2011 Selected Abstracts

The list and sequence of presentations in the Oral, Speed-Talks-cum-Posters and Poster Sessions. Below the schedule are listed the abstracts under each category.

ORAL PRESENTATIONS

13th December 2011; TALK SESSION 1  (1615-1730 hrs)   

(to be held simultaneously in Hall A and Hall B)

HALL

T1. Understanding diversity of hummingbird visited plants along Kosñipata elevational transect, Peru – a pollen load analysis:

Priyanka Runwal, Nathalie Seddon, Joseph Tobias, Shonil Bhagwat

T2. Does rain affect emergence flight of Indian flying fox Pteropus giganteus?

Subbian Baskaran, Madurai Ganapathy

T3. Roosting behaviour of House Sparrow Passer domesticus in relation to Sunset

Anukul Nath, R Nagrajan, Hilloljyoti Singha

T4. Examining the effect of geographic gaps on population structure using bird song

Chetana Purushotham, Robin Vijayan, Anindya Sinha

T5. Medicinal plant exudates as feeding preference of Bengal  slow loris (Nycticebus bengalensis)

Nabajit Das, Nekaris, K.A.I., Biswas, J., Jayanta Das, Parimal Chandra Bhattacharjyee

HALL B

T6. Preliminary results from a study on indigenous people and climate change

Tenzing Ingti, Kamaljit Bawa

T7. Land cover change detection in Nanda Devi BR using remote sensing and GIS for biodiversity management

Priyamvada Bagaria, Sas Biswas, S D Sharma, V P Uniyal

T8. Community conservation is the key to save Greater Adjutant, a case study

Purnima Devi Barman           

T9. A Survey of indigenous knowledge on the use of medicinal plants by the Dimasa

Sangeeta Haflongbar, Aparajita De   

T10. Elephant hunting in the nineteenth century In Assam

Geetashree Singh

 

14th December 2011; TALK SESSION 1    (0850-1020 hrs)

(to be held simultaneously in Hall A and Hall B)

HALL A

T11. Variation in butterfly diversity and unique species richness in Tishna WLS.

Joydeb Majumdar, Rahul Lodh, B K Agarwala

T12. Rapid assessment of butterfly diversity in Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary, Tripura.

Rahul Lodh, Joydeb Majumdar, Basant Kumar Agarwala

T13. Anuran fauna of Tamdil Wetland, Mizoram, northeast India

Saipari Sailo, Lalremsanga, H.T., Dibyendu Paul, Dioneas War

T14. Avifaunal diversity and habitat utilization by birds in Assam university campus

Biswajit Chakdar, Parthankar Choudhury, Hilloljyoti Singha

T15. Study of phytoplankton diversity in East Kolkata Wetlands, West Bengal, India

Sudipta Kumar Maiti, Sarmistha Saha, Tapan Saha

HALL B

T16. Population dynamics of tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in Orang National Park

Kamal Azad, M. Firoz Ahmed

T17. Indian desert jird: Population estimation and an index for the same, in Kachchh

Divya Ramesh, Yadvendradev Jhala, Qamar Qureshi

T18. Reproductive ecology of Terminalia pallida of Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh.

K Venkata Ramana, P Hareesh Chandra, Alluri Jacob Solomon Raju, Samba Siva Rao

T19. Preliminary survey of Indian golden golden gecko in Javvadhu Hills,Tamil Nadu

Kalai Mani, MS Chaitra

T20. Integrating occupancy modeling and interviews for corridor identification: A case study of jaguars in Central America

Katherine Zeller, Sahil Nijhawan, Roberto Salom-Perez, Sandra Potosme, James Hines

 

14th December 2011; TALK SESSION 2    (1030-1145 hrs)

(to be held simultaneously in Hall A and Hall B)

HALL A

T21. Uptake of copper by different parts  of Ipomoea aquatica Forssk.

Haobam Khumanleima Chanu, Abhik Gupta

T22. Acute toxicity tests for Endosulfan and Blitox on a Freshwater snail

Rimakshi Choudhury, Abik Gupta

T23. A 96 hour acute toxicity study of three pesticides on Channa punctatus (Bloch)

Sharmila Naosekpam, Abhik Gupta

T24. Mycorrhizal Colonization in plants growing on mine soils.

Sanjoy Kumar, Subrata Chaudhuri, S.K. Maiti

HALL B

T25. Soil fertility management in different agricultural systems of Arunachal Pradesh

Shafiqul Islam Bhuyan, Om Prakash Tripathi

T26. Biomass carbon stock in shade trees of tea agroforestry in Barak Valley, Assam

Rinku Moni Kalita, Ashesh Kumar Das, Arun Jyoti Nath

T27. Allelopathic effect of Ageratum conyzoides L  on cultivated vegetable crop plant

Naba Jyoti Borah, Biman Kumar Datta, Islam, M.

T28. Using invasive weed species of Chilika lagoon for biofuel and AgNP synthesis

Aditya  Nayak, Aaram A Kumar, Kishore C S Panigrahi

 

15th December 2011; TALK SESSION 1   (0850-1020 hrs)

(to be held simultaneously in Hall A and Hall B)

HALL A

T29. Molecular Biomarkers: Tool for planning of conservation strategy of  Gastropods

Kuntal  Singh,  Anupam Sarkar 

T30. Molecular diversity of the ammonia oxidizing archaea along the W.Bengal coast.

Amit Kumar, Chandrasekaran Raghu, Priyata Rathi, Purba Gupta, Punyasloke Bhadury

T31. Bridges and islands in the sky: Speciation patterns in Shortwings of Western Ghats

V.V. Robin, Arpad Nyari, Sushma Reddy

T32. Functional advantages of female-biased dimorphism in flying squirrels

R. Nandini, F. Stephen Dobson

HALL B

T33. Occupancy pattern and foraging of sympatric kingfishers in Bhitarkanika

Joli Borah, Abishek Harihar, Mousumi Ghosh, Bivash Pandav, Gopi G.V.

T34. Coexistence of sympatric primates in Hollongapar Gibbon WLS, Assam

Narayan Sharma, Madhusudan, M.D., Anindya Sinha

T35. Do gibbons thrive in fragments? A case study from Arunachal Pradesh, India.

Kuladip Sarma, Awadhesh Kumar

 T36. Response of western hoolock gibbon towards  disturbance regimes in Dampa TR, Mizoram

Samuel Pachuau

T37. Biodiversity Conservation of Manas Biosphere reserve

Santa Paul,, Anaru Boro, Nilakshee Devi, Gajen C. Sarma, C. K. Baruah

 

15th December 2011; TALK SESSION 2   (1030-1145 hrs)

(to be held simultaneously in Hall A and Hall B)

HALL A

T38. Land and Forests: Re-envisioning the environmental politics in Assam

Dipak Kumar Sarma

T39. Human-elephant interface: An assessment of conflict status in Sathyamangalam WLS Human-Elephant conflict, Sathyamangalam

Sreedhar Vijayakrishnan, Salman Qureshi, Umesh Kanna

T40. Un-cozy commensal: Red fox along a gradient of settlement size in the Trans- Himalaya

Abhishek Ghoshal, Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, Yash Veer Bhatnagar

T41. Livestock depredation by Golden jackal Canis aureus in and around Assam University

Dipankar Debnath, Hilloljyoti  Singha, Biman Kumar Dutta

T42. Ecology of the Brahmaputra River Islands and Protected Area Linkages

Smarajit Ojah, Anup Saikia, Dilwar Hussain, Kulen Das

HALL B

T43. Butterfly Diversity of Sakchi Kho Watershed- An approach to assess the watershed diversity

Nabanita Das, Mantu Bhuyan, Ridip Choudhury, P.R. Bhattacharyya

T44. Some observations on butterflies of Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh

Jis Sebastian, Arindam Pachoni

T45. Assemblage of vertebrate fauna in the tropical semi evergreen forest of Assam University

Manabendra Ray Choudhury, Parthankar Choudhury

T46. Study of spider species found in the Assam university campus and adjoining areas

Rashmi Rekha Bhagawati

T47. Fisheries ecology of floodplain wetlands of Assam

Saprativ P Das, Birendra Kumar Bhattacharjya, Soumya Sasmal, Dipesh Debnath, Sona Yengkokpam

 

 

SPEED TALKS-CUM-POSTER PRESENTATIONS

 

13th December 2011

S1. Horizon Scanning India –  a 10 question survey

Meghna Krishnadas, Jayashree Ratnam, Mahesh Sankaran, Suhel Quader, Varun Varma, Vinatha Viswanathan

S2. Population status and activity budgeting of Western Hoolock Gibbon (Hoolock hoolock)

Mofidul Islam, Parthankar Choudhury, Parimal Chandra Bhattacharjee

S3. Nutrient cycling in wetland ecosystem

Nayanmoni Gogoi, Utpal Bora, Chandan Mahanta

S4. People’s perception on conservation and conflicts in Kaziranga NP, Assam

Rakesh Soud

S5. Understanding the eco-biology of tea mosquito bug with the help of RS and GIS

Debasmita Pakrasi, Chandan Goswami, Kasturi Chakraborty, K.K Sarma

S6. Habitat utilization of sloth bears in Mount Abu wildlife sanctuary, Rajasthan

Prakash Mardraj, NPS Chauhan, V.C. Soni

S7. Diversity of ant under the influence of forest fragmentation in Meghalaya

Holdingstone Kharbani, Sudhanya Ray

S8. Livestock depredation and perceptions about Dhole (Cuon alpinus) in western Arunachal Pradesh.

