- Popular Article2013The circle of lifeThe Hindu in School, 17 April
- Journal Article2013Opportunistic exploitation: an overlooked pathway to extinctionTrends in Ecology and Evolution. 28(7): 409-413Download
PDF, 951 KB
How can species be exploited economically to extinction? Past single-species hypotheses examining the economic plausibility of exploiting rare species have argued that the escalating value of rarity allows extinction to be profitable. We describe an alternative pathway toward extinction in multispecies exploitation systems, termed ‘opportunistic exploitation’. In this mode, highly valued species that are targeted first by fishing, hunting, and logging become rare, but their populations can decline further through opportunistic exploitation while more common but less desirable species are targeted. Effectively, expanding exploitation to more species subsidizes the eventual extinction of valuable species at low densities. Managers need to recognize conditions that permit opportunistic depletion and pass regulations to protect highly desirable species when exploitation can expand to other species.
- Popular Article2013ஊசிவால் குளவிகள். (On Ichneumon wasps)தி ஹிந்து தீபாவளி மலர் The Hindu Tamil, Deepavali Malar (Deepavali Special Issue)
- Journal Article2013Spatial and temporal variation in hornbill densities in Namdapha Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh, north-east IndiaTropical Conservation Science 6:734-748Download
PDF, 642 KB
Asian hornbill populations are declining across their ranges because of hunting and deforestation. Five of the 32 Asian hornbill species occur in north-east India. However, vital information on their abundance from the region remains scanty. Understanding spatiotemporal variation in densities provides crucial information for formulating effective conservation strategies based on species-specific abundance patterns and population trends. We examined spatiotemporal variation in densities of four hornbill species in the Namdapha Tiger Reserve, a site identified as an important site for hornbill conservation in Asia. We collected data through variable-width line transect sampling (effort=842.1 km) in the non-breeding season from 2009-12 to estimate hornbill densities. We had 458 detections of four hornbill species. We have estimated White-throated Brown Hornbill densities (7.9 birds/km2) for the first time throughout its entire range. The mean Rufous-necked Hornbill densities (6.9 birds/km2) were higher than those reported elsewhere. Great (3.9 birds/km2) and Wreathed Hornbill (16.1 birds/km2) densities were comparable with other sites. The peak densities of all hornbill species in November-December are among the highest reported from Asia. Wreathed Hornbill densities showed temporal variation peaking in November-December (68 birds/km2) and drastically declining by March-April (1.3 birds/km2), indicating seasonal altitudinal movement to low elevation areas outside the reserve during the breeding season. Our results underscored the spatial variation in hornbill distribution, with low densities of Great and the White-throated Brown hornbills in higher elevations. Our study demonstrates the global importance of Namdapha for hornbills, given its large area and high densities of four hornbill species.
- Popular Article2013Steamed, with salt and a dash of limeThe Hindu in School, 30 October
- Book Chapter2013Arunachal macaque Macaca munzala (Sinha, Datta, Madhusudan and Mishra 2005)Pages 198-210 in A. J. T. Johnsingh & N. Manjrekar (editors) Mammals of South Asia – Volume 1. Universities Press, Hyderabad, India
- Popular Article2013Development minus green shootsThe Hindu, 13 February 2013
By exempting some projects on forest land from gram sabha consent, the government has undermined the rights of local communities and their crucial role in protecting the environment.
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- Popular Article2013My books and their animalsThe Hindi in School, 23 January
- Popular Article2012காட்டு நீரோடையின் மெல்லிசை மன்னன். (On Malabar Whistling Thrush)புதிய தலைமுறை. 2ஆகஸ்டு 2012 Puthiya Thalaimurai. 2nd August 2012
- Book2012Fungus among us: An exploration of fungi in the Anamalai hills.Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore. 56 pages.
- Working Paper2012Beyond the borders: wildlife conservation in landscapes fragmented by plantations crops in IndiaNCF Working Paper 1, Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore.Download
PDF, 384 KB
In regions of tropical forest, there is now global interest in bringing conservation efforts outside designated protected areas into the mainstream in landscapes with agricultural production and plantations such as of coffee, tea, rubber, and oil palm. Here, we describe the context and challenges of landscape-scale conservation amidst plantations and forests and other tropical ecosystems in India.
- Journal Article2012Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas.Nature 489: 290-294.
