This project is part of the Academy initiative to enhance the quality of science education. It is pursued in collaboration with the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science to spread biodiversity literacy, expecially within the high school and college student community, and to involve them in collecting information at first hand on the status and ongoing changes in ecological habitats and a selected set of species of considerable human significance. It also aims to publish illustrated accounts of 1500 Indian species of micro-organisms, plants and animals. These accounts are meant to assist high school, college and postgraduate students and teachers of biology in reliably identifying these taxa. They would also include ancillary information on distribution, ecology and behaviour that would help design field exercises and projects focusing on first-hand observations of living organisms. The information thus generated could feed into a countrywide system of monitoring ongoing changes in India's lifescape to support efforts at conservation of biological diversity, as well as control of invasive, of weeds, pests, vectors and diseases. Hopefully, the accounts would also stimulate popular interest in the broader spectrum of India's biological wealth.
The project has thus far produced four books, Butterflies of Peninsular India, Freshwater Fishes of Peninsular India, Amphibians of Peninsular India, and Dragonflies and Damselflies of Peninsular India - A Field Guide(available in the form of three PDF files freely downloadable from this website).
The project is now focussing on generating CD-based and Web-based resource material, including interactive identification keys and a relational database management system that will organize validation, integration, analysis and sharing of data collected in a networked fashion. It aims to use these data to put together an all-India picture and make it available as a transparent, publicly accessible database through a website. Project Lifescape has also initiated work using some Indian languages.