Manoj grew up watching wildlife in north India and the call of the wild was so alluring for him that his flourishing corporate career could not hold him back for long. In the mid 1990’s he moved permanently to Corbett Tiger Reserve – his first love as he fondly calls it. Since then Manoj has been working as a naturalist, leading 'wildlife' and 'birding' tours and enjoying the magnificent & glorious wildlife of the Western Himalayan foothills. He has also traveled extensively in India and has worked with some of the world's leading natural history and birding tour companies as their 'Tour Leader' before joining 'Namah' in December 2013.
Manoj has extensively published 'papers' and 'short notes' in national and international ornithology & natural history journals besides being the first author of the official Checklist of Birds of Corbett Tiger Reserve, published by the Director, Corbett Tiger Reserve in 2003. Amongst many of his contributions, the prominent ones are the discoveries of three new species of birds for the Indian Subcontinent (‘Crested Tit Warbler’ near Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, 2006; ‘Pale Rock Sparrow’ at Tal Chapper, Rajasthan, 2012; ‘Black-browed Tit’ at Walong, Arunachal Pradesh, 2013). He has also reported a high altitude record of 'King Cobra' from western Arunachal Pradesh & rediscovered the Indian Wild Dog for the state of Nagaland. He has contributed several regional, seasonal and altitudinal bird records from across the country and several local new bird records from Corbett area & Uttarakhand.
Manoj has contributed to various books including 'The Book of Indian Butterflies' (2008), 'Birds of India & the Indian Subcontinent' (2008), 'Mongolian Red List of Birds' (2011), 'Threatened Birds of India' (2012), 'Photographic Guide to Birds of the Himalayas' (2013) and 'Hornbills of the World – A Photographic Guide' (2013). Manoj is associated with many prestigious & eminent conservation organizations including 'Bombay Natural History Society' (Life Member), 'Bird Conservation Nepal' (Life Member), 'Oriental Bird Club' and 'Indian Bird Conservation Network'. Currently he is also Uttarakhand's state co-ordinator for 'eBird', an online database of bird records.
A thorough professional when it comes to nature interpretation, Manoj possesses a highly developed and keen jungle sense and has been a tiger tracker par excellence. Living and working in Corbett Tiger Reserve, he is in his elements when out in the field with a vast knowledge base of the local flora & fauna as if it is his own back yard.
A bibliophile by nature, Manoj has a fine collection of books and journals, including many vintage and rare ones on 'Natural History' and 'Indian Ornithology'. A diehard snake-lover, he has been involved in snake rescues and releases and has been instrumental in spreading knowledge about usefulness of snakes amongst local communities. His repertoire of interests includes nature photography, travelling and reading.