- Book ChapterIn pressTop-down or bottom-up: the role of the government and local institutions in regulating shifting cultivation in the Upper Siang district, Eastern Himalaya, India (in press)Shifting Cultivation and Environmental Change: Indigenous People, Agriculture and Forest Conservation (Ed: Malcolm Cairns), Published by Routledge.
- Book ChapterIn pressConflicts over snow leopard conservation and livestock productionConservation Conflicts, Redpath S, Young J, Gutierrez R, Wood K (eds.), Cambridge University Press.
- Book Chapter2017Birds in Relation to Farming and Livestock Grazing in the Indian Trans-HimalayasIn Bird Migration across the Himalayas: Wetland Functioning amidst Mountains and Glaciers
- Book Chapter2016Livestock Predation by Snow Leopards: Conflicts and the Search for SolutionsIn Snow leopards: Biodiversity of the World eds (McCarthy T, Mallon D.) Academic press pp 59- 66.
- Book Chapter2016Richness and size distribution of large herbivores in the HimalayaIn: Asian large herbivore ecology, Ahrestani, F., Sankaran, M. (eds.), Springer.Download
PDF, 276 KB
Species diversity across several taxa ranging from plants to vertebrates is reported to decrease with altitude, or to show a mid-elevation peak in mountain systems. Plant biomass availability for herbivores is similarly expected to decline with altitude as temperature becomes limiting. However, the relationship between herbivore species richness and altitude has not been examined in detail. We show that while the overall regional pattern (gamma-richness) for 25 large-herbivore species (56 % grazers, 44 % browsers/mixed feeders) in the Western Himalayas shows a mid-elevation peak, the species richness of grazers increases nearly monotonically with altitude peaking at 4000–5000 m. Median body mass of herbivores decreased with altitude, suggesting greater suitability of higher elevations for smaller bodied herbivores. We propose that seasonal altitudinal migration patterns, biogeographic influences, increases in the abundance of graminoids, and an increase in plant nutrients with altitude might explain the unusual high grazer species richness at higher altitudes in the Himalayan Mountains.
- Book Chapter2016South Asia: India. In Snow leopards. Biodiversity of the world: conservation from genes to landscapes. Series editor: Philip J. Nyhus, Volume editors: Thomas McCarthy, David Mallon.Elsevier - Academic Press, Pages 457-469, ISBN: 978-0-12-802213-9Download
PDF, 4.31 MB
India has a rich natural history record from the Himalaya spanning over a century. In this paper we provide an overview of existing knowledge on snow leopard, especially from the more recent studies. A knowledge gap analysis revealed barely 3% of its range is relatively well studied, although snow leopards occur pervasively across ca. 100,000 km2 in the Indian Himalaya. Only 37% of its range appears to be ‘good’ habitat. Based on recent density estimates and their extrapolation over the range, India is likely to support about 500 snow leopards. Threats vary regionally, but livestock grazing by migratory herders and recent developmental pressures appear to be the most serious conservation issues threatening snow leopard and other wildlife in the snow leopard range. Given the pervasive snow leopard occurrence and human pressures, the general consensus and national strategy is to formulate and implement knowledge based, participatory programmes over large landscapes.
- Book Chapter2015Chital Axis axisPages 192-222 in A. J. T. Johnsingh and Nima Manjrekar (Editors), Mammals of South Asia: Volume 2. Universities Press, Hyderabad.
- Book Chapter2015Finding the middle road: Grounded approaches to mitigate highway impacts in tiger reservesHandbook of Road Ecology, Editors : Rodney van der Ree, Daniel J. Smith and Clara Grilo. Publishers : John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Book Chapter2015Hope for hornbillsIn: Allison Hegan (Ed.), Endangered Tales.
- Book Chapter2015SciuridsIn: Mammals of South Asia: Volume 2, (eds A. J. T. Johnsingh & N. Manjrekar), pp. 513-573. Universities Press, Hyderabad.
- Book Chapter2015The Nilgiri TahrPages 409-432 in A. J. T. Johnsingh & N. Manjrekar (editors) Mammals of South Asia. Volume 2. Universities Press, Hyderabad, India.
Keywords: Nilgiritragus hylocrius
- Book Chapter2015The chevrotainsPages 146-158 in A. J. T. Johnsingh and Nima Manjrekar (Editors), Mammals of South Asia: Volume 2. Universities Press, Hyderabad.
- Book Chapter2014Nature Without Borders: An IntroductionPages 1-40 in Rangarajan, M., Madhusudan, M. D., & Shahabuddin, G. (eds.) Nature Without Borders. Orient Blackswan.
- Book Chapter2014Sarus Cranes, cultivators, and conservationIn: Nature Without Borders (Eds. M Rangarajan, M D Madhusudan, G Shahabuddin), Orient Blackswan Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad and New Delhi.
