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Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award for Aaranyak's scientist

M Firoz Ahmed is a Wildlife Biologist associated with Aaranyak, has been awarded the prestigious Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award 2011 in a function held recently in the India Habitat Center, New Delhi. The award consists of a memento and an envious Zeiss binocular.

Firoz is associated with Aaranyak since 1994, where he developed the research division for amphibians and reptiles and currently developing the tiger research and Conservation Initiative. Firoz has been working on lesser known amphibians and reptiles since 1997 and discovered new species of frogs. He also has a PhD degree on tree frogs of Northeast India.

Currently, Firoz is conducting research on tigers, prey animals and their habitats in the region particularly in Orang, Manas and Kaziranga National Park. He is also involved in community based conservation of wildlife in Assam and a passionate environment educator.

Firoz has been recognized by this award for his dedicated conservation effort to save the disappearing wildlife in the region. He also received the Sanctuary Wildlife Service Award 2006. He has several honors, grants and awards in his credit along with books, technical reports and scientific communications.

Carl Zeiss, the world renowned company that makes optics for binoculars, cameras and medical equipments has initiated the Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award in 2001 to recognize dedicated conservation workers from around the country. Since then, the award has been given to over 50 conservationists in the country. Some of them are- Y V Jhala, Qamar Qureshi, Sekhar Dattatri, Prerna Bindra, Tana Tapi and Pankaj Sarma. An expert panel lead by wildlife expert Valmik Thapar identifies the awardees annually.

Speaking in the occasion Valmik Thapar said, "I am delighted that Carl Zeiss has instituted an annual award for wildlife conservation. This will give an enormous boost to our efforts to save rich wildlife of our country."

Dr. Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, Secretary General of Aaranyak said, it is a great honour not only for Firoz alone but for the organization with whom Firoz has been working for over 17 years. Hope the young generation of Assam will get inspiration to come forward to undertake key conservation and research on flora and fauna of Assam to contribute further towards biodiversity conservation and monitoring.

Dhrubajyoti Kalita,
Aaranyak, Guwahati

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