A half day workshop to introduce the FERAL conservation initiative in the Shencottah gap was conducted on the occasion of the “World Biodiversity Day” at the Government Lower Primary School, Ariyankavu. In his wel come note, Dr.Rauf Ali, founding trustee and senior scientist of FERAL, spoke about the need for conservation initiatives in the Periyar Agastyamalai landscape. The Panchayat President, Shri.H.Abdul Khader presided over the function and during his inaugural speech gave an overview of the various environmental activities conducted by the Panchayat during the past few years. He also highlighted that some of the endangered mammals in the landscape have become rarer and current approaches to prevent human-wildlife conflicts were indequate and immediate steps needs to taken to address both these issues. In his speech the Vice President, Shri. Pradeep R. stressed upon the need for conservation of water resources in the region and linked the protection of forests with hydrological services. Onbehalf of FERAL, both of them handed over books to the VSS library. This was followed by a presentation made by Shri. Ignatius Peliyas on the various research activities carried out by FERAL in the landscape, highlighting key findings and conservation implications. There was an active discussion with the participants who raised issues such as the importance of water conservation, need to change role of VSS in conservation initiatives and the need for awareness programmes.