- Book Chapter2014Managing conflicts over livestock depredation by large carnivoresIn Human-Wildlife Conflict in the Mountains of SAARC Region - Compilation of Successful Management Strategies and Practices, SAARC Forestry Centre Office Thimphu, BhutanDownload
PDF, 1020 KB
Managing wildlife-caused damage to human interests has become an important aspect of contemporary conservation management. Conflicts between pastoralism and carnivore conservation over livestock depredation pose a serious challenge to endangered carnivores worldwide, and have become an important livelihood concern locally. Here, we first review the primary causes of these conflicts, their socio-ecological correlates, and commonly employed mitigation measures. We then describe a community-based program to manage conflicts over livestock depredation by snow leopards Panthera uncia and wolves Canis lupus. A threats-based conceptual model of conflict management is presented. Conflicts over livestock depredation are characterized by complex, multi-scale interactions between carnivore and livestock behavioral ecology, animal husbandry, human psyche, culture, world-views, and socio-economic and education levels of affected peoples. A diversity of commonly employed conflict-mitigation measures is available. They aim at (i) reducing livestock depredation through better livestock herding, use of physical, chemical or psychological barriers, removal of carnivores, and use of livestock guard animals, (ii) offsetting economic losses through damage compensation and insurance programmes, and (iii) increasing peoples’ tolerance of carnivores through indirect approaches such as conservation education and economic incentives. For effective management, conflicts need to be understood along two important dimensions, viz., the reality of damage caused to humans, and the psyche and perceptions of humans who suffer wildlife caused damage. The efficacy of commonly used mitigation measures is variable. A combination of measures that reduce the level of livestock depredation, share or offset economic losses, and improve the social carrying capacity for carnivores will be more effective in managing conflicts than standalone measures
- Book Chapter2014Fostering human-elephant coexistence in the Valparai landscape,Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil NaduPages 14 - 26, in Human-Wildlife Conflict in the Mountains of SAARC Region - Compilation of Successful Management Strategies and Practices. SAARC Forestry Centre, Thimpu, Bhutan.
- Book Chapter2014Experientially Acquired Knowledge of the Self in a Nonhuman PrimatePages 81-99 in Sangeetha Menon, Anindya Sinha and B V Sreekantan (editors) Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Consciousness and the Self, Springer, India
The pressures of developing and maintaining intricate social relationships may have led to the evolution of enhanced cognitive abilities in many social nonhuman species, particularly primates. Knowledge of the dominance ranks and social relationships of other individuals, for example, is important in evaluating one’s position in the prevailing affiliative and dominance networks within a primate society and could be acquired through direct or perceived experience. Allogrooming supplants among female bonnet macaques usually involve the subordinate female of a grooming dyad retreating at the approach of a third female, dominant to both members of the dyad, although, in a few exceptional cases, the dominant member of the dyad could, instead, retreat. Retreat by the dominant individual was observed to be positively correlated to the social attractiveness of her subordinate companion, indicating that individual females successfully evaluate social relationships among other group females. Logistic regression analysis revealed the probability of retreat of the dominant female to be significantly influenced by her own dominance rank and those of the other two interacting females. Individual macaques thus possess egotistical knowledge of their own positions, relative to those of others, in the social hierarchy and appear to, therefore, abstract and mentally represent their own personal attributes as well as those of other members of the group. The experiential acquisition of such cognitive knowledge of the self raises important questions about the possible mechanisms underlying the nature of this mental representation and the general ability to categorise social information in non-verbalizing animal species such as macaques.
- Book Chapter2014Restoring 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.
- Book Chapter2014Nature and Culture in the wild: Biological foundations of behavioural traditions in non-human primatesPages 367-389 in R Narasimha and S Menon (editors) Nature and Culture Volume XIV, Part 1, Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture Centre for Studies in Civilizations, New DelhiDownload
PDF, 202 KB
A variety of mechanisms for socially facilitated learning allow animals to acquire information from the behaviour of others, and through their own modified behaviour such information can subsequently be transmitted between individuals within and across generations. Variation in such socially acquired and transmitted behaviours is unlikely to be under direct genetic control since individuals who are closely related genetically can have and pass on very different behaviours; this is also true for cultural traditions that such behaviours may have generated. Behavioural information transfer of this nature thus represents another form of inheritance that operates in many nonhuman species, including primates, in tandem with the more basic genetic system. Most behavioural traditions usually precede genetic adaptations but exert persistent directional selection for genetic variations congruent with the new patterns of behaviour since such traditions lead to the transmission of the same selective regime. Selection for the ability to learn a particular behaviour pattern more efficiently and rapidly may also lead to it becoming dependent on fewer learning trials or none at all – ultimately culminating in a partial or complete incorporation of the trait into the basic genetic inheritance system. This paper reviews principles of culture and its biological foundations, and examines the rôles that behavioural inheritance and socially transmitted cultural traditions play in the structure and dynamics of primate societies, with particular reference to data from long-term field studies on Japanese macaques and from bonnet macaques, a species endemic to peninsular India. Three principal consequences are considered: the appearance of individual behavioural traits leading to the establishment of social traditions, the rôle of stable behavioural traditions in facilitating cultural selection, and the influence of particular behavioural and life-history traits on gene-culture coevolution in nonhuman primates.
- Book Chapter2014Conservation without fences: Project Snow LeopardRangarajan, M., Madhusudhan, MD & Shahabuddin, G. (Eds) Nature Without Borders. Orient Blackswan Pvt. Ltd. Publishers, Hyderabad, India.