Rapid Assessment Survey of IIM Kozhikode by MNHS Unravels Thriving Biodiversity at IIMK Campus


  • Survey documents 668 species of plants, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and mammals highlighting IIMK Campus’ Biodiversity richness as part of Western Ghats Ecosystem.
  • Survey conducted through a multidisciplinary approach records 350 plant species, 189 invertebrates, 19 Amphibians 22 Reptiles, 69 Birds and 19 mammalian species through field expeditions, data collection, and rigorous analysis

 Kozhikode: Lush Green IIM Kozhikode Campus is home to some of the most fascinating life forms richly endowed with wildlife of very high conservation value, according to the latest survey by Malabar Natural History Society (MNHS). IIMK is now home to 668 species of flora and fauna in this 113 acre bustling campus where sustainability has become a way of life. The survey was able to record 350 plant species, 189 invertebrates, 19 Amphibians 22 Reptiles, 69 Birds and 19 mammalian species. Director IIM Kozhikode Prof. Debashis Chatterjee and Mr Sathyan Meppayur, Secretary Malabar Natural History Society Kozhikode jointly released the ‘Biodiversity@IIM Kozhikode’ Report here at the IIMK Campus, recently. The collaboration between IIMK and MNHS was initiated by the Institute’s ‘Campus Green Initiative Committee’ (CGIC) and student’s sustainability club Ekology.

The biodiversity survey conducted by IIMK and MNHS was a multidisciplinary approach, integrating botanical, zoological, and ecological perspectives. Through field expeditions, data collection, and rigorous analysis, the survey aimed at compiling comprehensive inventories of plant and animal species inhabiting the campus of IIMK. The survey unravelled that IIM Kozhikode is a microcosm of the of the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot, renowned for its unique ecological features, ranging from lush rainforests to coastal habitats, harbouring an array of endemic species.

Prof. Debashis Chatterjee, in his address added that IIM Kozhikode can now take pride not only in the diversity of student intake and inmates but also in the myriad flora and fauna at the Campus which aligns perfectly with the institute’s sustainability ethos, both in principle and practice. He added “Biodiversity conservation has emerged as a global priority, considering the challenges posed by climate change, habitat loss, and species decline. As an institute of global prominence, we recognize the importance of environmental stewardship and the role we play in promoting sustainable development. This biodiversity assessment stands as a testament to our dedication to creating a greener and more ecologically conscious campus.”

Mr Sathyan Meppayur, added that IIM Kozhikode is richly endowed with biodiversity due to its unique location in the midst of the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats. He added that “The collaboration between academic institutions like IIMK and grassroots organizations like the Malabar Natural History Society is a testament to the power of partnerships in addressing complex environmental challenges. By leveraging their respective expertise and resources, these institutions have been able to conduct a comprehensive survey that spans diverse habitats and taxa, yielding invaluable insights into the ecological dynamics of the region.”

Findings of the Survey

This survey unveiled numerous rare and endemic plant species within IIM Kozhikode campus, ranging from Holigarna Arnottiana endemic to the Southern Western Ghats, to Bismarckia Nobilis from Madagascar, Kigelia Africana from Africa, and Acacia Auriculiformis from Australia, among others. Some other interesting finds include noteworthy species such as Papilio Buddha Malabar Banded Peacock, which is the state butterfly of Kerala – legally protected under Schedule II of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972) – along with its larval host plant Zanthoxylum Rhetsa, Indian Prickly Ash.The second-largest butterfly in India, Troides minos the Southern Birdwing, which is also the state butterfly of Karnataka, was also documented in this survey.

A total of 22 species of reptiles belonging to two Orders and 14 Families were recorded during the present study. Family Colubridae, with seven species, has the most species followed by the family Gekkonidae with three species and Family Scincidae and Elapidae with two species respectively. Out of all the reptiles recorded, two species, Coastal Day Gecko Cnemaspis littoralis and Chengodumala geckoella Cyrtodactylus chengodumalaensis are endemic to the Kerala part of Western Ghats. A total of 16 species are protected under different schedules of the Indian Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Act 2022. Bengal Monitor (Varanus bengalensis), Indian Rock Python (Python molurus), Checkered Keelback (Fowlea piscator), Spectacled Cobra (Naja naja) and Russell’s Viper (Daboia russelii) are under Schedule I category.

A total of 19 species of amphibians were also recorded from the campus area of Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode. 17 out of the total 19 Amphibians recorded belong to the Order Anura and two species were Caecilians of Uraeotyphlus genus from the Order Gymnophiona. Out of the six families reported, Rhacophoridae family is the most represented family with five species from four genera. 40 % of the total species recorded are endemic to Western Ghats out of which two species, Urban Golden-backed Frog Hylarana urbis and Kerala Skittering Frog Euphlyctis kerala are endemic to Kerala state. Urban Golden-backed Frog and Kerala Skittering Frog are threatened under the Vulnerable and Near Threatened category of IUCN Red List respectively, though they are widespread species. The two species of the Skittering Frog genus along with Indian Bull Frog Hoplobatrachus tigerinus are in schedule II of the Indian Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Act 2022.

A total of 19 species of mammals were recorded from the campus during the study based on direct sightings and indirect evidences. Among the species recorded, twelve species were protected under the various schedules of Indian Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Act 2022. Seven species are listed under the Schedule I, four species under Schedule II of the WPA 2022. One species, the Jungle Cat is listed as Vulnerable (VU) by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Two species are endemic to south India.

The survey recorded a total of 69 bird species, which represented a diverse range of avian families and included both resident and migratory birds. Importantly, several species identified during the survey are endemic to the region, highlighting the unique biodiversity present on the IIMK campus. The presence of endemic species indicates the ecological significance of the campus as a habitat for specialized and often threatened bird populations. Out of the birds documented 09 are migratory, 03 are endemic and 05 come under Schedule I of the WPA 2022.