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A study of mixed species foraging in reef fish off the Islands of Lakshadweep, India
Anne Heloise Theo C/o Dr. Kartik Shanker, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, C.V. Raman Avenue, Bangalore. Email: anneheloise.theo@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The interactions between species within a coral reef shape the health and resilience of the ecosystem; the fish community being the most dominant form on the reefs plays a vital role in the organization of the ecosystem. An in depth understanding of these interactions will lead to a better understanding of the system and hence guide mitigation efforts in the event of large scale damage. Research Methods: Data was collected on the species composition and abundance of each species within the sites by means of timed underwater random walks. Data was also collected on benthic variables such as substrate type, coral cover and structural complexity for each site. Important Results: A preliminary assessment of the data suggests that this behaviour is fairly widespread in the fish species observed in the islands. Over 15 species of fish have been seen to form groups fairly regularly, while many others participate in groups opportunistically and a few appear in these groups rarely. More groups were observed in shallow waters but groups in the deep showed higher stability.

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Impact of an exotic invasive piscine species on the shoaling decisions of a freshwater fish, the Climbing Perch
Binoy V. V Rajesh Kasturirangan and Anindya Sinha, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bangalore - 560 012. Email: vvbinoy@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Invasive exotic fishes are a major threat to indigenous aquatic diversity; many Indian aquatic resources are today threatened by an exotic piscine species, the tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus. We have analysed the impact of prolonged exposure to tilapia on the shoaling decisions of a native freshwater fish, the climbing perch (Anabas testudineus). Research Methods: Our study followed the titration method using a binary choice apparatus to quantify the shoaling preference of individual climbing perch in response to the presence of tilapia. Monospecific shoals of climbing perch and of tilapia as well as mixed-species shoals, composed of varying numbers of individuals of both species, were used as the stimuli. Important results: The climbing perch, with a natural preference for conspecific shoals of over those of a heterospecific, the tilapia, failed to reach a shoaling decision when a shoal of predominantly tilapia contained at least one conspecific. Prolonged interactions between the two species also led to the acquisition of familiarity-dependent preference for tilapia by the climbing perch; the species lost its species-specific shoaling tendency and preferred to join a shoal of familiar tilapia individuals than one of unfamiliar conspecifics.

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Demographic responses of understorey birds to logging-induced habitat degradation


Umesh Srinivasan National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, GKVK Campus, Bellary Road, Bangalore- 560 065. Email: umesh.srinivasan@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Studies on the impacts of habitat modification have largely examined community-level and species abundance changes in response to habitat change, providing no information on population viability in modified habitats. We examine the impacts of habitat degradation on the survival and population growth rates of bird species, and the effect of lifehistory traits such as body mass on these processes. Research Methods: We use a plot-based sampling design, with eight sampling plots distributed across a gradient of habitat degradation in the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary in the Eastern Himalaya of Arunachal Pradesh. We use mist netting and bird ringing following the robust design under the mark-recapture framework to estimate population parameters such as survival probability and population growth rates. Important Results: From three sessions of mist netting (April 2011, September 2011 and April 2012; 72 days of netting), we have ringed over 2000 individuals belonging to 60 understorey species. Our results suggest that demographic parameters of some species decline with habitat degradation, and that variation among species in this decline can be partly explained by body size.

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Conservation restores natal dispersal behaviour and population linkage in a large carnivore
Julien Fattebert P.O. Box 610, Hluhluwe 3960, KZN South Africa. Email: jufattebert@yahoo.fr Conservation Purpose: Natal dispersal is an essential behaviour that enables population connectivity and metapopulation dynamics. Following conservation interventions on a persecuted leopard (Panthera pardus) population we investigated whether natal dispersal behaviour of subadult increased, both in terms of rate and distance travelled, with increasing population density and stabilization of the land tenure dynamics. Research Methods: Over a 10-year period, we captured and collared 54 leopards, including 41 subadults. We tracked subadults through various phases of their natal dispersal using VHF or GPS telemetry. We assessed population density using photographic capture-recapture. We analysed how differences in population density, sex, age and the presence of a new progeny affect the timing, duration and distance of dispersal. Important Results: All females were philopatric. Prior to conservation, 83.3% males initiated dispersal, but all died due to persecution. During the recovery phase, 33.3% males dispersed. After the population stabilized, 71.4% males dispersed. Long distance dispersal has been documented in 4 individuals, including the longest dispersal event recorded for the species so far, over 350 km across 3 countries.

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Impacts of hunting on hornbills and thereby on seed dispersal and regeneration of their food plants in North-East India
Rohit Naniwadekar Nature Conservation Foundation, 3076/5, IV Cross, Gokulam Park, Mysore, Karnataka, India. Email: rohit@ncf-india.org Conservation Purpose: My study aims to understand impacts of hunting on frugivores and consequently on seed dispersal and thereby on plant regeneration. The specific questions of my study are to understand impacts of hunting on 1) hornbill abundances, 2) scatter-dispersal of large seeds predominantly dispersed by hornbills and 3) regeneration of these largeseeded hornbill-dispersed plants in north-east India. Research Methods: We monitored 8 and 4 trails each in a non-hunted site (Namdapha National Park) and a hunted site (Miao Reserve Forest) for three months. Primary dispersers of large-seeded (> 5cm) plant species were identified with fruit tree watches. 200 (1m x 1m) plots along each trail were monitored for scatter dispersal of seeds. 0.45 ha belt transects were used to record saplings along each trail. Important Results: Analysis is still in progress. However, preliminary analysis indicates that across hunted and non-hunted sites, there were differences in hornbill abundances and dispersed seed arrival. There were species-specific differences in densities and proportions across seedlings and saplings between hunted and non-hunted sites.

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Crop depredation by wild herbivores at the western boundary of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve: Patterns and economics
Abhijeet Bayani Biology Lab, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, 3rd floor, Central Tower, Sai-Trinity Building,Near Garware Circle, Sus Road, Pashan, Pune-411021. Email: abhijeetbayani@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: What is the production cost of agriculture in response to crop depredation with respect to efforts put in agriculture so as to suggest the plausible mitigation measure to be applied for achieving higher yield and reducing human-wildlife conflict? Research Methods: 1) Questionnaire surveys. 2) ad lib sampling for estimation of crop preferences by animals. 3) Estimation of per day damage probabilities on crop-fields while going away from forest cover (3 belt transects 10 km long each) and while crop-fields are surrounded by forests. 4) Theoretical (mathematical) model for production cost Important Results: 1) Wild Pigs, Nilgai, Chital, Sambar, Hare are the major crop-raiders. 2) Chital and Sambar do not raid crops beyond 3 Km. 3) Probability of damage decreases while going away from forest cover. 4) Probability damage on any random field surrounded by forests is higher than any field closest to forest cover. 5) Optimization model for production cost. If the production cost reduces and the damage caused by herbivores remains same, it may result into loss in wildlife through increased human-wildlife conflict. Increased guarding efforts may frustrate farmers and thus fencing will increase and fencing the crop-fields may involve a cost of overexploitation of near-by forest cover and thus reduction of forest cover, more crop-depredation.

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Recognition of key nesting habitats and identification of threats for conservation of turtles in East coast of Sri Lanka
Gajaba Ellepola No 486, Balagolla, Kengalla, Kandy, Sri Lanka Email: gajaba3@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: East coast rookeries are newly identified turtle nesting areas that facilitate five threatened turtle species where no previous studies have been conducted. This study aims to find out whether East coast rookeries provide significant nesting sites for migratory turtles and to highlight the need for conservation of breeding habitats. Research Methods: A pilot study was done in a 4km stretch of beach from Helawa-Komari (HK) to identify the key nesting areas of turtles. Daily monitoring of the beach was done during the nesting periods. Threats faced by turtles, predator attacks to nests and effects of anthropogenic activities to turtles were identified. Clutch parameters and hatching success was measured during the nesting season for two years. Important Results: Five turtle species nest within the area and they lay eggs even during the daytime. Green turtle is the most frequent visitor. Hatching success and number of females coming ashore for nesting is decreasing. Main threats to turtle nests in the area are predatory attacks by Wild boar (Sus scrofa) inhabiting the nearby forests, development programs undergoing in the area and illegal egg poaching.

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Range shifts in elephant driven by new habitat and human disturbances


Jeanetta Selier No 1 Villa Valencia 28 Truman Road Padfield Park Durban 3610 KwaZuluNatal South Africa Email: tuli.elephants@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: We know that how elephants move through time and space is central to understanding their biodiversity consequences. It is only recently, however that we started looking at how different management strategies influence the way elephants utilize their landscape. In this talk we address how the availability of new habitats and human disturbances influence elephant distribution and movements. Research Methods: Data from 6 total aerial surveys of the elephant population over a 10-year period and movement data from 5 breeding herds over a 4 year period within the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA) were used. Annual home ranges were determined using the k-LoCoH method. Overlap of home ranges was determined using the AdeHabitat package in R. Important Results: Annual home ranges showed a high degree of fidelity to a particular area in different years. However, as new range became available large shifts in the overall distribution of the population occurred, reducing densities in the previous range. Hunting pressure caused movement out of hunting regions, increasing densities in areas with no or limited hunting.

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Assessing the importance of corridors in Kaziranga- Karbi Anglong Landscape, Assam, India
Alolika Sinha Aaranyak, 50 Evergreen, Samanway Path, Beltola Survey, Guwahati781028, Assam, India Email: alolika@aaranyak.org Conservation Purpose: 1. First study on the usage of corridors by the animals in Kaziranga-karbi Anglong landscape. 2.Findings revealed the importance of the habitat connectivity and hence conservation on landscape level. 3.Threats enlisted. 4.Findings will aid the decision makers in drafting conservation strategy for an important area like Kaziranga. Research Methods: In all the three corridors, track plots of 1 sq. were laid and monitored for seven days in every alternate month. Data was collected for each day and the plots were remade. Besides, camera traps were also employed. A Passive Tracking Index (PTI) for the animal presence and its variance was calculated in accordance to the general index developed by Engeman et al. (1998; 2000). Important Results: 1. Corridors act as a passage between two meta population of Tigers in Kaziranga and Karbi Anglong. 2. Temporal movement pattern of different animals was recorded.

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Exploring the phenomenon of geographical clustering and collaboration in the biodiversity and conservation sector
Vena Kapoor 16, Hazelwood Close, Cambridge CB34SN, United Kingdom Email: vena.kapoor@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: I explore the phenomenon of geographical clustering among biodiversity conservation organisations and institutions worldwide and analyse reasons for clustering. I study three clusters where organisations use physical proximity to collaborate to improve conservation impact. Using this data, I analyse the requirements for successful collaboration and the benefits and challenges of such clustering. Research Methods: Cluster theory from business and economic geography literature was modified for the conservation sector. Publicly available data was used to analyse where and why conservation clusters occur worldwide. Qualitative analysis was conducted on data from interviews with key individuals from constituent organisations of three collaborative clusters and results discussed in relation to cluster theory. Important Results: My results show that a pre-existing social network, a representative governance mechanism, and a separate fundraising strategy are some of the characteristics imperative for a collaborative cluster. I propose best practices for collaboration between conservation organisations with similar goals to overcome inherent challenges such as conflicting brand identities and niche overlap.

