Indian Conservator Wins Green Oscar

Indian Conservator Wins Green OscarAparajita Datta, an Indian hornbill conservator, has won "Green Oscar": the Whitley award. The Whitley award was presented to Aparajita by the Princess Royal Anne, who is the daughter of the UK's Queen Elizabeth. She awarded Datta with an international nature conservation prize at a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

The ceremony was organized in honor of the latter's work to protect threatened hornbills in the forests of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Datta told the Times of India that she would use the Rs 30 lakh prize money to find hornbill nests across India and save their life from poaching and hunting activities.

Datta said, "Populations have been wiped out completely from some parts of India. We are looking at how to protect these magnificent birds outside protected area landscapes as hornbills are large mobile species".

Datta said she has been monitoring 60 hornbill nests in Arunachal Pradesh. She added that all species of hornbills lived alongside before 2000.

She said the prize money will be used to conduct surveys in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland to figure out the status of hornbills. This will enable to create an ideal model to conserve hornbills outside protected areas.