- Art & Literary2014Coming home to BorneoFountain Ink, June 2014, 3(8): 91-102.
- 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.
- 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.
- Journal Article2014Multi-scale factors influencing human attitudes towards snow leopards and wolves.Conservation Biology DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12320
- 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
- Popular Article2014How green is your tea?Blink: The Hindu Business Line, 27 September 2014, pages 10-11.Download
PDF, 1.41 MB
- Popular Article2014Call of the birdsThe Hindu in School, 31 Dec
- Poster2014Invertebrates of the Western Ghats - Spiderssupported by Critical Ecosystem Partnership FundDownload
PDF, 8.1 MB
Spiders, Spinnerets, Arachnura, Giant Wood Spiders
PDF, 4.39 MB
Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Green Bee-eater, Thin Beaks
- Poster2014Decomposition and Nutrient CyclingDownload
PDF, 3.73 MB
Beetles, Termites, Earthworms, Bacteria, Fungi, Tamil
- 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.
- 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.
- Poster2014Malabar TrogonDownload
PDF, 5.87 MB
Dense Understorey, Omnivorous, Tamil
- Poster2014Malabar Whistling ThrushDownload
PDF, 1.69 MB
The Whistling Schoolboy, Moist Forests, Plantations, Dark Plumage, Tamil
- Poster2014Fig TreesDownload
PDF, 4.51 MB
Banyan, Peepul, Fig Wasps, Bulbuls, Squirrels, Hornbills, Macaques, Tamil
PDF, 6.79 MB
White-cheeked Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, Green Plumage, Stout Beaks
- Art & Literary2014The wild heart of IndiaFountain Ink, March 2014, 3(5): 103-110.
Available here: http://fountainink.in/?p=5045&all=1
- 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.
- Poster2014Co-existing with Elephantssupported by Eco-QuestDownload
JPG, 511 KB
Elephants, Villages, Highways, Fences, Unnatural, Cropfields, Plantations, Crop Raiding, Electrocuting, Poisoning
- Journal Article2014Tilting at wildlife: reconsidering human–wildlife conflict2014 Fauna & Flora International, Oryx, 1–4, doi:10.1017/S0030605314000799Download
PDF, 102 KB
Conflicts between people over wildlife are widespread and damaging to both the wildlife and people involved. Such issues are often termed human–wildlife conflicts. We argue that this term is misleading and may exacerbate the problems and hinder resolution. A review of 100 recent articles on human–wildlife conflicts reveals that 97 were between conservation and other human activities, particularly those associated with livelihoods. We suggest that we should distinguish between human–wildlife impacts and human–human conflicts and be explicit about the different interests involved in conflict. Those representing conservation interests should not only seek technical solutions to deal with the impacts but also consider their role and objectives, and focus on strategies likely to deliver long-term solutions for the benefit of biodiversity and the people involved.