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How perceptions influence the sustainability of fisheries in India - case studies from Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra
Divya Karnad 2 Tarapore Avenue, Harrington Road, Chetpet, Chennai- 600031 Email: divya.karnad@rutgers.edu Conservation Purpose: This project compares the perceptions of fishing communities, from two regions, about the state of the marine ecosystem and fisheries sustainability. By examining current fishing practices including attitudes towards conservation and the use of sustainable technology, this project identifies the threads that link these communities to ecosystem longevity. Research Methods: We spoke to fishermen within the framework of semistructured questionnaire surveys that were designed to obtain pertinent information while maintaining the anonymity of the individuals involved. We sought both quantitative and qualitative responses, which were coded, and analyzed for patterns using Classification Trees. Important Results: We analyzed responses from 342 fishermen in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Most respondents perceived catch declines over the last 10-15 years. There was also high spatial overlap between users of different fishing gear. Most respondents did not recognize "bycatch" as a valid category and claimed to use all that they catch. Greater fishing effort made people more willing to be sustainable.

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How much research is required before giving an alarm bell for conservation?
Muralidharan Manoharakrishnan Flat No 8, Dwarakamai Residency, # 2278, 24th Cross, Sahakarnagar C Block, Bangalore 560 092 Email: muralim86@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Taking the example of our program on the olive ridley population at Orissa, we look at how short duration studies at times provide misleading results. When dealing with long-lived species like turtles it is necessary to consider a broader perspective of the species relationship with its habitat and long term monitoring results for providing reliable management decisions. Research Methods: We have been monitoring several ecological and geomorphological parameters of the turtle population on the Orissa coast covering aspects of its breeding behaviour and success, habitat quality and its spatial utilization, population genetics, etc over a period of a decade using a variety of techniques and methods. Important Results: When the results of short duration study were looked at, it shows a pattern which could be mistaken for a spuriously alarming/positive trend in the turtle population. Only when data from a longer time scale was taken into consideration were we able to see the patterns, which were more reliable.

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Measuring the effectiveness of Marine No-take reserves in protecting fish populations


Sapna Jayaraman F-21, Wildlife Lab, National Centre for Biological Sciences, GKVK Campus, Bellary Road, Bangalore 560065 Email: sapna.jayaraman@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Marine protected areas play a very important role by restricting access to a part of the reef thus protecting the fish stocks inside. These protected fish stocks can potentially serve as a source population helping replenish fished populations in unprotected areas of the reef. This study examines the effectiveness of one such marine protected area in the Andaman Islands. Research Methods: Interviews with fishermen and key informants were conducted to obtain information on important target species and the internal and external drivers of their trade. In-water fish surveys were used to assess the effectiveness of the protected area in conserving populations of resource species. An experimental fishing approach was used to estimate catch per unit effort inside and outside the PA. Important Results: Although these results are preliminary, the evidence points to there being varying levels of effectiveness within the PA. Areas under direct observation from the forest outpost may be more effective than areas farther away. Moreover, during monsoon months, fishing is restricted to areas on the periphery or possibly inside the park as these are the only sheltered areas during these months.

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Comparing Species composition of amphibians in the natural and human-dominated landscapes in Southern Western Ghats
Sneha Dharwadkar 8-104, Parishram Park, near ITI, Gorwa, Vadodara-390016, Gujarat Email: sneha.dharwadkar@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Shencotah pass of the southern Western Ghats, once with contiguous forests, is threatened with severe forest fragmentation and alteration. This has been considered as major reason for amphibian population declines. To determine the effects of the landuse patterns on the amphibian populations in the Ambanaad Estate area of the Shencottah gap of the Western Ghats, the present study was carried out Research Methods: 150x5m belt transects were used to sample amphibians. The objective of the design was to have 30 transects per each land-use type. The land-use types surveyed were: Forest as reference, Tea and Rubber plantations. The analysis was done using the program PRESENCE 3.1 for the species richness and Bray-Curtis dissimilarity was to calculate the species composition. Important Results: 27 species of amphibians were recorded, out of which 22 were from forests, 19 from rubber and 11 from tea plantations. When the Species composition was compared to the overall landscape, most of the samples were dissimilar to the reference plot, including forest samples. This indicates that even the forest sites sampled were very far away from the overall landscape and that are the disturbed sites.

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Assessing geographical distribution patterns of anurans of the Western Ghats


Roshmi Rekha Sarma B-28, Apoorva Apartments Plot no. 14, Sector 5, Dwarka, New Delhi110075 Email: eng.roshmi@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Ever since Ranjit Daniels paper on geographic distribution patterns of amphibians of the Western Ghats, more than 50 species has been described and many new localities has been identified and several species have split and lumped. Given this, there is a need to relook at the geographic distribution patterns of anurans of the Western Ghats, India and compare with other taxa in the region. Research Methods: Around 1300 data points on the distribution of anurans in the Western Ghats (WG) were obtained from various published sources, websites, social network sites and personal observations. Analysis was performed to assess latitudinal and altitudinal distribution patterns. Correlation was done to assess the relationship between anurans distribution with that of other groups in the Western Ghats. Important Results: Latitudinal band 10 and 11 degree N in Southern Western Ghats has high species richness and endemism compared to Central and North WG. Along altitudinal gradient, low-mid altitude(800-1000m asl) has highest species richness. Number of threatened anurans follows the same pattern as above. Mean body size increases with latitude & decreases with increase in altitude.

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Effect of structure on juvenile fish populations in tide dominated mangrove forests. A case study from South Andaman.
Bhanu Sridharan F-21, National Centre for Biological Sciences, GKVK Campus, Hebbal, Bangalore-560065 Email: bhanu.sridharan@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Mangroves are considered vital habitats for juvenile fish, because of their complex roots structures. Few studies look at effect of changing tides on this system. With this context this study asks if: 1) Complex root structures are key determinant of juvenile fish abundances and composition in a mangrove forest? 2) Other factors affect habitat use of juvenile fishes in mangrove forests? Research Methods: To determine fish abundance I used a nested sampling approach that consisted of 50x50m grids consisting of five circular stake nets (7m diameter) to trap fish during high tides. Composition details were compiled using databases like fishbase. Structural complexity was measured using 1X1m photo quadrats. Field experiments were conducted to understand predator-prey relationships. Important Results: 1 In tide dominated mangroves, the juvenile fish abundance was determined primarily not by structure but by risk of stranding. Fish abundances and composition were determined primarily by distance to the main water body that fish returned to in low tides. Species composition changed with level of structural complexity. Presence of several reef and pelagic species shows habitat connectivity.

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Faunal diversity of the Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed, Nueva Ecija, Luzon Island, Philippines
Danah Marie Purificacion Unit 207, #73 R. Alvero St., Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines 1101 Email: purificaciondmp@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed is found in Nueva Ecija, Luzon Island, Philippines. Despite its protected area status, it is continuously being subjected to unregulated anthropogenic activities leading to forest fragmentation. The study was undertaken to determine the faunal assemblage of remaining secondary forest fragments and degraded forest within the watershed. Research Methods: Sampling was done at different elevations covering a variety of habitats using standard wildlife assessment and inventory techniques such as mist netting, line transects and trapping using snap traps, time-constrained searches, opportunistic sampling and interviews with local community members. Adequacy of sampling was measured by plotting captures against number of traps, nets and time. Important Results: A total of 112 vertebrates was documented in secondary forest fragments and degraded forests in the watershed. Despite high levels of disturbance in the sampling areas, endemicity was high, with 51% of all species encountered as endemic to the Philippines. Non-native rodents were not successful in invading the native forest since the native faunal assemblage was diverse and appeared to be intact.

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A multi-scale approach at assessing space-use patterns of the Asiatic Wild Dog in a tropical forest landscape
Arjun Srivathsa #304-D Debonair Residency Rama Rao Layout Kathriguppa Banashankari 3rd stage Bangalore 560 085 Email: arjuns@ncbs.res.in Conservation Purpose: Prey availability and habitat features are crucial in determining distributions of social carnivores. We know little about the ecological requirements of one such carnivore, the Asiatic Wild Dog or Dhole Cuon alpinus. Unverified population estimates suggest that approximately 2500 individuals are found globally and mainly occur in protected areas. Research Methods: We develop and apply innovative non-invasive sampling techniques to simultaneously assess dhole habitat use and occurrence at multiple spatial scales. We combine information on dhole occurrence from field-based observations of indirect signs (tracks and scats), and interviews of local residents using a Bayesian hierarchical model. Important Results: We invested a walk effort of 900km along road-routes and over 800 interviews in and around Bandipura National Park. We also assess what factors predicted dhole habitat use and occurrence, specifically examining the influence of protection efforts, land-cover type, distribution of prey species, occurrence of co-predators and anthropogenic disturbance.

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Last Tigers of Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh


Dipankar Lahkar 67, Surjanagar, Satgaon, Guwahati P.O-Udayan Vihar, Dist-Kamrup, Assam Pin-781171 Email: dipankar.lahkar@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The NTR has been identified globally as a high priority landscape for tiger conservation. It was a challenged for us to know the status of tiger and leopard in the Namdapha since there was no photographic evidence of both the species since it has been declared as a tiger reserve. Research Methods: The study focused on an area of 300 km2, roughly encompassing the moist evergreen habitat within the NTR up to 1500 m. Following previous guidelines for survey design (Karanth and Nichols, 1998; Karanth et al., 2002; Karanth and Nichols, 2002) we imposed a uniform grid (2x2 Km2) on a map of the area. 83 camera traps were systematically distributed within the study area by super imposing a 2x2 Km2. Important Results: From the approximately 2200 trap night data, a total of 33 mammalian species (including 7 carnivores, 7 ungulates, 2 bears and 3 primates) were recorded, of which 13 spp. are categorized as Endangered or Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Six species of cats were captured during the study period. Tiger, leopard and wild elephants were captured on camera traps for the first time in the history of NTR.

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Spatial and temporal abundance and spawning seasonality of shrimps off the West Coast of Sri Lanka
Dileepa de Croos Department of Aquaculture and fisheries Wayamba University of Sri Lanka Makandura Gonawilla (60170) Sri Lanka Email: dileepa_dc@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: High fishing pressure & anthropogenic activities mount pressures on the shrimp population in west coast of Sri Lanka. Reduction of commercial catch rates tends fishers to use more fishing efforts. Lack of knowledge on the availability & abundance of different life stages in the lagoon & their spawning seasonality hampers seasonal & temporal banning for fishing and also set limitations on catches. Research Methods: Developed a sampling scenario using random effect models. The magnetite, variation special and temporal distribution of shrimp species and their compositions were evaluated together with their selectivity for different fishing methods use in the lagoon. Further, the sex ratios, sexual maturity, fecundity, spawning seasonality and length at 50% maturity of available species were estimated. Important Results: 13 shrimps differed in diversity, species and size compositions & spatio-temporal dynamics along lagoon & coast indicating their migratory pathway. The clustering of species was based on habitat and occurrence rather than the selectivity of fishing methods. The Gonado Somatic Index, & impregnated females found throughout year indicate prolonged spawning seasons reaching peaks in Aug, Jan & March.

