Satish Bhaskar | Mathrubhumi
Kozhikode: Noted biologist and sea turtle conservationist Satish Bhaskar passed away on Wednesday at a hospital in Bengaluru where he was undergoing treatment. He was 77.
In 1977, Satish Bhaskar launched a unique initiative to learn about and conserve sea turtle species in the country. For almost two decades, he solely led the study and conducted surveys around 7500 km of the country's coastal belt, besides studies in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep. He went on an expedition to study sea turtles in around 670 islands.
He was born in Cherai, Ernakulam, to Parayil Bhaskaran and Cheriyachaneshwari Raman Padmini on September 11, 1946. After completing primary education, Sathish joined electrical engineering at Madras IIT.
During his studies, he met the founder of Madras Snake Park and herpetologist Romulus Whitaker. His close acquittance with Whitaker influenced Bhaskar to shift his focus to wildlife conservation, eventually persuading him to undertake a study on sea turtles.
Through his studies, Bhaskar found that five of the eight sea turtle species in the world visit coastal areas in the country to lay eggs. He also stressed the importance of saving such coastal areas.
In November 1979, he became one of the two individuals who represented India during the inaugural edition of the international conference on sea turtle conservation in Washington DC. He was awarded the Rolex award in 1984 for his studies on sea turtle conservation.
He retired from his studies and research during the mid-1990s and shifted to a village in Goa. His wife, Vrinda, passed away last year. Children: Naila (Australia), Kaili (Canada) and Sandhya (Bengaluru).