Salvador Lyndgoh, K.M. Selvan, G.V. Gopi, Bilal Habib

S9. Envirocloud: community environmental monitoring system

K. A. Nishadh, M.K. Sebastian, P.A. Azeez

S10. Inventorization of avifauna in Mizoram, northeast india

Vanlalsawmi Renthlei, G.S. Solanki

S11. A picture is worth a thousand words: population monitoring, mark-recapture

Akshita Misra, Koustubh Sharma

 S12. Roosting colonies of Pteropus giganteus  Brunnich, 1782 in Cachar District, Assam

Jayashree Bhattacharjee, Hilloljyoti Singha, Biman Kumar Dutta, Parimal Chandra Bhattacharjee,Panna Deb

 

14th December 2011

S13. Individual variation in territoriality and dispersal/space-acquisition

Sayantan Das, Anindita Bhadra

S14. Assessment of a CDM project to ascertain its socio-economic sustainability

Tanuj Nagpal  

S15. Role of constant nutrient input in plankton community ecosystem

Anal Chatterjee, Samares Pal

S16. Erosion problem of the Brahmaputra River (Palasbari) and its impact on local area erosion

Kishore Bharali, Santanu Sarma

S17. Does road widening have impact on the faunal diversity in protected areas?

Murali Krishna, Parimal Ray, Kuladip Sarma, Awadhesh Kumar

S18. Understanding evolution of sholas through population genetics and niche models

V.V. Robin, Uma Ramakrishnan

S19. Survey of rare mammal species in Himalaya- case study of Hangul and Argali

Karthik Murthy 

S20. Role of zoos in spreading the environmental awareness for better survival enrichment, sustainability

SR Sumant Yanamandra, Ramalingam Gamineni

S21. Understanding Malabar whistling thrush biogeography through song

Chetana Purushotham, V.V. Robin, Anindya Sinha, Divya Mudappa

S22. Environmental impacts of coal mining in India

Bindu Kiranmayee Malla

S23. Survey and observation of Rhesus macaque (Macaca  mulatta) in Mahamaya temple

Debahutee Roy, Jeganathan Pandian

S24. In-vitro observations on the antagonistic potential of some fungal species

Anuradha Das, Biman Kumar Dutta

 

 

POSTER PRESENTATIONS

13th December 2011

P1. Tree diversity in Bisle Rain Forest of Yeslur Forest Range in Western Ghats

K.R. Shrinivas, Vijaya Kumara

P2. Butterfly diversity around the Assam University campus

Simi Talukdar

P3. Sensory ecology of oviposition behavior in Oleander Hawk-Moths

Aravin Chakravarthi, V.T. Yadugiri, Sanjay P. Sane     

P4. Functional resilience of soil microbial community in a forest fire gradient

Rahi Soren, Parthiba Basu

P5. Study of zooplankton community dynamics in East Kolkata Wetlands

Sarmistha  Saha

P6. Path integration as a strategy for ant navigation and foraging

Sumedha Agashe, Ramarani Sethy, Sarang Mahajan, Sreekant

P7. Fuelwood, alternative energy at Mankanthpur village, Ramnagar

Biba Jasmine Kaur, Sanjay Das, Dipankar Ghose

P8. Mapping degradation in tropical deciduous forests using Remote Sensing

Meghna Agarwala

P9. Pollination biology of Cissus vitiginea L. (Vitaceae)

P Hareesh Chandra, K Venkata Ramana, Jacob Solomon Raju

P10. Restoring pasture commons: An experiment in central India

Akshita Misra, Suresh Babu

P11. Implementation of modified SEAV for identification of bird species through calls

Mahesh Nandwana, Chetana Purushotham, V.V. Robin, Nitin Chandrachoodan, Anil Prabakhar

P12. Environmental issues and dairy farming practices in lower Dibang valley

Puspa Komor, Jayashree Borah

P13. Diet composition and habitat preferences of frugivorous pigeons at Jeypore RF.

Oinam Sunanda Devi, Prasanta Kumar Saikia

P14. Phytosociology of Sapium sebiferum an invasive species in HP, western Himalaya

Vikrant  Jaryan,Sanjay K. Uniyal, R. D.  Singh, R. C. Gupta

P15. Asiatic Black Bear conservation in NE India: a case study of orphaned cubs

Arindam Pachoni, Liss Sebastian, NVK Ashraf, Prashanth Boro

 

14th December 2011

P16. Tea ecosystem and incidence of tea mosquito bug, Helopeltis theivora: A study in inorganic vs organic tea plantations

Kaustubh Rakshit, Amar Jyothi Daurah, Mantu Bhuyan, PR Bhattacharyya

P17. Ecology of Nepenthes khasiana in South Garo Hills

Anupriya Karippadath 

P18. A study on species specificity of ant pheromone trails in navigation

Ritwika V.P.S., Daniel Sylvinson M.R., Ramasubramonian D., Kavyasree P R

P19. Effects of coloration on predation risk in bumblebees

Allwin Mabes Raj

P20. Predation tactics used by King cobra

Dhiraj Bhaisare, Romulus Whitaker, Matt Goode

P21. Algae- promising future biofuel: a review

Dipti Yadav, Lepakshi Barbora, Pankaj Kalita, Utsab Guharoy, Pinakeshwar Mahanta

P22. Pollinator Density Assessment and Flower Visitation Rate

Jenner Prince

P23. Sacred groves of Manipur: threats and conservation status

Priya Atri, Bobbymoore Konsam, Mary Thangjam, Rajkumari Khrideshori

P24. Analytical instruments for in-situ aquatic ecological investigation

Somnath Chanda, Chandan Mahanta

P25. Geospatial approach for vegetation type mapping in Lahaul and Spiti, India

Kanchan Puri, Gopala Areendran, Krishna Raj, Archana Chatterjee, Akshaya Mane

P26. Seasonal Introduction of various species of butterflies in North-East Madurai

Aasai Pandi, Allwin Mabes Raj, Prince Jenner

P27. Narcondam Hornbill and its conservation: a review

Akshay Mane, Shirish Manchi

P28. Environmental impacts of Coal Mining in India

Bindu Kiranmayee Malla

P29. Living together: mitigating snake-human conflict

Kankana Biswas

P30. Nutritional stress in trapped populations of western hoolock gibbon

Mitrajit Deb, Shubhadeep Roychoudhury, Indu Sharma, Sudip Choudhury, Parimal C. Bhattacharjee 

 

15th December 2011

P31. Insular biogeography of Nicobar Islands from a bird community perspective

A.P. Zaibin, P. Pramod

P32. Examining socioeconomic driver of fuelwood dependence in forest adjacent to villages

Bijita Barman, Aparajita De

P33. Impacts of wind power on birds and bats: a case study from Kutchch, Gujarat.

Ramesh Kumar, Samsoor Ali, Arun, P.R., Murugesan, M.

P34. Diet selection by Capped Langur in Holongapar Gibbon wildlife sanctuary

Uddipana Kalita, Ajith Kumar, Anindya Sinha

P35. Birds of Burhanpur district

Ashish Kumar Raut     

P36. Pathway of phenol degradation in Chlorella pyrenoidosa

Bhaskar Das, Tapas K  Mandal, Sanjukta Patra

P37. Ecological farming is need of hour

Rangam Raja, Reyes Tirado

P38. Predation risk and response to mating call of frog species Euphlyctis alosi

Merrin Joseph, Niya Thomas

P39. Character displacement and ecological partitioning of squirrel communities

Nandini Rajamani, Narayan Sharma

P40. Foraging association of pig tailed macaque with drongo in Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam

Sampriti Kataki, Samrat Sengupta

P41. Challenges of field identification in the study of butterflies and species diversity of butterflies (Lepidoptera) in vast altitudinal gradients of Eastern Himalayas.

Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi

P42. Pesticide poisoning of wildlife

Anjani Sneha Vajrala

P43. A phytosociological study of Dipterocarp forest in Barak Valley, Assam

Debajit Rabha, Ashesh Kumar Das, Satish Chandra Garkoti 

P43. Water resource management for ecological sustainability.

Sama Kishor Kumar, D. Vinod Kumar

 

ABSTRACTS: ORAL PRESENTATIONS

 

13TH DECEMBER; TALK SESSION 1; HALL A

T1. Understanding diversity of hummingbird visited plants alongKosñipata elevational transect, Peru – a pollen load analysis

Priyanka Runwal, Nathalie Seddon, Joseph Tobias, Shonil Bhagwat

Oxford University, UK

Email: priyanka.runwal@gmail.com

Keywords: neotropics, bill-length, precipitation, ecology       

Sheer richness of tropical biotas coupled with limited economic resources make accurate biodiversity assessments for prioritizing conservation efforts very difficult. In this study, pollen loads are used as cues to understand the distribution of hummingbird-pollinated vegetation along Kosñipata elevational transect, Peru. Also, role of key bird morphological traits and environmental variables on the observed pollen load structure are investigated.

A total of 30 samples from 17 hummingbird species were obtained from three elevation zones i.e. 850-1299 m, 1300-2000 m and 2600-3100 m between July and October 2010. An adhesive tape was applied over the upper bill surface, forehead and crown to allow for maximum pollen collection. Upto 300 pollen grains were identified (morpho-species) and counted along non-overlapping transects across each mounted microscope slide.

The three elevation zones differed significantly in terms of pollen diversity (F (10,10,10) = 12.25, P < 0.01) and as expected, mean pollen diversity was inversely proportional to elevation. Hummingbirds at lower elevations used a wider range of species with relatively fewer examples showing clear domination by 1-3 pollen types. A normal linear model indicated the significance of bill length (t (30) = 2.774, p<0.01) and precipitation (t (30) =4.907, p<0.01) as factors in explaining the observed pollen diversity.

This study helps understand the distribution and composition of hummingbird used vegetation along environmental gradient of temperature and precipitation. This could serve as the first step to make predictions regarding species responses to global climate change.

 

T2. Does rain affect emergence flight of Indian flying fox Pteropusgiganteus?      

Subbian Baskaran, Madurai Ganapathy

School of Biological Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University

Email: baskarmku@gmail.com

Keywords: Rain, P. giganteus, grooming, emergence

The emergence flights of the Indian flying fox P. giganteus usually begin a few minutes after sunset.  The returning flights end a few minutes before sunrise.  Since P.giganteus roosts at branches of trees, majority of the individuals are directly exposed to day light.  Another major factor that may affect their activity is rain.  We carried out a study to find out the influence of rain on the activity of P. giganteus both during day and evening hours.     We observed emergence flights of P. giganteus during rainy days, on a colony that lives inside the campus of the Madurai Kamaraj University (9o58′ N, 78o10′ E).  The study was carried out from October 2009 to December 2010.

Bats were counted using tally counter and observed day time behaviour as well as the behaviour exhibited during and after rain by using binoculars (20 x 50, Graossfeld). The bats emerged out of the day roost even when rain occurred.  The mean numbers of bats flying away were 96.5, 38.6 and 26.0 during light, moderate and heavy rains, respectively.  Because the wing membrane of P. giganteus is thicker and possibly containing some oil glands, their flights are apparently not affected, especially by light and moderate rains. In contrast, insectivorous bats stop flying even during light rain, which may probably be due to the disturbance to their echolocatory system.  Histological studies are to be carried out to find out whether wing membranes of P.giganteus contain oil glands.

 

T3. Roosting behaviour of House Sparrow Passer domesticus in relationto Sunset

Anukul Nath1, R Nagrajan2, Hilloljyoti Singha3

1Aaranyak, Guwahati, Assam; 2AVC College, Mannampandal, TamilNadu; 3Assam University, Silchar, Assam

Email: assamcobra@gmail.com

Keywords: House Sparrow, roosting, Silchar, Assam

Avian communal roosting is thought to confer benefits in terms of reduced thermoregulation costs, decreased predation risk, and increase foraging efficiency but the results are still controversial. House Sparrow is an r-selected species and often roosts communally in man made structures and humans have directly or indirectly aided its opportunistic proliferation. The Silchar railway station had one of the biggest roost of House Sparrow in Assam. The study on behaviour of House Sparrow during roosting is scanty and poorly studied in the parts of Indian subcontinent, except observations of Ali & Ripley (1987). Though, few studies reported by Leck in 1951from Peru and Marti in 1971from Missouri. Furthermore, in recent years, the decline of House Sparrow recorded in many countries throughout the world. But no such historical data present from India. Therefore the present study deals with following objectives –
1. To find out the population of House Sparrow in the roost site.
2. To find out the relationship between timing of sunset and the arrival of House Sparrows to the roost.
3. Is there any significant variation in the behavioural acts in relation to sunset hours and fortnightly?

Communal roosting behaviour was studied in  railway platform during Jan-March 2011. Time of sunset, first and  last bird arrived to roost were noted. Different activities of sparrows during roosting were studied with  scan sampling (Altmann 1974). Linear regression was used to find  relationship among roosting birds timing of sunset. Effect of fortnight and sunset hours investigated  using ANOVA. A total of 3018 birds found to roost in the Railway platform. The first bird arrived to the roost a mean of 29.28 ± 20.19 mins. and the last bird arrived a mean of 15.27 ± 5.49 minutes in relation to sunset. The time difference between the first and last bird arriving the roost was a mean of 31.15 ± 6.12 mins. If the sunset was early than the time taken for arriving between first and last bird was wide (R2 = 0.94), whereas the late sunset reduced the time taken between the birds ( R2 = 0.99). The time spent on perching followed by calling was the two dominant. If the sunset was early then  day length is short and time taken for arriving between first and last bird was found wide. This variation could be associated with age and social status of the individuals.

 

T4. Examining the effect of geographic gaps on population structure usingbird song

Chetana Purushotham, Robin Vijayan, Anindya Sinha

National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science campus, Bangalore- 560012

Email: chetana.puru11@gmail.com

Keywords:  birdsong, variation, shortwing, shola       

Identifying culturally and genetically unique populations of a species is becoming increasingly critical in directing effective conservation action. We examined the breeding song of the endangered White-bellied Shortwing to identify distinct populations historically isolated by geographical gaps in the landscape. The breeding song, being a sexually selected trait that evolves faster than genetic traits, provides a non-invasive approach to study cultural variation in a species trait. Recent studies postulate that such cultural traits be considered as a fourth level of biodiversity in addition to the established dimensions of ecosystem-, species- and genetic diversity, particularly when on-ground conservation programmes are designed.

We propose to examine if geographical gaps play a role in the differentiation of populations of the White-bellied Shortwing by studying the variation in its song structure across the sky islands of the Western Ghats.

We examined variation in song structure to quantify divergence across sixty individual Shortwings from eight sky island populations. We tested for the effect of two geographical gaps on population differentiation and their isolation on sky islands by examining individual and population-level differences in songs using nested MANOVA. Songs were also assigned to specific populations using a DFA.

Shortwings have a complex breeding song, which exhibits significant individual variation. Songs could be pooled into population-specific ‘song dialects’, primarily based on their length, repertoire size and diversity, and seemed more differentiated in populations on ‘islands’ across gaps than in populations within each gap.

Presence of ‘song dialects’ is often an indication of reproductive isolation in divergent populations. The observed variations further support the patterns of genetic divergence across gaps, previously documented in this species. Isolated populations of this bird thus appear to be genetically and culturally unique, requiring conservation efforts at a much finer scale than previously envisaged.

 

T5. Medicinal plant exudates as feeding preference of Bengal  slow loris(Nycticebus bengalensis)

Nabajit Das1,2,3, Nekaris, K.A.I.3, Biswas, J.2, Jayanta Das2, ParimalChandra Bhattacharjyee1,2

1Department of Zoology, Gauhati University, Assam

2Primate Research Centre, Guwahati, Assam

3Primate Research Group, Department of Anthropology and Geography, Oxford Brookes UniversityOxford, UK

Email: nabajit88@gmail.com

Keywords: diet, primate, medicine

Genus Nycticebus occurs throughout Southeast Asia from Northeastern India to the Philippines. Field studies are in their infancy, and the behavior and ecology of the five currently-recognized slow loris species remains virtually unknown. Scanty information is available on the feeding ecology of Bengal slow loris (Nycticebusbengalensis), the only slow loris species found in India.   We conducted a study in Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam to investigate habitat use and food preference of Bengal slow loris over three seasons: monsoon (June – July 2008), winter (December 2008 to January 2009) and pre-monsoon (April – May 2009).

