Mr S. A. Hussain – Mangalorean Star

Mr S. A. Hussain – Mangalorean Star brings to its readers Mr. S. A. Hussain, our star for the month of September 2009. Mr. Hussain, is a renowned ornithologist and environmentalist, who has specialized in Field Ornithology & General Ecology. He was born to Haji Syed Hussain and Kulsum Hussain, on August 13th 1944 at Karkala, Karnataka and he joined the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) as a Research Assistant in 1969 in the Bird Migration Project, where he participated in many field assignments and ecological expeditions of Drs Salim Ali and Dillon Ripley on behalf of BNHS. From 1980-90 he was the Principal Scientist for BNHS. He has done fieldwork and published scientific papers on rare Indian species such as the Narcondam Hornbill, Himalayan Honeyguide and the Blacknecked Crane and has over 35 years of field research in Natural History, Ecology as well as leading multi-disciplinary research teams. In addition to this, he is also experienced in planning and organising seminars, and conferences at regional, national and international levels. His hobbies include nature walking, music and travel and his favourite books include those written by Jim Corbett.

Mr. Hussain has participated the Bonn Convention; Biodiversity Convention; Ramsar Convention and the International Ornithological Congress. He also hold a portfolio of impressive overseas assignments which include the post of Development Director, Asian Wetland Bureau, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Vice-Chairman of the Asia Division of the BirdLife International and Member of the Governing council, Birdlife International Cambridge, UK. Currently he is the President of the Biodiversity Initiative Trust, Mangalore and a Member for the Karnataka State Wild Life Board.

Mr S. A. Hussain speaks to on those interests that are very close to his heart.

What is the prime factor that brought about an interest in the field ornithology and general ecology?
The environment that I grew up in, in Karkala, had an initial impact on my interest in nature, but the prime factor that made me get seriously interested in ornithology and general ecology was my association with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). I had some vague idea that BNHS was a membership organization and they published books and journals in natural history of Asian region and that Dr. Salim Ali was associated with it. So, way back in 1969 when I joined as a Research Assistant in one of their field stations of the Bird Migration Project, I was quite impressed by the dedication, discipline and methodical field work along with the friendly work culture, encouragement for pursuing individual interest in nature. The emphasis was on meticulous recording of scientific data, gaining broad based knowledge of field ecology and tempering one’s behavior with modesty and honesty. It was that magic informality, friendly and honest atmosphere and the sincerity of the people working in the BNHS that made me realize that I must make the best of my career here.

In later years, as I developed my confidence and took on more and more responsible work, I was to realize how important was my initial grounding in shaping that confidence to face greater challenges. Peer pressure was one of the factors that kept one always on one’s toes. We were constantly challenged, tested and pushed by colleagues and other fellow researchers and it was a constant battle to be upto the mark either in our discourses or in the writings of scientific papers.

What is the influence of your birth place Anekere Karkala in shaping your career?
Though I was a happy child, last of a brood of ten, in a family as any, I was somehow developing an odd curiosity of looking around to examine a bird, an insect or a flower or anything that looked unusual to me. My companions in play would not understand what they perhaps thought was my odd behavior and would make fun of me. Quite often I would find myself excluded from their games and whenever that happened I would slowly drift towards Anekere and sit alone lost in my world.

Anekere was indeed a virtual window to the wonders of nature to me. There were frisky dragonflies which performed incredible flight patterns, there were birds of various sizes, shapes and colors, and the fish that came very close to shore to escape from being eaten by the bigger ones. I never tired of watching the White breasted Kingfisher that kept up its relentless sallies to get a fish. Apart from the aquatic plants, water insects, fish, reptiles (there were water snakes and turtles too) and birds; that heady smell of the marsh was sheer magic and that magic was to stay forever in my life.

Did you receive encouragement and support from your parents, relatives and friends?
My frequent escapades to the fringe of Anekere, sometimes much past the failing evening light, did cause some alarm to my parents and servants were dispatched to all corners of the lake to drag me in. They generally ignored my idiosyncrasies and left me to my devises so long as I studied my school lessons and generally kept myself clean. My father had a double barreled shot gun which he never used, but my elder brothers and my uncle occasionally went out to shoot ducks and other water birds at Anekere. I never failed to accompany them when this happened for it gave me an opportunity and excitement to actually hold the shot birds in hand and study them. I used to hang on to them, savoring every bit of the colors of the feathers, the shape of the body until a servant would forcibly take them away from me to dismember them for the pot. My curiosity was satisfied but strangely, I never felt sentimental about dead birds as such.

I shall never forget two early everlasting lessons I learnt – one from my mother and the other from my brother. These were my earliest lessons in nature conservation. My first lesson was when I was about six years old. In the backyard of our house next to a large cattle pen there used to be a Ramphal tree (Anona reticulosa). One day I discovered that a pair of brilliantly colored purple-rumped sunbirds had built their nest on the edge of slender branch. For sometime I watched them going in and out of their nest – flimsy, unkempt gossamer wrapped bundle of dry leaves. My curiosity to see what lay inside the nest was growing. And finally one day gathering enough courage I climbed the tree. In my eagerness to reach the thin branch at the end of which the nest preciously hung, I lost my balance and came crashing down with the branch and the nest in my grip.

