The location

The upcoming IISER -TVM campus in Vithura is ca. 40 km from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. This speciose, rainforested region in the Southern Western Ghats mountain system is part of Western Ghats and Sri Lanka biodiversity hotspot, and is known to harbour a great degree of endemism. The campus of about 200 acres includes substantial streches of semi-evergreen and moist-deciduous jungle. The adjoining reserved forest is contiguous with one of the best tracts of primary rainforest in India - the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve, which includes the Peppara, Neyyara & Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuaries, as well as the Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.

Preliminary surveys on campus and data from other studies in adjoining areas indicate the presence of a species rich flora and fauna, with several threatened species. Biodiversity related studies in the locality have been isolated and usually directed towards specific groups. We endeavour to systematically survery the biodiversity on campus and the localilities around, with help from taxonomic experts and students of the institute. We also plan to set up two long-term monitoring plots in 2013 - one within the campus and the second in the adjoining reserved forest belt.

A few photos of the upcoming campus.