We collected data from line transects using existing trails by walking 1 km/h at night. On first detection, tree species, animal posture, substrate type and food type were recorded. Behaviours were noted via ‘focal instantaneous sampling at 5 min intervals. A total of 117 feeding incidents during 80 night walks were recorded. The loris preferred five tree species, comprising 71% of the total exudate feeding bouts: Silikha (Terminalia chebula), Nahor (Mesua ferrea), Arjun (Terminalia arjuna), Dimoru (Ficus hispida) and Outenga (Dillenia indica). All these species have high medicinal value and are commonly used by the local communities for medicinal purposes.

These observations suggest that the food preference and dietary composition of Bengal slow loris is highly enriched with medicinal plants, which might have some implication on its physiology and socio-sexual behavior. An emphasis on the dietary affinity of the species towards the medicinal plants is offering a strong vista for successful conservation in the region.

 

13TH DECEMBER; TALK SESSION 1; HALL B

 

T6. Preliminary results from a study on indigenous people and climatechange 

Tenzing Ingti, Kamaljit Bawa

Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the environment (ATREE), Bangalore

Email: tenzingingty@gmail.com

Keywords: climate change, traditional knowledge

Climate change has significantly impacted biodiversity and the people of the alpine Himalayas. These include cascading effects on the floral and faunal diversity such as altered range sizes, phenology and extinctions. Indigenous people directly dependent on biodiversity and the provisioning services of nature are often the first to face the devastation that climate change brings. Yet there is very little literature on the impacts or adaptation strategies of indigenous people to climate change. They have often been found to have an intimate familiarity with the natural rhythms and processes of their ecosystem.
One such example is the transhuman agro- pastoral communities living in the alpine region of the eastern Himalayas. We studied two transhuman agro-pastoral communities in the North District of Sikkim. Both communities fall under the administration of a unique traditional governing institution called the Dzumsa.

We tested a range of questions regarding climate change in the high altitudes of Sikkim
1. What are the observations and perceived changes of the community relating to changing climatic conditions?
2. What are the adaptation strategies, both individual and institutional. We followed PRA techniques. Numerous informal and formal interviews ,30 semi-structured interviews and 6 focus group discussions were conducted. Questions mainly revolved around their
1.  Observations of changes
2.  Perception of the changes
3.  Implication of the changes and
4.  Impacts on their lives and livelihoods

Participant and non participatory observation greatly assisted the team. Perception  studies  of  indigenous  people  on  observed  or  experienced  changing  climatic  conditions  in  other  parts  of  the  world  have  demonstrated  that  traditional  knowledge,  local  observations and experiences are important sources of information for climate sciences. Our study confirms numerous weather and biodiversity indicators of climate change. The study further suggests that a holistic approach is necessary where qualitative and quantitative as well as scientific knowledge and traditional knowledge could complement each other approaches to better understand the impacts of climate change in the region. At the policy level too local perceptions adaptations, knowledge and institutions must be kept in mind for better development and implementation.

 

T7. Land cover change detection in Nanda Devi BR using remote sensing and GIS for biodiversity management          

Priyamvada Bagaria1, Sas Biswas2, S D Sharma1, V P Uniyal3

1Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, 2Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education,  Dehradun, 3Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun

Email: priyamvada.bagaria@gmail.com

Keywords: Land use, change detection, remote sensing, GIS

Only limited attempts have been made so far to use satellite remote sensing and GIS in describing landscape dynamics and for biodiversity management.  Land cover may be defined as the biophysical earth surface, while land use is often shaped by human, socioeconomic and political influences on the land. The geospatial technology that combines the technology of RS and GIS holds the potential for timely and cost-effective assessment of natural resources.

Nanda Devi Sanctuary was notified as Nanda Devi National Park in 1982 and closed off for human entry since. Thus it was an interesting idea to investigate changes in land cover after the restrictions were put in place; for which satellite data was used.

Landsat TM/Landsat ETM images of a year prior to national park establishment and that of a recent year were compared. Along with remote sensing ground truthing, forest ecology and biodiversity were also studied.Change Detection Analysis was carried out by the Post-classification comparison method.
I) Acquisition of satellite data
II) Georeferencing of raster data to a particular projection system
III) Subsetting the Area of Interest
IV) Land use classification
V) Change Detection
VI) Generation of Change Detection map
Community structure study through quadrate method

The Change Detection showed a net increase in forest cover, with initial decrease during the pre-regulation, forest protection stage in 1988, but reasonably improving trend thereafter. There immense decrease in forest cover during the initial phase, 1975 to 1990. This phase also shows least increase in forest cover. This could be attributed to pre-regulation human caused disturbances. As it is known that the area was given ‘protected’ status only in 1982 and human entry not restricted until 1988, the analysis indicates immense loss. Over the years, increase in forest density and decrease in forest density/cover loss have been on the rise. This indicates the benefits of bringing a forested area under protection.

 

T8. Community conservation is the key to save Greater Adjutant, a case study

Purnima Devi Barman           

Aaranyak, Guwahati

Email: purnima@aaranyak.org

Keywords: Greater Adjutant, Conservation, Assam

Globally endangered Greater Adjutant could be easily seen in some traditional nesting colonies in Assam. This bird is facing extinction threat as many of its traditional nesting colonies are missing. A conservation project was started in Kamrup District of Assam along with the ecology of the bird to get the desired conservation actions.

Nesting colonies were surveyed, monitored, studied and various ecological factors were recorded. Conservation initiatives involving various stakeholders were successfully started. Before doing the actual field work, information was gathered on the past distribution and previous sighting records of the species in the locality collected from published literature and meeting with experts. All nesting colonies were surveyed and important ecological information were recorded. Conservation campaign was planned involving students, villagers, celebrities, media and government policy makers.

In the first season all together 124 numbers of nests were found in the locality in the very first nesting month. But subsequently 64 numbers of nests were found successful.  In the second breeding season, 172 numbers of nests were found in the area but later 106 numbers were found to be successful. The local villagers and conservation authorities were found to be more aware of the situation of the conservation needs of the bird and encouraging results were seen in the very next nesting season with increasing nests in the area. The villagers developed “ownership” feeling of this bird in the locality after the project’s initiative and that helped protection in this breeding habitat located outside the protected area network in Indian wildlife conservation scenario. Involving film celebrities for spreading the message of conservation of this bird was an instant hit of the project activities. Survival prospects of this bird definitely get a boost through this project. Cutting of nesting tree by the nest tree owners is the most important threat to the species. But this could be minimized by continuous interaction and moral support with the nest tree owners. Felicitation programs at the nesting colony area found to be very effective. Community conservation effort is the key for conservation of this globally endangered bird.

 

T9. A Survey of indigenous knowledge on the use of medicinal plants by theDimasa

Sangeeta Haflongbar, Aparajita De

Department of Ecology & Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar, Assam

Email: s.haflongbar@gmail.com

Keywords: traditional knowledge, medicinal plants    

The present study was carried out in Doliadisa village, Dima Hasao District, Assam from 2010-2011. It investigates the indigenous knowledge on conservation & use of medicinal plants of the local people and to document it before environmental and cultural changes deplete the resources. The aims and methods of the study were as follows:
– Listing of all medicinal plants being used by the local people.
– Detailed study on the selected medicinal plants
– Detailed study on how the local people are recognising and identifying plants (Local plant taxonomy)
– Measures taken to conserve the medicinal plants
– Market survey

The study was done through Free-listing, structured interviews & questionnaires. Further field study was divided into two parts – a rapid reconnaissance in which a record of the plant survey is done & Intensive Field Survey in which 5 plant species were selected for detailed study.

A total of 40 plant species grouped within 16 families are being used for medicinal purpose. Highest number of species belongs to the family Asteraceae (12.5%), and Apocynaceae (7.5%). These medicinal plants species were used in curing about 30 types of ailments, of which the highest numbers of plant species (14 species) were used for the treatment of stomach disorders. Leaves are the most commonly used, 61.9% of the total. In the study it was found that 55% plant is being cultivated in the village in the present days whereas 45% plants are still wild and villagers have to depend on forest for medicinal purpose.

 

T10. Elephant hunting in the nineteenth century In Assam   

Geetashree Singh      

Assam University, Silchar, Assam

Email: geet.history@gmail.com

Keywords: captive elephants, colonial

The management of wildlife is narrowly studied in India particularly in the North-East region. This study is an attempt to study the management of elephant as a strategic wildlife in Assam in the nineteenth century.

This paper is an attempt to study the changes brought up by the British in the management of elephant hunting and the response of local people towards it.

The method of this study is empirical and analytical method of research on the basis of both primary and secondary sources that contains the colonial archival materials like government proceedings, files, records, reports and memoirs.

