- Popular Article2012The talking treeThe Hindu in School, 5 December
- Popular Article2012A tree hole for a homeThe Hindu in School, 4 November
- Popular Article2012The pigeon's passengersThe Hindu in School, 9 May
- Popular Article2012Why we need to protect bat speciesThe Hindu in School, 6 June
- Popular Article2012Go batty with this quizThe Hindu in School, 13 June
- Popular Article2012The mysterious cat of the high mountainsThe Hindu in School, 18 July
- Popular Article2012The land of the fungusThe Hindu in School, 15 August
- Popular Article2012Kosi: a river that can’t be pinned downThe Hindu in School, 29 August
- Poster2012Poster for public information campaigns to dissuade people from "rescuing" leopard cubsOctober 2012Download
JPG, 207 KB
This poster was part of public information campaigns undertaken in order to highlight the impacts of picking up leopard cubs from forests, sugarcane fields and other areas.
- Popular Article2012Flight of the GooseThe Hindu in School, 7 November
- Popular Article2012The curious case of the wormThe Hindu in School, 19 December
- Report2012Protecting a hornbill haven: a community-run conservation initiative around Pakke Tiger ReserveHNAP Report for 2012Download
PDF, 2.11 MB
2012 Report for Hornbill Nest Adoption Program
- Popular Article2012Shared parentingHindu Survey of the Environment, July 2012, pp. 88-97.Download
PDF, 8.61 MB
A programme to adopt hornbill nests in Arunachal Pradesh is giving these great birds a chance to survive in Pakke,
- Popular Article2012கூடுகட்டவாகுருவி. (On House Sparrows)புதிய தலைமுறை. 19ஜூலை 2012 Puthiya Thalaimurai. 19th July 2012
- Popular Article2012The feathered forestersSaevus 1(4, Sep/Oct): 28-33.
- Journal Article2012Optimizing individual identification and survey effort for photographic capture–recapture sampling of species with temporally variable morphological traitsAnimal Conservation 15(2): 174-183
Endangered, wide-ranging megafauna have many threats to contend with during their struggle for survival in an ever-increasing human dominance of the environment. Reliable monitoring of endangered large mammal populations is therefore a critical conservation requirement. Photographic capture–recapture (CR) techniques have opened up avenues for population monitoring of individually recognizable large mammal species. The efficient application of these techniques, however, can be constrained by challenges in reliably identifying individuals arising from the use of multiple, and potentially variable traits, as well as issues of temporal sampling of populations in the field. We address these key problems by describing an automated process of rapidly identifying individual Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) from photographs, and comparing resultant CR-based population parameter estimates with those obtained using supervised visual identification of individuals. In addition, we assess the temporal effort necessary for robust estimation of demographic parameters in our study population. Morphological traits that maintain constancy over time, including variations in tusk characteristics, and ear fold and lobe shape, proved the most reliable for individual identification and subsequent estimation of population parameters. The use of temporally variable traits contributed to high probabilities of misidentification and biased estimates of population size. We found a minimum of seven sampling occasions necessary for reliable population estimation. Our study contributes to design issues for CR studies by providing insights into optimality of sampling effort such that precision of parameter estimates are not compromised while minimizing survey costs. We demonstrate the importance of accurate individual identification in the context of such studies and recommend the use of fixed morphological traits as the optimal individual identification strategy for species where animals are distinguished on the basis of multiple attributes, including some that may be variable over time.
- Journal Article2012Impact of vehicular traffic on large mammal use of highway-edges in southern IndiaCurrent Science 102(7): 1047-1051Download
PDF, 166 KB
India’s phenomenal economic growth over the last decade has been accompanied by a much-needed expansion and improvement in transport and other infrastructure networks. While there are legally mandated assessments of the potential ecological impacts of such infrastructure projects prior to implementation, rarely are there post-implementation assessments of their real ecological impacts. In this communication, we present results of a preliminary study examining the impact of vehicular traffic on the usage of road edges by large mammals along a highway passing through Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, southern India. We estimated large mammal encounter rates at remotely triggered camera traps on two consecutive sections of the same highway – one closed to vehicular traffic and the other open to vehicles only during daytime. We observed lower encounter rates of chital, gaur and elephants at camera traps in the highway segment with higher vehicular traffic density, suggesting that these species avoided busy highways. Based on our findings, we emphasize the importance of continued ecological impact assessments of development projects to identify and mitigate unforeseen impacts. Further, an approach to development planning that integrates conservation concerns, especially where development projects coincide with ecologically critical areas, is urgently needed in India.
- Journal Article2012Structure and dynamics of South East Indian seagrass meadows across a sediment gradientAquatic Botany, 98 (1): 34-39Download
PDF, 321 KB
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
- Journal Article2012Conservation of the Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus) in human-modified landscapes, Western Ghats, IndiaTropical Conservation Science 5: 67-78.Download
PDF, 948 KB
Conservation in human-modified landscapes is important for riparian animals as their habitats extend linearly beyond adjoining protected areas. We examined occupancy and intensity of habitat use of Asian small-clawed otters in coffee and tea plantations and an adjoining protected area in the Western Ghats. We sampled 66 stream segments of 500 m length, using spraints as an indicator of habitat use. Several variables characterising the stream and shoreline were also measured. Occupancy, corrected for detection of spraints, was >0.75 in all three land use types, indicating widespread use of the riparian ecosystem in human-modified landscapes. Intensity of habitat use, however, was much lower in tea (2.08 spraints/500 m) and coffee (2.42) plantations than in the protected area (3.86). Using GLMs we identified the abundance of potential refuges (such as boulders and fallen trees), which was greater in the protected area, as the major factor influencing intensity of habitat use. Shoreline diversity, which was lowest in the tea plantation, might also be another factor. The retention of much of the riparian vegetation and the presence of forest fragments which provide refuges have led to wide occupancy of the tea and coffee plantations although with less intensive use. Sand mining, fishing and infrequent poaching might be other reasons for the relatively low use of human-modified landscape. This study highlights the need to retain remnant forests and riparian vegetation, and to control some human activities for integrated management of species like the small-clawed otter in both protected areas and adjoining human-modified habitats.
- 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