Help Line


SACON came into being at a time when the twin issues, namely the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources figured in the global agenda. Realizing the indispensability of holistic approach in avian studies and conservation, the major objectives of SACON have been envisaged encompassing the entire natural history with ornithology at the centre stage.

  1. To design and conduct research in ornithology covering all aspects of biodiversity and natural history
  2. To develop and conduct regular courses in ornithology and natural history for M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D. and also, short term orientation courses in the above subjects
  3. To create data bank on Indian ornithology and natural history
  4. To disseminate knowledge relating to ornithology and natural history for the benefit of the community
  5. To confer honorary awards and other distinctions to persons who have rendered outstanding services in the fields of ornithology and natural history
Members of the Governing Council Members of the SACON Society Members of the RMAC






During the 1980’s, Salim Ali, who was known as the father of Indian Ornithology took initiatives to establish a national institution which would take up the challenging tasks of developing expertise and knowledge in the field of ornithology and nature conservation. However his noble dream could not be materialized during his life time. The efforts were taken forward by the Ministry of Environment and Forest & Climate Change, Government of India (then Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF)) and Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) with which Salim Ali was associated all his life, to achieve the dream of Salim Ali.  Their unrelenting efforts came into fruition in 1990 with the establishment of a Centre of Excellence dedicated to conduct research in the field of Ornithology and Natural History under the MoEF. It was decided to name the Centre as `Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON)’ in memory of Dr. Salim Ali. The BNHS was entrusted with the task of establishing the Centre. It was decided to set up the Centre in Peninsular India and Coimbatore was short listed as the “Head Quarters” in view of its strategic location with respect to biodiversity rich areas in Western Ghats.    SACON, started functioning in a rented building at Kalampalayam, 10 kms away from Coimbatore city on the Siruvani Road in 1991.



SACON is located 24 kilometers north-west of Coimbatore city at an altitude of  600-610 m above MSL,  adjacent to Coimbatore South Reserved Forest, Coimbatore Range, Coimbatore Division, in sylvan settings bestowed with a salubrious climate in the foothills of Western Ghats. Altogether 54.73 acres was purchased (in 1994, 34.04 acres and in 1995, 20.09 acres) from private land owners for establishing SACON Campus.




Being an institution committed to nature conservation, it was decided to have buildings for SACON in tune with its philosophy of ‘ecofriendliness in every action’. Therefore, the renowned architect Late Mr. Laurie Baker, who was world famous for employing new and innovative technologies for constructing ecofriendly buildings, was requested to design the buildings. He proposed to construct the building for SACON by utilizing optimum space, natural light, and breeze and also providing open atriums in each building to develop gardens. The unique architectural and design features of the existing buildings in SACON campus has attracted the attention of a lot of students of architecture background from across the country as well as others interested in an aesthetically pleasing approach to building construction that is a cost effective alternative as compared to technologies of modern building construction. Centre for Science Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD), Thrissur, Kerala under took the construction of SACON buildings. At present the total built up area of SACON is more than 40,000 sq. ft. consisting of different blocks viz. Main office, Library, Laboratory, two hostel buildings, canteen and guest house.

On 11th February 2000, SACON campus was dedicated to the nation by Hon’ble Minister of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India.


Campus Biodiversity

SACON Campus harbours amazing biodiversity; both faunal and floral. The campus with 55 acres of area is the habitat for 402 species of flowering plants belonging to 84 families which include Sandalwood trees, an IUCN Red Listed tree species. Of the 177 bird species recorded from the campus, 100 species are resident birds, 24 bird species are occasionally found, 27 species are winter migrants and 15 species are local migrants.

Being the home of 107 species of butterflies, SACON campus harbours nearly one third of the butterfly species found in the Western Ghats. The campus is famous for the astonishing mass-movement (local migration) of the butterflies during October-November. A total of 44 species of odonates are also recorded from the campus. Eight species of amphibians and 40 species of reptiles are also found on the campus. Out of 21 mammal species found, two are ‘Endangered’ (Asian Elephant: Elephas maximus and Indian Wild Dog: Cuon alpines); four are ‘Vulnerable’ (Sambar: Rusa unicolor, Gaur: Bos gaurus, Leopard: Panthera pardus, and Sloth Bear: Melursus ursinus); one is  ‘Near Threatened’ (Rusty-spotted Cat:  Prionailurus rubiginosus) and the remaining 14 species are ‘Least Concern’ according to the IUCN Red List categorization.