The South Asian Invertebrate Specialist Group SAsISG is hosted by Zoo Outreach Organization. Dr. B.A. Daniel, ZOO and Dr. Ather Md. Rafi, National Agricultural Research Center, Islamabad, Pakistan act as the co-chairs of the specialist group.

  • To solve taxonomic issues of invertebrate species
  • To improve the skills in taxonomy and species identification of priority taxa of conservation concern
  • To identify threatened taxa, endemic species at national and regional level through species assessments
  • To direct studies on surveys, monitoring, improve knowledge on life-cycles for better implementation of Action Plans
  • To identify important invertebrate sites and unique habitats in South Asia and to promote species conservation
  • To identify actual and potential threats for invertebrates changes of attitudes, government policies, or support
  • To announce and intervene on acute symptoms of invertebrate loss and to promote remedies
  • To prepare information and Action Plans for land and freshwater invertebrates on priority basis; publish and deliver to relevant target audiences
  • To prepare taxon-based action plans on selected high priority species groups; publish and deliver to relevant target audiences
Sub-networks of IUCN SSC South Asian Invertebrate Specialist Group

Invertebrate Pollinator Network of South Asia (IPNSA)
Pollinating invertebrates is one of the most significant of the functional groups since 1) the survival of a multitude of other organisms depends on a working food chain which a decline in pollinating invertebrates surely will affect and 2) reports from many countries in the world indicate that pollinating invertebrates are in serious decline. In South Asia, there are limited studies; therefore little information has been forthcoming.

Membership form Directory

Aquatic (Freshwater) Invertebrate Conservation Network of South Asia
Freshwater and freshwater biodiversity constitute a valuable natural resource. Conservation and management of freshwater biodiversity and freshwater ecosystems are critical to the interest of all humans. Freshwater biodiversity is declining far greater than those in the most affected terrestrial ecosystems. Two hotspots in South Asia are the focus of attention towards conservation of freshwater biodiversity.

Membership Form

Aquatic (Marine) Invertebrate Conservation Network of South Asia
Five South Asian countries namely Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have 160,000 km2 coastal zone with 135 million people living with in it. As evidenced in literature, this region is rich in ecological diversity and mangrove ecosystem in this region is unique that make up 8% of the world’s mangrove areas. The coral reef support a diverse variety of fauna and flora. Large scale exploitation of natural resources has become a concern as many marine species population are declining due to various anthropogenic threats affecting its population.

Membership Form

Some of the broad line objectives of these network are to identify and network researchers and field biologists of South Asia, develop database and checklist of selected marine invertebrates of South Asia, training on species taxonomy, encourage members to take up field research, rapid species assessments, develop an action plan for conservation for South Asia, education and web publication, collating information and lobbying for species conservation and identifying species habitats and status understanding.

Tarantula Habitat -- A feasibility study for establishment of the first invertebrate sanctuary in India

A feasibility study for establishment of the first invertebrate sanctuary in India for the Theraphosid spider Poecilotheria hanumavilasumica (Mygalomorphae, Araneae) on Rameswaram Island, Tamil Nadu, India


  1. Scoping the possibility of securing the last habitat of the highly threatened Hanumavilasum Tarantula.


  1. Conducted field survey.
  2. Personal discussions with village head, local political persons, advocates, surveyor, temple authorities, temple property manager, forest personnel, local NGOs
  3. Important parameters for site selection used.


  1. Presence/absence of the tarantula.
  2. Identified a potential location with high congregation of the spider.

Partners:NeithalResource Trust, Rameswaram

PI: B.A. Daniel


Risk Assessment on South Asian Theraposid Spiders: IUCN South Asian Theraphosid Spider Assessments


  1. Compile information on South Asian theraphosid spiders for risk assessments.


  1. Create theraphosid spider species list for all South Asian countries.
  2. Compile information on species from literature.
  3. Compile new information for not assessed species.
  4. Update information for already assessed species.
  5. Compile distribution data and map localities and polygons.


  1. Compilation ongoing.


Conservation Planning Specialist Group, South Asia, South Asian Invertebrate Specialist Group, IUCN, Invertebrate Conservation Subcommittee.

PI: B.A. Daniel, Sanjay Molur


MOSI Project in India: Production of Mosquito monitoring and identification guidenace materials and in relation to MOSI project initiative

ZOO joined MOSI project in July 2015

Initiated monitoring since November 2015

Location: VOC Park Zoo, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Monitored by B.A. Daniel and volunteers

As part of the MOSI project mosquitoes are monitored in Coimbatore using Bio-gents mosquitaire suppled by Paul-Pearce Kelly. From March 2017 to April 2018 a total of From August 2017 to June 2018 a total of 18,698 mosquitoes were collected representing 12 mosquito species. Thenumber of mosquitoes collected per day ranged from 111 to 1207. Average number of mosquitoes collected per day accounted for 346.

As part of this, two minor projects were carried out involving graduates from the affiliated colleges of Bharathiar University. The study was to understand prevalence of mosquitoes in different locations with in Coimbatore city and to identify new locations that has high density of mosquitoes. The study location continue to be a location which is high in mosquito density. The collected mosquitoes were sorted, identified and if needed pinned for future reference.

LivelyWaters! School Outreach: WILD School Outreach Program: LivelyWaters! @Yellow Train


  1. Wildlife education for grades 6-8.


  1. A year of fieldwork at the pond made by the students.
  2. Study wetland ecology, adaptation, species diversity in the forests of the Western Ghats.
  3. Photography along with the IGCSE science curriculum.


  1. Increased knowledge base related to wildlife issues and conservation.
  2. Setting the pace for the third year research work and writing.
  3. Basic rules of photography to document animals found on their campus.
  4. Broad principles and foundations in basic science established.

PI: Payal Molur, Sanjay Molur


Awareness Programmes on Invertebrate Conservation

Zoo has developed invertebrate conservation education modules and it has been widely used in India. One of the population Teaching guide developed was ‘The Sahyadri Freshwater biodiversity Teaching guide’. We had a number of requests from different colleges within the state requesting for training programmes.

However, the number of Freshwaterbiodiversity conservation training programmes was restricted to four and for the college students. During this year new initiatives were undertaken to develop education materials for other invertebrates such as spiders.



Insects and Me: Promoting Insect conservation among children

The diversity of insects, importance and its association with human being are recognized by neglected just because of a simple reason that they are miniature and not attractive. In order to create a generation that appreciate and protect insects, an introductory programme for the children of Coimbatore city was organised in association with like minded NGO like Mango Education.

The entomology department of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University recently opened an Insect museum highlighting diversity of insects in India and also the important of role of insects in ecosystem. This facility was utilised to introduce insect diversity to a group of invited children along with their parents. B.A. Daniel, Entomologist, ZOO gave a brief introduction about invertebrates, diversity of insects and its role in the functioning of the ecosystem and took the children around the museum. It was more of an interactive session where children interacted with him throughout the tour. Representatives of all insects orders were covered.