H C Poornesha

Research Associate, Western Ghats

K1927072

MSc (Wildlife Management), Kuvempu University

Poornesha completed his M.Sc. in Wildlife Management from Kuvempu University. He started his research career with vegetation mapping programme in Western Ghats of Karnataka under a Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi. He then worked as Outreach Coordinator and Conservation Officer at Wildlife Conservation Society – India Program for about three years prior to joining NCF.

Projects

Publications

  • Journal Article
    2017
    From intent to action: A case study for the expansion of tiger conservation from southern India
    Sanjay Gubbi, N S Harish, Aparna S, H C Poornesha, Vasanth Reddy, Javeed Mumtaz, M D Madhusudan
    Global Ecology and Conservation, 9: 11–20
    Download

    PDF, 2.61 MB

    To conserve a large, wide-ranging carnivore like the tiger, it is critical not only to maintain populations at key habitat sites, but also to enable the persistence of the species across much larger landscapes. To do this, it is important to establish well-linked habitat networks where sites for survival and reproduction of tigers are complemented by opportunities for dispersal and colonization. On the ground, expanding protection to areas with a potential for tiger recovery still remains the means of operationalizing the landscape approach. Yet, while the gazetting of protected areas is necessary to enable this, it is not sufficient. It is essential to benchmark and monitor the process by which establishment of protected areas must necessarily be followed by management changes that enable a recovery of tigers, their prey and their habitats. In this paper, we report a case study from the Cauvery and Malai Mahadeshwara Hills Wildlife Sanctuaries of southern India, where we document the infrastructural and institutional changes that ensued after an unprecedented expansion of protected areas in this landscape. Further, we establish ecological benchmarks of the abundance and distribution of tigers, the relative abundance of their prey, and the status of their habitats, against which the recovery of tigers in this area of vast conservation potential may be assessed over time.

  • Report
    2016
    Safely handling situations when leopards enter human dense areas - English version
    September 2016
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    PDF, 21.9 MB

    This manual covers key measures to be taken by various agencies in handling situations when leopards venture into human dense areas. It provides practical information to handle leopard situations when they enter cities, towns, villages, when leopards fall into dry or wells with water, or when they are found caught in snares. 

    The manual also provides information on the equipment that's required to be kept by the forest department and other agencies in areas where there are repeated instances of leopards entering human dense areas. It provides information on Karnataka government procedures in providing ex-gratia, documenting leopard presence in an area, and outreach activities that could be undertaken in high interface areas.

    This manual is also available in Kannada.

  • Report
    2016
    ಚಿರತೆಗಳು ಜನ ನಿಬಿಡ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರವೇಶಿಸಿದ ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶಗಳನ್ನು ಸುರಕ್ಷಿತವಾಗಿ ನಿಭಾಯಿಸುವ ವಿಧಾನಗಳು (Safely handling situations when leopards enter human dense areas - Kannada version)
    October 2016

    ಚಿರತೆಯು ಜನ ನಿಬಿಡ ಪ್ರದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದಾಗಿನ ಸಂದರ್ಭಗಳನ್ನು ನಿಭಾಯಿಸುವಲ್ಲಿ ವಿವಿಧ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳು ಕೈಗೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಾದ ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಕ್ರಮಗಳನ್ನು ಈ ಕೈಪಿಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಚಿರತೆ ಪಟ್ಟಣ, ಗ್ರಾಮದಂತಹ ವಸತಿ ಪ್ರದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದಾಗ, ಚಿರತೆಯು ನೀರಿರುವ ಅಥವಾ ನೀರಿಲ್ಲದ ಬಾವಿಗೆ ಬಿದ್ದಾಗ ಮತ್ತು ಚಿರತೆಯು ಉರುಳಿಗೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿಕೊಂಡ ಸಂದರ್ಭಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರಾಯೋಗಿಕವಾಗಿ ನಿಭಾಯಿಸುವ ಬಗೆಗಿನ ಮಾಹಿತಿಯನ್ನು ಇದರಲ್ಲಿ ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ.

    ಚಿರತೆಗಳು ಜನ ನಿಬಿಡ ಪ್ರದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಬರುವ ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶಗಳನ್ನು ಆಗಾಗ್ಗೆ ಎದುರಿಸುವ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಅರಣ್ಯ ಇಲಾಖೆ ಮತ್ತು ವಿವಿಧ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳು ಇಟ್ಟುಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಾದ ಉಪಕರಣಗಳ ಮಾಹಿತಿಯನ್ನು ಸಹ ಕೈಪಿಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸರ್ಕಾರದಿಂದ ವನ್ಯಜೀವಿ ಹಾವಳಿಗೆ ಪರಿಹಾರ ನೀಡುವ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ, ಒಂದು ಪ್ರದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಚಿರತೆಯ ಇರುವಿಕೆಯನ್ನು ಧೃಡಪಡಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಬಗ್ಗೆ, ಅಧಿಕ ಸಂಘರ್ಷ ಇರುವ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಅರಿವು ಮೂಡಿಸುವ ಚಟುವಟಿಕೆಗಳನ್ನು ಹಮ್ಮಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಸಹ ಮಾಹಿತಿಯನ್ನು ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ.