- Popular Article2012Hornbills: farmers of our forestsThe Hindu in School, 4 April
- Journal Article2012Trends in extinction and persistence of diurnal primates in Upper Brahmaputra ValleyOryx 46(2): 308-311Download
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The historical deforestation of the Upper Brahmaputra Valley in the Indian state of Assam has resulted in the transformation of its once-contiguous lowland rainforests into many isolated forest fragments that are still rich in species, including primates. We report the recent history and current status of six diurnal primates in one large (2,098 ha) and three small (, 500 ha) fragments of the Upper Brahmaputra Valley. We censused primates in the small fragments during 2002, 2005, 2009, in the large fragment in 2008, and used other published census data to derive population trends. We also used key informant surveys to obtain historical occurrence data for these populations. Our analyses reveal the recent extinction of some populations and the simultaneous long-term persist- ence of others in these fragments over 16 years. Most populations appeared to have declined in the small fragments but primate abundance has increased signific- antly in the largest fragment over the last decade. Addressing the biomass needs of the local human populations, which appears to drive habitat degradation, and better protection of these forests, will be crucial in ensuring the future survival of this diverse and unique primate assemblage in the last rainforest fragments of the human-dominated Upper Brahmaputra Valley.
- Journal Article2012Socio-economic drivers of Forest Cover Change in Assam: A Historical PerspectiveEconomic and Political Weekly 47(5): 64-72Download
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This article analyses the historical context of forest cover change in the upper Brahmaputra Valley of Assam during the precolonial, colonial and the postcolonial periods, locating these changes within the political economy and demographic milieu of each regime.In the current context of rising populations linked to immigration from neighbouring regions, dwindling share of agriculture in the state’s gross domestic product, and recent incentives to small tea growers in risk-prone agricultural landscapes, serious challenges remain to securing forests in this region. Empowering local communities and institutions, understanding tea plantation dynamics and managing the causes and consequences of recent demographic change are crucial to the conservation of forests there.
- Working Paper2012A Critique of the Nyamjang Chhu Hydro-electric power project Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP)NCF Working Paper 2, Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore.
- Popular Article2012Islands in peril: Conservation caveats.The Hindu Magazine, Sunday 26 February 2012, page 4.
- Popular Article2012The pigeon’s passengers.The Hindu Magazine, Sunday 6 May 2012, page 4.
Available here: http://www.thehindu.com/arts/magazine/article3387586.ece
Also here: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-in-school/the-pigeons-passengers/article3398790.ece
- Journal Article2012Structure and dynamics of South East Indian seagrass meadows across a sediment gradientAquatic Botany, 98 (1): 34-39Download
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In this study we examine the influence of non-monsoon sediment arrival on the high-diversity SE Indian seagrass meadows of the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar. We used a gradient-based approach to examine the influence of increasing sediment loads on species composition and shoot density. In addition, for the ubiquitous seagrass (Cymodocea serrulata), we tested the influence of sediment on its biomass and productivity. We identified three sites in Palk Bay and four sites in Gulf of Mannar (SE India) along a gradient of sediment input. At each of the seven locations, sediment traps were deployed to measure sedimentation rates. Nine seagrass cores were taken systematically along 50 m transects at a constant sub-tidal depth to measure shoot density and biomass. A few shoots of C. serrulata were marked to estimate the above ground seagrass growth rate. Our results indicate that sedimentation rates that ranged from 8.6 to 62.4 mg DW cm−2 d−1 could not explain species composition of the meadow or shoot density of the observed species. C. serrulata was, by far, the most abundant species and present in all sediment condi- tions. Sedimentation rates did not alter shoot elongation rates in C. serrulata, ranging from 1.54 ± 0.29 SD to 0.25 ± 0.02 SD cm d−1 , but in contrast, increased vertical rhizome elongation rate. This increase was reflected in an increase in below ground biomass along the sediment gradient (R2 = 0.582, p = 0.01). C. serrulata appears to be able to adapt to the sediment dynamics in this area by allocating resources to rhizomes and roots to counteract burial and stabilizing sediments. Given that siltation is one of the most important threats to seagrass meadows, understanding the species-specific adaptive mechanisms of seagrass species in these high-sediment, high diversity South Asian meadows is an important first step in ensuring their long-term survival and functioning
- Popular Article2012The feathered forestersSaevus 1(4, Sep/Oct): 28-33.