- Popular Article2014The Constant GardnerCurrent Conservation, Issue 8.2, http://www.currentconservation.org/?q=articles/feature&n=297
- Journal Article2014Tracing the geographic origin of traded leopardbody parts in the Indian subcontinent withDNA-based assignment testsConservation Biology, 2014, DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12393Download
PDF, 973 KB
Illicit trade in wildlife products is rapidly decimating many species across the globe. Such trade is often underestimated for wide-ranging species until it is too late for the survival of their remaining populations. Policing this trade could be vastly improved if one could reliably determine geographic origins of illegal wildlife products and identify areas where greater enforcement is needed. Using DNA-based assignment tests (i.e., samples are assigned to geographic locations), we addressed these factors for leopards (Panthera pardus) on the Indian subcontinent. We created geography-specific allele frequencies from a genetic reference database of 173 leopards across India to infer geographic origins of DNA samples from 40 seized leopard skins. Sensitivity analyses of samples of known geographic origins and assignments of seized skins demonstrated robust assignments for Indian leopards. We found that confiscated pelts seized in small numbers were not necessarily from local leopards. The geographic footprint of large seizures appeared to be bigger than the cumulative footprint of several smaller seizures, indicating widespread leopard poaching across the subcontinent. Our seized samples had male-biased sex ratios, especially the large seizures. From multiple seized sample assignments, we identified central India as a poaching hotspot for leopards. The techniques we applied can be used to identify origins of seized illegal wildlife products and trade routes at the subcontinent scale and beyond.
PDF, 5.91 MB
Black and Orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Brown-breasted Flycatcher, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Rusty-tailed Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Tamil
- Popular Article2014Integrating ecology and economyThe Hindu, Op-ed Comment Page, 3 July 2014, page 9.
For almost every destructive project, there are often alternatives that cause less harm to environment and local communities, and can provide overall long-term benefits.
Available here: http://www.thehindu.cojamam/opinion/op-ed/integrating-ecology-and-econoajmy/article6170535.ece
- Journal Article2014Local and Landscape Correlates of Primate Distribution and Extinction in Upper Brahmaputra ValleyConservation Biology 28(1): 95-106Download
PDF, 807 KB
Habitat fragmentation affects species distribution and abundance, and drives extinctions. Es- calated tropical deforestation and fragmentation have confined many species populations to habitat rem- nants. How worthwhile is it to invest scarce resources in conserving habitat remnants within densely settled production landscapes? Are these fragments fated to lose species anyway? If not, do other ecologi- cal, anthropogenic, and species-related factors mitigate the effect of fragmentation and offer conservation opportunities? We evaluated, using generalized linear models in an information-theoretic framework, the effect of local- and landscape-scale factors on the richness, abundance, distribution, and local extinction of 6 primate species in 42 lowland tropical rainforest fragments of the Upper Brahmaputra Valley, northeastern India. On average, the forest fragments lost at least one species in the last 30 years but retained half their original species complement. Species richness declined as proportion of habitat lost increased but was not significantly affected by fragment size and isolation. The occurrence of western hoolock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock) and capped langur (Trachypithecus pileatus) in fragments was inversely related to their isolation and loss of habitat, respectively. Fragment area determined stump-tailed (Macaca arctoides) and northern pig-tailed macaque occurrence (Macaca leonina). Assamese macaque (Macaca assamensis) distribution was affected negatively by illegal tree felling, and rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) abundance increased as habitat heterogeneity increased. Primate extinction in a fragment was primarily governed by the extent of divergence in its food tree species richness from that in contiguous forests. We suggest the conservation value of these fragments is high because collectively they retained the entire original species pool and individually retained half of it, even a century after fragmentation. Given the extensive habitat and species loss, however, these fragments urgently require protection and active ecological restoration to sustain this rich primate assemblage.
- Poster2014Owls and Nocturnal BirdsDownload
PDF, 17.4 MB
Spot-bellied Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, Jungle Owlet, Nightjars, Oriental Bay Owl Brown Fish Owl, Tamil
- Report2014Hornbill Nest Adoption Program - 2014 breeding season2014 HNAP Report
- Poster2014In The RainforestDownload
PDF, 5.55 MB
Black Eagle, Scarlet Minivet, Indian Giant Squirrel, Great Hornbill, White-bellied Woodpecker, Pompadour Pigeon, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, Butterfly, Lion-tailed Macaque, Bettle, Southern Green Calotes, Termites, King Cobra, Frog, Damselflies, Fungi, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Mouse Deer, Leopard Cat, Leaf-nosed Bat, Malabar Spiny Doormouse, Brown Palm Civet, Large Brown Flying Squirrel, Fruit Bat, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl
PDF, 22.1 MB
Forest Calotes, Chameleon, South Green Calotes, Indian Rock Agama, Salea, Draco, Tamil
- Popular Article2014கள்ளச் சந்தைக்குப் பலியாகும் சேட்டைக்காரர்கள். (On Otters of India and their threats)தி இந்து நாளிதழ். The Hindu Tamil News Daily. 4th November 2014.