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Conservation of Forests and wildlife through Community based eco- tourism in South Garo Hills, Meghalaya
Yaranajit Deka Samrakshan Charitable Trust Bolsalgre, Baghmara P.O. Baghmara Dist: South Garo Hills Meghalaya-794102 Email: yaranajit.samrakshan@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The remnant community forests of the Balpakram Baghmara Landscape are threatened by various forest destructive livelihood activities like illegal coal mining, illegal logging and monoculture plantations. Currently, Community-based Eco Tourism has tremendous potential to generate revenue linked to the survival of forests and wildlife, in order to meet the community's cash income requirements. Research Methods: -Assessment of feasibility of Eco Tourism using techniques like PRAs. -Identification of flagship species like Birds and Butterflies, through detailed ecological research and designing tours packages around them. -Community centric planning and implementation of eco-tourism activities. -Capacity building of stakeholders and developing equity sharing mechanisms to ensure long-term viability. Important Results: -Detailed inventory of birds, butterflies and herpetofauna in the landscape, revealed 320 butterfly, 292 bird and 67 herpetofauna species. -Established community based eco camp in 2 Ecologically vital sites threatened by coal mining. -Formation of community based Eco-Tourism institutions and transparent equity sharing mechanisms. -Generation of revenue of Rs.6 lakhs in a year of operation.

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Threats to the understory vegetation in a Mauritian lowland forest: the impact of invasive alien plants
Fabiola Monty Jai Narain Roy Street, Mahebourg Mauritius Email: fab.monty@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Some alien plants pose serious threats to the native flora of oceanic islands. Severe decline of understory vegetation has been reported in Mauritian lowland forests that are invaded. So here we are looking at the role of alien plants in causing this decline and importance of current conservation management in stemming this decline. Research Methods: We sampled plots for native seedlings and monitored the reproductive output of 20-40 individuals each of 6 selected native species from the understory forest stratum through direct count/estimation of the number of buds, flowers and fruits produced in both managed forest (where alien plants have been removed) and adjacent non-managed forest for comparison. Important Results: Production of flower buds, flowers and fruits was markedly enhanced in the managed area for most of the understory plants with greater improvement noted for the smaller species. This corroborates with a greater diversity and density of native seedlings in managed forest. Density and basal area of alien plants also correlated negatively with density and basal area of native trees.

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Recent status of Softshell Turtle species in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh-preliminary observations
Shashwat Sirsi 706, I floor, 16th A Main, 39 Cross, Jayanagar 4 T Block, Bengaluru560041 Email: shashwatsirsi@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Large Trionychids of peninsular India have presumably been rendered in danger of extinction due to intensive exploitation and large scale habitat change. There is a deficiency of data regarding recent species distribution, ecology and exploitation, which is requisite to a species recovery stratagem. This talk would present preliminary results from surveys conducted toward understanding the same. Research Methods: Survey sites were primarily chosen based on prior species distribution records. Satellite images were used to discern probable deep pools and thus suitable sampling localities. Baited hoop traps and set nets were used at such sites with an approximately equal sampling effort invested across sites. Secondary information was obtained from local communities through visual aids and questionnaires. Important Results: The occurrence of Pelochelys cantorii was observed at 3 sites on the River Netravati. The occurrence of Chitra indica was confirmed through the observation of 2 specimens in the River Krishna and Tungabhadra. Commercial exploitation of the cartilaginous calipee of N. leithii by Bangladeshi expatriates and concurrent species depletion across major rivers in north Karnataka was also reported.

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Avian diversity along an elevational gradients in Sub-Saharan Africa


Eric Djomo Nana Department of Ecology, Vinicna 1594/7 Charles University in Prague 12800 Czech Republic Email: ericdn@live.co.uk Conservation Purpose: What is the pattern of avian species richness along the elevational gradient of Mount Cameroon and how is it related to functional traits on the background of environmental conditions? Does Rapoports rule apply to the birds of Mount Cameroon? Understanding the underlying mechanisms is critically important for conservation efforts on Mount Cameroon, a biodiversity hotspot. Research Methods: We use open width point counts, checklists and mist netting to determine species richness and abundance among members of local assemblages and along elevations. We also use this data to establish the level of ecological specialization and selection pressure on the life history traits of birds. Important Results: Our preliminary results suggest that avian species richness declines with increasing elevation with a mid elevational peak. Also that vegetation is more heterogenous at mid elevation and that the level of ecological specialization is lowest for low and mid altitude birds but selection pressure is highest at these elevations. So far, there is no evidence to support Rapoports rule.

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Monitoring anuran assemblages in forest landscape mosaics in the Western Ghats- a novel approach
Seshadri K.S #328, 10th cross, M.S.R.Nagar, bangalore 560054 Email: seshadri.ali@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Amphibians are threatened by habitat loss, fungal infections and global climate change. The impacts of habitat modification on anuran assemblages were documented using novel combination of automated sound recorders field surveys. An automated data acquisition and analysis protocol for long term monitoring of anuran assemblages has been developed and can potentially be replicated in the W.Ghats Research Methods: Automated sound records and environmental data loggers were deployed in forest canopy and on ground before and after rainy season. Recordings of 1 min. were obtained every 29 min. for 24 hr. Recordings were listened manually and species listed and later annotated and analyzed using software. Visual encounter surveys were carried out for preliminary assessments and species identification. Important Results: Vocalization patterns of study species partitioned seasonally as well as temporally within a 24h period. Arboreal species and stream dwelling species showed variations in breeding seasons. Vocalization intensity increased in relation to moisture availability. Substrate depth, temperature and moisture were the important parameters explaining variation across habitats.

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Effects of environmental factors on tree seedling recruitment in a humid South African savanna
Snehalatha Vadigi School of Life Sciences Room 105, John Bews building Block B 1 Carbis Rd, Agricultural Campus University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg South Africa Email: vadigis@ukzn.ac.za Conservation Purpose: Savannas are a part of major biomes of the world, occupying about 20% of global land cover and 40% of Africa. Tree invasion in savannas is a serious problem reducing herbivore palatable grass, which is largely affecting rural livelihoods. However, importance of trees in carbon storage and human economy cannot be overlooked. Hence tree-grass balance chiefly maintained by tree recruitment is crucial. Research Methods: We studied various environmental factors affecting seedling survival and growth of savanna tree species. We conducted an experiment to assess the effects of fire and nutrient gradient on four African Acacia spp under greenhouse conditions. In a field-based experiment we also studied two level factor effects of water, shade, nutrients and grass competition on eight savanna tree species. Important Results: Grass competition by far had the highest negative impact on seedling establishment. In general, it has been observed that shade under large trees in savannas provide grass free and nutrient rich conditions conducive for seedling establishment, but we found that shade has a negative influence on seedling growth. Fire, nutrients and regular watering positively influenced seedling growth rate.

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Do windbreaks in tea-dominated landscapes of the Western Ghats sustain avian diversity?


Anand Mohan 19-A, Sayali Garden, New DP Road, Aundh, Pune- 411007 Email: anandmohan492@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Windbreaks refer to linear planting of trees or strips of remnant vegetation whose primary function is to protect plantations from wind-damage. They often form networks of forest habitats that may improve connectivity and biodiversity conservation, but little is known. Using birds, we examine the role of windbreaks composed of native vegetation as corridors in a tea-dominated landscape. Research Methods: Location: Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Western Ghats, India. Using 40 vegetation plots, 20 each in primary forests and windbreaks, we assessed the differences in habitat structure. We estimated bird species richness and abundance from 51 systematic point counts in each habitat type. We employed NMDS for community analyses. We used MPD and MNTD metrics to assess their functional structure. Important Results: There was a large overlap in habitat-structure between primary forest and windbreaks. Bird abundance and richness were not significantly different between habitat types. Communities exhibited a high degree of similarity, and quantitative analysis of relative habitat specificity of birds did not reveal any significant differences either. Functional structure in habitat types was relatively uniform.

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Biodiversity data sharing: digitizing and making camera-trap data available to aid conservation
Mousumi Ghosh Wildlife Institute of India, PO Box # 18, Chandrabani, Dehradun-248001, Uttarakhand Email: mousumi1812@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Large volumes of camera-trap images are held in various institutions or with individuals. In order to enable free sharing, access and dissemination of such data to be used in policy and knowledgebased decision-making, there is a great need for a standardized metadata regime while adequately crediting contributing data owners. Research Methods: To demonstrate the standardization of the metadata regime, camera-trap images of tigers collected from Rajaji National Park were used. The images were geotagged to enable display on GIS domain. We based the data capture on the Audubon Core metadata standard in the form of an MS Excel-based template, developed by GBIF and TDWG joint task group. Important Results: 375 camera-trap images of tigers from Rajaji National Park across eight years were geotagged and entered into the Audubon Core template. A 22-letter unique identifier was constructed for each photograph. Eight new terms have been added to the Audubon Core terms to include information on trap location and individual identification. All the images and metadata will be published via a web portal.

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Anthropogenic effects on the health and stress of the Honduran spiny-tailed iguana (Ctenosaura melanosterna)
Guillaume Demare Flat 5 27 William Road NW1 3EY London UK Email: guillaume_demare@hotmail.co.uk Conservation Purpose: A rising concern that accompanies the increasing need to protect biodiversity on the long-term is the poorly investigated indirect effect of human activities, such as nature-based tourism, that potentially jeopardise the persistence of animal populations already threatened by direct anthropogenic pressure. Here, I explore the effects of human disturbance on an endangered species of iguana. Research Methods: The health of spiny-tailed iguanas was assessed based on body condition, haematocrit level and external parasite load. The effect of anthropogenic disturbance was determined by comparing the health of individuals frequently interacting with humans with that of individuals thriving in a natural environment. In addition, data on stress hormones (glucocorticoid steroid) were collected. Important Results: Human disturbance does not appear to affect the health condition of iguanas. Complementary results suggest that individuals are maintaining good health conditions through a behavioral adjustment that allow them to invest less time and energy in predator avoidance (a process known as acclimation).

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Coping with human elephant conflicts in coffee agro-forestry landscapes in Kodagu, Western Ghats, India
Payal Bal Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, INDIA Email: bal.payal@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The study addresses the conservation problem of elephant human-elephant conflict (HEC) in Virajpet district in Kodagu. Building on previous studies in the area, we wanted to assess spatial and temporal trends of conflict, analyse local stakeholders perceptions and identify factors driving elephants into the estates and document elephant consumption of ripe coffee berries. Research Methods: We collected records of crop damage by elephants from the Karnataka Forest Department. The occurrences were mapped. We conducted semi-structured interviews in the area to elicit local perceptions on HEC We collected data on habitat variables (eg. Canopy cover, fruit trees, etc) from 20 estates. We recorded the location of 209 dung piles and counted coffee seeds in each. Important Results: The intensity of HEC increased over 1996-2007, exhibiting new seasonal patterns. Conflict maps and the lack of correlation between physical features of estates and elephant visits suggest elephants move along corridors between eastern and western forests foraging opportunistically. Dung analyses indicate elephants have selectively included ripe coffee berries in their diet (first report).