A pair of hands pulled me up from the ground and my mother, who had seen me fall, had rushed in full of motherly concern, to dust me up and comfort me when she saw the branch with nest in my hand. Next thing I knew was that my ears were almost being wrenched from my head and my normally gentle mother, now an epitome of wrath and fury, shaking me up rather violently. I could not understand why I was being subjected to this rough treatment. She sternly pointed at the nest and warned me in no uncertain terms that, it was alright to just look at the birds but that if she ever finds me so much as touch a nest or eggs or their young, she would not only peel the skin off my back but also starve me to death. She then made a servant boy to tie the broken branch back high on the tree and sternly warned that if the sunbird parents didn’t comeback to the nest she will banish me from the house.

I was desolate all through the day not because of the fate of the birds but because my mother who loved me most had refused to speak to me for the rest of the day. It was the next morning as I was under the Ramphal tree watching the sunbirds back in the nest when I felt my mothers loving arms over my shoulders and I learnt my first lesson in nature conservation.

My second lesson was learnt a few months later and this time the scene was Anekere. I had been watching a pair of whistling ducks with a brood of nine ducklings feeding in the shallow edge of the pond while one of the babies got entangled with long weeds, unable to free itself (it was the youngest of the brood hence apparently weakest). Its parents and siblings, oblivious of the fate of the youngster, had slowly drifted away. Here was a baby that had been inadvertently abandoned by its family which I thought, needed to be rescued since it would either drown or be eaten by some predator. I decided to free the baby and bring it home to look after it. I put the fluffy baby in my shirt pocket and sauntered casually back home.

Before anybody could detect what I was up to, I kept the baby in a small basket after stuffing it with rags and kept it on the top of a cupboard where it could not be seen and sat with my school bag pretending to be doing my homework. About an hour later my elder brother walked into the room with the basket and told me rather quietly (which was menacing enough for me – he was a school teacher who knew how to tame any unruly pupil) that I should take back the baby and leave it where I had found it.

Many years later when I was seriously into researching avian ecology, I recalled these two early lessons – that a) parental instinct is so strong in feeding parents that the birds will come back to feed their young even if the nest itself is disturbed (brooding parents tend to abandon the nest & eggs) and b) mortality of the weak and last of the brood is a normal phenomenon in large brooded non-precoccial birds.

Causes and circumstances to choose this career?
Like everybody else my early ambition was to become a doctor, an engineer or a pilot. Both in school and college I was an average student without much academic or extracurricular brilliance. Being interested in nature was not glamorous in those days. My attempts to get selected for medical seat failed miserably and my general health took a beating by frequent bouts of rheumatic fever. Inevitably I had to settle for biology as my career. Luckily for me I got my first job as a research assistant in BNHS field station and never looked back thereafter. It was an exciting, challenging and upward climb all the way.

Whom do you propose as your guide in your career and why?
It is undoubtedly Salim Ali who is responsible for guiding and shaping not only my career but also my entire personality in later half of my life. He was a hard taskmaster who believed in teaching by example. Meticulous and methodical, with painstaking attention to minutest of details, he would never tolerate any shoddy work from his students or colleagues. Intolerance was so acute that often he would launch into a cutting tirade against the hapless transgressor – if only for a few minutes. He would however cool down soon after, devoid of any rancor. On the other hand he would never hesitate to accept his own mistakes and even sincerely apologize for any wrongly made comments.

It was extremely difficult for a beginner to gain his confidence, but once one passes that hurdle and gains his trust, which may take several years of sheer hard work, and achieves exceptional order, there are no more barriers. The master and the pupil share the same thoughts, ideas, sentiments and outlook. Very few, if at all, have achieved that distinction. The other ultimate sharing point between the guru and shishya was that subtle sense of humor that would come across clearly in his conversations.

Sincerity and brevity was his forte and his writings in English language were delightfully readable. He would write and re-write a sentence several times over until its meaning comes through clearly and up to the point. In the final effect it always appeared to be an easy flow of thoughts. He had a simple and child-like curiosity about things around him and would keep his mind open to any bits of information he could glean from any source, however lowly it may be. He could be asking a scientist the intricacy of the working of his latest scientific invention and in the next instant he would, with equal humility, asking some road side basket weaver about the fine art of his weaving.

The other side of his personality spectrum was his aversion for anyone who is given to pompous boastful behavior and talks too much. Salim Ali would never let go the opportunity of puncturing the inflated egos with sarcastic but subtle comments interjected in all apparent innocence, and the poor victim, if he is clever enough, would soon realize his mistake. If the person is too “full of himself” to ignore the warning shot, he would be told in no uncertain terms to shut up and leave.

