Rendezvous with Life | Srikanth Mannepuri | TEDxKIITUniversity | Summary and Q&A

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September 27, 2023
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Rendezvous with Life | Srikanth Mannepuri | TEDxKIITUniversity

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Summary

In this video, Srikant Manipuri, a wildlife conservationist, photographer, and filmmaker, takes us on a journey through the diverse wildlife and environmental issues in Andhra Pradesh, a state in India. He showcases the incredible species that can be found in this region, ranging from the world's largest fish species to the smallest wild cat. However, he also highlights the threats faced by these species, such as the illegal pet trade and the devastating impact of plastic pollution. Srikant emphasizes the importance of raising awareness and using photography as a powerful tool for conservation.

Questions & Answers

Q: What are some of the unique species found in Andhra Pradesh?

Andhra Pradesh is home to a wide range of unique species, including the world's largest fish species, the world's smallest wild cat (Rusty spotted cat), over 150 species of birds, and the world's largest venomous snake.

Q: Can you tell us more about the Eastern G's landscape and the mangrove forest in Andhra Pradesh?

The Eastern G's landscape in Andhra Pradesh is the second longest wetland mangrove forest along the east coast of India. It is characterized by its rich biodiversity and is home to various species, including the fishing cat. The fishing cat is a highly nocturnal species whose activity depends on its habitat.

Q: What are some of the conservation efforts you undertake in Andhra Pradesh?

As a wildlife conservationist, Srikant works with local communities, institutions, and the Forest Department as a volunteer or consultant. He is a certified international scuba diver and has explored the marine biodiversity of coastal Andhra Pradesh. He incorporates traditional ecological knowledge from local people into his research and uses photography to tell stories and raise awareness.

Q: What is the impact of the illegal pet trade in India?

India has laws, such as the Wildlife Protection Act, to protect native species from being kept as pets. However, there is no law to protect non-native species, which has led to the illegal pet trade. This trade results in the export of many species, including birds, mammals, and reptiles, to other countries. Srikant warns against encouraging this trade and emphasizes the importance of protecting wildlife.

Q: How does plastic pollution affect marine life in Andhra Pradesh?

Srikant shares his experiences diving off the coast of Andhra Pradesh and highlights the pervasive issue of plastic pollution. He explains that plastic breaks down into smaller pieces, including microplastics, due to heat and improper disposal. The marine life, including fishes, that consumes these microplastics can transfer them to humans when consumed. This pollution leads to the deaths of numerous marine mammals each year, highlighting the urgent need for proper waste management.

Q: What are the consequences of unsustainable fishing practices in Andhra Pradesh?

Srikant showcases the unsustainable fishing practices in Andhra Pradesh, particularly the catching and sale of numerous shark species, including whale sharks, mobula rays, and other types of sharks. These species, some of which are the world's largest fish, face the threat of being killed for their gill rakers, which are used in Chinese medicine. Srikant questions the sustainability of such practices and highlights the need for conservation efforts.

Q: How was a whale shark rescued in Andhra Pradesh?

Srikant shares an inspiring story of a whale shark that became stranded on the coast of Andhra Pradesh. He explains how he and a team, comprising fishermen and Forest Department officials, worked together for several hours to rescue the two-ton whale shark. The success of this rescue operation led to a greater understanding of the importance of conserving these gentle giants and resulted in the Forest Department compensating the fishermen for their damaged nets.

Q: How has photography helped in conservation efforts?

Srikant discusses the role of photography in conservation. He shares how his photographs have raised awareness and brought attention to the wildlife and environmental issues in Andhra Pradesh. His images have won multiple national and international awards, including the BBC Award in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Through photography, he has been able to create strong management plans, support researchers, and involve the public in conservation efforts.

Q: What advice does Srikant have for aspiring wildlife photographers?

Srikant encourages aspiring wildlife photographers to start by exploring their own backyards and documenting the biodiversity within their local areas. He believes that photography is not only a means to showcase beauty and follow one's passion but also a way to make a difference. He emphasizes the importance of sharing images with the world to raise awareness and urges photographers to use their skills to save wildlife.

Q: How can individuals contribute to conservation efforts?

Srikant emphasizes the power of awareness in conservation. He encourages people to conduct awareness programs in colleges, schools, and institutions, sharing their images and stories. He personally engages in activities such as beach cleanups and promotes conservation through his photography. Srikant believes that every individual can make a difference by starting in their own communities and showcasing their images to drive change.

Takeaways

Srikant Manipuri's video highlights the incredible biodiversity found in Andhra Pradesh, as well as the environmental challenges faced by its wildlife. From the illegal pet trade to plastic pollution and unsustainable fishing practices, Srikant emphasizes the urgent need for awareness and conservation efforts. Through his photography, he has been able to capture the beauty of his hometown and share it with the world, while also making a tangible impact on conservation. He encourages individuals to start photographing their own backyards, raise awareness, and actively contribute to saving wildlife and their habitats.

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