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Ecological monitoring and biodiversity assessment of sand dune ecosystems in Visakhapatnam coastal areas, Andhra Pradesh
Aparna Surampudi C/O S. HEMALATHA door no. 53-18-68/2, near sivalayam, maddilapalem, Visakhapatnam-530013, Andhra Pradesh. Email: aparna.au_es@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: a) To study the distribution and types of sand dunes in Visakhapatnam coastal region. b) To evaluate sand dune geomorphology and assessment of species diversity of flora and fauna. c) To enumerate threatened fauna and their ecological interactions with coastal sand dunes. d) To prepare the site wise specific conservation and management plans for protection of sand dunes. e) Restoration and degraded Research Methods: 1) Survey of sand dunes 2) geomorphological characters 3) grain analysis 4) seasonal changes in dynamics of sand dunes. 5) Ecological status 6) documentation 7) flora and faunal survey 8) impacts of sand dunes. 9) Conservation of sand dunes Important Results: -Comparison of the biodiversity of two progarding fore dunes in order to identify any variations in dune vegetation succession evolving under similar climatic conditions. -The historical changes in the morphology of the dunes through GIS analysis -Influence of dune morphology and environmental variables on the biodiversity. -Distribution of sand dunes in Visakhapatnam coastal region.

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Distribution and ecology of Asian wild buffalo Bubalus arnee Kerr, 1792 in India
Mayur Bawri Email: mayur_bawri@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: Once widely distributed in its former range, wild buffalo is one of the worst affected in the recent times. In Kaziranga, which harbors more than 80% of its population annual monitoring of wild buffalo population is required as there are evidences that populations of other sympatric wild herbivores (rhino, swamp deer, hog deer) in KNP are also on constant increase during last two decades and there is an apprehension that these species may compete for resources. Research Methods: Line Transect method is used for population demography, Herd-identification: Buffaloes were identified by characteristics of their horns such shape & size, ears such cuts, holes. (Douglas Hamilton, 1972). A scan sampling method was employed to the plant species being eaten by each visible member in a herd recorded at 5minute intervals (Altman, 1974). Important Results: 175 herds were identified. Average herd size is 12 individuals. sex biased habitat selection is observed with representation of male (woodland>short grassland>tall grassland>wetland>swamp) than female (swamp>wetland>short grassland>tall grassland>woodland). We identified 120 species of food plants consumed by wild buffalo belonging to 30 families.

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Nectar resource use by butterflies across forests, fragments, parks and urban spaces in tropical Singapore
Anuj Jain #16-258D, South Tower, Graduate Residences, University Town, National University of Singapore, Singapore - 138601. Email: anuj0001@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Feeding ecology of South East Asian butterflies is poorly studied despite that nectar quality is known to affect fecundity and longevity. This talk addresses how nectar use varies across different land use types and specifically whether non-native weedy plants serve as an important perennial nectar resource for tropical forest butterfly species. Research Methods: Butterfly species and abundance and plant species used as nectar resource by butterflies were recorded across 63 sites in Singapore forest reserves, fragments, parks and urban areas. Data was collected using Pollard walks. Photographic records from volunteers supplemented this as part of citizen science program. Majority of observations were made over 16 months from Jan 2011 to Apr 2012. Important Results: 155 butterfly species were observed feeding on over 100 species of flowering plants. Habitat specialization of butterflies was correlated with their nectaring specialization. Forest and urban adaptor butterflies both used native and non-native plants as nectar resource. There was support for the hypothesis that forest restricted butterflies use nonnative plants as a year round nectar resource.

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Monitoring & evaluating land use/land cover - A participatory

approach
Nita Shashidharan 203,Avon Plaza II, Thakur Complex, Kandivali (East),Mumbai 400101. Email: neeta_shashi@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: This project examines the use of open source software as tools that could aid public participation in solving real world problems like natural resource management. Research Methods: The Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai was the study site for this study. The research method involved 1) Literature Survey for designing a model for community and NGO's application using Google Earth, GPS and QGIS. 2) Using simple and open source based methodology for land use/land cover change detection obtained from GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) program. Important Results: 1) A model for the general public highlighting basic ways the public can play a part in tackling land use issues. 2) Applying the GLOBE methodology change detection was documented for the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai between 2000 and 2010 and highlights the need for more concentration on protection of the fringe areas.

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Traditional use of Ethnomedicobotanical plants by KochRajbongshi community in Home Garden of Bongaigaon District, Assam
Deepankar Barman Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar Email: jayanta.aus@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The home garden management is a traditional practice of Koch-Rajbonshi community in Assam, where they grow different plant species. Besides the planted species, there are naturally grown plant species. The present study documents those plant species and investigate how the communities conserves and use traditionally them for their health care. Research Methods: I interviewed traditional medicine practitioners (Kabiraj) and other old people belonging to Koch-Rajbongshi community about the use of plants extracted from their home garden of 25 villages in Bongaigaon district, Assam during 2011-2012. Identification of the plants was done by collecting live specimen and matching local names with the scientific name. Important Results: 96 species of plants belonging to 52 families were identified used to cure 31 kinds of ailments. Out of these 30 species are planted, 34 naturally grown and 32 were both naturally grown and planted. Leaves and herbs were used significantly more. Medicinal plants were mostly used to cure dysentery followed by urinary and menstruation problem.

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Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDP) in the Taita Hills, Kenya
Radhika Timbadia Shate Hilltop House P.O. Box 1116 Wundanyi Postal Code: 80304 Kenya Email: radhika.timbadia@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Institutions trying to protect biodiversity spend millions of dollars on initiatives but rarely define or measure success and thus do not know whether these initiatives have been effective. The study documents selected nature-based enterprises and investigates whether being involved in a nature-based enterprise changes peoples attitude to conservation when compared with a group not involved. Research Methods: Survey questionnaire measuring conservation behaviour, attitude, attitude towards officials, perceived behaviour efficacy, attitude to local forests and perception of linkage. Socio-economic and demographic questions were included to compare with the control group and measure propensity scores. Open-ended questions to learn about the process involved, history and sustainability of the activity. Important Results: The study is under way. It is expected to finish in June.

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Population structure and microhabitat preference of the Himalayan Yew (Taxus wallichiana.zucc) in Uttarkashi
Rhea Ganguly AJ- 185, Sector 2, Saltlake City, Kolkata - 700091 West Bengal Email: rheagang@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The talk aims to address conservation issues when dealing with a data deficient species (Taxus wallichiana) of commercial importance. Lack of literature on population structure, microhabitat of the species makes it difficult for conservationists and managers to monitor the status and health of the species in the wild. Patchy occurrence, poor regeneration & commercial value make the species vulnerable. Research Methods: Field Methods 1. Stratified sampling 2. Adaptive Sampling on linear transects 3. Circular plots for vegetation and habitat parameters along linear transects Analytical Methods: 1. Maxent 2. Binomial logistic regression models 3. Generalized linear models 4. G test 5. Chi2 test 6. Softwares R and SPSS. Important Results: 1. Predictive distribution map based on bioclimatic variable values for all site locations 2. Bias in sex ratio towards female individuals 3. Variation in sex ratio across habitat types 4. Variation in age class distribution across forest types and disturbance gradients 5. Terrain factors like slope and litter depth important for determining the presence of the species.

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Carbon storage by mangrove trees and roots in Muara Angke Nature Reserve, Jakarta, Indonesia
Novi Andika Putri Jl. Ancol Selatan, RT. 13/07 No. 36, Sunter Agung, Tanjung Priok, Jakarta Utara, Indonesia Email: noviandikaputri@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: Jakarta produces high level of carbon dioxide due to fossil fuel combustion and industrial activities. Mangrove forest of Muara Angke is the only natural ecosystem left in Jakarta, which can play an important role as a carbon sink to reduce the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This research is conducted to estimate carbon storage in trees and roots of mangrove forest in Muara Angke. Research Methods: Carbon stock data were taken from 15 plots with size of 20 m 40 m. In each plot, we measured diameter at breast height (DBH) and counted number of species and individual. Allometric equation (Komiyama et al., 2005) was used to estimate trees and roots biomass. Carbon organic was converted using 50% conversion factor, which is considered as 50% of the total biomass. Important Results: There were three species found in Muara Angke mangrove forest: Avicennia marina, Rhizopora mucronata and Sonneratia causealis. Total biomass and carbon stock of mangrove trees was 21.26 Mg/ha and 10.63 Mg/ha, while biomass and carbon stock of roots was 11.47 Mg/ha and 5.74 Mg/ha. A. marina had the highest potential to store carbon compared to other species, due to its higher density and DBH size.

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Comparative use of bird foraging guild composition as a novel indicator of habitat quality
Thilina De Silva 42/11, Sooriyagoda Road, Uda Eriyagama, Peradeniya (20400), Sri Lanka. Email: nethmin999@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: There is high need of an easy to implement, timesaving, cost effective method to assess the best approaches to ecological conservation. The study focuses on: whether bird foraging guilds (BFG) serve as better indicators in environmental assessments than the conventional species diversity measurements? Can BFG aid in prioritizing habitats for conservation and determining best restoration strategies. Research Methods: Line transects, point counts and mist nets were used in bird sampling. Sites were chosen representing a gradient of habitat disturbance, which were compared with pristine natural forest condition using guild compositions to device the Bird Guild Index (BGI) that ranged from 0 to 141.4. Correlations between BGI and vegetation parameters, species richness and habitat disturbance levels were analysed. Important Results: BGI values ranged from 82.3 to 19.7. BGI values had clear correlation with vegetation parameters (esp. of a regenerating forest regarding six years of regeneration) and level of disturbance. As the habitat quality improved and disturbance levels decreased, BGI moved from higher to lower values. Guilds consisting of arboreal insectivores and frugivores were most sensitive to habitat degradation.

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Foraging association of pig tailed macaque with Drongo in Hollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, Jorhat, Assam, India
Samrat Sengupta C/O Sarthak Sengupta, Department of Anthropology Dibrugarh, University Dibrugarh, Assam. PIN- 786004 Email: samrat_sengupta1@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: Viability of single species can be understood only in the context of ecological interactions with the other species and the environment. Study of species interactions gives clues in analysis of community dynamics, multispecies habitat conservation plans a. To study the specificity of Primate-Bird association in Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary. b. To study the location of the drongos following the primate. Research Methods: Scan and focal observations were the two main sources of data. Data were collected over a period of 6 months (Sep-Feb 2012), on the presence or absence of bird species that associated with primates along with other parameters like foraging height of the birds around primates, distance from the troop as well as the strata used by them. The two were judged to be in association if they are seen together. Important Results: Pig tailed macaque associated the most frequently with birds among all the other primates. The drongos were found to be the most consistent and frequent attendant of the pig tailed macaque, of which the bronze drongo was the most frequent visitor. The drongos were mostly present below the plane of pig tailed macaque foraging height at a distance of average 6-8 m in most of the instances.

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Losses of intertidal flats in East Asia: quantifying threats and assessing losses
Nicholas Murray Centre for Applied Environmental Decision Analysis ARC Centre for Excellence in Environmental Decisions School of Biological Sciences University of Queensland St Lucia, Brisbane Queensland, Australia 4072 Email: nick.murray@uq.edu.au Conservation Purpose: The coastal wetlands of East Asia are rapidly disappearing. A recent remote sensing study showed losses of intertidal flats are occurring at rates greater than or equal to losses of nearby tropical forests and coral reefs. Massive losses of this habitat type indicate a major conservation crisis and efforts to quantify and characterize losses are needed to develop effective conservation strategies. Research Methods: We analysed a remote sensing dataset of the spatial distribution of all remaining intertidal flats in China, North Korea and South Korea and, by investigating all patches of habitat that have been lost since 1975, determined the primary threats to this ecosystem. We used expert knowledge, ground-truthing and high-resolution global land cover datasets to quantify the key drivers of tidal flat loss. Important Results: The remote sensing data showed that more than 18% of tidal flats have disappeared in East Asia since 1985. Land reclamation for urban, industrial and aquaculture development were the chief causes of intertidal flat loss. Losses in China were mostly attributable to port developments, mining and aquaculture, whereas losses in South Korea were primarily for urban and agricultural land.

