M Ananda Kumar

Scientist, Western Ghats

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My doctoral thesis focussed on human-elephant conflict and behaviour of Asian elephants in this human-dominated landscape of plantations and rainforest fragments. I hold a Masters degree in Psychology as well.

My prior work includes the ecology, behaviour, and distribution of primates and large mammals in the region. I have also conducted surveys on the slender loris (Loris tardigradus, a nocturnal primate) in the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. For over a decade now, I have been working in the Anamalai hills. My major goals are in involving the local communities, government departments, school children, and also the business community in rainforest restoration and wildlife conservation in the region.



Nurturing nature appreciation

Rekindling conservation awareness and connections with nature

Elephant 1

Reviving the rainforest

Ecological restoration of degraded rainforest in the Anamalai hills

Step sholayar

The elephant hills

From conflicts to coexistence in the Anamalai hills

Ltm kalyan 1020

Towards wildlife-friendly roads

Studying and reducing impacts of roads on wildlife in the Anamalai hills


  • Book Chapter
    Fostering human-elephant coexistence in the Valparai landscape,Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu
    Pages 14 - 26, in Human-Wildlife Conflict in the Mountains of SAARC Region - Compilation of Successful Management Strategies and Practices. SAARC Forestry Centre, Thimpu, Bhutan.

    PDF, 823 KB

  • Journal Article
    Our backyard wildlife: Challenges in coexisting with uneasy neighbours. [Guest Editorial]
    Mewa Singh, M Ananda Kumar
    Current Science 106: 1463-1464.
  • Poster
    Spotting Elephant Signs

    JPG, 353 KB

    Dung, Herd, Inefficient Digestion, Debark, Tuskers, Deciduous Forests, Grewia, Teak

  • Book Chapter
    Restoring nature: wildlife conservation in landscapes fragmented by plantation crops in India.
    Pages 178-214. In Nature Without Borders (Eds. Mahesh Rangarajan, MD Madhusudan & Ghazala Shahabuddin), Orient Blackswan, New Delhi.
  • Poster
    Asian Elephants
    Robin D' Rozario, Divya Mudappa, T R Shankar Raman, M Ananda Kumar, S U Saravanakumar

    PDF, 7.67 MB

    Dexterous, Pondorous, Evergreen Forests, Grasslands, Patriarch, Bamboo, Browse, Bark, Ivory, Tamil

  • Poster
    Shola Grasslands

    JPG, 776 KB

    Shola, Mosses, Epiphytes, Wild Balsams, Kurinji, Rhodendron, Orchids, Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Pipit, White-bellied Shortwing, Tamil

  • Poster
    Endemic Mammals of The Nilgiris
    Jayanth Sharma, M Ananda Kumar, Divya Mudappa, Kalyan Varma, Kamolika Roy Chowdhury
    supported by Whitley Fund for Nature

    PDF, 25.5 MB

    Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Brown Palm Civet, Malabar Spiny Doormouse, Brown Mongoose Lion, Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Nilgiri Tahr, Stripe-necked Mongoose

  • Journal Article
    Asian elephant Elephas maximus habitat use and ranging in fragmented rainforest and plantations in the Anamalai hills, India
    Tropical Conservation Science 3: 143–158

    PDF, 953 KB

  • Journal Article
    Behavior of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in a land-use mosaic: implications for human-elephant coexistence in the Anamalai hills, India
    M Ananda Kumar, Mewa Singh
    Wildlife Biology in Practice 6: 69-80.

    PDF, 1.01 MB

    Understanding behavior of elephants in human-dominated landscapes can facilitate creation of management tools for conflict resolution and help foster human-elephant coexistence. We studied behavior of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in the Valparai plateau, a 220 km² landscape matrix of rainforest fragments, tea, coffee, and Eucalyptus plantations in the Anamalai Hills of the Western Ghats of India. We studied the nearest neighbor distance among elephants within the herd and their feeding behavior in habitat mosaics. We also recorded reactions of elephants to human proximity and number of people in the vicinity. We employed scan sampling for data collection. Feeding by elephants was lowest in open canopy habitat of tea, and it gradually increased in canopy covered plantations of coffee and Eucalyptus and in densely covered natural vegetation. Vigilance behavior of elephants was lowest in forest fragments and riverine vegetation as they could avoid encountering humans. This behavior peaked in tea plantations due to intense human activity there. Elephants maintained closer inter-individual distances in tea and this distance gradually increased in canopy habitats of coffee, Eucalyptus and natural vegetation. More humans in the vicinity and closer proximity to elephants reduced feeding and increased agitation in elephants, while proximity to settlements did not have any influence. We, therefore, suggest that protection and non-conversion of canopy habitats, restoration of rivers with native species, and maintaining distance from elephants would foster normal activities of elephants and help promote human-elephant coexistence in such landscapes.

  • Report
    Review of human – elephant conflict mitigation measures practised in South Asia
    Prithiviraj Fernando, M Ananda Kumar, A Christy Williams, Eric Wickramanayake, Tariq Aziz, Sameer M Singh
    WWF AREAS Technical Support Document 2007. World Bank – WWF Alliance for Forest Conservation and Sustainable Use, AREAS, Centre for Conservation and Research, Nature Conservation Foundation.

    PDF, 1.19 MB

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