellow and Associate Director of CRGCS was one among the 22 regional scientists from the Western Ghats who attended the 5 day Red List Training Workshop held at Coimbatore from 11th to 15th January 2010. Rajeev Raghavan and Anvar Ali of CRGCS will be part of the expert team of regional scientist who will assess the conservation status of freshwater fishes of the Western Ghats for the IUCN.
For more information - http://sites.google.com/site/iucnwesternghats/

Lion Tailed Macaque conservation in the Anamalai Landscape

Shijo Joseph, Fellow and Trustee at CRGCS has been awarded a project by the Rufford Foundation, UK for the conservation of isolated populations of the Endangered Lion Tailed Macaque in the Anamalai Hills, Western Ghats.
For more information - http://www.ruffordsmallgrants.org/rsg/projects/joseph_shijo

CRGCS to collaborate with IUCN in the Freshwater Biodiversity Assessments in the Western Ghats

Researchers from CRGCS will collaborate with specialist at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the upcoming Freshwater Biodiversity Assessments in the Western Ghats. A two year project funded by the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF) which will begin early in 2010 will conduct detailed assessments of selected freshwater species groups (fishes, molluscs, dragonflies and damselflies, and plants) throughout the project region, including details about their distribution, abundance, ecology, human utilisation, and extinction risk.

Rohit Singh joins WWF as a Technical Advisor

Rohit Singh, Adjunct Fellow at CRGCS has joined the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Based in Pnom Penh, Cambodia, he will serve as the technical advisor for their Eastern Plains Landscape Protected areas Project. We wish him the very best in his new assignment.

Flood Relief activities in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

CRGCS collaborated with Pehal Society, Tiger Awareness –UK, Vision India and Uttar Pradesh Forest Department in organizing a flood relief program for villagers and forest department staff in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. Blankets, torches and other essential materials were distributed.

CRGCS teams up with Pehal Society for Wildlife Week Celebrations

The Wildlife Week celebrations for the year 2009 were conducted by the Pehal Society Kerala Chapter, in collaboration with the CRG Kochi and The Lions Club of Palakkad on the 2nd of October 2009 at the Lions School Palakkad, Kerala. The event was supported by The Zoo Outreach Organization, Tiger Awareness U.K. and the Agriculture Department of Palakkad.

CRGCS Associate Director joins ATREE as a Visiting Fellow

Rajeev Raghavan, Associate Director (Policy) of CRGCS has joined the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE) as a Visiting Fellow. He will work closely with the organization’s Community Environment Resource Center (CERC) at Alleppey.

CRGCS Associate Director delivers a talk on Marine Biodiversity Conservation

Benno Pereira Associate Director (Research) of CRGCS delivered a talk on threats to marine biodiversity and strategies for conservation at a Seminar conducted at the S N College, Chertala on 5th October 2006.

YETI 2009

At YETI 2009 (Young Ecologist Talk and Interact) Conference- Bangalore, CRGCS was represented by Krishnakumar (Fellow and Trustee), Shylaja Menon (Research Associate) and Simmy Solomon (Graduate Student).

Wedding Bells

CRGCS Trustee and Fellow Shijo Joseph got married to Anitha K (also a fellow with the center) during August 2009. Congratulations to both! And wishing them a happy married life! 

Siby Philip joins the University of Porto, Portugal

CRGCS Fellow, Siby Philip has joined the Laboratory of Ecotoxicology, Evolution and Genomics, CIIMAR, Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha at the Universidade do Porto, Portugal.

CRGCS Research throws light on illegal turtle trade in Kerala

A recent investigation carried out by CRGCS has revealed the illegal trade in threatened species of freshwater turtles from Vembanad Lake and its adjoining areas in Kerala. The results of the study has been published in the recent issue of the international journal Tropical Conservation Science.

CEPF – ATREE Western Ghats Small Grant

Rajeev Raghavan, CRGCS Fellow and Associate Director has been awarded a grant by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund through their Western Ghats Program to study ‘Data Deficient’ freshwater fish species of Southern Western Ghats.


CRGCS co-organized the International Conference on Emerging Trends in Environmental Research – ICETER 2009 at St. Albert’s College from 14th to 16th August 2009. More than 75 delegates representing various states of India and countries like Belgium, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Iran presented papers on various areas of environmental research.

AQUARAMA Magazine covers CRG’s research on Puntius denisonii

AQUARAMA Magazine has covered the research being carried out at CRG on the endemic and threatened cyprinid fish, Puntius denisonii. CRG has two on-going projects on the conservation of Puntius denisonii funded by the Chester Zoo, UK and the PADI Foundation, USA.