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Mikania micrantha: A threat to community forest


Surendra Bam International Student hostel, North campus, Room no.ES4, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, Andhra pradesh Email: surendra_bam777@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: Nepal has made very limited comprehensive studies and research for assessing the impacts of IAS. It may help to provide a welldefined description, abundance and categorization of non-native plants that are invading protected area of Nepal. Especially this study will be important for the conservation of endangered species like one horned Rhino, Tiger, elephant etc. that have been badly affected. Research Methods: Data collection: Primary data (Key informants, survey, Direct observation), Secondary data. Line plot sampling design and Important Value Index (IVI) was measured by Formula given by Zobel et al., 1987; The dominance diversity curve and invasiveness rank form developed by Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Division of Natural Heritage in June 2001 and adopted by IUCN/Nepal. Important Results: The dominant species is Mikania micrantha with the IVI 69.68. The codominant is Alternanthera sessilis with IVI 44.44 and the least dominating species is Coccinea grandis in Community forestry. Magnitude of species ranking showed Mikania micrantha having the significant impact on the native plants species and has more coverage of ground and canopy causing huge impact and loss of habitats.

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Studies on ecology of Spiny-Tailed lizard Saara hardwickii (Gray, 1827) in Thar desert of Rajasthan, India
Kalpana Das Center for ecological Sciences, Indian institute of Science, Bangalore560012 Email: kkalpanaa1988@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The Indian spiny-tailed lizard Saara hardwickii (Gray, 1827) is the only herbivorous reptile species in India and currently distributed largely in small fragmented populations in the dry areas of northwest India i.e. Thar Desert of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The present study focused on the ecological studies on this lizard, which will act as gap filling for conservation of these vulnerable lizards. Research Methods: 1.Quadrat sampling method that was time-constrained. During the study, each day was divided into twelve one hour time classes (from 0600 hrs to 1800 hrs) and sampling was done in two such time classes per day, one in the morning shift and one in the afternoon shift. 2. Direct observation was taken on 1) Population analysis 2)food and feeding 3)Microhabitat use 4) Adult, sub-adult and juvenile groups. Important Results: 1.The study revealed that the area is one of the preferable habitats for the species. Population analysis showed the relative abundance of the sub-adults was higher, followed by juveniles and adults during the period. 2.The study revealed two important ecological findings about this lizards- complete sealing of burrow by these lizards during rain, which differed from partial sealing in normal days.

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Co-occurrence patterns among rocky inter-tidal gastropod community along west coast of India
Mahi Puri S-515 Greater Kailash-2 New Delhi-110048 India Email: mahi.puri@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The current study addresses the generality of cooccurrence patterns at a broader spatial scale, covering over 1000 km, with the following questions: 1. Is the overall pattern of species association random or deterministic? 2. What is the relative proportion of positive and negative interactions? 3. What is the co-occurrence pattern among congeneric species of gastropods? Research Methods: Sampling was carried out on sites identified along the shore, representative of intertidal fauna. A 0.5 sqm quadrat was placed at mid-high tide level to establish gastropod species presence and a nested quadrat (0.25 sqm) was used for estimating percentage cover of algae and sessile organisms. Co-occurrence was quantified using the checkerboard index and pairwise association strengths were calculated. Important Results: Analysis is ongoing and the final results are awaited.

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Predicting areas of human-wildlife conflict using a Maximum Entropy approach in the Rajaji National Park, India
Trishant Simlai Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent Canterbury United Kingdom CT27NZ Email: trishantsimlai@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The use of spatially explicit models to predict and forecast human-wildlife conflict has not yet been extensively explored. In this study I use a maximum entropy approach to identify areas that are susceptible to human-wildlife conflict inside Rajaji National Park, India. Research Methods: 1. Field-surveys to collect presence locations of large mammals and anthropogenic activities. 2. A geographic information system was used to prepare environmental predictor variables 3. Spatial distribution modeling to predict current species distributions for large mammals and areas of anthropogenic disturbance 4. Spatial overlay of the species distribution and anthropogenic disturbance models. Important Results: All models performed well with mean AUC value= 0.827 (p < 0.005). Nearly 66% of the study area was at considerable risk of conflict, of which 16.63% had the highest risk. 60.85% of the area was predicted to be the mean percentage of large mammal habitat use while Gujjars and other local communities used 77.40% and 44.59% respectively.

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Trends in uncontrolled & destructive fishing efforts on Portunus pelagicus resources off the coast of Northern Sri Lanka
Sivanthan Sathiavakeesparan Rajasthan, Sithankerny. Jaffna Sri Lanka Email: sivanth.1201@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: In a post-war context the open access nature has triggered drastic expansion of fishing activities and use of some destructive fishing methods off the waters of Jaffna in northern SL. In export oriented live-crab fishery, which becoming popular in Jaffna, use Wool type gillnets and illegal Monofilament gillnets. But most of these crab catches are rejected by exporters due to high level of damages. Research Methods: Portunus pelagicus catches of illegal Monofilament gillnet and non-illegal Wool type gillnet were compared in Catch per Unit Effort (under 4 weight categories & bycatch), length-frequency distributions, level of damages & occurrence of undersize (<50g) individuals in catches off Jaffna. Further, fishery catch & effort statistics obtained from Department of Fisheries from 2007-2011 were compared. Important Results: Significantly increased catches observed after civil war. Higher catch rates of large (>250g) P. pelagicus were reported in Monofilament nets than Wool nets. But ~60% of captured crabs were damaged at both type of gillnets & levels of damages were in similar range (P>o.o5). 40% of small crabs (<50g) resulted from Monofilament nets & both gears resulted higher level of immature individuals < L50.

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Macro algae zonation patterns and dynamics of annual fluctuations in populations of sea urchins in two rocky shores of Sri Lanka
Gayani Thilakarathna Rathna Sevana, Hirigolla, Kobeigane, Sri Lanka Email: nilupikat@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: Key stone species such as sea urchins play a major role in rocky shores as grazers. Macroalgae habitats with sea urchins experience severe disturbances due to pollution and coastal area reclamation. These directly affect the zonation pattern of macroalgae and the sea urchin populations. Thus, there is an immediate need of base line data on algaeurchin interactions, algae composition and spatio-temporal variations for future conservation efforts. Research Methods: Two main sites were selected. (protected, highly disturbed-Hikkaduwa /unprotected less disturbed- Ahangama). Three habitats (near shore, intermediate and splash) selected in each site. Line transect method and quadrate (50X50cm) sampling method used to measure macrolagae composition and cover. Sea urchin density of each habitat measured using belt transect method. Data were analyzed using multivariate techniques. Important Results: Data analysis of flora confirmed the distinctiveness of three habitats in relation to floral cover mainly due to differences in the dispersion of Hypnea sp. and Gracilaria sp. in Hikkaduwa and due to Padina sp., Ulva sp. and Jania sp. in Ahangama. Stomopneustes variolaris was dominant in both sites. Hikkaduwa had a higher urchin density compared to Ahangama. The highest mean density was recorded in splash zone and near shore habitat in Hikkaduwa and Ahangama respectively.

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Ecology and feeding behaviour of Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) in Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Kerala
Sajeer K. V. Centre for Wildlife Studies, College of forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, Vellanikkara Pin 680656 Thrissur, Kerala Email: sajforestry06@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The Sloth bears range has shrunk in recent times due to poaching and the populations have become fragmented, threatening its overall survival. Research Methods: Camera trap method using grid cell survey. Line transect for direct and indirect evidence. Day transect for indirect & direct evidences: Information on composition and seasonal variation in bear diet can be collected either through foraging observations or indirectly through scat analysis. Important Results: The feeding ecology of sloth bears was studied by analyzing 132 scats; 6 species of plants, termites, ants, and bees, as well as unidentified animal matter were found in bear scats. Frequency of occurrence of insects was high during dry season (76%), whereas Cassia and Zizipus species were more common (68%) during summer season. The habitat preference of the sloth bear was also studied by using camera trap data and other indirect evidences and it was found that sloth bear prefer mostly dry deciduous followed by moist deciduous forest during summer season and it was evident from the presence of sacts in these areas. They are active during night since the camera trap data shows their activity in night compared to daytime.

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Conservation implication of the property rights institutions in the protected areas of Odisha
Brajaraja Mishra Centre for Economic and Social Studies Nizamiah Observatory Campus Begumpet Hyderabad-16 Andhra Pradesh Email: mishrabrajaraja@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The main aim of this study is to analyse how far the property rights institutions with respect to the Forest Rights Act, 2006 is able to change peoples attitude towards ecosystem conservation. Research Methods: Case Study Method was adopted for this particular study. About 221 sample households from 10 villages living inside the Lakhari Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Odisha were selected through the cluster sampling method. Attitudinal Survey at the household level was conducted and chi-square tests and t-tests were applied to test any significant difference between the categorical variables. Important Results: Even though people are fully aware of the significance of the ecosystem conservation and not involved in any destructive harvesting practices, primary importance to livelihood activities and non-responsive behaviour to various government policy regimes no way reflects their positive attitudes towards ecosystem conservation.

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Assessment of spatio-temporal changes and prioritization of existing tiger corridors in Central India
Pranita Sambhus #416, 12th cross, Jakkur Layout, Yalahanka Post, Bangalore 560064 Email: sambhus.pranita@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Panthera tigris, umbrella species that has faced 92.9% range collapse in 150 years, now merely survives in about 150 fragments. Furthermore, these isolated populations are vulnerable to extinction. Habitat connected through corridors is a prime necessity for sustaining tiger metapopulations. Our study analyses spatio-temporal changes and future sustainability of tiger corridors. Research Methods: We considered 2 tiger metapopulations in Central India a) Pench-Kanha-Achanakmar b) Satpura-Melghat. We first designed the species distribution model, using which we modelled corridors within the populations. These corridors were studied for spatial changes in last 20 years and assuming these changes to proceed in same direction. We predicted the sustainability of corridors for upcoming decade. Important Results: Major determinants of tiger distribution are; patches of undisturbed forest, prey abundance, and level of human disturbance. From 1990 to 2007, landscapes have sustained 67% of dense forest cover while open forest has shown maximum changes 15% got converted to agriculture and 20% to other human activities. Our prediction shows alarming land change in future too.

