The latest survey by Malabar Natural History Society (MNHS), has revealed that the lush Green IIM Kozhikode campus, is home to some of the most fascinating life forms, richly endowed with wildlife of very high conservation value.

The campus is now home to 668 species of flora, and fauna in its 113 acres, and the survey was able to record 350 plant species, 189 invertebrates, 19 amphibians, 22 reptiles, 69 birds, and 19 mammalian species.

Director IIM Kozhikode, Debashis Chatterjee, and Sathyan Meppayur, Secretary, Malabar Natural History Society Kozhikode, jointly released the ‘Biodiversity@IIM Kozhikode’ report at the IIMK Campus.

The collaboration between IIMK, and MNHS, was initiated by the Institute’s ‘Campus Green Initiative Committee’ (CGIC), and student’s sustainability club Ekology.

The biodiversity survey conducted by IIMK, and MNHS, was a multidisciplinary approach, integrating botanical, zoological, and ecological perspectives. Through field expeditions, data collection, and rigorous analysis, the survey aimed at compiling comprehensive inventories of plant, and animal species inhabiting the campus of IIMK. The survey unravelled that IIM Kozhikode is a microcosm of the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot, renowned for its ecological features, ranging from lush rainforests to coastal habitats, harbouring an array of endemic species.

Debashis Chatterjee said, “Biodiversity conservation has emerged as a global priority, considering the challenges posed by climate change, habitat loss, and species decline. As an institute of global prominence, we recognise the importance of environmental stewardship, and the role we play in promoting sustainable development. This biodiversity assessment stands as a testament to our dedication to creating a greener, and more ecologically conscious campus.”

Sathyan Meppayur said, the collaboration between academic institutions like IIMK, and grassroots organisations like the Malabar Natural History Society, is a testament to the power of partnerships in addressing complex environmental challenges. By leveraging their respective expertise, and resources, these institutions have been able to conduct a comprehensive survey that spans diverse habitats, and taxa, yielding invaluable insights into the ecological dynamics of the region.”

The survey unveiled numerous rare, and endemic plant species within IIM Kozhikode campus, ranging from Holigarna Arnottiana endemic to the Southern Western Ghats, to Bismarckia Nobilis from Madagascar, Kigelia Africana from Africa, and Acacia Auriculiformis from Australia, among others.

Some other interesting finds include noteworthy species such as Papilio Buddha Malabar Banded Peacock, which is the state butterfly of Kerala - legally protected under Schedule II of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972) - along with its larval host plant, Zanthoxylum Rhetsa, Indian Prickly Ash. The second-largest butterfly in India, Troides minos the Southern Birdwing, which is also the state butterfly of Karnataka, was also documented in this survey.

The survey recorded a total of 69 birdspecies, which represented a diverse range of avian families, and included both resident and migratory birds.