- Journal Article2011Less than wild? Commensal primates and wildlife conservationJournal of Biosciences 36: 749-753
- Report2011Framing ecologically sound policy on linear intrusions affecting wildlife habitats: Background paper for the National Board for Wildlife, Ministry of Environment and Forest, India.
PDF available at iMinistry of Environment and Forest, India, website. Click here to download.
- Report2011Wildlife in the Havukal – Warwick estates, Nilgiris: a field survey and inventory report.Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore.
Jeganathan, P. & Murali, R. (2011). Wildlife in the Havukal – Warwick estates, Nilgiris: a field survey and inventory report. Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore.
- Popular Article2011Staying legal, staying reasonableDown To Earth, 15 November 2011
Full article accessible here
- Popular Article2011A real race on an imaginary course?Down To Earth, 15 October 2011
- Journal Article2011Patterns of spatiotemporal change in large mammal distribution and abundance in the southern Western Ghats, IndiaBiological Conservation 144: 1567-1576Download
PDF, 661 KB
Large mammals face high risks of anthropogenic extinction owing to their larger body mass and associated life history traits. Recent worldwide mammal declines have highlighted the conservation importance of effective assessments of trends in distribution and abundance of species. Yet reliable data depicting the nature and extent of changes in population parameters is sparse, primarily due to logistical problems in covering large areas and difficulties in obtaining reliable information at large spatial scales, particularly over time. We used key informant surveys to generate detection histories for 18 species of large mammals (body mass > 2 kg) at two points in time (present and 30 years ago) in the Southern subregion of the Western Ghats global biodiversity hotspot. Multiple-season occupancy models were used to assess temporal trends in occupancy, detectability and vital rates of extinction and colonization for each species. Our results show significant declines in distribution for large carnivores, the Asian elephant and endemic ungulates and primates. There is a significant decline in detectability for 16 species, which suggests a decline in their abundance. These patterns of change in distribution and abundance repeat in our assessments of spatial variation in occupancy dynamics between the three contiguous forest complexes and two human-dominated landscapes into which the southern Western Ghats has been fragmented. Extinction rates are highest in the human-dominated landscapes. Declines in abundance for several species suggest the presence of extinction debts, which may soon be repaid with imminent range contractions and subsequent species extinctions unless immediate remedial conservation measures are taken. Detection/non-detection surveys of key informants used in an occupancy modeling framework provide potential for rapid conservation status assessments of multiple species across large spatial scales over time.
- Popular Article2010Desperate neighbours: wildlife and the rural poorThe Hindu Survey of the Environment 2010, pp. 113-118Download
PDF, 3.79 MB
A conservation plan that is not blind to people's needs can be rewarding, as the story of two villages on the fringe of Bandipur Forest Reserve shows. Pavithra Sankaran and MD Madhusudan explain how a novel plan got it right.
- 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.
- Journal Article2010Bird use of rice fields in the Indian subcontinentWaterbirds 33 (Special Publication 1): 44-70.
The Indian subcontinent has the world’s highest cropland cover per unit area with rice (Oryza sativa) being the second-most important crop, and is home to nearly 1,300 species of birds. The significance of rice fields as bird habitat in the region is not well understood and the subject is reviewed using a combination of published and secondary information. Rice fields in the subcontinent are used by at least 351 species, although only 2.7% of birds occurring in the subcontinent breed in rice fields. The spread of rice cultivation and its attendant secondary habitats may have contributed to the increase in range and population of 64 common species but is threatening hundreds of other species, many of conservation concern. Most work in the region has focused on birds as pests of rice. Few studies have been conducted on the habits of birds that use rice fields and fewer still have compared how rice fields and similar natural habitats differ. Although rice harvesting has caused nest mortality for breeding birds, there is no comparable information from natural habitats. The guild structure of birds in rice fields is similar to that overall in the region except for a higher representation of carnivores. Rice fields are used primarily by grassland and wetland species. There are large information gaps that require filling to be able to ascertain the utility or impact of rice fields to bird populations and, thus, many research opportunities.
- Popular Article2010Nature without borders: the problemSeminar 613: 12-13
- 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.
- Popular Article2010Wildlife beyond bordersTimes of India, 30 July 2010
- Popular Article2010The elephant in your coffeeTimes of India, 25 June 2010
- Journal Article2010Genetic Polymorphism in the Serotonin Transporter Promoter Region and Ecological Success in MacaquesBehaviour Genetics, 40: 672-679Download
PDF, 404 KB
A well-characterised sequence length poly- morphism in the serotonin transporter promoter region (5-HTTLPR) influences individual behavioural traits and cognitive abilities in humans and rhesus macaques. Maca- ques have been classified into four continuous grades on the basis of their behavioural attributes, ranging from highly hierarchical and nepotistic species to the most egalitarian and tolerant ones. A comparative study of several species that spanned these grades revealed only rhesus macaques to be polymorphic at the 5-HTTLPR and concluded that the polymorphism was responsible for their despotic and aggressive behaviour (Wendland et al., Behav Genet 36:163–172, 2006). We studied wild populations of three other species and found that the egalitarian and tolerant bonnet and Arunachal macaques are also polymorphic while liontailed macaques, although belonging to the same group, are monomorphic. We thus reject a role for this particular polymorphism in interspecific behavioural vari- ability and show that polymorphic species enjoy greater ecological success possibly due to their higher infraspecific variability in individual behavioural traits.
- Popular Article2010Need to preserve natural capitalMint, 5 June 2010
- Popular Article2010Saving a culture of coexistenceTimes of India, 28 May 2010
- Popular Article2010Old is GoldHornbill. April-June. Pp. 10-13.Download
PDF, 486 KB
On Golden Dartlet (Ischnura aurora) Damselfly
- Popular Article2010Dragonflies and Damselflies-bejeweled aerial predatorsSanctuary Asia. August. Pp 56-59.Download
PDF, 328 KB
Jeganathan, P. (2010). Dragonflies and Damselflies-bejeweled aerial predators. Sanctuary Asia. August. Pp 56-59.
- 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 Article2010Can we hear the roar again?The Hindu Young World, 3rd August
Jeganathan, P. (2010). Can we hear the roar again? The Hindu Young World, 3rdAugust. http://www.hindu.com/yw/2010/08/03/stories/2010080350240200.htm