I slowly but surely absorbed most of these lessons that were never meant to be taught in the conventional sense. They were inculcated over the years, slowly but surely. Knowledge as never meant to be flaunted but to be shared. A good teacher also happens to be a good student at the same time.

Which are the most memorable moments to place in a record in your career?
The most memorable moment in my career was in 1971 when I was given the sole responsibility of planning, organizing and implementing a field project which required initiative, enterprise, intelligence and courage. Narcondam Island is the remotest and most uninhabited in the Andaman group. It is a volcanic island nearer to Myanmar, rising abruptly to an altitude of 900 m from the deepest part of the Bay of Bengal. I was to live on that island for about two months along with an assistant to study the flora and fauna, particularly the rarest and endemic Narcondam hornbill which is not found anywhere else in the world. It was tough but equally exciting assignment.

I had to organize the logistics, permissions (special permit needed from Govt. of India to land on that island), travel, local administrative support, boats, wireless communication arrangements and food supply apart from camping equipment etc. I also had to organize a police party to drop me in the island in a special boat. Being an uninhabited island there was no landing facility and we had to not only jump onto the shore between crashing waves but also get our equipment and supplies on shore. I stayed in the island like Robinson Crusoe for nearly two months, studying the flora and fauna and later published the first ever paper on the ecology of the rare Narcondam Hornbill. That was a pioneering effort which helped to build my confidence for taking part in many more such expeditions during my tenure at BNHS.
My other memorable moments were during my travel to the remotest part of high altitude wetlands of Ladakh, almost on China border, to study and publish scientific paper on the ecology of the rare Blacknecked crane; to do a pioneering field study on the ecology and behavior of the rare Himalayan Orangerumped Honeyguide in Central Bhutan mountains; expedition to the Rann of Kutch to record the breeding of the Greater and Lesser Flamingos as also organizing and taking part in all the ornithological expeditions of Salim Ali and Dillon Ripley to the Simlipal Tiger Reserve in Orissa, the Melghat Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, Bhutan, Himalayas and the remotest NE hill forests of Arunachal Pradesh.

With regard to conservation and management of the environment in India according to you, what is the present trend and what will be the future demand?
India seems to be at crossroads as far as conservation and management of environment is concerned. On the one hand there is definitely a greater awareness among the general public about the need to preserve environment from the ravages of pollution etc. Thanks to the emphasis in schools and colleges about environmental education and awareness, the younger generation is much more concerned and wants to do their bit.

On the other hand with the sheer volume of so called progress coupled with population explosion, matters seem to go out of hand and are impossible to manage. This is particularly so in urban development and industrial sectors. Inspite of the awareness created, the majority of population simply do not seem to care about the environment. Even the so ca1led social elite in urban areas and industrial giants seem to be offering only lip service to pollution problems. Profit motive seems to override the responsibility of minimizing environmental damage.

On the other side of the spectrum, in rural and forested areas a different kind of pressure seems to be building up. Large scale encroachments of prime forest lands both by the poor and the rich for various reasons create another anomalous situation which is exploited by certain vested interests.

Everybody wants to become rich in the shortest possible time and no one is prepared to do hard work and take risks. Everyone wants shortcuts. India seems to be suffering from some kind of mental block in terms of achieving progress. In contrast, the Philippines which has economic condition similar to India seems to have achieved far more progress. Let me give a comparative example.

As the Director of the Asian Wetland Bureau, I was involved in advising the Philippine Govt. on overcoming the problems faced by their fishing industry. Due to earlier ill advised large scale aquaculture, the production of fishery crashed over the years and the coastal communities were rea1ly suffering and the economy was also in doldrums because the marine fish exports had drastically declined. We quickly put together an international expert group to look into the problem on ground and come up with some solutions which required changes in the local fishery practices and general cooperation of the villagers in coastal areas. The people willingly accepted this and were able to overcome their problems slowly but surely over a few years and today their fishery is not only in top gear but sustainable on long term basis. The general all round economic condition of the Philippines is much better than India today. That is because the people of Philippines wanted the change and were willing to help themselves.

In contrast to this, the outlook of Indian populace is entirely opposite. Sometime ago I participated in a seminar on so-ca1led “matsya kshama” conducted in Mangalore. It was obvious that everybody was harping on government cash subsidies, diesel subsidies, support price from govt., tax concessions, loan waivers from govt. etc., No one was talking about the solutions to overcome the problem or how best the systems can be changed to Get better and sustainable yields. No one was willing to learn lessons from elsewhere so that they can improve their own lot. No one was

willing to wait for solutions to be found so that in the long run everybody benefits. How can you expect to attain progress with this kind of mental attitude?
The Kudremukh Wildlife Division has been vacating the adivasis. According to you is the stand taken by this department correct or not.