The study reveals the state’s control over elephant hunting and its commercialization by the colonial ruler. Elephant played an important role in the 19th century in Assam. A part of being a royal gift it was a sign of royal prestige and magnificence. It not only formed a major item as war booty in the pre-colonial period but also a major item of generating revenue in the colonial period. It was the importance of this wildlife that led the British government to take its management in her hands and finally to play monopoly over it, which was earlier a mere part of their sport.

 

14TH DECEMBER; TALK SESSION 1; HALL A

T10. Variation in butterfly diversity and unique species richness inTishna WLS.

Joydeb Majumdar1, Rahul Lodh1, BK Agarwala1

1Tripura University, Tripura, Suryamaninagar-799022

Email: majumder_joydeb@rediffmail.com

Keywords:Butterfly diversity, species richness

In the humid tropics due to deforestation of primary forests, secondary forests and plantation forests are rapidly increasing in human dominated areas. Secondary forests and tree plantations are becoming increasingly widespread land-use systems in the tropics (Barlow et al 2007). Despite their increased coverage and potential importance, the biodiversity conservation value of secondary and plantation forests is poorly understood (Hartley 2002; Dunn 2004). Habitat quality appeared to be more important than the surrounding landscape in determining butterfly community structure (Barlow et al 2007), along with availability of larval and adult food plants. Although several studies have discussed the potential butterfly diversity in secondary forests, diversity and species richness of butterflies in different types of secondary vegetation has been poorly studied.

In this study, an attempt has been made to estimate the diversity and unique species richness of butterflies inhabited in the Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary (TWS) along four different habitat types. Field surveys for butterfly fauna were conducted from May 2010 to October 2010 by using the Modified Pollard Walk Method (MPWM) (Pollard 1977). Based on floral composition, four permanent line transects were set up (1 km x 5 m) in four different habitats of Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary. A total of 1005 individuals of 59 species of butterflies belonging to 48 genera and five families were recorded from the four habitat types of TWS. Among the families, Nymphalidae were dominant with 23 species followed by Lycaenidae (13 species), Papilionidae (8 species), Hesperiidae (8 species) and Pieridae (7 species). Nine species are listed in the Indian Wildlife protection Act, 1972. Twenty-one species were recorded as unique species. Thirty-one species were recorded first time for the state. The study confirmed the existence of a wide diversity of butterflies in the selected habitat types of Trishna WS and indicates specifically that mature secondary and regenerated forests are more strongly influence the butterfly diversity and species richness than exotic grass land.

 

T11. Rapid assessment of butterfly diversity in Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary,Tripura.

Rahul Lodh, Joydeb Majumdar, Basant Kumar Agarwala

Tripura University, Suryamaninagar, Tripura, India

Email: sumurah@gmail.com

Keywords:  butterfly, diversity, survey  

Animal kingdom probably includes at least 10 million species, about 80% of which are arthropods and in world more than twenty thousand butterflies are already identified. Northeastern region is endowed with butterfly diversity due to its rich floral richness, abundance and suitable climatic condition. In a tropical context, considering the complexity of habitats it is far more problematic for the researcher to study butterfly diversity. In this background, rapid assessment method (RBA) is a useful technique and its suitability was checked in Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary, Tripura. This lacuna in this study is due to tedious and time consuming traditional methods of biodiversity assessment study.

Butterfly fauna was surveyed using modified Pollard walk method. Three permanent line transect was laid in three different habitats namely, Botanical garden, Bamboo bush and Secondary vegetation. Record was made for 3 consecutive days in the month of May, 2011. Walks were made along the 1000-m long transect and points were located at 10-m interval. Walk census were made between 8 am to 10 am. In this study we presented the results of a rapid assessment of butterfly diversity in the Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary (0.85 sq Km), Tripura northeast India.

We recorded a total of 53 butterfly species belonging to 5 families under 36 genera. Nymphalidae is the most speciose family representing 22 species and 89 individuals. Whereas, Lycaenidae is the species-poor family representing only 6 species and Hesperiidae was family with least number of individuals with 14 individuals. Jacknife 1 estimators provide the most consistent estimates of species richness. Among the habitats secondary vegetation harbour maximum species (45 species) and individuals (90) in contrast bamboo bush supports minimum number of species (14 species) and individuals (40).

 

T12. Anuran fauna of Tamdil Wetland, Mizoram, northeast India

Saipari Sailo1, Lalremsanga, H.T.2, Dibyendu Paul 1& Dioneas War3

1North Eastern Hill University, Meghalaya

2Mizoram University, Mizoram

3St. Edmund’s college, Meghalaya

Email: spsailo@yahoo.co.in

Keywords: frogs, wetland

Tamdil, a natural lake is situated ca. 110 km south from Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram which falls under the biodiversity hotspots of the world. This wetland is covered by the National Wetland Conservation Programme 2006-2007, of the Government of India. It is a 285 ha area protected for wetland functions. The region lies within  the subtropical belt, receiving heavy precipitation (ca. 254 cm/annum) associated with the Southwest  Monsoons (between May and September), and summer and winter temperature ranges are 20-29°C and  11-21°C (Anon 2008) which provides a suitable breeding habitat for the amphibians.

To assess the anuran fauna of Tamdil Wetland, Mizoram, surveys were conducted from the year 2007 to 2010. Standard survey techniques for amphibians including anuran calling surveys, egg mass surveys, larval surveys, and visual encounter surveys for adults were used. Extensive survey was made during the day and night.

A total of 15 species representing six anuran families in 13 genera were recorded from the study area. The species includes Duttaphrynus melanostictus, Amolops gerbillus,Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis, Ingerana borealis, Hylarana sp., Nasirana alticola,Microhyla ornata, Xenophrys sp., Chirixalus vittatus, Polypedates leucomystax, P. cf. himalayanus, Fejervarya spp., Rhacophorus sp.,Kurixalus naso  A new species of frog Leptolalax tamdil was also discovered from this wetland.

 

T13. Avifaunal diversity and habitat utilization by birds in Assam University campus

Biswajit Chakdar1, Parthankar Choudhury1Hilloljyoti Singha2

1Department of Ecology & Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar- 788011, Assam, India

2Centre for Biodiversity and Natural Resources Conservation, Silchar- 788011, Assam, India

Email: bchakdar40@gmail.com

Keywords: bird, habitat, diversity

Birds are ecologically highly diverse and occupy a wide range of habitats. They are common denizen of an ecosystem (Blair 1999) and are ideal bio-indicators and useful models for studying a variety of environmental problems (Newton 1995).  Birds serve as monitors to examine the long term effect of habitat fragmentation (Gupta et al. 2009). The Indian subcontinent has 1340 bird species (Ali & Ripley 1987, Manakadan and Pittie 2001) which is over 13% of the world’s birds. Birds are under great threat due to several anthropogenic activities.

The university campus is consisting of a mosaic of habitats. Deb & Gupta (2010) & Dutta et al. (2008) have done some work on avifauna of Assam University campus. We conducted the bird survey in the Assam University campus, Silchar to know the bird diversity and habitat utilization by birds. The main objectives were to know the diversity of birds in the university campus and to prepare a checklist of available bird species. We also wanted to know the association of bird species with habitats.

Encounter rate method (Javed and Kaul 2002) was used for bird survey in four different habitats from February 2011 to June 2011. A 350 m long trail was followed 10 times in each habitat. The bird species during 0530-0730 hr and 1600-1800 hr were observed with a field binocular (8*40). Grimmett et al. (1999) was followed for the identification of birds. A total of 72 species of birds belonging to 56 genera, 14 orders and 31 families were recorded. The number of species in different habitats were not significantly different (Kruskal-Wallis test: H (3) = 6.42, NS).

 

T14. Study of phytoplankton diversity in East Kolkata Wetlands, WestBengal, India

Sudipta Kumar Maiti1, Sarmistha Saha1, Tapan Saha1

1Institute for Environmental Studies and Wetland Management, Kolkata

Email: sudiptakumar86@rediffmail.com

Keywords: EKW, Bheris, Phytoplankton, Euglena sp.

We are working on the Phyto plankton diversity of East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW). EKW is a Ramsar site declared in the year 2002. These bheris (fishing ponds) are mainly sewage-fed and traditionally managed. In this study we have collected data onphytoplanktons of different bheris of EKW. We have followed the standard method for collection of phytoplankton and identified species usingstandard keys. This survey work was done four seasons – pre-monsoon, monsoon, post-monsoon and summer.

78 phytoplankton species have been found (from 11 ponds) from this study. Out of thesemost of the species are pollution tolerant. Howevernumbers of individuals are very low. Euglena sp., Aphanocapsa sp. are the most common species. Some of theScendesmus sp. are uncommon in such type of wetlands.

