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Ten fun facts about Salim Ali


1. Salim Ali, India's Highest Honoree, Dies at 83

In 1976, the renowned ornithologist Salim Ali was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, one of the second highest honors in India. This prestigious award is given to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the nation in various fields, such as art, literature, science, and public service. Salim Ali was recognized for his immense contributions to the field of ornithology, which included the publication of several books and papers on the subject, as well as his tireless efforts to conserve India's avian species. His work has had a lasting impact on the field of ornithology and the conservation of India's birds.

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2. Legacy Lives On in Buildings Named for Him

The legacy of Salim Ali, the renowned Indian ornithologist, continues to live on even after his death. In his honour, several buildings have been established, such as the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, the Salim Ali School of Ecology, and more. The sanctuary, located in Goa, is a popular tourist destination and is home to a variety of bird species. The Salim Ali School of Ecology, located in Kerala, is a research institute dedicated to the study of ecology and conservation. Both of these establishments serve as a testament to Salim Ali's immense contribution to the field of ornithology.

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3. Salim Ali Wins Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize

Salim Ali was a renowned Indian ornithologist and naturalist who was highly respected for his contributions to the field of wildlife conservation. He was the recipient of numerous awards and honorary doctorates, and was even awarded the prestigious J. Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize, which came with a $100,000 prize. In recognition of his work, Ali used the money to establish the Salim Ali Nature Conservation Fund, which has since been used to support numerous conservation initiatives.

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4. Salim Ali's Tragic Childhood: One Father, Two Mothers Die

At the tender age of one, Salim Ali tragically lost his father, and just two years later, his mother passed away as well. This left him and his eight siblings to be raised by their aunt and uncle, who provided them with the love and support they needed to grow up in the absence of their parents.

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5. Ten-Year-Old Salim Ali Begins His Research Into Birds

At the tender age of ten, Salim Ali began his research into the fascinating world of birds. He quickly noticed that female birds would often replace the male birds shortly after their departure, a phenomenon that he would later come to understand as part of the birds' mating and nesting habits. This early research sparked a lifelong passion for birds and their behavior, leading Salim Ali to become one of the most renowned ornithologists of the 20th century.

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6. Salim Ali Passes Exam Despite Chronic Headaches

Salim Ali, a renowned ornithologist, had to leave St. Xavier's College due to chronic headaches. Despite this setback, he persevered and passed the exam at Bombay University in 1913. His dedication to his studies paid off, and he went on to become one of the most influential figures in the field of ornithology.

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7. One of the most influential figures in Indian ornithology

In 1918, during a school break, Salim Ali attended zoology classes at Bombay and married a distant relative. Salim Ali was a renowned ornithologist and naturalist, and his marriage to a distant relative was a significant event in his life. His zoology classes at Bombay were a major influence in his life, as they helped him to develop his passion for birds and nature. This passion would later lead him to become one of the most influential figures in Indian ornithology.

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8. Salim Ali, Motorcyclist, Dies at Age 54

Salim Ali was an avid motorcyclist, owning three Harley Davidson models - a Zenith, a Douglas, and more - that he enjoyed riding. His passion for motorcycles was so strong that he even wrote a book about them, titled 'The Motorcycle and How to Manage It'.

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9. " An Ornithologist Without a Degree!"

Despite his impressive knowledge of ornithology, Salim Ali's attempt to secure the ornithologist position at the Zoological Survey of India was unsuccessful due to the fact that he had never received a college degree. Despite his lack of formal education, Ali had already established himself as an expert in the field of ornithology, having published several books and papers on the subject. His passion and dedication to the field of ornithology was evident, yet his lack of a college degree ultimately prevented him from achieving his goal.

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10. Preserving India's Natural Heritage

Salim Ali, an Indian ornithologist, was instrumental in preserving the Bombay Natural History Society, a century-old institution dedicated to the study of natural history. His letter to the Prime Minister of India in the early 20th century was a crucial factor in ensuring the survival of the Society, which had been in existence since 1883. Thanks to Salim Ali's efforts, the Society continues to be a major source of knowledge and research on the natural history of India.

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