An article about why corridors are important to conserve large carnivores in the Sahyadri landscape published in Nature inFocus
A paper published on dhole distribution in the journal Canid Biology and Conservation.
The Abstract from the paper:
The dhole Cuon alpinus is an Endangered carnivore, whose population status is hitherto undetermined across most of its range. We update information on dhole distribution patterns in the northern Western Ghats, India, which forms the northern range limits for the species in the region. We use two sources of data: a landscape-scale (7000 sq.km) habitat occupancy study (from 2010-11), and opportunistic camera-trap photographic records (2012-15) from the region. Estimated occupancy was found to be 0.65 (± 0.18) in the surveyed landscape. Presence of protected areas, high percentage forest cover and availability of preferred prey (sambar Rusa unicolor, muntjac Muntiacus muntjac) were positive influences, while human disturbance showed a negative effect on dhole occupancy. The dhole was photo-captured in 14 camera-trap locations outside protected areas, of which 11 locations were outside the area surveyed in the occupancy study. The dhole has likely been extirpated from further north of our study landscape in the Western Ghats, indicating the need to corroborate range maps through renewed field assessments of this carnivore. Findings from this study can serve as a critical component in conservation of the dhole in one of their largest global populations.
An article in Scroll.in related to elephantine issues in the Sahyadris of Maharashtra..read here
Abstract: Stripe-necked Mongoose Herpestes vitticollis is known only (when this paper was published) from the Western Ghats of southern India and Sri Lanka, while Asian Small-clawed Otter Aonyx cinereus is widespread in tropical Asia. Recent records (2008–2014; direct sightings, camera-traps and [otter only] signs) of both come from the north-central Western Ghats in the states of Maharashtra and Goa, where these species were hitherto poorly documented. Stripe-necked Mongoose observations were restricted to relatively higher elevations (560–1,300 m asl), while Small-clawed Otter was observed from 40 m to 820 m asl. In this area, Stripe-necked Mongoose does not seem at present to be at risk, but Small-clawed Otter appears threatened by dams.
Keywords: camera-trap, clarification of known range, damming, direct observations, Goa, Maharashtra, small carnivore, spraint
Paper on the Small carnivore conservation website
Girish Arjun Punjabi received the Carl Zeiss Award for Wildlife Conservation in New Delhi on 10th of April 2015. This award was handed over by Shri. Suresh Prabhu, current Railway Minister of India. Mr. Valmik Thapar, renowned conservationist and writer and part of the selection committee for the awards, hosted the program for the evening.
The award ceremony was attended by many respected conservationists, including Dr. Raghu Chundawat, Belinda Wright, Prerna Bindra, Dr. A.J.T. Johnsingh, Ravi Singh among others. Girish gave a short presentation about the Sahyadri Corridor project to the audience. In Girish's words, "I am extremely grateful to so many organisations and people who have supported me in my endeavour and hope to continue our good work into the future. I would like to dedicate this award to all those people who are working so hard to protect wildlife in Maharashtra's Sahyadris."
Other recipients of the award were Imran Siddique, Dr. Ashok Verma, Ovee Thorat, Saurabh Sawant, and Ramit Singal. You can find more about Zeiss at this link.
Abstract: The leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis has a widespread distribution across Asia.
We describe two recent photographic records of leopard cats from the northern Western Ghats in India. One individual was sighted and a video documented in Mahabaleshwar at 23:00 h on 19 February 2014, and two individuals were photographed in Dajipur, Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary at 20:49 h on 21 March 2014. These are likely to be the first photographic records from these areas in the northern Western Ghats. They are important from a conservation stand-point as the Western Ghats leopard cat population may be isolated from the rest of its range. Link to journal web-page : http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=611
The Sahyadri corridor project
This blog is about activities from the Sahyadri corridor project. The blog aims to share our experiences, hopes, achievements, and frustrations while trying to thoughtfully conserve the northern Sahyadris. Do share your comments..