Biologist and conservation activist Johnsingh a source of inspiration for wildlife conservationists

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Chennai, Jun 8 (PTI) Biologist and conservation activist A J T Johnsingh, who passed away on June 7, has been a source of inspiration for wildlife conservationists across India and the legacy he left behind will guide generations.

Describing him as a luminary in wildlife conservation, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said John Singh’s dedication to “science-based conservation will continue to guide us.” The distinguished Indian wildlife biologist Asir Jawahar Thomas Johnsingh (October 14, 1945) died in Bengaluru due to ailment, his family said.

He was 78 and hails from Tamil Nadu. He is survived by sons Mike and Mervin “He leaves behind a rich legacy as a courageous environmental advocate and the strongest defender of the earth’s flora and fauna,” his family said.

Conveying his heartfelt tributes and deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, the Chief Minister in a post in the social media platform X said, “Tamil Nadu lost a leading light, Dr. A.J.T. Johnsingh, a luminary in wildlife conservation. His humility, compassion, and dedication to science-based conservation will continue to guide us.” With the passing away of Dr AJT Johnsingh, Tamil Nadu has lost a champion of wildlife conservation, Tamil Nadu Additional Chief Secretary, Environment Climate Change and Forests, Supriya Sahu said.

“He was humble, and compassionate yet assertive when he had to bring spotlight on wildlife. His legacy will continue to inspire generations of wildlife biologists and people passionate about nature conservation. Heartfelt tributes,” she said in a post on X.

He was the country’s foremost vertebrate ecologist and his key contribution to wildlife biology and conservation are huge. His efforts were crucial in establishing a few tiger reserves in India, a senior official in the forest department said.

His study of the Dhole in Bandipur National Park was the first study of a free-ranging animal by an Indian scientist.

Johnsingh was a source of great inspiration for hundreds of wildlife conservationists in the country and his lectures and publications were resource material, according to N Raveendran of Iragugal Amritha Trust in Madurai.

“We can’t hear his voice anymore, but we can hear him in the chirp of every bird, roar of every tiger and trumpet of every tusker. Generous beyond comparison and teacher beyond equal, we the Johnsingh family know that he has left behind legacy difficult to match in the world of conservation,” a statement from the family said. PTI ROH