- Book Chapter2010Snow leopards: conflict and conservation.Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids, pp. 417-430.
- Journal Article2010Behavior of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in a land-use mosaic: implications for human-elephant coexistence in the Anamalai hills, IndiaWildlife Biology in Practice 6: 69-80.Download
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Understanding behavior of elephants in human-dominated landscapes can facilitate creation of management tools for conflict resolution and help foster human-elephant coexistence. We studied behavior of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in the Valparai plateau, a 220 km² landscape matrix of rainforest fragments, tea, coffee, and Eucalyptus plantations in the Anamalai Hills of the Western Ghats of India. We studied the nearest neighbor distance among elephants within the herd and their feeding behavior in habitat mosaics. We also recorded reactions of elephants to human proximity and number of people in the vicinity. We employed scan sampling for data collection. Feeding by elephants was lowest in open canopy habitat of tea, and it gradually increased in canopy covered plantations of coffee and Eucalyptus and in densely covered natural vegetation. Vigilance behavior of elephants was lowest in forest fragments and riverine vegetation as they could avoid encountering humans. This behavior peaked in tea plantations due to intense human activity there. Elephants maintained closer inter-individual distances in tea and this distance gradually increased in canopy habitats of coffee, Eucalyptus and natural vegetation. More humans in the vicinity and closer proximity to elephants reduced feeding and increased agitation in elephants, while proximity to settlements did not have any influence. We, therefore, suggest that protection and non-conversion of canopy habitats, restoration of rivers with native species, and maintaining distance from elephants would foster normal activities of elephants and help promote human-elephant coexistence in such landscapes.
- Popular Article2010Cry in the WildernessFrontline 26(26): 64-74
Many conservation issues need to be addressed to ensure the future of the wildlife in the Cauvery forests.
- Popular Article2010Saving SahyadriFrontline 27(24):64-72Download
PDF, 858 KB
Tigers are on the retreat from the Sahyadris and the predator’s preferred prey, the sambar, is on the decline.
- Popular Article2010The diverse economy of natureDeccan Herald, 19 January 2010
- Book2010Rainforest restoration: a guide to principles and practice.Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore.
- Journal Article2010Multi-spatial co-distribution of the endangered Ladakh urial and blue sheep in the arid Trans-Himalayan mountains.Journal of Arid Environments, 74 : 1162–1169.
- Newsletter2010A Blow to Marine LifeBushchat, NCF Newsletter (Special issue)
- Journal Article2010Seeing the elephant in the room: human elephant conflict and the Elephant Task Force reportEconomic and Political Weekly 45(49): 29-31Download
PDF, 163 KB
The report of the Elephant Task Force acknowledges the gravityof human-elephant conflicts,and makes a set of potentially far-reaching and forward-looking suggestions to alleviate them. The spirit of most of them is admirable and positive, but the devil, as always, is in the implementation. Managing conflict is as much about protecting farmers and farmlands from elephants as it is about reducing our footprint on the elephant’s domain. The first of five articles that discuss the Elephant Task Force report.
- Popular Article2010Natural engineering: India's green infrastructureDeccan Herald, Op-ed Panorama page, 15 February 2010Download
PDF, 58.8 KB
- Journal Article2010Effects of plantations and home-gardens on tropical forest bird communities and mixed-species bird flocks in the southern Western Ghats.Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 107: 91-108.Download
PDF, 1.4 MB
Conservation scientists and policy makers are increasingly aware of the role countryside habitats play in supporting tropical fauna in modern landscapes. We studied the value of different land-uses by examining composition of tropical bird communities and mixed-species bird flocks in human-altered landscapes of Thattekad and the Anamalai Hills, situated in two different altitudes, in the southern Western Ghats. Sixteen line transects distributed across tropical rainforests, shade plantations of coffee and cardamom, timber monocultures of teak, tea plantations, and home-gardens were surveyed for bird flocks, vegetation structure, foliage profile, and canopy attributes. Results indicate that tea plantations were extremely altered habitats, supporting few rainforest species and were devoid of mixed-species bird flocks. Teak monocultures had high species density but were less conducive for rainforest species that require a well developed and structurally more complex habitat. While bird species richness varied little across land-uses, there was significant variation in community composition, with some sensitive bird species absent from all altered habitats. Coffee plantations with surviving rainforest fragments and cardamom plantations with more native shade trees that mimicked a forest habitat supported more rainforest bird species both in communities and flocks. Maintenance of these shade plantations and restoration of forest fragments is recommended, while their conversion into a poor, more open habitat (tea, teak) is strongly discouraged for bird conservation in fragmented landscapes.
- Journal Article2010Why should a grazer browse? Livestock impact on winter resource use by bharal Pseudois nayaur.Oecologia, DOI 10.1007/s00442-009-1467-x.
- Popular Article2010Planet of the antsThe Hindu Magazine, 6 June 2010, page 5.
- Popular Article2010River reverieThe Hindu Magazine, 7 March 2010, page 7.
The river gives us water and power, fish and fertile plains, reeds and recreation. What do we do in return?
Available here: http://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/river-reverie/article149105.ece
- Book Chapter2010Status and conservation of tigers in the Indian subcontinentPages 313-326 in R. Tilson and P. Nyhus (editors) Tigers of the World 2nd Edition, The Science, Politics and Conservation of Panthera tigris. Elsevier, UK
- Popular Article2010சிறுத்தையும்நாமும்–யாருக்குயார்எதிரி? (Leopard and Us – who is enemy towhom?)பூவுலகு. பக்கங்கள் 34-37. Poovulagu. September. Pp 34-37.
- Newsletter2010Sarusscape: A rich tapestryThe ICF Bugle 35(1): 1-2
- Popular Article2010Change the hunterTimes of India, 30 April 2010
- Journal Article2009Brewing trouble: coffee invasion in relation to edges and forest structure in tropical rainforest fragments of the Western Ghats, IndiaBiological Invasions 11: 2387–2400
While the conservation impacts of invasive plant species on tropical biodiversity is widely recognised, little is known of the potential for cultivated crops turning invasive in tropical forest regions. In the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, India, fragmented rainforests often adjoin coffee plantations. This study in the Anamalai hills assessed the effects of distance from edges and forest structure on the occurrence and abundance of shade-tolerant coffee (Arabica Coffea arabica and Robusta C. canephora) in four fragments (32–200 ha) using replicate line transects laid from the edges into the interiors. The coffee species cultivated in adjoining plantations was more abundant than the other coffee species inside study fragments, showing a clear decline in stem density from edge (0 m) to interior (250 m), suggesting the influence of propagule pressure of adjoining plantations, coupled with edge effects and seed dispersal by animals. Significant positive correlations of coffee density with canopy cover indicate the potential threat of coffee invasion even in closed canopy rainforests. Stem density of Coffea arabica (150–1,825 stems/ha) was higher in more disturbed fragments, whereas Coffea canephora had spread in disturbed and undisturbed sites achieving much higher densities (6.3–11,486 stems/ha). In addition, a negative relationship between C. canephora and native shrub density indicates its potential detrimental effects on native plants
- Journal Article2009First underwater sighting and preliminary behavioural observations of Dugongs(Dugong dugon) in the wild from Indian waters, Andaman Islands.Journal of Threatened Taxa 1 (1): 49-53.