Nature in Our Cities: Living with the Sarus Cranes and other Large Waterbirds

Around six feet in height, the Sarus crane is the world’s tallest flying bird. Know more about such large waterbirds in this webinar.

Nature in our cities 28 April 2023

Nature does not merely exist in the forest, but it abounds all around us, even in our cities. To explore and discuss flora and fauna in our vicinity, Azim Premji University brings you a Webinar series Seeking Sustainability: Nature in our Cities.

The webinar is part of the overall Seeking Sustainability umbrella. The series will be of particular interest to people who wish to know more about the environment and urban ecology. 

In this webinar, we talk about all the large waterbirds in North Indian crop fields like Sarus Cranes and others. 

About the speaker

Dr. Gopi Sundar works on the rarely considered aspect of how birds and other species are faring outside of protected areas. His work spans agricultural landscapes, cities, and cattle grazing areas. With colleagues and students, his work currently spans Africa, Australia, south-east Asia, and south Asia. 

Emerging publications from these works have helped to move away from assumptions of human-modified landscapes being species-depauperate, and showing how supposedly declining species are proliferating in these areas. His work spans nearly three decades and has helped to reimagine how species interact with humans and changes made to landscapes by humans. 

He is a National Geographic Explorer, the Editor-in-Chief of the global journal Waterbirds: The international journal of waterbird biology, founded the IUCN Stork, Ibis and Spoonbill Specialist Group’s formal publication SIS Conservation that he currently co-edits with his colleague. He is the global co-chair of the IUCN Stork, Ibis and Spoonbill Specialist Group, and consults as a scientist with organisations such as the Udaipur-based Seva Mandir, exploring the intersection of human development and nature conservation. 

He has authored and co-authored over 150 publications in top-tier journals and in books and has been recognised with the Carl Zeiss Conservation Award for his effort in the conservation of wetlands, working with state and national governments and the judiciary. He currently resides in Udaipur with his work colleague and wife Swati Kittur where they also manage a 2 ha farmland using entirely organic methods, free of fossil fuels.

About the moderator

Monica Kaushik is a faculty member at Azim Premji University and an ecologist studying bird communities in different habitats, including urban green spaces of Dehradun, Uttarakhand. 

Her research interests include the impact of biological invasions on mutualistic interactions between birds and plants, for example, seed dispersal. She has taught for three years (2019 – 2022) at the School of Human Ecology, Ambedkar University Delhi as a Visiting Assistant Professor. She has received a doctoral degree in Wildlife Science from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Saurashtra University, Gujarat.