The magnificent king cobra and “all the human forces that conspire to destroy it and its habitat” were the motivating factor that started Romulus Whitaker on his life journey to conserve nature.
Whitaker, born in the United States in 1943, has spent most of his life in India where he turned a childhood fascination with snakes and a career as a world-renowned herpetologist and author into a vocation championing India’s rich biodiversity.
The conservation biologist won a Rolex Award in 2008 for his project to establish a network of rainforest research stations throughout his adopted country, with the ultimate aim of preserving water resources.
Two of the seven planned stations, one at Agumbe and one in the Andaman Islands, are already operational and the Award has helped access many other networking and funding opportunities. Whitaker is developing the research and conservation capabilities of the station personnel and ensuring that the local people support these endeavours.
Published in 2009