- Journal Article2012Conservation of the Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus) in human-modified landscapes, Western Ghats, IndiaTropical Conservation Science 5: 67-78.Download
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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 Article2012Why we need to protect bat speciesThe Hindu in School, 6 June
- Popular Article2012சிட்டுக்குருவிகள் உண்மையிலேயே அழிந்து வருகின்றனவா? (Are House Sparrows really declining? and on citizensparrow results)தினமணி நாளிதழ் – கொண்டாட்டம் இணைப்பில். 22 ஏப்ரல் 2012. Dinamani – Tamil Newspaper. 22nd April 2012.
சிட்டுக் குருவிகள் உண்மையிலேயே அழிந்து வருகின்றனவா? தினமணி நாளிதழ் – கொண்டாட்டம் இணைப்பில். 22 ஏப்ரல் 2012.[Jeganathan, P. (2012). Sittukuruvigal unmayileye azinthu varukindranava? Dinamani – Tamil Newspaper. Date 22nd April 2012 (Are House Sparrows really declining? and on citizensparrow results)]
- Popular Article2012Go batty with this quizThe Hindu in School, 13 June
- Journal Article2012Methodological, temporal and spatial factors affecting modelled occupancy of resident birds in the perennially cultivated landscape of Uttar Pradesh, IndiaLandscape Ecology 27: 59-71. doi:10.1007/s10980-011-9666-3.
Biodiversity persistence in non-woody tropical farmlands is poorly explored, and multispecies assessments with robust landscape-scale designs are sparse. Modeled species occupancy in agricultural mosaics is affected by multiple factors including survey methods (convenience-based versus systematic), landscape-scale agriculture-related variables, and extent of remnant habitat. Changes in seasonal crops can additionally alter landscape and habitat conditions thereby influencing species occupancy. We investigated how these factors affect modeled occupancy of 56 resident bird species using a landscape-scale multi-season occupancy framework across 24 intensively cultivated and human-dominated districts in Uttar Pradesh state, north India. Convenience-based roadside observations provided considerable differences in occupancy estimates and associations with remnant habitat and intensity of cultivation relative to systematic transect counts, and appeared to bias results to roadside conditions. Modeled occupancy of only open-area species improved with increasing intensity of cultivation, while remnant habitat improved modeled occupancy of scrubland, wetland and woodland species. Strong seasonal differences in occupancy were apparent for most species across all habitat guilds. Further habitat loss will be most detrimental to resident scrubland, wetland and woodland species. Uttar Pradesh’s agricultural landscape has a high conservation value, but will require a landscape-level approach to maintain the observed high species richness. Obtaining ecological information from unexplored landscapes using robust landscape-scale surveys offers substantial advantages to understand factors affecting species occupancy, and is necessary for efficient conservation planning.
- Popular Article2012The curious case of the wormThe Hindu in School, 19 December
- Popular Article2012Flight of the GooseThe Hindu in School, 7 November
- Popular Article2012கூடுகட்டவாகுருவி. (On House Sparrows)புதிய தலைமுறை. 19ஜூலை 2012 Puthiya Thalaimurai. 19th July 2012
- Popular Article2012முந்தோன்றி மூத்தவரே. (On South Indian Primates)புதிய தலைமுறை. 16ஆகஸ்டு 2012. Puthiya Thalaimurai. 16th August 2012.
- Poster2012Poster for public information campaigns to dissuade people from "rescuing" leopard cubsOctober 2012Download
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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 Article2012The mysterious cat of the high mountainsThe Hindu in School, 18 July
- 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.
- Popular Article2012Kosi: a river that can’t be pinned downThe Hindu in School, 29 August
- Working Paper2012Beyond the borders: wildlife conservation in landscapes fragmented by plantations crops in IndiaNCF Working Paper 1, Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore.Download
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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 Article2012Standardizing the double-observer survey method for estimating mountain ungulate prey of the endangered snow leopardOecologia DOI: 10.1007/s00442-011-2237-0
- Popular Article2012The land of the fungusThe Hindu in School, 15 August
- Popular Article2012Trans-Himalaya: In the shadows of a giantCare4Nature
- Journal Article2012Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas.Nature 489: 290-294.
- Popular Article2012ஒரு மழைக்காட்டு விதையின் பயணம். (The Journey of a Rainforest seed)தினமணி நாளிதழ் – கொண்டாட்டம் இணைப்பில். 11 மார்ச் 2012. Dinamani- Tamil Newspaper. 11th March 2012.
ஒரு மழைக்காட்டு விதையின் பயணம். தினமணி நாளிதழ் – கொண்டாட்டம் இணைப்பில். 11 மார்ச் 2012. [Jeganathan, P. (2012).Oru Mazaikkatu vithaiyin payanam.Dinamani- Tamil Newspaper. Date: 11thMarch (The Journey of a Rainforest seed)]
- Popular Article2012Twinkle, twinkle, little batThe Hindu in School 2 May