I think the whole issue is misunderstood by a majority of common people. I do not want to go into the intricacies of the meaning of the term “adivasis” here. It will be too long a debate. The Kudremukh Wildlife Division is a very small arm of a greater government machinery that looks after our precious forest wealth. This small arm is carrying out only the instructions from higher ups. In this case it is no less than an order from the Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court has ruled that a minimum portion of the forest wealth of India needs to be protected at all cost under a provision of the Constitution of India. This has a sound scientific basis.

Encroachment of protected land by any individual is illegal and the law requires that he be evicted. It is as simple as that. It is the responsibility of the government of the day (Central & State) to ensure this and while doing so they will have to take a policy decision as to how they will solve the human problem. They will have to provide alternatives for those genuine persons displaced first – which is so called “adivasis”. Then there are other deliberate and habitual offenders who grab forest land out of sheer greed. In both cases it is the responsibility of the law makers – local MLAs’ and MP’s to ensure that the people are made to understand the law as also to make suitable arrangements for resettlement of both legal and illegal encroachers. Ironically, these very law makers instead of carrying out their responsibilities, get into vote bank politics and help to break the very law they have passed in the government. The officials who are made to carry out the orders are made the scapegoats in this murky political game. Having said all this, yes, I fully agree that the stand taken by Kudremukh Wildlife Division is not to be faulted since they are only doing their duty. If the people feel they suffer because of this, let them go to their representatives local MLA’s and M.P’s to find alternate solutions for their woes.

You have participated in many national and international conferences/ workshops. Kindly share your experiences with us.

Besides participating in many national and international conferences/ workshops I have also been involved with organizing and conducting some major events in Asia and western countries. It is indeed a great experience to work with experts and people of different nationalities. A tremendous amount of goodwill and camaraderie is generated at these meetings and one gets to increase one’s capacity to assimilate knowledge from various cultures and societies. Of course there are language barriers, different perceptions, varied outlooks and style of functioning but in the end it is all fun to be there and learn a lot.

The Japanese are quite polite and will never oppose your point of view directly though they may not agree with you. But once they start trusting you, you can have the best teamwork on any issues. Americans are an overbearing lot and behave as if they know everything and tend to dominate the discussions. Unfortunately for them this very trait isolates them in a multi country debate. British, though a bit condescending, will restrain themselves and are willing to hear other’s point of view. All other third world countries, particularly Africans and SE & west Asians, are a happy-go-lucky lot and are fun to work with. Unfortunately our own South Asians, with the exception of Sri Lanka and Nepal, talk too much and put on a bit of air which is usually resented by smaller nations.

On the whole, unlike political meetings, all environment related conferences and workshops are conducted in a very friendly atmosphere and participants very quickly build up a good rapport among themselves.

My best and happiest experience was at Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan in 1993. It was the “Ramsar” global Conference on Wetland ecology in which over 3000 delegates from 79+ countries took part. Kushiro is a delightful little coastal town in the northern part of Japan and the entire city was decked up with festoons, banners, and artifacts for receiving the delegates. The enthusiasm of the local people, media and the host government was indeed palpable. It was a great time for me for, apart from being fully involved in organizing the meetings, chairing scientific sessions & technical committees, I was also the only Asian representative out of six participants from all over the world to take part in a live worldwide TV debate on wetland conservation issues.

The Japanese national TV network NHK not only made me their main international anchorman to telecast in English about the daily progress of the conference, but also made a special documentary on Japanese fishing community with me as the anchorman. My most delightful moment was the final banquet of the conference when the entire Kushiro citizens with their families attended the dinner festivities. Among them I met a Japanese family with a cute little one year old girl who became very friendly with me. Next morning Japan’s leading national daily newspaper Ashahi Shimbun splashed on its front page a large photograph of myself holding up the little baby!

What is your message to the student community?
Though our older generation is too old to change and bring changes in their lifestyle, what with corruption, ignorance, negligence, greed and all the failings of human kind, I still have great hope in our younger generation, particularly the student community. Rapid advances in science and technology in the communication field has brought the world together to share the knowledge base. We only need to assimilate this within our lifestyles and bring revolutionary change in our outlook, approaches to problem solving and generally shake ourselves out of the shackles we seem to have been trapped in. Do not accept any system that does not help anyone. Be bold and ask questions as to why anything should not be changed for better.

Look around with your own vision, imagination and ideas and collectively bring in changes – in attitudes, personalities, lifestyles and work for greater common good.

Bird Life International-U.K.
Vice-Chairman – BirdLife Asia Council. Tokyo (1992-2000)
Board Member – BirdLife Executive Council. U.K.(92-2000)
International Ornithological Congress: Member – IOC Committee XXII IOC Vienna -1998.
Government of India: Member – National Committee for Wetlands Mangroves & Coral Reefs. (1992-97)

State Govts:
Member – Bihar State Government Committee for Research and Development of Wetlands of Bihar (1992-97)
Member – Punjab State Government Committee for R&D of Harike & other lakes of Punjab State.(1992-2002)
External Examiner: M.Sc. by Research, A.M.U. Aligarh – 1992
External Examiner: Ph.D by Research, Gujarat University. 1993
Visiting Professor – Kuvempu University, Karnataka

Present Position: Chairman, Biodiversity Initiative Trust, India.