Such organized data on phytoplankton have been recorded for the first time in EKW bherristhrough thorough surveys of 11 bheris. It is an important observation that phytoplankton diversity is the highest in the post monsoon season and lowest in monsoon season. Lowest diversity of phytoplankton in the monsoon season might be due todilution of water duringheavy rainfall. We recommend further studies on phytoplankton diversity.

 

14TH DECEMBER; TALK SESSION 1; HALL B 

T15. Population dynamics of tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in Orang National Park

Kamal Azad, M. Firoz Ahmed

Aaranyak, Guwahati, Assam

Email: kamal@aaranyak.org

Keywords: population dynamics, survival rate, camera trapping         

Recent methodological and statistical developments help to understand the population dynamics of tiger using camera traps. We estimated several ecological parameters of tigers such as annual abundance, density, survival rate, emigration and immigration. We obtained photographs of 24 individual tigers in four years of continuous monitoring using camera traps in Orang National Park. The pooled matrix of 98 trapping occasions were analysed under likelihood-based Pollock robust design using program MARK. The model incorporated effects of factors such as individual heterogeneity, trap-response, and time on probabilities of photo-capturing tigers. We analysed 4 years of camera trapping data from 2008 to 2011. Annual survival rate was estimated to be 0.76 (SE 0.08, 95% CI 0.58-0.87). The population had shown very low emigration and immigration. Annual population estimations ranged from 10 to17. Despite of hard boundary, the annual survival rate was high in Orang National Park.

 

T16. Indian desert jird: Population estimation and an index for the same,in Kachchh

Divya Ramesh, YadvendradevJhala, QamarQureshi

Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun

Email: divyaram23@gmail.com

Keywords:mark-recapture, double sampling, index     

Accurate abundance estimates, often difficult to acquire, are fundamental to species ecology. Capture-mark-recapture (CMR) has been a common and reliable technique to study small mammal abundance, with frequent developments such as borrowing information across small samples to obtain a more precise pooled estimate. Additionally, indices act as surrogates for estimates and are often used in rapid assessments and population monitoring. In a region undergoing rapid shifts in land-use practices, it is imperative to identify and monitor impact of change in Kachchh. This little-known species plays a vital role in the desert ecosystem, and a reliable index will help document and monitor the species. In this study, we provide baseline information on the social, semi-fossorial jird by estimating colony sizes and calibrating an index for abundance based on burrow counts using double sampling.

We caught jirds in 9 colonies (6 sessions) with Sherman traps, a number marked on each jird. We used Huggins fully closed capture models in Program MARK and derived estimates (N-hat) for each colony after multi-model averaging. We predicted abundance from burrow counts using OLS regression. We used correlation between jackknife (JK) analysis-predicted estimates and N-hats to evaluate the index. Population estimates ranged from 2 to 10 individuals in 9 colonies. To obtain a reliable index, historical data from the area was included. Burrow count increased linearly with N-hat (n=15, R2=0.8954, t=10.553, p.. INCOMPLETE

 

T17. Reproductive ecology of Terminalia pallida of Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh.

K Venkata Ramana,P Hareesh Chandra, Alluri Jacob Solomon Raju, Samba Siva Rao

Andhra University, Visakhapatnam

Email: vrkes.btny@gmail.com

Keywords: endemic, entimophilous, ecosystem           

Terminalia pallida is an endemic and semi-evergreen tree species. It is morphologically and functionally hermaphroditic. The details of breeding and pollination systems in relation to nectar and pollen characteristics and pollinator categories have been discussed.Further, the fruit and seed characteristics, seed dispersal mode, seed germination and seedling establishment issues have also been examined and discussed in the light of relevant literature. Floral biology, breeding system, pollination system, pollinators, seed dispersal and seedling ecology ofTerminalia pallida.T. pallida is entomophilous. Finally, important suggestions have been made for effective conservation and management in their natural areas.Terminalia pallida occurs on rocky hilly areas of dry deciduous forests of Chittoor, Cuddapah and Kurnool districts at 700-800 m elevation in the Eastern Ghats but it is mainly centered at Tirumala Hills of Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. The leaf has medicinal importance and is used for treating skin blisters and skin diseases while the stem bark as diuretic and swelling and the fruit is used as anti-pyretic, purgative, for diarrhoea, peptic ulcers, diabetes, venereal diseases.

Methods used included the examination of flower morphology, determination of pollen-ovule ratio, examination of nectar production, determination of stigma receptivity, determination of inflorescence flowering phenology, determination of anthesis and anther dehiscence, flower behaviour, assessment of breeding systems, determination of natural fruit set, observations of flower-visitors, and examination of foraging behaviour.

Terminalia pallida occurs on rocky hilly areas of dry deciduous forests of Chittoor, Cuddapah and Kurnool districts at 700-800 m elevation in the Eastern Ghats but it is mainly centered at Tirumala Hills of Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. Terminalia pallidapopulations growing on rocky areas at Akasaganga, Papanasanam, Japalitheertham, Srivarimettu and Talakona places of Tirumala Hills of the Eastern Ghats were selected for study during 2008-2010.In T. pallida, protogyny is a device to promote out-crossing but it is very weak, however it is partly promoted by gradual anther dehiscence over a period of six hours.  The flowers offer both nectar and pollen for the foragers; the nectar is hexose-rich and provides some essential and some non-essential amino acids. The plant is entomophilous.

 

T18. Preliminary survey of Indian golden golden gecko in JavvadhuHills,Tamil Nadu

Kalai Mani, MS Chaitra

Aarohi, Bangalore

Email: manikalai16@yahoo.com

Keywords: Indian Golden gecko, Javvadhu Hills        

Indian Golden gecko (Calodactylodes aureus, Beddome, 1870) is one of the least known endangered species of gecko endemic to Eastern Ghats of India. Except for a few anecdotal reports, very little is known about the biology of the species. The present study is an account of systematic sampling of this species in one of the least known areas of Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu, i.e. JavvaduMalai Hill ranges in Vellore and Tiruvannamalai Districts of Tamil Nadu. A part of Javvadu Malai Hill ranges in Tirupattur forest division, which accounted for 74351.4 Hectares of total area, was surveyed over three months.

A forest division map was prepared with four ranges, 43 beats and 40 reserve forests. Within each forest beat, different forest types were located. A trail was identified in such a way that it covers maximum number of forest types during the walk. Each trail was walked in the day between 6 am to 6pm. Within each trail all the possible rocky outcrops were searched for the presence of Golden Geckos. During the survey more than 100 locations with the presence of Golden geckos were located in this small area in Eastern Ghats. Of the four ranges surveyed, Ambur range showed the highest number of locations of the species and the Alangayam range showed the least number of locations for the presence of geckos. There are more than 50 sites that showed massive egg-laying in the entire area.

Our findings indicate that probably the areas around Javvadu Malai Hill ranges are hotspots for Golden Geckos. This is one of the case studies of the least known endangered species outside protected areas.

 

T19. Integrating occupancy modeling and interviews for corridor identification: A case study of jaguars in Central America

Katherine Zeller1, Sahil Nijhawan1,2, Roberto Salom-Perez3, Sandra Potosme4 & James Hines5

1Panthera, New York, USA

2Aaranyak, Guwahati

3Panthera, Costa Rica

4Panthera, Nicaragua

5USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Maryland, USA

Email: sahil.nsit@gmail.com

Keywords:  Jaguar, connectivity, corridors, detection/non-detection, interviews, detection probability

Corridors are critical elements in the long-term conservation of wide-ranging species like the jaguar (Panthera onca). We initially identified jaguar corridors across the range of the species using a GIS-based least-cost corridor model. However, due to inherent errors in remotely sensed data and model uncertainties, these corridors warrant field verification before conservation efforts can begin. Corridors between jaguar populations exist primarily in human-dominated landscapes, usually spanning large spatial scales. Therefore, it is often not practical to use conventional detection/nondetection techniques such as camera trapping or line transects for field assessment. Local people can be good sources of information about the presence or absence of wildlife. Our objective was to design a study to collect information on species presence from local people and then process it in a statistical framework to determine corridor functionality.

We developed a novel corridor assessment protocol based on interview data and site occupancy modeling. We divided our pilot study area, in southeastern Nicaragua, into 71, 6 by 6 km sampling units and conducted 160 structured interviews with knowledgeable local residents. Interviews were designed to collect data on jaguar and seven prey species so that detection/non-detection matrices could be constructed for each sampling unit.

Jaguars were reportedly detected in 57% of the sampling units and had a detection probability of 28%. With the exception of white-lipped peccary, prey species were reportedly detected in 82–100% of the sampling units. Though the use of interview data may violate some assumptions of the occupancy modeling approach for determining ‘proportion of area occupied’, we countered these shortcomings through study design and interpreting the occupancy parameter, psi, as ‘probability of habitat used’. Probability of habitat use was modeled for each target species using single state or multistate models. A combination of the estimated probabilities of habitat use for jaguar and prey was selected to identify the final jaguar corridor. This protocol provides an efficient field methodology for identifying corridors for easily-identifiable species, across large study areas comprised of unprotected, private lands.

