Bombay Natural History Society

From Academic Kids

The Bombay Natural History Society is the largest organisation engaged in conservation research in the Indian subcontinent.

On September 15, 1883 eight residents of Bombay met in the then Victoria and Albert Museum and “constituted themselves as the Bombay Natural History Society. They proposed to meet monthly and exchange notes, exhibit interesting specimens and otherwise encourage each other.” According to E. H. Aitken (the first Honorary Secretary, September 1883-March 1886), Dr G. A. Maconochie was the ‘fons et origo’ of the Society and besides these two gentlemen, the other founders were Mr J. C. Anderson, Dr Sakaram Arjun, Mr J. Johnston, Dr D. MacDonald, Dr Atmaram Pandurang, and Col. C. Swinhoe. Mr H. M. Phipson (second Honorary Secretary, 1886-1906) was also a part of the founding group and he lent a part of his wine shop at 18 Forbes Street available as an office for the BNHS.

In 1911 R. C. Wroughton a BNHS member and forest officer organized a survey of mammals making use of the members spread through the Subcontinent to provide specimens. This was perhaps the first collaborative natural history study in the world and it resulted in the collection of 50,000 specimens in 12 years resulting in the identification of several new species, 47 publications and an understanding of biogeographic boundaries.

Today the BNHS is headquartered in the specially constructed Hornbill House is Southern Mumbai. It is commonly known by its acronym, BNHS.

While the BNHS acts primarily as a society of wildlife enthusiasts in Mumbai, it is also involved in sponsoring studies in Indian wildlife and conservation. It publishes a four-monthly journal, entitled The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, as well as a quarterly magazine, Hornbill.

The BNHS logo is of a hornbill named William which lived in the Society premises in the early years of its existence.


External link

fr:Bombay Natural History Society

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