The research programmes of BNHS over the decades have greatly helped Indian wildlife biology make the transition from exploration, big game and natural history, to rigorous field biology, conservation and restoration ecology studies, using modern methods of data collection and analysis. BNHS research is today widely accepted and respected as insightful, unbiased and authentic, both in India and abroad.
BNHS scientists have been working in protected areas as well as other biodiversity rich community managed areas, whose conservation is of significance at local, national and international levels. The final objective of the wildlife research activities is to try to find out the way in which man can share the natural world with other living beings and use the resources sustainably. These studies have been providing crucial data for management and conservation of India’s rich biodiversity.
The research contributes mainly to identify, monitor and mitigate the adverse impact of unplanned unsustainable developmental processes on our natural environment and also restore the degraded ecosystems. This is being achieved by conducting research on indicator species of plants and mammals in sensitive natural habitats across the country. Studies on carrying capacity of the protected and non-protected areas have indicated devastating changes due to unsustainable exploitation of the natural resources. It has also been realized that a healthy environment with rich biodiversity play a crucial role in the long-term sustainable development of a region, resulting in the wellbeing of the local population and the country at large.
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, has recognized BNHS as the Regional Nodal Agency to co-ordinate the network of wildlife research in the western region, comprising Maharashtra, Goa, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Some of the major ongoing research projects of BNHS are as follows:
· Vulture Conservation Breeding Programme: Breeding centres in Pinjore (Haryana), Rajabhatkhawa (West Bengal) and Rani (Assam); Vulture Safe Zone in Madhya Pradesh and field research across India
· Migratory Birds Study Centre at Point Calimere (Tamil Nadu) and bird banding and satellite telemetry across India
· Caecilian Project in northern Western Ghats region of Maharashtra
· Study of Great Indian Bustard and grassland habitat across the distribution range
· Study of Bengal Florican in the terai landscape in northern India
· Study of House Sparrow and other small birds across India
· Study of Jerdon’s Courser (Andhra Pradesh)
· Study of Forest Owlet (Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh)
· Important Bird Areas (IBA) Programme: Identifying crucial bird habitats across India
· ENVIS (Environmental Information System) Centre: To study Avian Ecology and Inland Wetlands and disseminate avian information and databases