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Impact of traditional forest management system of Monpa indigenous community on tree structure, regeneration and composition in Western Arunachal Pradesh
Jaya Upadhyay WWF-India Western Arunachal Landscape Programme Parvati Nagar, Tezpur, Assam, 784001 Email: jaya632008@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: The pressure of forest resource utilization on the forest tree species and the impact of traditional management system in the area. In the present study comparison of structure, species composition and regeneration of tree species growing in the managed Oak forest with the forest area from where the villagers collect forest resources and undisturbed natural forest areas has been carried out. Research Methods: Intensive survey of the area by laying random plots. The area includes managed oak forest, disturbed forest area for firewood and other purpose and natural undisturbed area. Important Results: From the study number of tree species in the managed Oak forest, the where villagers mainly allow Oak tree to grow, is only 7 compared to 62 numbers of trees in the forest area from where villagers collect various forest resources of their daily use. Number of tree species in the undisturbed forest area nearby the village has been found to be 36. Status of regeneration of tree species in managed oak forest has been also found to be very low compared to disturbed and undisturbed forest mainly because the villagers manipulate the growth and survival of tree species in managed oak forest and allow mainly oak seedlings required for replacing old dead oak tree to grow in these forest areas.

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Monitoring of Maharashtra

GPS

collared

tigress

outside

TATR,

Navya R 8/364, cooperative colony valparai 642127 Tamil Nadu Email: navya_r8@yahoo.co.in Conservation Purpose: Human- wildlife conflict. Most research work is confined to within protected areas, but recently studies do report the presence of large cats residing outside PA, in human use landscape, however very little is known about them. It is important to understand the ecology of the animals in such landscape where the threat to their conservation and impact of their presence on human is much severe. Research Methods: Tracking using GPS-GSM collar. The GPS locations were downloaded from NINA website and the actual locations were reached and looked for signs left behind by the tigress like scat, scrape, hairs, kills. Important Results: Total 1761 GPS locations, 838 daytime,923 nighttime locations. Minimum distance travelled-454.65km. 99.74km during day and 354.98km during night. used both forested and nonforested areas like agricultural fields, lake reed beds, grassland in agriculture fields. Kills- 6 wild pig, 2 goat, 1 langur, 2 unidentified. In one occasion she was 80 mts from a road where 3 women, bullock carts passed by.

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Impact of high vehicular traffic on the activity pattern of large carnivores in Manas National Park, Assam
Pallabi Chakraborty C/o. WWF-India, North Bank Landscape Conservation Programme, Parvati Nagar Tezpur-784001 Assam Email: pallabi.shillong@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Manas National Park (470 sq. km.), is a world Heritage Site, in western Assam. It is a tourist hotspot, with high tourist influx and traffic movement in the area. We thus carried out a preliminary study examining the impact of high vehicular traffic on the activity pattern of four major carnivores (Tigers, Leopards, Clouded Leopards and Dholes). Research Methods: Camera traps were systematically distributed within the study area by superimposing a 2*2 sq. km. grid and deploying at least one double sided camera unit. Encounter rates of animals and vehicles were calculated from each trapping sites and were correlated to asses the impact of vehicular traffic on wildlife activity pattern. Important Results: 1. Movement of the carnivores was significantly lesser during the heavy traffic movement period than at late nights. 2. The activity pattern was influenced by anthropogenic disturbance, like increased traffic movement.

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Current status of the genus Sitana Cuvier, 1829 (Reptilia: Agamidae) with taxonomic reevaluations
A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe Jl. Kuricang 18 Gd.9 No.47 Bintaro Jaya Sektor 3A Ciputat 15412, Tangerang INDONESIA Email: thasun.tanahtimur@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Until 1998 genus Sitana considered as monotypic even additional species & sub species had been described: S. minor Gunther, 1864; S. decanensis Jerdon, 1870 & S. p. mucronata Deraniyagala, 1957. All these names synonymised under S. ponticeriana cuvier, 1829. Are all these synonyms valid? Is only one species distributed in India & Sri Lanka? How taxonomic changes affects to its conservation status. Research Methods: All available types of Indian Sitana were examined at MNHN (holotype of S. ponticeriana), BMNH (holotype of S. minor) & ZSI (holotype of S. decanensis). Also all the Sitana collections at ZSI (Chennai/Kolkata), BNHS, NMSL & WHT were examined. all measurements were taken to the nearest 0.1 mm with digital calipers. All the available specimens compared critically along with the locality data. Important Results: Reassess the current taxonomic status of genus Sitana: redescribe S. decanensis Jerdon, 1870 as a valid species; S. minor Gnther, 1864 is a synonym; S. p. mucronata Deraniyagala, 1957 was mislead data provided & erroneous identification; critical comparison of remaining Sitana from India and Sri Lanka with possibilities of additional new species.

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Natural population and conservation status of Nothapodytes nimmoniana (Narakya )across the northern Western Ghats of India
Renuka Wagh Department of Biodiversity, MES's Abasaheb Garware College, Karve Road, Pune -411004, Maharashtra, India Email: rwagh_2008@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: How is the population of species affected by biotic and abiotic variables? What are the parameters affecting camptothecin(CPT) accumulation in the bark of Nothapodytes nimmoniana. Research Methods: Randomly 30 individuals were sampled from each locality. Growth parameters like GBH and height measurements and records of phenophases were maintained for each individual. A strip of bark was removed for quantification of camptothecin using HPLC analysis. Important Results: Thematic maps such as Niche modeling and prediction have been prepared. Decrease in average GBH was observed as one moves from south towards north. Identification of plus individuals with respect to camptothecin content has been done for few localities.

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Population, reproductive ecology and harvest regime of Saraca asoca


Monali Mhaskar Department of Biodiversity, Abasaheb Garware College, Karve Road, Pune 411004, Maharashtra, India Email: monali.mhaskar@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: 1) Is there any ecological constrains limiting population build up of Saraca asoca in its natural habitats? 2) What will be the sustainable harvest approach for the species? Research Methods: Transect of 100mX5m laid in each locality for population study with enumeration of GBH measurement, height estimation and regeneration pattern. Five inflorescence per individuals and 10 individuals per population were sampled for various breeding parameters. Referring to various GBH classes, bark differing in dimension and total area harvested for estimation of yields and bark regeneration pattern. Important Results: Demography at diverse protection levels shows effect of disturbance on recruitment pattern the species. Populations occupied in evergreen/ semi evergreen forest found associated with sacred places. In spite of mass flowering heavy predation and infestation affects the seed set. There was no pattern observed in regeneration of bark for different dimension of strip removed.

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Urban biodiversity: Reptilian fauna within the Gauhati University Campus, Guwahati, Assam
Mazedul Islam Department of Zoology Gauhati University Guwahati-14 Assam, India Email: assamherpetofauna@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: What are the main threats for the survival of reptile species within the Gauhati University campus? Research Methods: For diversity study active search method and Visual Encounter Survey (Campbell and Christman 1982; Corn and Bury, 1990). Microhabitat destruction study as per Matthew et al., 1995. Important Results: The study shows that large growing species (e. g., Python bivittatus, Ptyas mucosa) are threatened from persecution and forest habitat shrinkage however population of habitat specific species (Nilssonia hurum and Enhydris enhydris) are at extinction crisis owing to rapid reclamation of wetland areas.

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A Study on Etheno-veterinary plants belonging to family Fabaceae in Western Ghats parts of Dakshina Kannada district
Viveka. M.R. 1st M.Sc. Department of Applied Botany Mangalore University, Mangala Gangothri Konaje-574199 Karnataka Email: vivekmr4@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Dakshina Kannada has a rich tradition of plant use by various groups of people. Also there are traditional practitioners of Ethno-veterinary plants for various kinds of aliments. With the changing life style pattern there is need to conserve these Etheno-veterinary plants. Also to create awareness among the public regarding the conservation & utilization of these plants. Research Methods: For this traditional practitioners were interviewed and information were gathered. Data such as parts used, season in which the plant parts collected, method of preparation of medicine, dosage etc. collected. A detailed questionnaire was prepared for this purpose. Important Results: Total number of plants of Fabaceae used in Ethnoveterinary medicinal practice-15. The plant parts used in the Ethnoveterinary medicine are leaves, stem, bark,s eed, latex etc. Leaves are extensively used in the medicine while the latex used very rarely.

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Biogeographical aspects of Hypericum sinaicum in south Sinai, Egypt


Karim Omar 39- Elgameia Elzreia St., Meniet Elsibaa, Benha, Kalyobya, Egypt. Email: kariem_npe@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: Clearly identify conservation priorities and suggest appropriate strategies for H. sinaicum conservation. Detect the potential range for distribution of H. sinaicum among different environmental variables in order to use it as first step for conservation by rehabilitation or restoration. Define the geographical and ecological status of H. sinaicum and characterize this range by its size, shape. Research Methods: Four methods were used to clearly identify habitat preference for H. sinaicum illustrated as followed: 1-Phytosociological studies: Transect/quadrant method 2-Morphological characteristics (Plant traits). 3-Soil Analysis ( Physical and chemical properties) 4-Ecogeographical analysis (Geographical (Topography), Ecological (Habitat preference, demography) and Climatic attributes analysis). Important Results: Hypericum sinaicum recorded as dominant species in only 9 sites from 237 with 3.8%. A bout 50% of H. sinaicum individuals concentrated between elevations 1800-2000m, also located at North East (44%). Most found in Cliffs and Gorges 27.2% for both. 29 ecological variables (edaphic, climatic and topographic) were results from study and will used in rehabilitation process for this species.

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Assessing the conservation reality of the Arabian Leopard Panthera pardus nimr in Eastern Yemen
Malini Pittet 03/C Willows Court Parkwood University of Kent CT2 7UT Canterbury, England Email: malini.pittet@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The Arabian leopard is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List 2006 and listed in Appendix I of CITES. The Arabian Leopard is Yemens national animal since 2008. The combination of a lack of data and multiple threats contributes to inappropriate protection of the Arabian leopard in Yemen. Today isolated populations occur in the mountainous regions of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. A preliminary analysis was conducted in the Hawf Protected Area to determine if the Arabian Leopard still dominates the landscape. Research Methods: A camera-trap study, at the initiative of the Foundation for the Protection of the Arabian Leopard in Yemen (FPALY), to assess the status of the Arabian leopard in the Hawf Protected Area was carried out over a period of 58 days in 2010. Line transects as well and informal interviews with local herders in the area were carried out during the survey period. Important Results: The camera-trap survey yielded 351 useful pictures obtained in 58 trap-nights. Of these, 321 were pictures of mammals and 30 of birds. The traps recorded 10 mammal species and 8 bird species. A main component of this project is dedicated to training local scientists with the eventual goal of carrying out a long term monitoring of Arabian Leopards in Yemen.

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Conservation of Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) in Western Arunachal Pradesh- experience from the field
Rajarshi Chakraborty WWF-India Western Arunachal Programme, Parvati Nagar, Tezpur-784001, Assam, India Email: rajarshicha@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Arunachal Pradesh probably houses the largest extent of red panda habitat in India including vital temperate ecosystems. Red Pandas are endangered due to a multitude of human induced factors and there exists no baseline data on their status in the state. The present work focused at gathering baseline data from five areas and designing conservation strategies with community participation. Research Methods: Questionnaire survey (To identify potential habitats) Field survey to generate baseline data regarding presence-absence of red pandas and habitat composition Community consultation and stakeholder meetings to design effective conservation strategies. Important Results: Baseline data regarding presence absence of red pandas and habitat status from five sites in 2 Community Conserved Areas and one Protected Area in Western Arunachal Pradesh Information on probable threats and habitat requirement in the focal areas. Community awareness generation and active participation in conservation planning.