Vice-Chairman, BirdLife Asia Council, Tokyo.(1992-2002)
Council Member, BirdLife International, Cambridge.(1992-2002)
Hon. Wildlife Warden, Udupi Distt. Karnataka. (2004- )
Member, Karnataka State Wildlife Advisory Board (2006 – )
1994-96 – Visiting Professor, University of Malaya.
1992-94 – Development Director, Wetlands International Asia-Pacific Malaysia (Formerly Asian Wetland Bureau)
1985-92 – Principal Scientist – BNHS Bird Migration Project Coordinator – ODA\BNHS Project
1980-85 – Project Scientist, BNHS Avifauna Project
1979 – Actg. Asst. Curator – BNHS
1970-79 – Sr. Research Assistant, BNHS Ornithology.
1969-70 – Research Assistant, Bird Migration Project.
• Over thirty years experience in International Conservation Agencies – organizing, fundraising, coordinating and network building.
• Over 25 years of field research in Natural History, Ecology as well as leading multi-disciplinary research teams.
• Over 15 years experience in Management of Research Units and supervising individual research of M.Sc., and Ph,D’s in field ecology.
• Participated in several international Conventions and Congresses such as Bonn Convention; Biodiversity Convention; Ramsar Convention; International

Ornithological Congress:

USA 1982 USFWS/Smithsonian Visiting Scholar
• Smithsonian Institution, Washington
• Laboratory of Ornithology, Cornell University
• International Crane Foundation, Wisconsin
• Petauxent Wildlife Research Center, W. Virginia
• San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge, California
• Welder Wildlife Foundation, Texas
• Arkansas Wildlife Refuge, Texas
• Everglades National Park, Miami, Florida
• New York Zoological Society, New York
U.K. 1982 British Council/ RSPB Visiting Scholar
• Edward Gray Institute of Ornithology, Oxford University
• British Museum (Natural History), Tring
• British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Tring
• Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Monkswood
• Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge
• BBC Natural History Film Unit, Bristol
• World Conservation Monitoring Center, Cambridge
• Nature Conservancy Council HQ, Peterborough
• Royal Society for Protection of Birds(RSPB) HQ & Reserves
Holland 1985 STRASBOSBEHEER Visiting Scholar
• Dutch Waddensee Research Station, Texel
• Institute of Ecology, Wageningen University
U.K. 1986 ODA/British Council Visiting Scholar
• Promoting Indo-British Technical Cooperation in Environmental Research.
• Institute of Terrestrial Ecology
• British Museum (Natural History)
• British Trust for Ornithology
• Animal Ecology Research Group(AERG) Oxford U.
• World Pheasant Association

Major Papers:
• Some aspects of the Biology and Ecology of Narcondam Hornbill (Rhyticeros narcondami). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 81(1):1984.
• Some notes on the Ecology and status of the Orangerumped Honeyguide (Indicator xanthonotus) in the Himalayas (with Salim Ali) JBNHS 80(3) 1984.
• Status of Blacknecked Crane in Ladakh 1983 – Problems and Prospects. JBNHS 82:449-458.
• Coastal Wetlands – Major Ecological Entities for wading Shore birds. pp 200-212., in The Ecology and Management of Wetlands Vol.1. Eds. J.Hook & others. 1988. Croom Helm. London.
• Wetlands in Asia-Pacific Region: Strategies for mobilising Action for their protection and sustainable use. pp 27-35.,in Widening Prespectives on Biodiversity. Eds. Krattiger, 1994. IUCN. Geneva.
• Status and distribution of White-winged Black Tit in Kachch, Gujarat India. Bird Conservation International, 1992 2:115-122.ICBP Cambridge
• Biodiversity of the Western Ghats of Karnataka – Resource Potential & Sustainable Utilisation. Ed. 1999. Biodiversity Initiative Trust. Mangalore
• Kudremukh National Park, Karnataka: A Profile and a Strategy for the Future, JBNHS 100 (2-3) : 202-213. –Aug- Dec 2003.



Shiva, India:
IN his memory we conducted the 2nd year Memorial day at Bhuvanendra college on 3rd October 2011, Monday.

Harshit Singh, India:
Never had the privilege to meet and when had it last year at the Great Himalayan Bird Count 2009- Got an bronchitos attack, couldnt come up… Always had been a big fan of you and Dr. Salim Ali.
You shall never die in our hearts.

Sarvotham Shetty – Abu Dhabi, UAE:
May his soul Rest in Peace.

Bharat Bhushan, India:
Rest in Peace, my dear friend, guru, teacher, mentor, and most affectionate critic.

Anil Kunte, India, India:
I am proud of my friend Dr.S.A.Hussain who has achieved such great merits. However sad to hear that he passed away on 30.12.2009

Bharat Bhushan, India:
Though I had read this article earlier, I had not noticed the comments portion. I feel left out if I would not be able to write up.

