Begin typing your search...

Doyen of wildlife conservation AJT Johnsingh no more, tributes pour in

A zoologist from a Tirunelveli college, AJT served as the dean of the coveted Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun training young IFS officers on forestry and wildlife. His publications and findings covered nature's wealth across south India.

Doyen of wildlife conservation AJT Johnsingh no more, tributes pour in
X

CHENNAI: Renowned conservationist who profiled the wildlife landscape of western ghats AJT Johnsingh passed away in Bengaluru. His demise came as a rude shock for budding bird watchers and wildlife lovers across South India. He was 78 and is survived by two sons.

“The world has lost a leading light today. Dr AJT Johnsingh was a luminary in wildlife conservation. His humility, compassion, and dedication to science-based conservation will continue to guide us. Heartfelt tributes and deepest condolences to his family and loved ones,” Chief Minister MK Stalin said in a social media post. Eminent historian and environmentalist Ramachandra Guha also condoled the demise of the veteran conservationist.

A zoologist from a Tirunelveli college, AJT served as the dean of the coveted Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun training young IFS officers on forestry and wildlife. His publications and findings covered nature's wealth across south India.

“My Professor and guru Johnsingh spoke five languages connecting with the tribes, students and foresters alike. Conservationists across south India reached out to him to know about the nuances of Indian forestry,” recalled conservation scientist A Kumaraguru, a member, Sathyamangalam Tiger Conservation Authority. AJT, as he was fondly called, defied age and would always take a long trek deep into the jungle and he specialised both in mammals and wildcats spread over from Sathyamangalam to Bandipur. One of his research was based on wild dogs (Indian Dhole) having their habitat in Bandipur tiger reserve and he loves to meet his juniors during the census programmes and wild treks, recalled Kumaraguru fighting tears.

Johnsingh is likely to be laid in the western ghats near Kalakkad, his family said in a statement.

“We can’t hear his voice anymore but we can hear him in the chirp of every bird, roar of every tiger and trumpet of every tusker. Generous beyond comparison and teacher beyond equal. India’s bravest green warrior and staunch defender of earth’s flora and fauna had passed away,” the statement issued by the family said.

“Dr AJT Johnsingh is an authority on wildlife and has left an indelible mark among the wildlife fraternity. His presence in seminars and discussions on wildlife was always an eye-opener for wildlife lovers,” recalled Osai Kalidoss of Coimbatore. AJT's experience had always cherished the younger generations and we were always proud of his Tamil connect, he added.

Johnsingh is considered a grounded field biologist.

He is globally recognised for his extensive research on large mammals such as tigers, leopards, elephants, and dholes spread over from Rajaji and Corbett Tiger reserves to Sathaymnagalam and Bandipur tiger reserves. Johnsingh pursued an MSc degree in Zoology from Madras Christian College, Chennai.

CS Koteeswaran
Next Story