- 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 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
- Popular Article2014A travel guide to MarsThe Hindu in School, 22 SeptemberDownload
PDF, 1.06 MB
- Journal Article2014Spatio-temporal variation in forest cover and biomass across sacred groves in a human-modified landscape of India's Western GhatsBiological Conservation 178: 193-199.
Although the potential for community-conserved areas (CCAs) to extend conservation beyond formal protected areas is widely acknowledged, the scarcity of conservation assessments and monitoring hinders the rigorous evaluation of their effectiveness in many regions. In India, which hosts a high density and diversity of CCAs, the need for more assessments of the ecological and socio- economic properties of these systems to guide conservation planning and policy has been emphasized in recent years. We inventoried the extant sacred grove network against official records of 407 groves across 70 villages in the Kodagu District of India's Western Ghats, and interviewed local communities about their management and conservation. We also evaluated recent trends in aboveground biomass of sacred groves using time-series satellite data from six time-points during the 2000-2010 period, and made comparisons to corresponding trends in nearby State-managed protected forests. Although most of the larger (> 2ha) groves officially listed were forested at present, over two-thirds of the smaller groves listed were either not forested or could not be located. Local communities attributed these declines to encroachment and illicit logging. Time-series satellite data revealed aboveground biomass declines of ~0.5% annually across the sacred grove network over the 2000-2010 period. In contrast, biomass increased during this period at the interiors and edges of State-managed forests in the landscape. Our results highlight that the conservation status of even well-protected CCAs can vary considerably over time, especially given the dynamism in socio-economic, cultural and ecological factors that govern their status. We argue that understanding and addressing this dynamism is crucial to the conservation of CCAs.
- Popular Article2014Island worlds in the vastness of the UniverseThe Hindu in School, 6 OctoberDownload
PDF, 979 KB
- Popular Article2014The call of the indriFountain Ink, August 2014, 3(10): 37-51.
In Madagascar, island of endangered lemurs and shrinking forests, there is space for rapture and revival, too.
By T R Shankar Raman, Photos by Divya Mudappa and the author.
Available here: http://fountainink.in/?p=5687&all=1
- Popular Article2014Perils of oil palmNewslink (Aizawl), 20 August 2014, page 2.
- Journal Article2014Acoustic identification of bats in the southern Western Ghats, IndiaActa Chiropterologica 16: 213–222Download
PDF, 347 KB
Bats play crucial roles in ecosystems, are increasingly used as bio-indicators and are an important component of tropical diversity. Ecological studies and conservation-oriented monitoring of bats in the tropics benefit from published libraries of echolocation calls, which are not readily available for many tropical ecosystems. Here, we present the echolocation calls of 15 species from the Valparai plateau in the Anamalai Hills, southern Western Ghats of India: three rhinolophids (Rhinolophus beddomei, R. rouxii (indorouxii), R. lepidus), one hipposiderid (Hipposideros pomona), nine vespertilionids (Barbastella leucomelas darjelingensis, Hesperoptenus tickelli, Miniopterus fuliginosus, M. pusillus, Myotis horsfieldii, M. montivagus, Pipistrellus ceylonicus, Scotophilus heathii, S. kuhlii), one pteropodid (Rousettus leschenaultii) and one megadermatid (Megaderma spasma). Discriminant function analyses using leave-one-out cross validation classified bats producing calls with a strong constant frequency (CF) component with 100% success and bats producing frequency modulated (FM) calls with 90% success. For five species, we report their echolocation calls for the first time, and we present call frequencies for some species that differ from those published from other parts of the species’ ranges. This exemplifies the need for more local call libraries from tropical regions to be collected and published in order to record endemic species and accurately identify species whose calls vary biogeographically.
PDF also available here: http://dx.doi.org/10.3161/150811014X683408
- Art & Literary2014Coming home to BorneoFountain Ink, June 2014, 3(8): 91-102.
- Art & Literary2014The wild heart of IndiaFountain Ink, March 2014, 3(5): 103-110.
Available here: http://fountainink.in/?p=5045&all=1
- Journal Article2014A case of colour aberration in Stripe-necked Mongoose Herpestes vitticollis in the Western Ghats, IndiaSmall Carnivore Conservation 50: 76-77.
- Art & Literary2014Madagascar, Through the Looking GlassEarthLines, March 2014, 8: 59-64.
- 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
- Popular Article2014Faraway, so closeThe Hindu in School, 29 SeptemberDownload
PDF, 1.01 MB
- Journal Article2014Our backyard wildlife: Challenges in coexisting with uneasy neighbours. [Guest Editorial]Current Science 106: 1463-1464.
Available here: http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/106/11/1463.pdf
- 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.
- Popular Article2014Damn that riverDown to Earth blog http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/damn-river
- Popular Article2014Submerged – what to expect if the Dibang river is dammed.SANDRP blog https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/submerged-what-to-expect-if-the-dibang-river-is-dammed/
- Report2014Density of Rufous-necked hornbills and their food plants in Eaglenest Wildlife SanctuaryReport to Arunachal Pradesh Forest Departmemt
- 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.