Hussain Sahebji, Congratulations on a well researched and well written interview. Its good to know that birders are valued in India.

Very few of us know the hidden stories, the trauma, the troubles and the pain behind all these achievements. A fewer number of friends know that you have achieved all this in spite of your continuing ill health.

An absolutely very few of us know, and I came to know of it only very recently, that you achieved all these laurels in spite of being unwell even before you started on your journey. That really speaks of your persistence, guts and determination. I am totally amazed because I have known you for quite some years, and have been part of your adventures in the mind and in real-time situations.

You have been a guru and mentor. Thank you.

Suresh C Sharma, India:
Always a pleasure to read a great ornithologist’s words. Nice photographs. I must admit I have grown a bit wiser though too late.

Lima Rosalind, India:
I have had the privilege of not only knowing you but also working with you… a double bonus for me!!! I was always fascinated by your quick uptake, your sense of humour and your large hearted kindness!! Even as a boss you were sensitive to our needs and gave us freedom to achieve our potential.
Thank you,Mr. Hussain!!

I always knew you were larger than what you portrayed and your quiet demeanor in under playing your achievements came easily to you!!! I wish you well and pray that many more achievements await you… God bless.

ABDUL HAMEED, Saudi Arabia:

K.RAO, India:
We need more people like MR. S.A. HUSSAIN shining brightly in the horizon as stars to bring awareness about mother nature & stop the abuses heaped on her. Its good for our own survival as well for our future generation. God bless you Mr Hussain!

Abdul Hadi Shaikh, India:
It was indeed good to know that such a learned and widely traveled person is now one of my acquaintances. It is a honor to be in your company and may God bestow you good health so you may continue shining like a star!

Kindest regards
Abdul Hadi Shiakh

Dr S V Narasimhan, India:
Respected Hussain Sir,

We are indeed proud of you. I join the others in congratulating you. In honouring you, Mangalorians have honoured themselves. Please visit Coorg again.



Amarnath Bantwal, Australia:
Truly inspirational! This one’s a Mangalorean Star beyond compare.

Sayed Umar Farooq/Karkala/Dubai, UAE:
I consider my self lucky to meet Mr. Hussain uncle personally, German Philosopher Mr. Immanual Kant says, “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” I am very proud to have Mr. Hussain uncle in our locale that is Karkala/Anekere after having all that honors he is such a simple and down to earth personality you just love to see his simplicity he carries with him.

I wish him all the best for his future life and pray to almighty Allah to grant him all the success. Ameen.

Muhammed, India:
Salaam, Dr. Uncle, realy you have done very good work.

Habeeb, Nasreen Habeeb. Uchila, Udupi, Saudi Arabia:
Congratulations, Husain Sab,
We proud of you. Hats off to you. We met Mr. Husain Sab in Jeddah yesterday and very much impresed. He is a great personality and friendly person. May allah bless you in all your future endeavours.

Fayaz Ahmed Karkal, Qatar:
i am a big fan of Dr. Salim Ali. I also have read about Dr. Hussain in a kannada magazine about 20 years back. I am really proud of this gentleman since he is from my town and since he is from Anekere. He deserves salutes from all of us for his great love for nature and species. i was looking for details about him for long time. have done great job by publishing Dr. Hussain article. keep it up guys….

Dr.Bharathesh Karkala, India:
Hussainji is a Great naturalist of our country.We the Karkalians are very proud to say that he belongs to karkala.He has inspired so many young students in and arround karkala. May he live longer and guide us all.

Ravi Shetty, Qatar:
Honoring a unique Environmentalist Mr.S.A.Hussain from our Tulu Nadu by Mr.Violet Pereira of is quite apt and is really praiseworthy specially at this age of Global Warming, glacier melting at Himalayan Mountain and so on .Going through the Article will really motivate the readers and I would like to congratulate Mr.Hussain for his awesome achievement.

Best wishes
Ravi Shetty
Tulu Koota Qatar

Clement, UAE:
Dear Sir, Congratulations on your Great Achievements. Superb. Thanks to “Violet Pereira” for nice article about this great personality, which is an inspiration to our young generation.

Anup B Prakash, India:
I was not aware of this person till a friend showed me this article.

He is definitely a great inspiration for budding naturalists like us.

Shrikantha Rao, Virajpet, Coorg, India:
Dear Sir, I had a chance of accompanying you with Dr. Narasimhan and Dr. Prabhakar Acharya for a birdwatching session in Virajpet. That was a wonderful experience for me. Many tips on birdwatching really help me much. Now I came to know more about you. As a birdwatcher, I feel proud of you sir. Congratulations.

Mubashir Ahmed Mushtaq, IBM-Raleigh-North Carolina, USA., USA :
Dr. Uncle. Congratulation. Your Dream Comes True and you are flying like rocket. god bless you.

mubashir s/o mushtaq/karkala.

