Saturday, April 28, 2012

Panasonic Lumix and National Geographic Collaboration Report - Counting Species in India

As I've reported in the past, Panasonic and National Geographic have formed a collaboration, which is super exciting to me. They have just issued a brief report about working with a researcher who studies biodiversity in India's Pakke Tiger Reserve.

Image Source:
Hornbills Are One of the Most Important Seed Dispersers in the Indian Rainforest
(Click Here) to see the first episode, which includes a link to a four page pdf document.

The Lumix team worked with Dr. Aparajita Datta, who has spent over a decade studying and working to conserve the tropical forests in Northeastern India. Her research focuses on the "phenology" of the forest, which is the flowering and fruit bearing behavior of trees, to understand the baseline patterns of the forest, and detect any changes. The phenology includes study of trees whose seeds are spread by mammals, birds, and wind. Following is a quote from the report:"“Understanding connections and interaction between animals and plants is the part of my work I find most exciting,” Dr. Datta says. The area is home to five different species of hornbills, and Dr. Datta studies their role as seed dispersers. In tropical forests, 80 percent to 90 percent of tree species bear fruits that animals disperse so these birds are critical to the ecosystem. In addition to her scientific work, Dr. Datta has a passion for educating the next generation of engaged citizens. She has co-written two books for children on hornbills and rain forests and produced other educational material to foster a greater awareness and appreciation of Indian wildlife among urban and rural children." In addition to a short video with Dr. Datta, and eleven still photos, the site includes a second gallery of images from India.

I very much look forward to the coming episodes two and three, which promise to include many more exciting images from the collaboration.
Working in Science and being an avid photographer (and Lumix fan), I can't imagine a better match-up of my interests.