Conservationist J.C. Daniel dead

August 24th, 2011 - 8:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 24 (IANS) Renowned conservationist working in the field of elephants and big cats protection and vice-president of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) J.C. Daniel passed away here after a brief illness, an official said Wednesday. He was 84.

Daniel had been recently diagnosed with cancer, a BNHS official said. He breathed his last late Tuesday night.

“This is the second major loss to the conservation movement in India and to the BNHS. This month, Aug 7, BNHS president B.G. Deshmukh passed away in Pune,” the official told IANS.

Daniel started his association with the BNHS as a researcher in the 1950s and later served as its curator, director, secretary and in other positions, besides heading various committees.

Considered a mentor at the BNHS, especially for the younger generation and students pursuing higher studies, he pioneered several conservation initiatives in the country.

“He worked on various major projects involving conservation at various levels, including elephants, big cats and reptiles, of which he became an authority. He was closely associated with renowned conservationists like Salim Ali and Romulos Whitaker,” said BNHS member Nigam Pandya, a conservationist based in south Gujarat.

Daniels authored various books, including “The Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians”, “Cassandra of Conservation”, “Petronia” and “A Week with Elephants”.

His last book, “Birds of the Indian subcontinent - A field guide” was recently released by the BNHS.

Daniel had also initiated various pioneering activities such as recording and documenting the old trees in the Mumbai metropolitan region, with the help of nature lovers and BNHS members.

Daniel had been conferred prestigious awards like Peter Scott Award for Conservation Merit (1988), Award of Kerala Agricultural University (1989), Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (1997), Sanctuary-ABN Amro Lifetime Service to Conservation Award (2000) and Distinguished Service Award from Society for Conservation Biology (2007), according to a BNHS statement.

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