Conservation and Research

The Western Ghats of southern India are home to some of the richest biodiversity on the planet but they are under severe threat from human activities including agriculture. At the Rainforest Retreat we emphasize biodiversity conservation through our agriculture practices, eco-tourism and daily living. We maintain a forest-like environment with a dense canopy of native trees, wild areas and natural streams. The tanks and ponds we have created provide refuge for a lot of interesting and rare herpto- and avian fauna.

Most landscapes are dominated by human activities—especially agriculture, therefore it is important to emphasize the link between sustainable agriculture practices and biodiversity conservation; hence our emphasis on Agro-ecology. Today, the Mojo Plantation spice farm is a living example of how biodiversity can be conserved and even thrive through sustainable practices. It serves as a window to the amazing diversity of the Ghats.

Our research activities are based around the documentation and identification of local biodiversity. We have documented several rare and new species and their behavior and published the results (click the link below). We have also conducted a comprehensive scientific study which demonstrated that organic plantations in Kodagu harbor significantly higher insect diversity than conventional ones using pesticides. We have also produced a coffee table book illustrating some of the rich diversity found here. We continue to encourage and host research scholars to undertake projects here.

Our comprehensive documentation of the local flora and fauna also serves as a valuable educational tool for students, farmers and a whole range of guests who visit our farm. We also raise awareness through a variety of student programs and hands-on workshops.