The extinction of experience in a biodiversity hotspot: rural school children's knowledge of animals in the Western Ghats, India.

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Current Science , Volume 121 , Issue 2 , p.313-316 (2021)



Biodiversity hotspot, environmental education, mammals, school children


<p>Lack of environmental awareness or ignorance regarding the ecological role of animals among children has long-term negative consequences for the biodiversity of a nation. We conducted a study in a biodiversity hotspot in southern India to examine the knowledge level of rural school children regarding the mammalian species in their region. The results of the study showed that school children were able to recognize regional mammalian species that are publicized by media sources, but had little knowledge about their conservation status or more significant information about them. Environmental education programmes must focus on making children more aware of the importance of various animals sharing their habitat, so that they have greater knowledge regarding the ecological roles of animals in the ecosystem.</p>