CRG Fellow nominated to the Editorial Board of the International Journal ‘Aquaculture, Aquarium, Conservation & Legislation

Rajeev Raghavan, Fellow & Associate Director of CRG has been nominated to serve in the extended editorial board of the international journal - Aquaculture, Aquarium, Conservation & Legislation published by the Bioflux Society, Romania.

CRG Director awarded grant for research on Miss Kerala, Puntius denisonii

Dr. Benno Pereira, Fellow & Director of CRG has been awarded a grant by the PADI Foundation, USA for a project on the conservation of Puntius denisonii stocks from the streams of Kerala.

CRG Researcher wins Chelonian Research Foundation's Linnaeus Fund Award 2009

K. Krishnakumar of CRG has been granted a project by the Chelonian Research Foundation to study the current status of the endangered Cochin Forest Cane Turtle, Vijayachelys silvatica. The project entitled 'Assessing the current status of the endangered Cochin forest cane turtle, Vijayachelys silvatica in Athirapally forests of Western Ghats (India) as a basis for developing a community based monitoring and conservation program' is the first project funded in India by the Chelonian Research Foundation under the Linnaeus Fund since its inception in 1992.
For more on the enigmatic Vijayachelys silvatica- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijayachelys_silvatica
For more on Chelonian Research Foundation - http://www.chelonian.org

CRG signs MoU with Pehal Society

Conservation Research Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Pehal Society – a conservation based NGO in Delhi, India to work on wildlife trade related issues. For more information on Pehal visit www.pehalsociety.org

Talk on sea cucumbers of India and their conservation

Nityanandan M, Enviromentalist at Al-Khiran Pearl City Project, Kuwait and Adjunct Fellow (Marine Biodiversity), Conservation Research Group delivered a talk on ‘Sea cucumbers of India and their conservation’.

Practical Fish Keeping’ Covers CRG-K research

Practical Fish Keeping – one of the world’s leading names in aquarium fish has covered the research being carried out at CRG-K on Puntius denisonii – Miss Kerala. The article entitled ‘Puntius denisonii threatened by exports’ is available online –




The January 2009 issue of Practical Fish Keeping also has an article devoted to P. denisonii and the research being carried out at CRG.  

Workshop and training program for tribal fishers

CRG-K organized a one day workshop and training program on ‘Managing small scale fisheries’ at Vazhachal, Chalakudy, Kerala on 7th December 2008. The workshop was aimed at understanding the problems faced by the tribal fishers of Chalakudy River and imparting knowledge and skills on small scale fisheries management. The program was attended by fishers and members of the ‘Vana Samrakshana Samiti’ (Forest Protection Society) units at Athirapally, Vazhachal and Pokilapara.  

Mahidol University, Thailand

G. Prasad, Senior Fellow, CRG-K visited the Conservation Biology Research Group at the Department of Biological Sciences, Mahidol University, Bangkok on 27th November and delivered a talk on the research activities being carried out at CRG-K and the Laboratory of Conservation Biology, Department of Zoology, University of Kerala.  

International Elephant Symposium, Pattaya, Thailand

G. Prasad, Senior Fellow, CRG-K presented a paper on the human elephant conflicts in Western Ghats at the ‘International Elephant Symposium’ held in Pattaya, Thailand from 24th to 26th November.   

North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo) Conservation Grant

Chester Zoo has funded Rajeev Raghavan (senior fellow – CRG) a project to assess the life history and demography of Miss Kerala, Puntius denisonii – one of the most celebrated and threatened freshwater fish of Western Ghats hotspot. Chester Zoo is also credited with the first success in captive breeding this endangered cyprinid.

New members to the CRG family

Fibin Baby and Ramprasanth have joined CRG to work on a new project related to freshwater fish conservation in Kerala. Both Fibin and Ramprasanth are alumni of St. Albert’s College. Fibin completed his Master’s program in Applied Fisheries in 2006. He worked closely with the CRG team during the freshwater fish project funded by ACSI.  Fibin returns to the group after a gap of 2 years. Ramprasanth completed his undergraduate program in Aquaculture at St. Albert’s College in 2008.  

National Seminar on Recent Trends in Biodiversity Conservation and Bio-documentation

Rajeev Raghavan – senior fellow at CRG presented an invited talk on freshwater fish conservation and management at the National Seminar on Recent Trends in Biodiversity Conservation and Bio-documentation at Mahatma Gandhi Arts College, University of Puducherry, Mahe on 6th November 2008

Benno Pereira (senior fellow and coordinator CRG) and K Krishnakumar (Research Associate) presented papers on biological invasion of African Catfish, Clarias gariepinus in Vembanad Lake and exploitation of freshwater turtles from Vembanad Lake

Conservation Research Group moves to new office

CRG has moved to a new office and lab at the Aquaculture Building of St. Albert's College.