 

14TH DECEMBER; TALK SESSION 2; HALL A 

T20. Uptake of copper by different parts  of Ipomoea aquatica Forssk.       

Haobam Khumanleima Chanu, Abhik Gupta

Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar, Assam

Email: hkhumanleima@gmail.com

Keywords: Copper, Ipomoea aquatica Forssk., AAS

Ipomoea aquatica Forssk.is mainly grown wild which made it easily susceptible to many water pollutants including heavy metals. In this study, the bioaccumulation of copper on different parts of this plant were studied.

Plants were exposed to 10 ppm concentration of CuSO4.5H2O, as copper at lower doses act as micronutrient to both plants and animals. Copper content of roots, stems and leaves was estimated at intervals of 5 day in this 15 day experiment using atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS). Roots show 41.3%, 70.7% and 75.03% increment followed by stem with 7.7%,10.5% and 10.2% increment and finally leaves showing 3.34%, 3.68% and 4.7% increment on 5th, 10th and 15th day of the experiment  following the trend of roots>stems>leaves.

The present study estimates the amount of copper uptake in different plant parts. It was found that maximum absorption occurs in roots portion of the plants which increases as the test duration increases. From this study, this species can be used as biomonitors for copper contamination of water bodies and marginal soil, and can also be used in bioremediation of polluted water bodies. This is important as copper-based fungicides are extensively used in the tea gardens and agricultural fields of this region.

 

T21. Acute toxicity tests for Endosulfan and Blitox on a Freshwater snail

Rimakshi Choudhury, Abik Gupta

Assam University, Silchar, Assam

Email: rimakshi@yahoo.com

Keywords: Acute toxicity, Endosulfan, Blitox, LC50   

The acute toxicity tests for the pesticides Hildan (Endosulfan 35%EC) and Blitox (Copper oxychloride 87.7%) were done for the freshwater snail Bellamya bengalensis typica (L). The 24h, 48h, 72h, and 96h LC50 values (Median lethal concentration) were determined and found to be 1778.55579, 693.95064, 549.18558, and 189.23905 mg/l for Endosulfan and 534.82213, 301.91826, 43.02942 and 3.84940 mg/l for Blitox, respectively. The pesticides were also observed to produce various changes in the behavioral patterns of the snails.

Collection of the specimen

Acclimatization
Range finding test
Definitive Acute Toxicity Test
Determination of LC50 values by Probit analysis

The 24h, 48h, 72h, and 96h LC50 values (Median lethal concentration) were found to be 1778.55579, 693.95064, 549.18558, and 189.23905 mg/l for Endosulfan and 534.82213, 301.91826, 43.02942 and 3.84940 mg/l for Blitox, respectively.The results obtained shows that the fungicide blitox is more toxic than the pesticide Endosulfan to the fresh water snail Bellamya bengalensis. The two chemicals show distinct mode of action on the test organism.

 

T22. A 96 hour acute toxicity study of three pesticides on Channapunctatus (Bloch)

Sharmila Naosekpam, Abhik Gupta

Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar, Assam

Email: kreosesharmi@gmail.com

Keywords: acute toxicity, carbaryl, endosulfan, ma     

Pesticides have been extensively used in agricultural fields and tea gardens for the improvement of crop production but their impact on the non target organisms and  environment is often neglected.  This work aims at studying the effect of three pesticides namely carbaryl, endosulfan and malathion on Channa punctatus (Bloch), a freshwater fish abundantly found in ponds and muddy swamps adjacent to paddy fields and tea gardens.

The 96 h acute toxicity test was conducted according to standard toxicity testing protocol (Buikema et al., 1982). In this method the fishes were exposed to different concentrations of the pesticides after conducting a preliminary range finding test. The pesticides used were Sevin (50% carbaryl), Hildan (35% endosulfan) and Kunamala (50% malathion).The different lethal concentration values were calculated by Probit method (Finney, 1971) using SPSS 16 software for windows.

The 96 h LC50 value of sevin, hildan and kunamala were found to be 7.5155mgl-1, 0.0007 mgl-1 and 0.9015 mgl-1 respectively. During the study mucus secretion was observed and some other behavioural changes like rolling of the body by the endosulfan exposed  fishes were also observed. Sudden jerky movements, frequent surfacing was also observed.

It could be concluded that endosulfan is more toxic to Channa punctatus with an LC50 value of 0.0007 mgl-1 followed by malathon with an LC50value of  0.9015 mgl-1 and carbaryl having an LC50 value of 7.5155 mgl-1. The abnormal activities exhibited by the fishes are the effects of the pesticides. Mucus secretion is an adaptive mechanism by the fishes to avoid direct contact with the pesticides. Since these pesticides affect the non target organisms also their use should be minimised at the most possible level. Local farmers should be made aware of this detrimental effect of the pesticides and an alternative method for increasing the crop yield should be designed.

 

T23. Mycorrhizal Colonization in plants growing on mine soils.

Sanjoy Kumar, Subrata Chaudhuri, S.K. Maiti

Indian School of Mines,  Dhanbad,  Jharkhand

Email: sanjayism08@yahoo.com

Keywords: Mycorrhiza, mining, soil, interaction

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonization was observed on grasses, non-grasses and lignaceous species growing on different age series mine alluvial soil overburden dumps in Sonpur Bazari opencast project area, Raniganj Coalfield. The present study reports the percentage of root colonization range from 17-89% in 2 year old soil dump (Jatropha curcas– 89%) and (Calotropis procera– 17%); followed by 18-84% in 5 year old soil dump (Albizzia lebbeck– 84% and Cassia auriculata– 18%); 20-84 % in 9 year old soil dump (Dalbergia sisso– 84% and Cassia auriculata– 20%); 21-87% in 15 year old soil dump (Albizzia lebbeck– 97% and Calotropis procera– 21%); and 16-85 % in 21 year old soil dump (Albizzia lebbeck– 85% and Doka- 16%). The three types of mycorrhizal infection reported were hyphal, arbuscular and vesicular. Percentage of occurrence of hyphal and vesicular infection was more than arbuscular infection. The highest percentage of arbuscular infection was reported only in four lignaceous plant species i.e. Acacia auriculiformisCassia simeaeAlbizzia lebbeck, and Lantanacamara and in two grass species, Cyperus rotundus and Pennisetum pedicellatum.

From the microscopic observation of the root sample, percentage of mycorrhizal infection was estimation following the equation:

Mycorrhizal infection (%) = No. of mycorrhizae infected roots/ Total no. of roots inspected * 100.

During the study it was found that 100% of the total plant species possessed AM colonization. Percentage of colonization also varied between the grasses, non-grasses species and lignaceous plants. On the OB2 and OB5 only one grass species Cyperusrotundus was reported and the root samples of the species showed 52-64% mycorrhizal infection (Table 4-5) and it is also confirmation with the observation of Leung et.al. (2007). These observations highlight the effective role of grass species in reclamation and subsequent vegetational succession on inhospitable mine soil conditions.

 

14TH DECEMBER; TALK SESSION 2; HALL B

T24. Soil fertility management in different agricultural systems ofArunachal Pradesh

Shafiqul Islam Bhuyan, Om Prakash Tripathi

North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST), Nirjuli, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh

Email: safibhuyan@gmail.com

Keywords: soil, agriculture, traditional methods

Soil fertility is managed in traditional way which is especially significant to sustain agricultural productivity in hilly terrain of north east India. Present study demonstrated soil fertility status and their management in different agricultural systems in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh

Different agricultural systems: shifting cultivation, terrace cultivation, agro-forestry systems, forest home garden, mixed cultivation and conventional agricultural practices

Management techniques: Extensive survey, personal observation, interaction with local people.
Agricultural productivity: District agricultural office and interaction with house holders.
Soil physico-chemical properties: Standard method given by Allen et al. (1974), Anderson & Ingram (1993) and Walkley & Black (1934)

Bulk density: 0.94 g cm-3-1.04 g cm,-3

Porosity: 60.30 – 67.67,

pH: 5.1 to 5.8,

Soil organic carbon: 1.2 – 2.5 %,

Available nitrogen: 0.21 -0.88%.

Management techniques : Uses organic materials (e.g. crop residues, animal manure and composts), long fallow period, crop rotation, cultivation of leguminous plants, minimum tillage practices etc.

Indigenous people have immense soil knowledge and experiences, which are utilized for the sustainable management of soils. Traditional techniques are preferred rather than chemical fertilizers, which maintain soil quality and thus increased the efficiency of nutrient used.

