Saturday, March 31, 2012
Here is a paradox - Norway is investing more than 13 billion dollars in dozens of companies linked to deforestation
Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
General connectivity improvement and clearly localised connectivity improvement can be efficient compensation measures for area loss
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Conservation Biology, ,
Sunday, March 25, 2012
What is a sacred natural site? from Sacred Natural Sites on Vimeo.
Gregor Torkar and Sue L.T. McGregor
Journal for Nature Conservation, Volume 20, Issue 2, March 2012, Pages 65–71
Nature conservation is all about dealing with human–nature interface problems. Here the researchers examine how the transdisciplinary methodology can help improve community-based conservation approaches.
The researchers say transdisciplinarity is an extremely promising global movement that promotes a new approach to the creation of human knowledge. It includes dialogue among the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities as well as with civil society, where the problems of the world are lived out on a daily basis. The intent of taking down the walls between the disciplines and civil society is to enable new types of knowledge to emerge through complex and integrated, mutually learned insights.
The four pillars (axioms) of the transdisciplinary methodology – multiple levels of Reality (ontology), the logic of the included middle, emergent complexity (epistemology) and integral value constellations (axiology) – are explained. The role each one of these axioms plays in reframing our conception of the conservation of nature is also dealt with in detail.
The researchers contend that a transdisciplinary methodology helps everyone feel as if they are stakesharers rather than stakeholders.
The researchers sign off with the following words “Almost everyone is familiar with the term stakeholder, referring to someone who can affect, or can be affected by others’, decisions. To have a stake in something means people share or have an involvement in it. We coined the term stakesharer to reflect the idea that, within transdisciplinary work, people share ideas, solutions, threats and opportunities as they try to stake out their collective response to human–nature interface problems.”
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Decline of monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico: is the migratory phenomenon at risk?
Insect Conservation and Diversity,,
Latest research by researchers at the University of Minnesota and Iowa State University indicate that genetically engineered corn and soybeans could put the iconic monarch butterfly in peril. The total area in Mexico occupied by the eastern North American population of overwintering monarch butterflies has reached an all-time low.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Aldo Leopold, the father of wildlife management once wrote “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher "standard of living" is worth its cost in things natural, wild, and free. For us of in the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech.”
My recent visit to some of the wildlife reserves of Kerala makes me wonder whether most of the managers, managing the wildlife reserves, are really aware of what they are doing. Most of the guys I met are foresters with no deep roots in wildlife management. How come the state Government is not sending these guys at least for short term courses in wildlife management? Some of the costly mistake they are doing right now could be avoided with proper training. My friend Mohanji once told me “If you want to know exactly what to do with landscape management you should know what are the requirements of the animals that you manage, you should be able to think like an animal. For example your boss asks you to make water holes. Does the species that you manage needs water at the specific points mentioned by your boss? To come to proper conclusion you should read everything that you can lay your hands on, concerning the ecology and behaviour of the animals that you manage. Here comes the appropriateness of the idea of thinking like an animal”. How many of our manager guys read the latest literature?
I am still baffled why the Government does not send the guys for management training at the Wildlife Institute. The institute is finding it difficult to get trainee officers. The entire expenses are born by the central Government. Is it tardiness from the Government officials or are the guys unwilling to let go their cushy posting? Where is the hitch?
I keep on hearing about the unnecessary thrust on eco-tourism. This in the long run will only harm the wildlife and the environment. Eco-tourism is a nice management tool but let us not kill the golden goose. I also hear about the idea of introduction of exotic fishes in the water bodies of the wildlife reserves? Is it being done after a proper study of the ecological implications?
I am a wee bit pessimistic about the future of wildlife in Kerala. When charlatans manage wildlife reserves, by-passing properly trained guys the future looks very bleak indeed.
I ran into this video recently. It clearly shows the potential of camera traps. I was particularly fascinated by the golden cat shown in the video. It looks exactly like the elusive “Pohayan” which I once espied in Eravikulam National Park.
Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp and Tim Inskipp
Softcover | 2012 | Edition: 2 Publisher: Princeton University Press, Date: February, 2012 Binding: paperback, Pages: 528, Size: 5.5″ x 8.5″
Yesterday I had a look at the second edition of the groundbreaking book "Birds of the Indian Subcontinent" (1998). This sure is an eminently useful guide. It covers all the bird species found in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and the Maldives. Some of the plates in the previous edition were a wee bit gawky. The plates have been repainted for this edition. This new edition is now the best book available for birding. It is up-to-date taxonomically than all the competing guides except Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide (Rasmussen and Anderton 2005, Lynx Editions). Many new species have been added based on recent taxonomic changes
Richard Grimmett is Head of Conservation at BirdLife International. Carol and Tim Inskipp are freelance wildlife consultants.
Friday, March 16, 2012
I was fascinated to read this report about Male fruit
flies that have been rejected by females drinking significantly more alcohol.
The authors of this report says the brain’s reward systems reinforce
behaviours required for species survival, including sex, food consumption, and
social interaction. Drugs of abuse co-opt these neural pathways, which can lead
The researchers used Drosophila melanogaster to investigate the relationship between
natural and drug rewards. The researchers think alcohol stimulates the flies'
brains as a "reward" akin to sexual conquest.
In males, mating increased, whereas sexual deprivation
reduced, neuropeptide F (NPF) levels. Activation or inhibition of the NPF system
in turn reduced or enhanced ethanol preference. According to the researcher NPF
levels are some kind of 'molecular signature' to the experience.
Sexual Deprivation Increases Ethanol Intake in
G. Shohat-Ophir1,2,, K. R. Kaun, R. Azanchi, U. Heberlein
Science 16 March 2012:
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Identifying which species should be given restoration priority in the context of different restoration targets
Mariano Devoto,Sallie Bailey,Paul Craze and Jane Memmott
Ecology Letters, Volume 15, Issue 4, pages 319–328, April 2012
It is a fact that theory developed from studying changes in the structure and function of communities during natural or managed succession can give us clues to the restoration of particular communities.
Here the researchers constructed 30 quantitative plant–flower visitor networks along a managed successional gradient to identify the main drivers of change in network structure. They then applied two alternative restoration strategies in silico (restoring for functional complementarity or redundancy) to data from their early successional plots to examine how different strategies changed restoration trajectories.
The researchers explain changes in network structure by a combination of age, tree density and variation in tree diameter, even when variance explained by undergrowth structure was accounted for first. A combination of field data, a network approach and numerical simulations helped the researchers to identify which species should be given restoration priority in the context of different restoration targets.
The researcher says their combined approach provides a powerful tool for directing management decisions, particularly when management seeks to restore or conserve ecosystem function.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Monday, March 12, 2012
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Friday, March 09, 2012
Wildlife mangers, it time to keep your eyes peeled.Look for any unusual changes in your area and work hand in hand with field biologists to stem things in the beginning itself.