Munthazir Ahmed Mushtaq, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia., Saudi Arabia:
We all Indians proud of you. Congratulation.

We extend our heartiest goodwishes and congratulate you.
We are all proud of you.


Dr.Mohammed Shafi Mushtaq, Yenepoyya Hospital, Mangalore:, India:
Dr. Uncle

I am realy proud of you and you are one of the best, you deserve. many congratulations.

Guruprasad Timmapur, India:

I had the privilege of meeting you in Karkala 2 yrs ago, thanks to my friend Shiva.

You are an inspiration to us, with your sheer knowledge as an ornithologist and conservationist.

Mrs.Fareeda Noorulla, Reema. Bengalooru, India:
Dear Ati Chacha,

Cogratulations …! You are an International figure having Admirers n Fan following irrespective of Age & sex.

We all wish you Good health.

M. Iqbal Manna & Family, Qatar:
Dear Mr. Hussain Bhai/ Ms. Violet

You deserve appreciation for all your hard work. A person who never been exposed in any media for his dedication and efforts has finally been highlighted by M.COM team. Yes… Ms. Violet Pereira, you are known to be an expert in exposing the hidden talents of Mangalorean stars. Keep up your hard work.

I met Mr. Hussain in my recent visit to Udupi at a marriage function. A simple, smiling personality never looked like a great scientist. Soft spoken person has a special character of friendly approach. Tulu Nadu is proud of you. Great achievements. Keep going.

Violent what next? Sure something surprise as usual. Hats off to you for all your efforts by highlighting great personalities from tulu nadu.

Best Wishes,
M. Iqbal Manna, Doha
Mrs. Ramiza Rahamath Doha (Sabiya Iqbal Manna)
Miss. Nida Manna, Doha
Miss. Saaniya Manna, Doha
Miss. Salwa Manna, Doha

mushtaq n family / Dammam Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia:
my dear Dr. Abdulla Saheb.

We extend our heartiest Goodwishes and Congratulate you, such a great person with having vast experience and rendered your life to the nation. We are very proud to tell you that you are the person from karkala, Udupi Dist. You are the Asset of karkala. Hope our Karkala Brothers are very happy.
May Allah Bless you and take care of your health and we wish you all the best.

Dear Chacha,


I knew it! One day you will be on the page of as star. I was just waiting.

ARSHAD and Family.

Dr.Mohamed Noorulla ,Bengalooru, India:
Hearty Congradulations, Hats off to you, You deserve this Honour for ur love n concern for Nature.

I remember the days I spent with you at Mangalore. And the occassions I acomponied you during your variuos lectures for students at Udupi, Karkala and Mangalore.

syed K. Khaderi, USA:
I never realised I am a cousin to a well known relative [his dad and my dad are brothers], Abdullah was a quiet and unassuming guy it is good to know that he keeps himself involved and active.

Keep up the good work!!


M.P.Awati., India:
An exhaustive `biography’ of my friend Hussain. I liked his frank replies to your questions. A long time ago I learnt a great deal about Nature in his company.

Renee Chandola, India:
Congratulations Hussain and nice to have caught up with you again at this time..hope you have many more years continuing this wonderful work.

Fahima and Mohammed Saif, UAE:
Dear Ati Nana,

Congratulations..! We are all very proud of you..!

You have been a source of inspiration to all the youngsters in the family and many throughout the world..!

There are a handful in the world who actually care about the environment and strive to safeguard its rare species.

We wish you all the best in your endeavours..!

Fahima and Mohamed Saif

Abdulla Madumoole, Abu Dhabi, UAE:
Thanks for throwing light on a less known but towering personality who has dedicated his enire life exploring the nature. It is a pity that people like Husain Sab are left out of the list of civilian awards though they may be topping the merit list.

Ramprasad, USA:
A nice portrait of a great ornithologist and conservationist. Many a times in our society we don’t appreciate and recognise people who made great strides in their specialised fields. We fail to utilise their expertise for the betterment of the society.

Suhail Kudroli, Abu Dhabi, UAE:
Indeed Great Achievement.

In today’s materialistic world it is very very rare to find someone who has dedicated his entire life in the preservation and protection of mother nature. I am sure the entire mankind will benefit from his work in the years to come.

Mr. Hussain, you certainly deserve to be recognised. Many many thanks for your contribution to the world we live in.

Sarvotham Shetty – Abu Dhabi, UAE:
Thanks to and Team for highlighting the achievements of Mr.S.A.Hussain. Its a very inspiring article and my congratulations to Hussain Saab. May GOD bless you in all your future endeavours.

Syed Rahil Ahmed, India:
Dear Ati Daada,

Congratulations on your achievements. I have always taken a keen interest in wildlife and people working in this field. My hero has always been Steve Irwin. But then I realized, “Why should I look for a hero outside when we already have one in the family?” I am very proud to call myself your grand-nephew. And yet again, you have served to be a source of inspiration for many like me.


