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Mohammad Firoz Ahmed

Mohammad Firoz Ahmed

Hunting for trophies is still prevalent in the Northeast including the Phek district in Nagaland. As an environment educator, Firoz Ahmed works to raise awareness among locals.

Month Year: December 2006

Wildlife Service Awards

Firoz Ahmed is a prolific field biologist whose experience belies his 31 years. Wildlife conservation is at the centre of his life’s purpose. He is an Honorary Wildlife Warden in his home state of Assam. He currently works as a wildlife biologist and environment educator with Aaranyak, in Assam.

He is finalising his thesis on his work on the taxonomy of rhacophorids (tree frogs) of Northeast India, participated in a wildlife conservation and management programme with the Smithsonian Institution, U.S.A., received hands-on training on turtle conservation in New Jersey and attended the Applied Environmental Education Training Programme in Thailand.

He currently works as a wildlife biologist and environment educator with Aaranyak, in Assam. Ahmed has documented the herpetofauna of the Kaziranga National Park, Orang National Park and a number of community forests in Nagaland and Meghalaya. He also studied the endangered Dark-rumped Swift in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. His assessment of the status of 10 poorly-known endemic Northeast Indian amphibian species is helping focus conservation action. He discovered the first wild population of the black softshell turtle in Kaziranga. As coordinator of the Manas Biosphere Conservation Forum, he is involved in community-based programmes to save the golden langur and its habitat.

He helps rescue and rehabilitate herpetofauna and works closely with the Guwahati Zoo. Ahmed believes that people must be made aware of their natural world and has organised, implemented and assisted more than 80 environmental education camps for teachers and students. He recently received the Future Conservationist Award to study threatened turtles and tortoises in the Northeast sponsored by the British Petroleum Conservation Programme, U.K.

Field biologist Firoz Ahmed’s survey in Kaziranga National Park threw up the first ever discovery of a wild population of the critically-endangered black softshell turtle Aspiderates nigricans. Ironically, these large reptiles are still sold in the markets in Assam.

He is currently working on a photographic guide to the common amphibians and reptiles of the Northeast and also on scientific descriptions for around a dozen new frog species.

First published in: Sanctuary Asia, Vol XXVI No. 6, December 2006.


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