Scott Dowd, Senior Aquarist, New England Aquarium, Boston visits CRG

Scott Dowd, Senior Aquarist at the New England Aquarium, Boston, USA and member of the Project Piaba visited CRG and presented a talk on 'Ornamental fisheries in the Amazon'.

Conference on Rivers of Kerala

CRG in collaboration with the Peaceful Society (South), Indian River Network and All Kerala River Protection Council organized a two day conference on Rivers of Kerala –problems and prospects. A total of 21 papers on fauna, ecology, conservation, bioengineering, pollution, participatory management and policies were presented.

Damsel in distress

CRG researchers provide insights into the current status of Miss Kerala, Puntius denisonii – the endemic and threatened barb of Kerala. PDF

Talk on fishes of Vembanad Lake

K. Krishnakumar, Research Associate presented a talk on the fishes of Vembanad Lake – a ramsar site as part of the Jalapadam program of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment at Alleppey, Kerala.

Seminar on endangered and endemic flora and fauna of Nilgiris

Benno Pereira, Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Conservation Research Group presented a lead talk on conservation and management of indigenous fishes of Kerala part of Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot at the National Seminar on endangered and endemic flora and fauna of Nilgiris organized by the Department of Wildlife Biology, Government College, Ooty, Tamil Nadu.

CRG Fellow awarded Rufford Small Grant for Nature Conservation

Rajeev Raghavan, Senior Fellow, CRG-K has been awarded a grant by the Rufford Foundation (UK) for his project on participatory assessment of stock status and harvest levels for conservation of threatened freshwater fishes of Kerala.

CRG Researcher awarded ATREE Small Grant

K. Krishnakumar has been awarded a grant by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE) to develop innovative conservation approaches for endemic and threatened freshwater fishes of Kerala. His project proposal ‘Understanding freshwater biodiversity in Western Ghats: documenting traditional knowledge on distribution and life history of critically endangered and endemic freshwater fishes of Kerala’ will be a first of its kind attempt in the region to use indigenous traditional knowledge to inform management decisions regarding critically endangered fauna.

Endangered Species International funds CRG research

Endangered Species International (ESI) has funded CRG’s forthcoming research on stock assessment, population dynamics and harvest levels of threatened ornamental fishes of the streams of Kerala.
Visit http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/

New Paper throws light on a critically endangered catfish of Western Ghats

In a recent paper published in the Journal of Bombay Natural History Society, CRG Researchers - Anvar Ali and G. Prasad from the Laboratory of Conservation Biology, University of Kerala provides the first information on the life history traits and biology of a critically endangered and endemic catfish, Horabagrus nigricollaris from its type locality, Vettilapara, Kerala.

Ali, APH and G. Prasad 2007 Bionomics of a critically endangered and endemic catfish, Horabagrus nigricollaris from its type locality in Kerala Journal of Bombay Natural History Society, 104(2): 167-171. PDF  

SCCS Conference – University of Cambridge

Rajeev Raghavan presented a talk on ‘Conservation issues of freshwater ornamental fisheries in the Western Ghats of Kerala’ at the 9th SCCS at the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK from March 27-29 2008.

Ornamental fisheries and avoided deforestation

In the recent issue of the Ornamental Fish International’s journal (OFI-J), Michael Tlusty and Scott Dowd from the New England Aquarium, Boston, USA and Rajeev Raghavan from CRG reveals how sustainable ornamental fishes in forest streams can be a route to avoid deforestation.

Michael Tlusty, Scott Dowd & Rajeev Raghavan 2008 Saving forests through the fisheries – ornamental fishes as a means to avoid deforestation. OFI Journal, 56: 21-25. PDF


At BIOCAM, The International Conference on Biodiversity Conservation and Management (BIOCAM 2008) held at Kochi, India from 4th to 6th February 2008, CRG was represented by senior researchers, Dr. Benno Pereira and Dr. G. Prasad.

G. Prasad, Benno Pereira, Anvar Ali and Rajeev Raghavan 2008 Wild collection and export of indigenous ornamental fishes from Kerala: are we digging our own grave?

Benno Pereira, G. Prasad, K. Krishnakumar, Anvar Ali and Rajeev Raghavan 2008 Aliens in Wonderland – the status and impacts of exotic fish species in the inland waters of Kerala, India.

G. Prasad, Anvar Ali and Rajeev Raghavan 2008 Flood plain areas as breeding ground for the threatened catfish, Horabagrus brachysoma from Periyar River, Kerala, India.

©2008 crgkerala.org