Jeganathan, P. (2014).கள்ளச் சந்தைக்குப் பலியாகும் சேட்டைக்காரர்கள் - தி இந்து நாளிதழ் உயிர்மூச்சு இணைப்பில், ‘இயற்கையின் வாசலில்’தொடர் எண் – 18. 4th November 2014. Kalla Santhaiku Paliyagum Settaikarargal– Iyarkayin Vaasalil ArticleSeries No.18 (On Otters of India and their threats). The Hindu Tamil News Daily. 4th November 2014.
- Popular Article2014மக்கள் விஞ்ஞானிகளே, வாருங்கள்! (On various citizen science project initiatives in India)25th November 2014.
Jeganathan, P. (2014). மக்கள் விஞ்ஞானிகளே, வாருங்கள்! - தி இந்து நாளிதழ் உயிர்மூச்சு இணைப்பில், ‘இயற்கையின் வாசலில்’ தொடர் எண் – 21. 25th November 2014. Makkal Vingnanigale Varungal!– Iyarkayin Vaasalil ArticleSeries No.21 (On various citizen science project initiatives in India). The Hindu Tamil News Daily. 25th November 2014.
- Poster2014Eagles and their KinDownload
PDF, 8 MB
Black Eagle, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Osprey, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Crest Serpent Eagle, Besra,Bazas, Staccato, Tamil
- Journal Article2014Bats in Indian coffee plantations: doing more good than harm?Current Science 107: 1958-1960.Download
PDF, 3.64 MB
Many bat species occur in Indian coffee plantations and despite sporadic reports of damage to commercial coffee crops, the literature shows little evidence for these claims. Measures that have been proposed to ‘control’ fruit bats are likely to be ineffective and even counter-productive. Instead, insect-eating bats should be encouraged by planters as they help control herbivorous and disease-carrying insects, while fruit bats pollinate flowers and disperse seeds of many useful plants and shade tree species. More research is needed to quantify any crop damage caused by bats and to look for sustainable solutions where necessary.
PDF also available here: http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/107/12/1958.pdf
- Poster2014Dhole and Sloth BearDownload
JPG, 478 KB
Dhole(Wild Dogs), Mongrel, Sambar, Sloth Bear, Nocturnal, Termite, Ant Larvae
- Journal Article2014Vigorous dynamics underlie a stable population of the endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia in Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia 12Plos ONE 9(7): e101319. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101319
Population monitoring programmes and estimation of vital rates are key to understanding the mechanisms of population growth, decline or stability, and are important for effective conservation action. We report, for the first time, the population trends and vital rates of the endangered snow leopard based on camera trapping over four years in the Tost Mountains, South Gobi, Mongolia. We used robust design multi-season mark-recapture analysis to estimate the trends in abundance, sex ratio, survival probability and the probability of temporary emigration and immigration for adult and young snow leopards. The snow leopard population remained constant over most of the study period, with no apparent growth (l = 1.08+20.25). Comparison of model results with the ‘‘known population’’ of radio-collared snow leopards suggested high accuracy in our estimates. Although seemingly stable, vigorous underlying dynamics were evident in this population, with the adult sex ratio shifting from being male-biased to female-biased (1.67 to 0.38 males per female) during the study. Adult survival probability was 0.82 (SE+20.08) and that of young was 0.83 (SE+20.15) and 0.77 (SE +20.2) respectively, before and after the age of 2 years. Young snow leopards showed a high probability of temporary emigration and immigration (0.6, SE +20.19 and 0.68, SE +20.32 before and after the age of 2 years) though not the adults (0.02 SE+20.07). While the current female-bias in the population and the number of cubs born each year seemingly render the study population safe, the vigorous dynamics suggests that the situation can change quickly. The reduction in the proportion of male snow leopards may be indicative of continuing anthropogenic pressures. Our work reiterates the importance of monitoring both the abundance and population dynamics of species for effective conservation.
- Poster2014Some Threats to Elephant and GaurDownload
JPG, 517 KB
Roads, Highways, Roadkills, Inaccessible, Fragmented Habitats, Swathes of Forest, Tourism, Safari Vehicles
- Popular Article2014How corals lose their colourThe Hindu in School, 5 November
- Popular Article2014How corals got their colourThe Hindu in School, 29 October
PDF, 9.71 MB
Fishing Spiders, Leucauge, Lynx Spider, Giant Wood Spider, Acusilas
- Poster2014Non-Venomous SnakeDownload
PDF, 24.8 MB
Ornate Flying Snake, Indian Rock Python, Indian Rat Snake, Green Kneelback, Travancore Wolf Snake, Brown Vine Snake, Montane Trinket Snake, Tamil