Bournemouth University Centre for Ecology, Environment and Sustainability

The Bournemouth University Centre for Ecology, Environment and Sustainability is the multi-disciplinary research team leading Project Mahseer.

At A Glance

The Bournemouth University Centre for Ecology, Environment and Sustainability is a multi-disciplinary research team of geographers, environmental scientists, and ecologists which is leading Project Mahseer.

Bournemouth University’s Centre for Ecology, Environment and Sustainability aims to undertake internationally recognised research on environmental change and its impacts on biodiversity, and solutions to protect the environment. Specialist interests include remote sensing, the ecology of birds, fish, invertebrates, mammals and plants, in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. Its research is designed to support effective policy development and implementation, and the Centre has strong links with conservation practitioners and policymakers locally, regionally and internationally.

Bournemouth University is the lead partner in collaboration with Wildlife Institute of India, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), WWF-India, the Mahseer Trust, and Shoal, that envisions the conservation and recovery of the hump-backed mahseer, a Critically Endangered species of freshwater fish endemic to the Western Ghats of India.

The hump-backed mahseer population has decreased by 90 per cent in the last 15 years. But due to a case of mistaken identity, the fish disappeared unnoticed from South India’s River Cauvery until research led by Dr Adrian Pinder, director of Bournemouth University’s Global Environmental Solutions and director of The Mahseer Trust, highlighted the giant carp’s plight.

Synchronicity Earth’s sister organisation Shoal catalysed Project Mahseer, a collaborative initiative to save this remarkable group of fish from extinction. The project focuses on conserving these species across their range, in turn contributing towards the conservation of some of Asia’s most biodiverse and threatened river systems. While the initial objective is to focus on the conservation of the Critically Endangered hump-backed mahseer, it is hoped this will be the first of many projects which are undertaken under this new initiative. Project Mahseer intends to be a long-term initiative operating over a long-time horizon.