Avneet Mangat

Avneet completed his Masters in Software Engineering from University of Oxford, UK. He then spent 15 years in London, San Francisco, and Toronto working on software development as architect and consultant in various business domains - insurance, health sector, telecoms, publishing and electronics manufacturing.

He recruited other developers to initiate and lead a project to develop a popular open source database browsing tool which has been downloaded over 31,000 times.

He also authored several articles on various software technologies and wrote a chapter in an influential OReilly book on Java Power Tools (ISBN 0596527934)

He was the co-author of the first ever multi-touch interactive iBook related to wildlife for iPad.


Jai Pratap Singh Sidhu

Jai is a wildlife researcher with special interest in Herpetology. He grew up on a farm outside the Chhatbir Reserve Forest in Punjab which houses the largest zoo in northern India, the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park. Having almost unrestricted access to the zoo brought him closer to captive bred wild animals from around the world, and this kindled his interest in wildlife and forests from a very early age. This passion was further fuelled by visits to other reserves and sanctuaries over the years. Academic and career pursuits led him into the corporate world where he worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. He received a first class Post-graduate Diploma in Management from the Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad, as well as professional acclaim from his employers and their clients.

Not really at home in the concrete jungle, he eventually succumbed to pressure from his wild inner self and took the plunge into wildlife and nature conservation. Over the years he has worked with various non-governmental organizations and state forest departments to help preserve our rich natural heritage.

He is currently working for the Uttarakhand Forest Department to document the herpetofaunal diversity of the state and was in the news recently for reporting new species from the hill state, including the very rare Coral Red Khukri Snake (Oligodon kheriensis) from the Terai region. He is also involved in anti-poaching activities and was in the news for nabbing poachers involved in the slaughter of migratory birds, and another case where over 150 turtles were successfully recovered from wildlife smugglers and rehabilitated in the wild.