Voluntary Resettlement out of Indian Protected Areas
To be updated soon
Mitigation Use against Human-widlife Conflict around Indian Protected Areas
Buffer areas surrounding India's PAs experience elevated levels of crop, property and livestock loss owing to high human-wildlife interactions. Upto 71% families report losing crops to wild herbivores such as elephants, wild pigs and nilgai. Whereas 17% report livestock depredation by carnivores such as leopards and tigers. How do these rural families prevent such losses? Under what conditions can they employ mitigation measures designed to minimize these losses? Analyzing data from > 5000 families living around 11 protected areas, we find:
1. Families report losing an average of almost INR 13,000 to wild herbivores, and INR 4400 to carnivores,
2. Up to 32 wildlife species are reported responsible for damage across western, central, and southern Indian parks,
3. > 10 different mitigation measures are used to protect crops and livestock,
4. Night-time watch, fencing, scare devices are the most commonly used measures,
5. Despite widespread use of multiple measures, people continue to face high economic losses.
This suggests an urgent need for identification of effective crop and livestock mitigation measures that can minimize the costs of living alongside wildlife.
Read the publication here
Effects of Habitat Structure upon Small Mammal Abundance in the Tropical Forests of Northeastern India
This project is a collaborative effort involving André P. Silva and Krishnapriya Tamma who patiently taught me the ABCs of small mammal trapping. A big thank you to the fantastic volunteers who helped during data collection: Abhishek Gupta, Renuka Rajiv, Sanket Raut, Surabhi Nadig, Satyasarathi Mishra and Senan D'Souza. And to Dr. James P. Gibbs, my advisor at SUNY-ESF for being incredibly supportive throughout the process.
The relations between species and habitats give us important, basic insights into species' natural history: Where does an animal live? What is its diet? What type of competitive processes does it face? What effect does it have on the ecosystem it inhabits? and so on. Small mammals are one of the most poorly understood groups of mammals on the planet. This holds especially true for the community in the exceptionally biodiverse forests of northeastern India. For my Masters thesis, I ask the question- How does habitat structure affect the abundance and distribution of the tropical forest small mammal community?
The study was carried out within 3 protected areas in northeastern India- Balpakram National Park & Nongkhyllum Wildlife Sanctuary (Meghalaya) and Intanki National Park (Nagaland). I employed a mark-recapture technique through live-trapping using Sherman traps. I also measured habitat characteristics such as tree density, shrub density, percentage of rocks, burrows and related factors that might influence small mammal distribution. Multinomial N-mixture models were used to estimate species abundance. You can read the thesis here.