Parveen Siraj Ahmed, India:
Dear Chacha,

Congratulations. Very inspiring piece. Wish you good luck and good health in the years to come.


Obeida Shoukath, Mangalore, India:
Dear Chacha,

Congratulations! You truly deserve to be the Mangalorean Star. You have an imposing profile and laudable achievements to your credit. It truly and definitely needs to be appreciated by the masses. We are very proud of you!

Syed Nihaal Hussain, Mangalore, India:
I have been supporting the cause of saving the environment and doing my bit for the same ever since my high school days. You are a great inspiration and an achiever and a winner in your own right. Proud to be related to you, Ati Dada. Wish you all the best for the many more fruitful years of service you have to offer to mother nature!

Faiz Rahman, New Zealand:
This MAN is the SHEIKH of the bird kingdom as do his looks. Tho he is an uncle of mine we have been like close friends from the early days. I have watched his struggle and his rise at close quarters. First with his health in which he overcame some serious drawbacks in his early days in Karkala and Madras, then in his career in Bombay and elsewhere in the world where he overcame his classic seniors like the famous Salim Ali and Dillon Ripley and the lessor ones and showed them he could shine in his own bright light! He never looked back since then inspite of various odds in his life and health. He has shown that he has a resilient and fighting spirit all along and this has carried him thro to great heights. This write up on his personality and achievements covers all. May the Almighty bless the SHEIKH with all that will keep him happy and in good stead.

Paul, Global TV, India:
Great Scientist…
Kindly Add some more photos….
Like the one with Salim Ali….


Global TV

jamsheed hussain, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:
Dear Ati Chacha (pet name),

Whilst commending your great achievements last 35 years please accept our heartfelt best wishes in your future endeavors.

Ana Ayesha,Karkala:India, India:
Congratulations uncle… I am so happy for you..

Shalet Alva, India:
Heartiest congratulations.

Shalet, Vasant

Salman Bolar & Shahima Salman , Dubai, UAE:
Dear Uncle,

Congratulations… We are very proud of you for your outstanding achievements. We wish you all success in your future endeavours. May you achieve many more milestones.

Aramus, India:
Nature is gods gift to us and we are supposed to preserve this gift. Good job professor.

Shahab Arabi, Mangalore/Karkala, India:
His contribution to wildlife and its conservation is immense in todays senario, considering the conflict between man and nature is going at a alarming rate. His vast knowledge will help us in conserving nature.

JPK Menon, India:

My heartfelt Congratulations on your receiving the Mangalorean Star slot. I am really proud of you.

You are really an inspiration for the young scientists around the world.

May God bless you in your future endeavour too.


ShivaShankar, Karkala, India:
We are proud to have you in our town, you’r experience/knowledge always inspires me.

Siraj Ahmed Abudhabi., UAE:
Hussain Uncle,

You are a silent achiever. Credit goes to Team Mangalorean for shedding light and chosing you as a Mangalorean Star. Well deserved, congratulations. We are proud of you.

Siraj Ahmed & family, Abudhabi
Latifa Ziauddin & family, Mangalore.
Shoukath Hussain & family, Dubai.
Kalmadi family, Mumbai.
Farida Noorulla & family, Bengalooru.

Dr S. A. Javeed, India:
I am facinated with the amount of field experience & dedication to research of Prof. Hussain. He should be taken as a role model by all researchers and academicians across.

Austin Prabhu, USA:
Congratulations to S. A. Hussain on being named as the Mangalorean Star for the month of August, 2009. Your achievements are really inspirational to our younger generation. Wish you all the best in your future endeavors and God Bless!

J M Bhandary, USA:
An extremely well deserved recognition. Kudos, to Mr. S A Hussain for the numerous accomplishments in Ornithology, Eco and Conservation work. His knowledge and accomplishments and continued involvement are a great help in nurturing the beautiful and bio diverse environment of Tulunadu. I liked his idea of setting up a “Coastal Biosphere Command area” as outlined in his paper on “Coastal Karnataka..”. All the best to Mr. Hussain in his future work.

Thanks to, specially to Violet Pereira for this article.

jay, India:
thats great achievement.

Hashim Tyabji, UK:
A really interesting profile of one India’s finest naturalists and scientists who represents the last of a very special breed.

Arunachalam Kumar, India:

May you conquer many more peaks. You are an inspiration.

Great News, Great Achievement, you made entire family feel proud of you! and all Indians as well, Karkala in particular..congratulations and God Bless you Mr. S.A.Hussain. Thanks to Mangalorean.Com for introducing this personality to its reader in millions around the world !

Syed Noor Ashfaq /Karkala/Sharjah, India:
Very informative article on Mr.S.A.Hussain. I hail from Karkala and indeed Iam proud to know more about Mr.Hussain on his contributions rendered to preserve our ecology. His vision and experience must be used by authorities involved in protecting our rich flora & fauna. All of us want to conserve our nature and we expect Mr. Hussain’s untiring efforts and advices will be extended always.