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Of endangered inhabitants of an endemic Habitat -Life of Plants on a Lateritic Plateau of Central Western Ghats
Gurumurthi Hedge P.G. Department of Studies in Botany, Karnataka University Dharwad580007, Karnataka-INDIA. Email: gurooji290384@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Lateritic plateaus, the characteristic ecological niche of coastal belt appears to be one of the richest areas of endemic herbaceous species in India. Plateaus serve as a delicate habitat for the endemic and endangered plant community; and ironically plateaus themselves are under threat today due to many pressures, which in turn affect adversely on plant communities. Research Methods: Extensive survey in a Lateritic plateau of Central Western Ghats of Karnataka has resulted in the documentation of local flora. The data is then processed and sorted to know the percentage of endemics and threatened taxa. Distribution pattern of these plants have been studied along with their phenology. Threats faced by these plant communities have been enlisted to address the conservation. Important Results: The work resulted in recording about 212 species of Angiosperms from Plateaus, out of which, 57 taxa (26%)are endemics. and 25 RET taxa (12%) fall under one or the other categories of IUCN. In addition to their distribution pattern, their phenology is also been studied. Further, the local threats to this endangered habitat were enlisted, so as to check the further pressure on plant communities.

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Carbon stock estimation of Pinus roxburghii and Quercus leucotricophora in two Van Panchayat forests, Uttarakhand, India
Ajay Maletha Old Hostel, Wildlife Institute of India, Post Box# 18, Chandrabani, Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand- 248 001. Email: maletha.jay@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Climate change is an intense global environmental challenge. However this can be controlled by carbon sequestration and forests play significant role in this. Based on management regimes, forests can be both sinks and sources of carbon. We present carbon related parameters in 2 community forests of 2 different vegetation types from Uttarakhand, India and discuss their potential in carbon stocking. Research Methods: Carbon stock was estimated by sample plot (2,000 m2) method. Standing volume of the tree was calculated using species-specific equations. This was converted to standing biomass by multiplying with the wood density of individual tree. Carbon stock as biomass was deduced using a conversion factor (0.5) representing the average carbon content in biomass. Important Results: Carbon stocks (ton/hectare) between two forests were significantly different [Banj oak, 50 (SE 4); chir pine, 87 (SE 17). Undisturbed Chir pine forest was found to sequestrate more carbon from the atmosphere in comparison to disturbed Banj oak forest. Compared to other studies on carbon stock carried out in India (n = 13), the current study reports a higher carbon stock estimate.

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Allelopathic effect of Chromolaena odorata on gram seeds and soil mycoflora


Geeta Thangjam C/O Hillol Jyoti Singha Department of Ecology and Environmental Science Assam University, Silchar Silchar, 788011 Email: samrat_aaranyak@yahoo.co.in Conservation Purpose: Invasive species is a major threat of biodiversity degradation. There is wide scope of production of herbicide, insectide and fungicides from the allelopathic plant parts (leaf, stem, root), which can help to reduce the use of inorganic pesticides in agroecosystem. Thus the main aim is to study allepathic effects on ecosystem. Research Methods: Aqueous extracts of fresh leaves, stem and roots were prepared. Gram seeds were soaked in the extracts. The effect of the extracts was observed on the seed germination on radicle growth and plummule elongation. For observing soil mycoflora, Chromolaena odorata were collected, chopped and mixed with the soil samples from tea agroecosystem. Soil dilution method was used to identify the mycoflora. Important Results: The extracts (leaf, stem and root) have inhibitory effect on the germination and growth of radicle and plummule of gram seeds. For soil mycoflora, the leaf, stem and root of Chromolaena odorata added as soil amended has increased the fungal population in the soil when compared to control.

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Effect of fishing on the assemblage structure of fishes in the tropical hill streams of Pakke Tiger Reserve
Vishnupriya Sankararaman F-21, NCBS, GKVK Campus, Bellary Road, Bangalore- 560065 Email: vishnupriya10@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Freshwater systems globally are under extreme stress due to several anthropogenic factors, threatening many aquatic species. Although, over-harvesting for food is one of the main factors, its effects are poorly documented. This study focuses on determining the effect of fishing on the hill stream fish assemblages in Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh. Research Methods: Segments from 21 streams within and outside the park were surveyed to measure richness, abundance and size class of fish. Habitat covariates including substrate, stream and bank characteristics were quantified. We conducted social interviews of fishermen as well as key informants such as village elders and Forest Department staff to assess impact of present and past fishing. Important Results: Here, we present results on patterns of richness, abundance and size classes within and outside the protected area. Effect of ecological and anthropogenic predictors on fish assemblages is determined. Streams that have had a history of poison fishing are also assessed for degree of recovery based on their current management practices.

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The role of figs and other heterospecific fruiting trees in creating heterogeneity in seed dispersal in Namdapha TR
Ashwin Viswanathan 10, 6th A Cross, Ramaswamy Palya Vignana Nagar Estn, Marathalli Post Bangalore 560037 Email: ashwinv2005@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: My study was about the role of figs and other heterospecific fruiting trees in attracting animal dispersed seeds. Is seed arrival in the landscape surrounding a fruiting tree determined by distance from the tree alone or is dispersal heterogeneous? Can this heterogeneity be explained? I will also discuss the concept of disperser redundancy. How will the loss of large dispersers affect a tree? Research Methods: The study was modeled on a single species of tree, Prunus zeylanicus. Tree watches were conducted. Seed arrival was determined using 1m x 1m plots. These plots were made under and near conspecific and heterospecific fruiting trees, and under emergents, so as to proportionally sample 6% of the area. Seeds were placed in the same treatments mirroring natural densities to assess removal rates. Important Results: My results indicate that seed dispersal by animals is indeed heterogeneous and this heterogeneity can be explained by the presence of heterospecific fruiting trees at local peaks in arrival. Disperser redundancy seems to be an oversimplified concept. While Prunus will certainly persist in the absence of large dispersers, the size of dispersed seeds and arrival patterns will significantly change.

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Tracing the geographic origin of traded body parts of Leopards using genetic methods
Vanjulavalli Sridhar National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (TIFR), GKVK Campus, Bangalore 560 065, INDIA Email: vanju313@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: There is a recent increase in numbers of leopard poaching, their parts being sold in guise of tiger body parts. Long term studies have identified trade routes and trade hot-spots, but the origin of the poached animals remain unknown. This study aims to address that very issue so as to better understand poaching hot-spots, if any, reasons behind them and to ultimately help target protection efforts Research Methods: Confiscated body parts of leopards were sampled from the forest department. After DNA extraction, 14 microsatellite loci were analyzed to obtain reliable genotypes, to be followed by assignment tests using software program SCAT. Re-analysis of leopard genotypes in India with increased numbers of samples is also underway so as to improve the accuracy of assignment. Important Results: Work is still underway and analysis will be completed in June.

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Understanding the meaning of Carnivore Extinction for communities with "Human Wildlife Conflict"
Neha Sinha 270 Tagore Park Model Town 1 New Delhi- 110009 Email: nehabnhs@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: My research looks at the meaning tiger extinction holds for forest-dwelling communities (both forest-dependent and partiallyforest dependent communities) experiencing regular cattle depredation in Sariska tiger reserve, where tigers went locally extinct in 2004 and were reintroduced in 2008. I investigated the meaning of tiger extinction for villagers; and if the tiger was a 'conflict' animal. Research Methods: I used an open-ended questionnaire to interview 96 villagers. I stratified 8 villages based on accessibility to exit points, forest dependence, and remoteness and relocation history. Questions were perfected after a reconnaissance survey. 23 questions were asked on attitudes towards tiger, governance and sense of 'place'. CATPCA, cross tabulations, and Fischer's Tests was used to analyse answers. Important Results: 1.Fully forest-dependent villages demonstrated a fear of tiger extinction. 2. 42% respondents, notably those from the fully-forest dependent villages, stated tiger caused most problems, but was their favourite animal. 3. Results demonstrate far-flung villages did not view experiences as 'conflict' while better-connected villages had greater diversity of (and more negative) responses towards tiger.

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Investigating the key determinants of Predator-Human-Conflict in & around Gir National Park and Sanctuary, western India
Nazneen Zehra Department of wildlife sciences, AMU Aligarh Email: catwildlifer80@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: LPHC is a global problem stressing to conservation concern, particularly when it involves threatened species. To identify accurate conflict causes is fundamental to developing effective mitigation strategies. Present study investigated key conflict driving forces, particularly around Gir NP&S which is an area of global importance being a sole abode of A. Lion and healthy population of leopard. Research Methods: Data was collected on conflict cases reported to forest department (2000-2011) by locals regarding large predator-human encounters and incidents of livestock depredation throughout the study period. Since initiation of the leopard project (2009), all incident sites were monitored consistently to get information on incidents along with victims interviews about presence of LP in their surroundings. Important Results: The key conflict driving forces which affected the severity of the conflict includes sudden PH encounters in agro-farms particularly migratory labourers, invasion in houses and change in land use & cropping pattern. Another major CDF was identified in form of livestock depredation resulted in heavy economic loss to locals and single biggest burden on forest department for compensation.

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Distribution and habitat use of red panda in Nepal


Kamal Kandel GPO Box 26288, Kathmandu, Nepal Email: kandel.kamal82@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The talk firstly addresses the potential distribution niche of red panda in Nepal Himalaya. Secondly, it also focuses on microlevel habitat used by red panda in eastern Nepal with some conservation threats identified. Research Methods: The main research methods used are 1. Literature review and compilation of red panda 'presence only' data 2.Use of Random Forest Ensembles based on open access data 3.Systematic quadrate sampling for habitat analysis 4.Field assessment and focal group discussion for identifying threats. Important Results: The most important finding that is the potential distribution mapping of red panda with probability of occurrence. Distribution probability is higher in eastern Nepal and goes on decreasing toward the west as mugu in the western Nepal is considered the westernmost limit of the distribution of red panda. Out of 17 habitat variables assessed, 6 of them were found important and differed significantly.

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Mixed species bird flocks (MSBF), as target units for effective avifaunal conservation in human-altered landscapes
Sumudu Fernando "Asiri", Kudagama, Dombemada, Rambukkana, Sri Lanka Email: sumudu27@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: MSBFs are often found in human altered landscapes but tend to diminish with increasing disturbances. The conservation value is high as some threatened bird species also participate in these flocks, which are highly vulnerable to anthropogenic effects. But our understanding on the structure and function of these MSBFs is poor since studies on such are almost nonexistent. Research Methods: Study area was thoroughly searched for MSBFs from 0630 to 1030 hr on each sampling day. Once come across, the flocks were followed systematically; their location and species composition were recorded at 10 min intervals. Any bird staying in the flock for more than 10 min was considered a flock member. Path and home range of flocks were mapped using GPS points. Data were statistically analyzed. Important Results: 78 bird species were recorded inside MSBFs in human altered landscapes in Naula-Sri Lanka, where semi-evergreen forest is the natural vegetation type. 15 near threatened, one vulnerable and 10 endemic species participated in these flocks. Yellow-billed Babbler (Turdoides affinis) was the common nuclear species. Flock territories ranged from 8-13 ha often bordered by human alterations; e.g. roads.

