sustains human LIVES and LIVELIHOODS by keeping our Freshwater Biodiversity and Ecosystems ALIVE!.

Wide recolorable gradient


To mainstream freshwater biodiversity research & conservation and bring fresh waters back to life.


To conserve fresh waters through research & conservation of aquatic biodiversity & ecosystems; follow a three-pronged approach of on-the-ground action, build awareness and advocate appropriate science-based, dynamic & implementable policies; and to adopt holistic strategies including stakeholders, citizen science & livelihood conservation.

Why we exist

A baby born today in India should, on average, expect to live for 75 years. But if we don't change what we're doing with our freshwater resources it seems likely that this baby, along with over a billion other people, will run out of water long before the end of this single lifetime.

80% of our freshwater is at risk due to misuse, mismanagement and carelessness. More than 40% of all freshwater biodiversity is threatened with extinction. Sadly, our waters are being polluted and degraded at a rapid rate.

Fortunately there is a way out -We can breathe life back into our waters

Our approach




To improve freshwater biodiversity and ecosystems through scientific research, systematic conservation strategies and to sustain livelihoods

To make conservation accessible to all age groups and professions by providing training, activities and downloadable comprehensive education kits that are easy to use.

To bring about a logical and all inclusive national science-based freshwater biodiversity conservation policy into governance.


Freshwater Species

Freshwater Ecosystem

Freshwater Publications

Water is life! Come along and explore what keeps our waters alive. Know more about fishes, frogs, crabs, aquatic plants, micro-organisms and other aquatic life…

India’s myriad ecosystems are the life blood of this mega-diverse country! We tell you about the different ecosystems and what is so special about them.

Students, nature enthusiasts and scientists, there is something for everyone here…

Read about the magic of the real world and share it with everyone!



A CSR project supported by BOSCH to develop a master plant to restore the Nallusamy Checkdam and Sambrani Kuttai in Keeranatham, Coimbatore, with local stakeholder participation and with the involvement of BOSCH employees. The project is in its first phase of conducting rapid biodiversity assessments, perception studies and developing education materials to rebuild the connection between the local people and the water body. The aim of this project is to ecologically restore these wetlands by bringing back native species of biodiversity ensuring that the interconnectedness between these different wetlands with the SS Kulam lake is explored.

Action for the Unique & Threatened Freshwater Fishes of the Western Ghats, India

Conservation of Sahyadria denisonii (Denison's Barb), a globally famous ornamental fish found only in nine rivers of Kerala and southern Karnataka. Despite its popularity in the aquarium trade, the species is threatened due to unsustainable harvesting, pollution, habitat degradation, and destructive fishing practices. The project aims to identify suitable conservation stretches, build community networks, promote public participation, and establish community conservation reserves for S. denisonii and other high-priority fish species in the region.

Subterranean fish research in the Western Ghats and southern peninsular India, a global hotspot of subterranean fish diversity and endemism. Recent research has led to the discovery of new species and the identification of threats such as wetland reclamation, groundwater pollution, and alien invasive species. The project will use an integrated framework based on science, outreach, and education to secure the future of these enigmatic and ancient taxa.


The IUCN Species Programme, in collaboration with Zoo Outreach Organisation (ZOO) conducted the Eastern Himalaya Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment , a review of the global conservation status of 1,073 freshwater species belonging to three taxonomic groups – fishes (520 taxa), molluscs (186 taxa), and Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) (367 taxa) was conducted. In the Western Ghats Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment was done to review the global conservation status and distributions of 1,146 freshwater species belonging to four taxonomic groups: fishes (290 taxa), molluscs (77 taxa), odonates (171 taxa) and aquatic plants (608 taxa).


They don’t have predators, they are least susceptible to diseases, they are hardy and they invade! When certain species of animals and plants get carelessly introduced by humans from one country into another they are known as invasive species. They compete with the native species for resources and create havoc in a habitat once they are established. They need to be nibbed at the bud to prevent lakes being overrun by Water hyacinth and African Catfishes, to prevent forests being covered by Lantana camara and prevent the spread of diseases such as Chytridiomycosis by vectors such as the African Clawed Frog and the Chinese fire salamanders.

aquatic research

The Systematics, Ecology and Conservation Lab of ZOO in affiliation with scientists across the country, employ tools and techniques of Molecular Biology, Statistics, GIS and Ecology to study aquatic fauna and flora. Their major areas of focus is to resolve taxonomic inconsistencies in aquatic fauna such as fishes, amphibians, crabs and odonates; identify priority areas for research in these fauna and aid in set up of action plans for mitigating the threats posed by Dams and hydro-electric projects and illegal aquarium pet trade.


The Freshwater Policy Project has been working towards understanding the existing policies and developing strategies to propose necessary amendments that are scientifically sound and implementable to ensure protection of freshwater wildlife and to suggest recommendations to develop freshwater biodiversity conservation strategies and policies in the future.


Chytridiomycosis caused by the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has resulted in the extinction of 200 species of amphibians across the globe. A team of researchers from WILD have been conducting extensive surveys across the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot for understanding the distribution and the effect of the fungus on endemic and threatened amphibian species.

conservation action

A team of researchers from ZOO Outreach Organisation along with experts has selected six freshwater fish AZE sites in the Western Ghats to serve as case studies to inform policy and decision making.


Putting Freshwater Biodiversity on the Map. Our Outreach team has developed amazing teaching aids for schools and the general public. They have conducted 17 conservation training programmes in all five Western Ghats States (Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra). In addition, the programme has also been spread to Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisa, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi through ZOO's Educator Network members.

In total 67 major locations have been covered so far of which 46 locations are in the Western Ghats. For public participation and volunteers you can also check out the Citizen Science Programme.

climate change

Mosquito Onset Surveillance Initiative (MOSI) project is a permanent international mosquito monitoring programme initiated in 2010 by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (ISW), in concert with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Imperial College.

Citizen Science Programme

You can be a scientist too whether you are a student or a concerned citizen – You are welcome to join our existing citizen science programs to scientifically monitor water bodies around you or initiate your own.

You don't need a degree in zoology or botany or any other biological sciences to be a part of this quest to save our world; all you need is to actually want to save it. And of course, a dash of interest, a sprinkle of curiosity, and the absolute will to make a difference.

What is Citizen Science?

Citizen science is when citizens—that is you, aid scientists—to understand the world we inhabit in all its absolute, confounding, beautiful complexity. It is a LivelyWaters! program that involves YOU the citizen in understanding freshwater bodies and its biodiversity.

lively you

Its great to know that you would like to be a part of this lively initiative and Citizen Science Programme about freshwaters! You can volunteer you time/work with us in a professional capacity/interns are always welcome with their new ideas and innovative thinking/support us with equipment or research materials/last but definitely not the least, sponsor specific events, campaigns or aspects of research projects.

Working together to push freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem conservation, we can catalyze the changes needed to ensure freshwater and human survival on the Indian subcontinent.