FERAL: Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning

Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning


Since its inception, FERAL has focused on finding solutions to address pressing problems facing wildlife conservation, natural resource management and marine ecosystems. Thus most of our research work is driven by the current needs to identify conservation/management actions that can deliver the desired outcomes.

The need to facilitate decision making drives our study design, data collection, analysis and also determines our monitoring processes which helps us in evaluating the effectiveness of our intervention. We strongly rely on field surveys to collect the required data and also to understand societal needs to which gives us a balanced perspective of the problem in hand.

We build capacities of stakeholders to help them implement and monitor conservation/management actions and also to facilitate in the decision making process.

Our programmes cover a range of wildlife habitats, coastal zones, islands and human landscapes. Click on the links on the left to learn more about FERAL's programmes.

The focus of this programme is to undertake scientific research on wildlife and use the outputs to steer conservation interventions in the Western Ghats. Over the last few decades we have been actively undertaking research and conservation interventions in the Agastyamalai-Periyar landscape and we have continued our efforts to fortify this program in this region in the last year as well.
Sustainable management of natural resources is a huge challenge confronting communities across the country. The breakdown of traditional, and often inequitable management structures combined with the lack of baselines and monitoring systems, has led to overexploitation and depletion of a number of crucial resources. The onslaught of environmental degradation, land use change combined with fundamental shifts in rainfall regimes has pushed a number of ecosystems to the brink - taking its toll on the goods and services they provide. This programme tries to address some of these challenges with an emphasis on the habitats and ecosystems which sustain our water resources and coastal fisheries.
A large proportion of the projects we run under this programme focus on the creation of teaching materials and enhancing the educational content of school syllabi through hands on training and exercises. We have also run projects seeking to build capacities of community based organisations, NGOs and development agencies in the use of appropriate technologies and techniques such as ornamental fish rearing, food processing and applications of GIS for vulnerability mapping and disaster preparedness. The numerous events which are associated with this programme are summarised and can be accessed on the Events menu. This programme page describes the projects under this programme we are presently involved in or have completed in the past.
Marine sciences research at FERAL largely focusses on traditional and artisanal fisheries along both the East and West coast of India. We work closely with the fishing community while collecting data and regularly present and receive their feedback on our findings. Scientific co-management and conservation are two linchpins of our fisheries research work which we hope will lead to breaking the vicious cycle of resource overexploitation and ecological degradation.
The Islands & Reefs programme is inspired by over a decade of work in the Andaman and Nicobar islands that was led by Dr.Rauf Ali. The primary concern of this programme is to document the impact of invasive alien species on natural ecosystems and to find ways of controlling and restoring habitats which have been affected.
The WASH programme of FERAL is involved in building facilities for drinking water, sanitation and solid waste management in rural and peri-urban schools with a focus on the girl child. Much of this work has been supported through corporate funding. Many of our projects under this programme were run in collaboration with UN agencies.
FERAL - once wild, runs wild again.