PDF, 2.25 MB
Colour Morphs, Forests, Grasslands, Chital, Barking Deer, Rodents, Domestic Livestock, Stray Dogs, 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.
- Popular Article2014How corals lose their colourThe Hindu in School, 5 November
- Poster2014Some Threats to Elephant and GaurDownload
JPG, 517 KB
Roads, Highways, Roadkills, Inaccessible, Fragmented Habitats, Swathes of Forest, Tourism, Safari Vehicles
- 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, 17.5 MB
Terrestrial, Insects, Crabs, Snakes, Birds, Stripe-necked Mongoose, Ruddy Mongoose, Brown Mongoose, Grey Mongoose, Tamil
- Poster2014Invertebrates of the Western Ghats - Spiderssupported by Critical Ecosystem Partnership FundDownload
PDF, 8.1 MB
Spiders, Spinnerets, Arachnura, Giant Wood Spiders
- 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.
- 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
- Poster2014Malabar Whistling ThrushDownload
PDF, 1.69 MB
The Whistling Schoolboy, Moist Forests, Plantations, Dark Plumage, Tamil
- Poster2014Snakes of the Western Ghatssupported by Critical Ecosystem Partnership FundDownload
PDF, 24.3 MB
Common Vine Snake(Ahaetulla Nasuta), Ornate Flying Snake(Chrysopelea Ornata), The Wynad Shieldtail(Melanophidium Wynaudense), Olive Forest Snake(Rhabdops Olivaceus), Western Kukri Snakes(Oligodon Affinis)
- Poster2014Tortoise and TurtlesDownload
PDF, 7.04 MB
Indian Pond Terrapin, Cochin Forest Cane Turtle, Travancore Tortoise, Tamil
- Popular Article2014Mizoram: bamboozled by land use policyThe Hindu, Op-ed Comment page, 14 May 2014, page 9.
Forest cover loss has occurred at a period when area under jhum cultivation is declining, suggesting that the land use policy has been counterproductive to forests.
- Popular Article2014Damn that riverDown to Earth blog http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/damn-river
- Poster2014King CobraDownload
PDF, 10.3 MB
Snakes, Tropical Moist Forests, Monitor Lizards, Other Snakes, Tamil
- Poster2014Small Carnivores of Namdaphasupported by Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund Wildlife Conservation Society The Ford FoundationDownload
JPG, 814 KB
Namdapha Tiger Reserve, Binturong, Spotted Lisang, Yellow-throated Marten, The Hog Badger, Crab-eating Mongoose, Small Indian Mongoose, Stripe-backed Weasel, Ferret Badgers, Palm Civet, Small Indian Civet, Otter
- Journal Article2014A penny saved is a penny earned: lean season foraging strategy of an alpine ungulateAnimal Behaviour 92, 93-100
- Popular Article2014களக்காடு தந்த பரிசுகள். (On sighting various life forms in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve)தி இந்து நாளிதழ். The Hindu Tamil News Daily. 30th September 2014.
Jeganathan, P. (2014).களக்காடு தந்த பரிசுகள் - தி இந்து நாளிதழ் உயிர்மூச்சு இணைப்பில், ‘இயற்கையின் வாசலில்’ தொடர் எண் – 13. 30th September 2014. Kalakkadu Thantha Parisugal– Iyarkayin Vaasalil ArticleSeries No.13 (On sighting various life forms in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve). The Hindu Tamil News Daily. 30th September 2014.
- Poster2014Insects of the Western Ghats - Odonatessupported by Wildlife Ecosystem Partnership FundDownload
PDF, 279 MB
Odonata, Gnats, Midges, Nilgiri Bambootail, Travencore Torrent Dart, Stream Glory