- Journal Article2010The birds of Namdapha National Park: recent significant records and a checklist of the species.Forktail 26: 108-132.
- Popular Article2010சிறுத்தையும்நாமும்–யாருக்குயார்எதிரி? (Leopard and Us – who is enemy towhom?)பூவுலகு. பக்கங்கள் 34-37. Poovulagu. September. Pp 34-37.
- Journal Article2010Implications of conserving an ecosystem modifier: Increasing green turtle (Chelonia mydas) densities substantially alters seagrass meadowsBiological Conservation 143: 2730-2738
Ecosystem modifiers have the ability to significantly alter the ecosystem they inhabit sometimes with serious consequences for their own populations. We evaluated the ability of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) to modify seagrass ecosystems by their foraging activity. This study was conducted in a seagrass-dominated lagoon in the Lakshadweep Islands, Indian Ocean, where a stable high-density congregation of green turtles is present. We determined a gradient of turtle density in the lagoon and measured the intensity of turtle herbivory across the gradient. We then measured the impact of increasing grazing on seagrass structural parameters, growth and flowering along this gradient. Our results indicate that turtles substantially change seagrass meadow structure (canopy height, shoot length, width and density), reduce flowering and can potentially even cause changes in the species composition of the meadow. We discuss the implications of these results for seagrass ecosystem function, green turtle movement and human attitudes. When conserving ecosystem modifiers like the green turtle, any management strategy needs to include a detailed knowledge of the roles these species play in the ecosystems they inhabit.
- Popular Article2010Nobody’s heroesTimes of India, 31 December 2010
- Popular Article2010Nature without borders: the problemSeminar 613: 12-13
- Journal Article2010Seeing the elephant in the room: human elephant conflict and the Elephant Task Force reportEconomic and Political Weekly 45(49): 29-31Download
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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 Article2010Wildlife beyond bordersTimes of India, 30 July 2010
- Popular Article2010The elephant in your coffeeTimes of India, 25 June 2010
- Journal Article2010Trawling the shorelinesSeminar. September 2010. Nature without Borders: A symposium on innovative approaches to conserving nature and wildlife
Fishing in India has grown exponentially. It is an industry adapting to its own economic impulses, keeping itself afloat – quite literally – by responding to changes in supply and demand, seeking new markets, repackaging its products and by-products to woo these new markets, reinventing itself constantly in order to survive. The upshot of this industrial inventiveness is that a system of production that should have been designated unsustainable years ago, continues to persist at an increasing ecological cost. And since all of this happens beneath the waves, it largely escapes the noisy debates over the vanishing wilds.
In this paper we present a potted history of trawl fishing along the Indian coastline, and trace its ecological and economic fallout to coastal communities, both human and marine. We discuss the factors currently driving the economics of trawling within the Indian scenario, and explore potential directions towards a more meaningful management of this harvest. Our discussion focuses on fishery off the Coromandel coast, since that is the area we are most familiar with, but it is indicative of much of the rest of the Indian coastline.
- Journal Article2010Commercializing bycatch can push a fishery beyond economic extinctionConservation Letters 3: 277-285Download
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Tropical bottom trawling is among the most destructive fishing practices, catch- ing large quantities of bycatch, which are usually discarded. We used question- naire surveys of trawl fishers to look at changes in catches over the last 30 years (1978–2008) along India’s Coromandel Coast. We show that catches and in- come from target species have declined sharply over the last two decades. Meanwhile, costs of fishing have increased substantially and now almost ex- ceed income from target species. Over the same period, bycatch (which was traditionally discarded) has now become increasingly marketable, being sold for local consumption, and as fish meal to supply the region’s rapidly growing poultry industry. Without this income from bycatch, the fishery would scarcely be economically viable. While such a change in the use of bycatch is good news in terms of reducing waste and improving livelihoods, it is also responsible for pushing the Indian bottom trawl fishery beyond the economic extinction of its target species.
- Journal Article2010Ensuring the future of the tiger and other large mammals in the southern portion of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, southern IndiaJournal of the Bombay Natural History Society 107: 77-85Download
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The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, at the tri-junction of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, constitutes arguably one of the finest conservation landscapes in the global range of the tiger. We surveyed the southern part of this region, as well as the adjoining areas, to assess the status of large mammals both within and outside protected areas. Our field assessments suggest that large mammals are almost exclusively confined to protected areas with the few remaining populations outside under severe threat from habitat degradation and poaching. However, large stretches of contiguous forests still remain. We suggest the extension of the recently notified Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu such that connectivity is retained and strengthened with Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary of Karnataka to the north-east and with Silent Valley National Park of Kerala to the south. We also provide suggestions on strengthening conservation in this landscape. The involvement of local communities in the establishment of the Siruvani Conservation Reserve in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and Nilambur Conservation Reserve in Kerala, will bolster the conservation of large mammals in this landscape. With the suggested extension, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve has the potential of becoming arguably the finest habitat for tigers across Asia, given the variations in altitude, topography and climate which produce a diversity of vegetation types and consequently, provide the tiger with an assortment of prey ranging from Nilgiri Tahr in the high altitude montane grasslands to Blackbuck in the low-lying dry deciduous and thorn scrub forests.
- 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 Article2010Need to preserve natural capitalMint, 5 June 2010
- Book2010Rainforest restoration: a guide to principles and practice.Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore.
- Journal Article2010Why should a grazer browse? Livestock impact on winter resource use by bharal Pseudois nayaur.Oecologia, DOI 10.1007/s00442-009-1467-x.
- 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.
- Popular Article2010Climate change, first-handTeacher Plus, May-June, 74-76
- Book Chapter2010Snow leopards: conflict and conservation.Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids, pp. 417-430.
- Book Chapter2010Multiple Use of Trans-Himalayan Rangelands: Reconciling Human Livelihoods withWildlife Conservation.Wild Rangelands: Conserving Wildlife While Maintaining Livestock in Semi-Arid Ecosystem (eds J. T. Toit, R. Kock & J. C. Deutsch), pp. 291-311. Blackwell Publishing.
- Popular Article2010Natural engineering: India's green infrastructureDeccan Herald, Op-ed Panorama page, 15 February 2010Download
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