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Toxicity of some selected heavy metals in freshwater fish Anabas testudineus (Bloch)
Rita Chakpram Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences Assam University, Silchar- 788011 Assam, India Email: reetch1028@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Fish kill or injury due to metal contamination is considered the primary cause of reducing fish populations and other animals including humans through the food chain. It is therefore of great significance to evaluate pollution effects on fish for both environmental protection and socio-economic reasons. This research work will be of greater help in monitoring effects of heavy metals in fishes. Research Methods: Toxicity tests were conducted according to standard toxicity testing protocol (Buikema et al,1982).LC50 values for fish species at different hours of exposure were estimated by log-probit analysis(Finney,1971).Metal concentration in fish tissues was estimated by atomic absorption spectrophotometer using standard methodology(Gupta,1998).Gill morphology was studied using scanning electron microscope. Important Results: Copper is found more toxic than Cadmium to A. testudineus. The major effects on the gill comprised fusion of adjacent primary lamellae, especially at the tips. There was remarkable disruption of gill epithelium in fish exposed to Cd and excretion of large amount of mucus on the lamellar surface in fish exposed to Cu. Cd label was highest in liver and the lowest in skin after 5 weeks of exposure to Cd.

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Dust accumulation and its effect on the number of stomata and chlorophyll content in leaves of urban forest tree species
Ani Mulyani Jl. Kesederhanaan no.30 B rt 03/08 Kelurahan Keagungan Kec. Tamansari Jakarta Barat 11130 Email: animulyani09@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: Dust particles influence air quality and can cause health problems to human. Air pollution caused by dust particles can be reduced by the presence of trees. Trees in urban forest can serve as air filter and neutralize particulate matter that pollutes air in urban ecosystem. This research was conducted to find tree species that have the highest potential in reducing dust particle in urban ecosystem. Research Methods: Swietenia macrophylla, Lagerstroemia speciosa and Tectona grandis were selected for the study. We used cluster design to sample dust particles. From each species, we randomly selected ten individuals and collected three leaves from each individual. Samples were weighted to calculate the amount of dust. We counted number of stomata and estimated leaf pigment content using spectrophotometer. Important Results: T. grandis had the potential as bioremediation agent for improving air quality in the study area. It has the highest capacity to adsorbed dust particles compared to other study species. The observed trend of dust accumulation was in the order of T. grandis > L. speciosa > S. macrophylla. We also found changes in number stomata and levels of pigment content in all tree species compared to control.

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A review on studies on butterfly fauna in India


Rohini C.K. Pararikalam House, Eranhikkode Post, Edavanna, Malappuram, Kerala 676541 Email: rohini768@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The present study is to present an overview of studies on butterflies from different regions of India; it aims at identifying knowledge gaps and suggests areas of research priorities in butterfly related studies. Research Methods: Studies on butterflies were collected from different sources, by data mining. The study area, year and kinds of studies were analyzed. Important Results: Of the total studies analyzed here, more than 70% were carried out between 2000 - 2012. More studies (45%) were found to be concentrated around southern India, especially the Western Ghats with 79 studies, followed by North and West India with 31 Studies respectively. North east reported with 19 studies, followed by East India with 12 and four from Central India. As far as study area is concerned, maximum studies are performed in protected areas and forest regions with 59 investigations, whereas few studies are noted which are done in agro ecosystems, village areas and wetlands. Diversity studies and ecological studies on butterflies were more in number whereas few studies were noted that deals with taxonomy and rediscovery of butterfly species.

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Comparative study on pesticide residues in an agro-ecosystem adopting organic and chemical paddy farming in Kerala
Ganesan Kittusamy PhD Scholar, Division of Ecotoxicology, SACON, Anaikatty Po., Coimbatore 641108 Email: ganeshk1985@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: KSBB has taken up a project on restoration of the biodiversity of an agro-ecosystem by totally avoiding chemical inputs. SACON is monitoring the ecosystem to document the residue levels of persistent chemical contaminants in sediment, select biota & agricultural produces (rice and fodder), cow-milk and select species of resident birds (on opportunistic basis) between organic and chemical farming. Research Methods: Questionnaire survey was conducted among farmers to document pesticide usage, cropping pattern etc. Birds surveyed by total count method. Arthropods communities (insects and spiders) abundance and their changing pattern in paddy habitat were studied by sweep net and visual search methods respectively. Season wise samples were processed and analyzed for organochlorine pesticide residues. Important Results: Significant variation in the total number of insects, spiders and birds were noted among different growth stages of paddy, seasons and sites. Between the farms, organic farms attracted more arthropods diversity and birds than chemical farms. Varying levels of isomers of HCH and metabolites of DDT and cyclodiene insecticides (Endosulfan, Heptachlor and Dieldrin) were detected.

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Conservation of globally threatened birds through community involvement on Sonadia Island


Md. Foysal House No.11, Road 4, Banani Dohs, Dhaka 1206, Bangladesh Email: foysal1985@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: The study primarily address conservation of globally threatened birds through hunting mitigation by proving alternative livelihood to local bird hunters by involving Village Conservation Groups (VCGs). It also emphasis on how micro credit programme without interest reduces bird hunting and hunters become the protectors. Research Methods: Shorebird hunting surveys was conducted between January 2011 and December 2011 in five villages on Sonadia Island. A total of 25 hunters were identified and alternative livelihood options such as boat, watermelon seeds, fishing nets etc were provided. The alternatives were identified based on hunters' interest and their yearly income through bird hunting. They will return the fund with no interest. Important Results: I found that the alternative income generation through micro credit programme without interest work well to mitigate immediate loss of species by hunting. However, it is important to involve other community members in the process to monitor activities of the hunter after given support. This model can be applied for other natural resource harvesters living in and around protected areas.

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Genomic diversity of endangered Siri breed of cattle of Eastern Himalayas


Priyanka Sarkar c/o: Sri Gautam Sarkar Ward No:7, Bhakaribhita PO,Dist:- Bongaigaon PIN: 783380, Assam, India Email: genome14@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: My study addresses the policy for conservation of Siri breed cattle, which is at the door to extinct its purity or wild genetic makeup. Research Methods: The Siri (Bos indicus) breed is an endangered cattle species. Therefore, information about the genetic status of the Siri population is necessary to develop strategies for conservation and effective long-term treatment for management of this endemic breed. In the present approach, we developed mitochondrial COI gene and d-loop as molecular marker to characterize the species and to identify the breed. Important Results: Phylogenic analysis with COI barcode and d-loop revealed a distinct genetic difference between B. taurus (Korean, Japanese Black, Holstein, and Fleckvieh breeds) and B. indicus (Nellore and Zwergzebu breeds). The present study is the first attempt to develop COI barcode (Acc. No: JN417002) and d-loop sequence (Acc. No: JN417003) of the last Himalayan breed of B. indicus. Both the K2P distance and phylogenic analysis revealed a conflicting position of Siri, which need a more detailed analysis considering large-scale data sets.

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Propagation of pearl oyster (Pinctada fucata) population by Searanching at Gulf of Kachchh-a conservation aspect
Mayurdan Gadhvi 3/3 Ramehwar Nagar, Near Asha apartment, Jamnagar-361008. Email: mayur.gadhvi111@gmail.com Conservation Purpose: Southern part of gulf of Kachchh contains highly productive coral reef area. These reefs are not continuous but Separated by sandy patches, mudflats and mangrove forests. A typical bed consists of a hard bottom of coral and rocky frame work, with an admixture of mud and sand. The important fauna of these beds are octopus, chanks, Pinna sp., globe fishes, mullets, rock perches, crabs, anemones, sea fans, sea lilies, tube dwelling polychaete, brittle stars and sponges, while Sargassum and Ulva etc form the common flora. Among them one important Species is Pearl oyster (Pinctada fucata). Pearl Fisheries at Sikka, Gulf of Kachchh, was widely popular at past and the quality of pearl from this area had very good quality, Data suggested that from 1913 to 1967 pearl fisheries was held at regular interval and in every fishery programme 10000 to 30000 pearl oyster has been fished. Cultured pearl was practiced at FRS, Sikka still 1984. But since last two decade of Pearl oyster population is highly declined due to industrialization, mining activity, illegal fishing and effect of climate change and need some serious attempt to conserve them in natural bed. Research Methods: Collection of oysters from intertidal area through tracking / handpicking. Maintenance of brood stock in cages under the raft conditioning of oysters in laboratory before breeding. To conduct breeding experiments by various stimulation techniques. Live feed culture. Important Results: Since last three year we are succeed two produce crores of larvae and lakhs of spat of pearl oyster. During 2009-10 we were succeed to produce 10000000 larvae and 200000 spat, During 2010-11 we were succeed to produce 10000000larvae and 150000 spat. During 2011-12 we were succeed to produce 8000000 larvae and 200000 spat. For the searanching of pearl oyster in the Gulf of Kachchh we have selected the site, the goose island And Sikka offshore initially for its accessibility and easy monitoring. The size of the spat ranged from 3 mm to 6 mm with an average length of 4 mm. We regularly visit the site where pearl oyster is sea ranched and during our last visit at Goose Island we have observed good amount of Pearl oyster having age of 1 and 2 year. After the success of two year, Last year during 2011-12 in collaboration with Forest Department, Marine
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national park, sea ranched 1,50,000 pearl oyster at Various island of Marine national park, Jamnagar.

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Human-tiger conflict and ranging pattern of tigers in mangrove forests of Sundarban Tiger Reserve, India
Dipanjan Naha OLD Hostel, Wildlife Institute Of India, Chandrabani, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India Pin-248001 Email: dipanjan@wii.gov.in Conservation Purpose: My study is based on movement pattern, home ranges and human-tiger conflict in Sundarbans of India. Ranging pattern of this predator provides an insight into their ecology, which will help in mitigating human-tiger conflict, both in terms of human mortality, tiger straying and livestock depredation in Indian Sundarbans. Research Methods: We captured four tigers and attached satellite collars in 2010. With high quality short interval gps fixes we computed home ranges and studied activity pattern. We collected secondary data from forest department and came up with vital trends in human-tiger conflict since the last 10 years. Important Results: Mean home range of (n=4), radio-collared tiger using 100% MCP method was 140.2 Km (SE 34.4) whereas for 95% Fixed kernel it was 115.88 Km (SE 23.4) (n = 3) respectively. Tiger crossed on an average nine channels travelling 4.62 kms per day.

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Effect of land use changes on biodiversity conservation in Bangladesh forest ecosystems


Mohammad Belal Uddin Department of Forestry and Environmental Science Shahjalal University of Science and Technology Sylhet-3114, Bangladesh Email: belal405@yahoo.com Conservation Purpose: The biodiversity in the tropics is mainly threatened by land use changes. This is especially true for Bangladesh with one of the highest population density in the world. Nevertheless, especially natural and semi-natural ecosystems still host a high number of species. I test the hypothesis that species distribution and abundance patterns of plant species vary with respect to the land use. Research Methods: I conducted the study in protected areas of Bangladesh applying systematic sampling procedure on plant species diversity in different land uses. I used GIS technologies to distribute and locate the sampling plots throughout the study areas based on land uses and land cover classes. I used multivariate statistics to the gathered data to find out the major drivers of biodiversity loss. Important Results: A strong correlation of biodiversity patterns with land uses was observed. Distribution and abundance patterns of plant species vary with land uses. The DCA analysis reveals a similarity gradient from natural forest to human induced land uses; probably following land use intensity. The highest species diversity occurs in the natural forests and decreases in human induced land uses.

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