Renowned wildlife biologist, Dr Purnima Devi Barman, in May 2017 was nominated for the prestigious Whitley Awards. Barman has been nominated for her relentless efforts and campaigns for the conservation of the Greater Adjutant Stork locally known as Haargila in Assam. The wildlife biologist has been working with the Dadara, Pachariya and Hingimari villages of Kamrup district to save the Greater Adjutant Stork. She is associated with Aaranyak, a Guwahati based NGO, which works for wildlife conservation.
The Whitley Awards are given annually by the Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN). Also known as Green Oscars, it is given to recognize and celebrate effective national and regional conservation leaders across the globe. The awards are worth £ 35000 and are now amongst the most high profile of conservation prizes. The awards particularly seek to recognize contributions to wildlife conservation made from outside the developed world, and to bring to international attention the work of deserving individuals committed to precipitating long-lasting conservation benefits on the ground.