Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


February 08, 2007

D. Avinandan

Business Analyst, Center for Excellence in Organisation, Malaysia

Today’s Date: Feb. 4, 2007

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

Seeing Alexandrine Parakeets (Psittacula eupatria) in the wild at close quarters in Warangal, Andhra Pradesh and being able to photograph them was the Moment I cherish most in my life. Their graceful flight and very melodious sounding low pitched "KREEAK" sound still gladdens my heart when I think about. This species is declining heavily in India due to illegal poaching.

The animal with which my interaction had the biggest impact was a male plum headed parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala) which I had procured from the bird market. I had kept in a cage for two years. He had an unconquerable spirit. He just refused to be tamed. I had to finally release him. But I do not know whether he survived or not. In all probability he was ripped apart by crows or cats. And the guilt of that incident just rips me apart. So I spend as much of my spare time on the Internet convincing people about the evils of the Wild Bird Trade-particularly –the wild parrot trade.

I have started a yahoo group for the same

Eventually I hope to start a Parrot rescue and conservation institute on the line of Foster Parrots in India.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

It was a small public garden named Beauty Spot, which was just about 500 metres away from my house in Bangalore which in the 1980’s was a really beautiful garden city. It was the location where my friends and I used to play childhood games like 'Hide and seek’. It was also the place where we hunted butterflies and collected botanical specimens for school projects.

Now? Though I might never get an opportunity to visit it again, the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary would rank as the most spectacular place I have ever been to. Pristine untouched beauty.

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is, and why?

It is tough to pin-point to one species. At least 20 odd species of Parrots could qualify for this. But if pushed to the wall I will select five species.
1. Budgerigars -Keeping and observing their behaviour got me interested in Nature
2. Scarlet macaws- A Lone interactive macaw in the Hyderabad Zoo used to mesmerize me whenever I paid a visit.
3. Hyacinth Macaw- Videos, films and images in books of wild Hyacinths satiated my aesthetic hunger. Never believe such a bird could exist. When I finaly saw one in a zoo, I was disappointed. The Captive specimens don't capture the spirit.
4. Kakapos: The tale of their sad decimation from abundance to extreme scarcity and the hard work of conservationists to keep the population afloat is very inspiring.
5. Alexandrine parakeet: Last but not the least- a spectacular but undervalued natural beauty which though not in immediate danger has many threats to its long term survival in many parts of the range.

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

There are many great challenges facing us but the most underrated is that of invasive species. And this will continue to be a great challenge in the future with increasing ease of global transport for goods and people. The demand for wild animals as pets in emerging economies like China and India along with the existing economic powerhouses like US, EU and Japan also threatens to pose a threat to many charismatic species of wildlife.

5. If you could give everyone one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

Please do not buy wild caught animals as pets for conservation as well as welfare reasons.
Do not release captive exotic pets like Aquarium fish into native ecosystem.
Convert as much of the household waste-liquid and solid into compost/fertilizer for your garden plants.
Have only one child and convince others to do the same.

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