  • Journal Article
    2016
    Providing more protected space for tigers Panthera tigris: a landscape conservation approach in the Western Ghats, southern India
    Sanjay Gubbi, Kaushik Mukherjee, M. H. Swaminath, H C Poornesha
    Oryx 50(2): 336–343
    Download

    PDF, 284 KB

    Conservation of large carnivores is challenging as they face various threats, including habitat loss and fragmentation. One of the current challenges to tiger Panthera tigris conservation in India is the conversion of habitat to uses that are incompatible with conservation of the species. Bringing more tiger habitat within a protected area system and in the process creating a network of connected protected areas will deliver dual benefits of wildlife conservation and protection of watersheds. Focusing on the southern Indian state of Karnataka, which holds one of the largest contiguous tiger populations, we attempted to address this challenge using a conservation planning technique that considers ecological, social and political factors. This approach yielded several conservation successes, including an expansion of the protected area network by 2,385 sq km, connection of 23 protected areas, and the creation of three complexes of protected areas, increasing the protected area network in Karnataka from 3.8 to 5.2% of the state’s land area. This represents the largest expansion of protected areas in India since the1970s. Such productive partnerships between government officials and conservationists highlight the importance of complementary roles in conservation planning and implementation.

  • Poster
    2015
    Poster depicting dog and leopard pugmarks designed to help reduce anxiety and tensions - English version
    March 2015
    Download

    JPG, 611 KB

    On many instances dog pugmarks are mistaken as leopard tracks and there is pressure exerted on the forest department to capture leopards from the area. This has led to unnecessary anxiety in communities, tensions between communities and forest department, and possibly capture of leopards with no reason. Hence, a poster that would differentiate tracks between dogs and leopards were designed to help in awareness activities.

  • Book Chapter
    2015
    Finding the middle road: Grounded approaches to mitigate highway impacts in tiger reserves
    Handbook of Road Ecology, Editors : Rodney van der Ree, Daniel J. Smith and Clara Grilo. Publishers : John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Download

    PDF, 266 KB

  • Poster
    2015
    Poster depicting dog and leopard pugmarks designed to help reduce anxiety and tensions - Kannada version
    March 2015
    Download

    JPG, 560 KB

    On many instances dog pugmarks are mistaken as leopard tracks and there is pressure exerted on the forest department to capture leopards from the area. This has led to unnecessary anxiety in communities, tensions between communities and forest department, and possibly capture of leopards with no reason. Hence, a poster that would differentiate tracks between dogs and leopards were designed to help in awareness activities.

  • Report
    2015
    Tigers of Malai Mahadeshwara and Cauvery Landscape
    November 2015
    Download

    PDF, 5.13 MB

    Report on tiger numbers in the dry forests in the confluence of Western and Eastern Ghats in southern India

  • Journal Article
    2014
    Roads emerging as a critical threat to leopards in India?
    Cat News 60 Spring 2014 (30)
    Download

    PDF, 565 KB

    Leopards (Panthera pardus) face severe threat from poaching, loss of habitat and killing in retaliation to conflict. However, in India a new threat appears to be emerging in the form of vehicle accident mortalities. In the past 60 months 23 leopards have been recorded as killed due to road accidents in the southern Indian state of Karnataka alone. When roads overlap with important wildlife habitats, considerable scrutiny and critical conservation planning is urgently required

  • Journal Article
    2014
    An elephantine challenge: human–elephant conflict distribution in the largest Asian elephant population, southern India
    Biodiversity Conservation DOI 10.1007/s10531-014-0621-x
    Download

    PDF, 1.01 MB

    Wildlife conservation is a complex issue especially when it involves large carnivores or mega-herbivores that are conflict-prone. Karnataka state in southern India is known to harbor high density of wild elephants. This conservation success story also has opportunity costs for communities living in close proximity to elephants. Despite the fact that human–elephant conflict is a serious conservation and social issue, there is little quantitative understanding of conflict especially over large areas. Here we conduct the first analysis of human–elephant conflict distribution, severity and explanatory factors over the entire state of Karnataka. We use data from the state forest department records on villages that experience conflict, compensation payments made by the government, elephant den- sities, forest cover and perimeter, and presence of physical barriers to mitigate elephant conflict. In total, 60,939 incidences of crop loss were reported and US$ 2.99 m paid in compensation during April 2008–March 2011. A total of 91 people were killed by ele- phants and 101 elephants died in retaliatory killings during the study period. A total of 9.4 % of the state’s geographic area covering 25 of the 42 forest administrative divisions were affected. There was no significant difference in conflict incidences or compensation given between protected areas and non-protected areas. There was no correlation between conflict incidences/unit area and elephant density, forest cover, forest perimeter of pro- tected areas and presence of physical barriers. The results depict the importance of efficient management of physical barriers, conserving key habitat linkages, and acts as baseline data for future work.

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