 

T25. Biomass carbon stock in shade trees of tea agroforestry in BarakValley, Assam

Rinku Moni Kalita, Ashesh Kumar Das, Arun Jyoti Nath

Assam University, Silchar, Assam

Email: rinkumoni1@gmail.com

Keywords: Agroforestry, biomass, carbon stock

Research on climate change mitigation has emerged as one of the frontier areas of science in the scenario of global climate change. Present study was undertaken to explore the role of shade trees in tea agroforestry in carbon stock management in vegetation. The study area (Rosekandy Tea Estate) lies in Cachar district of Assam; India.

To estimate biomass carbon stock 100 quadrats of 0.1ha (31.62m x 31.62m) size were randomly placed in the plantations of different age group. Shade tree biomass was estimated using allometric equation given by Brown et al. (1989). Circumference at breast height (CBH) was measured using metal tape at 1.37m. 50% of the biomass was considered as carbon content.

The amount of carbon stored in shade trees in different age groups; viz.5-10yrs, 10-15yrs, 15-20yrs, 20-25yrs and 25-30yrs plantations were 22.77 Mg ha-1, 38.19 Mg ha-1,43.60 Mg ha-1,37.36 Mg ha-1 and 39.03 Mg ha-1 respectively. Species wise comparison among the shade tree species exhibited Albizia odoratissima has the highest potentiality in carbon stock management (68.43%) than Albizia lebbeck(16.86%) and Derris robusta (11.38%) of the total estimated carbon. The results revealed the potentiality of shade trees in carbon stock management in the form of biomass. The increase in carbon stock was related with plantation age and girth sizes. Deliberate management practice of reduction of shade tree density is attributed for decline in carbon stock in older plantations.

 

T26. Allelopathic effect of Ageratum conyzoides L  on cultivated vegetablecrop plant

Naba Jyoti Borah 1, Biman Kumar Datta1 & Islam, M.2

1 Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar, Assam

2 Department of Life Sciences, Dibrugarh University

Email: borah.nabajyoti32@gmail.com

Keywords: allelopathic, Ageratum conyzoides L, Vigna unguiculata, weeds

Ageratum conyzoides L is a weed which is found very frequently in the crop fields of Assam. On the other hand, cow pea is a vegetable crop which is cultivated very extensively by farmers in Assam. In crop fields Ageratum conyzoides L can directly and indirectly affect the growth of cow pea, thus reducing its productivity.     The objectives of the this study are to 1. Study of the morphology, distribution and uses of ofAgeratum conyzoides L and Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp; 2. Study the effect of leaf and inflorescence extracts of Ageratum conyzoides L on the germination pattern of the seeds of Vigna unguiculata(L)Walp.; 3. To study the Height of the plant, no of leaf per plant and area based on the effect of Ageratum conyzoides L on Vignaunguiculata(L)Walp. The aqueous leaf and inflorescence extract of Ageratumconyzoides L has both inhibitory and promontory effect on the seed germination and root and shoot growth, length of radicle and plumule of cow pea. But in case of secondary root growth an inhibitory effect was noticed. On the other hand, in the field experiment, both inhibitory and promontory effect were observed.

Weeds are always associated with the crop plants. Weeds not only compete for space, water, nutrient ,light etc; they can also adversely affect the crop through the production of chemicals, which have a harmful affect on the  growth and productivity of crop plants and therefore deserve careful attention.

 

T27. Using invasive weed species of Chilika lagoon for biofuel and AgNPsynthesis

Aditya  Nayak, Aaram A Kumar, Kishore CS Panigrahi

National Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhubaneswar

Email: adityanyk@niser.ac.in

Keywords:  Biofuel, biosynthesis, Ag nanoparticles

The Chilika lagoon sprawls over a broad area of approximately 1000 sq. km and harbours extremely rich biodiversity. It is home to 27% of the total flora of the state of Orissa, about 400 species of phytoplankton, several algae and a number of animal species [Planning Commision., 2008]. There are quite a few seaweeds and other plant species in Chilika that are considered economically important, and many more of which few have been studied. A number of plant species inhabiting this region have immunomodulatory functions and may be potentially useful for therapeutics, agriculture and other economic purposes. There are cases of invasive plant species as well which are currently posing a threat to the ecosystem biodiversity, the most notable being Phragmatis karka which is estimated to currently occupy more than 200 sq. km of the Chilika lagoon. Such invasive plants in Chilika may turn out to be economically important if they posses some potential use.

We tried to find out the potential applications of these species in the field of silver nano particle synthesis and second generation biofuel applications.

For Silver Nanoparticle synthesis using Weeds species form Chilika, we carried out:
1)Collection of Weed samples from Chilika Lagoon
2)Aqueous Extract Preparation from the weeds.
3)Reaction with Silver Nitrate for synthesis of Silver nano particles.
4)Characterization of Ag Nano Particles using UV -Vis, SEM,
For Biofuel applications, we carried out:
1) Microwave based lipid extraction
2) Carbohydrate estimation for bioethanol.

Potamogeton natans, Scendesmus, Enteromorpha intestinalis were found to be capable of synthesizing silver nano particles at different rate of synthesis,Potamogeton being the highest. SEM images of Synthesized Nano particles were taken and UV- Vis Spectroscopy analysis was also done and a peak was found between 390 – 460 nm based on spectroscopy done at different time from the starting of the reaction. Antibacterial tests, which were done using the synthesized Silver Nanoparticles, were found to be successful . Similarly, Phragmites karka was found to have 26% cellulose 29% hemicelluloses and 10.33% lignocelluloses. Hence, Phragmites karka has a total of 65.33% of lignocellulosic contents. while the lipid contents were found to be around 10%. Scendesmus was found to have around 14% lipid content

 

15TH DECEMBER; TALK SESSION 1; HALL A

T28. Molecular Biomarkers: Tool for planning of conservation strategy of Gastropods

Kuntal  Singh¹, Anupam Sarkar²

1TERI University, New Delhi

2National Institute of Oceanography, Goa

Email: kuntalnr@gmail.com

Keywords: Toxicity, Gastropods, Molecular biomaker 

The coastal marine environment is under stress due to contamination by different types of xenobiotic contaminants, such as organic contaminants (organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, persistent organic pollutants, PCDDs, PCDFs, Phenol etc.) and inorganic contaminants (Mercury, Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, Chromium etc.). The concentration of these highly toxic pollutants is being biomagnified through the food chain from the lower trophic level to higher trophic level. Thus the people living in the coastal region are greatly affected due to consumption of the sea food contaminated by these deadly toxic pollutants.

Fewer studies have been conducted so far on conservation issues surrounding lower order animals or animals with very small size. One of the limiting factors is the lack of understanding of damage done to small-sized animals due to environmental contaminants.  This study discusses Molecular Biomarkers which is a state-of-the-art technique to study the effects of environmental contaminants on small marine animals like Gastropods.

Three species of marine gastropods were collected from Dauna Paula, Goa and  studied to see the damage done by genotoxic, neurotoxic or agents causing oxidative stress present in the coastal water. The samples were ruled by tidal calendar and collected on 6th of June, 2011.

Results: Results show DNA damage in all the three species when compared with the standards. In case of neurotoxic effects, damage was quite high in Planaxis sulcatus compared with other two species.  The three species were also found to be under oxidative stress indicating the presence of pollutants in the sea.

Water quality analysis only gives the level of pollutants but does not provide any information on the damage done to the animals by the pollutants. Hence Molecular Biomarkers are an effective tool for assessing the damage done on individual-organism level. It answers two basic questions: how much is the damage done and what category does damaging agent belong to. Results of these experiments can be used to choose suitable bioremediation techniques at a particular site.

 

T29. Molecular diversity of the ammonia oxidizing archaea along theW.Bengal coast.

Amit Kumar, Chandrasekaran Raghu, Priyata Rathi, Purba Gupta,Punyasloke Bhadury

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research-Kolkata, Mohanpur Campus, Nadia- 741252, West Bengal.

2Postgraduate Department of Biotechnology, St.Xavier’s College, Kolkata (Autonomous) 30 Park Street, Kolkata 700016

Email: ak_air14@yahoo.com

Keywords:amoA clone library, Sundarbans, Archaea. 

In the recent years, the existence of the ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) has been proved in various terrestrial and aquatic environments (Francis et al., 2005 Leininger et al., 2007). AOA are expected to play an important role in the first step of nitrification, (i.e. conversion of ammonia to nitrite) (Francis, et al., 2007) which was earlier believed to be carried out only by ammonia oxidizing bacteria belonging to Proteobacteria. In this study, a PCR-clone library approach based on ammonia monoxygenase subunit A (amoA), a key gene involved in ammonia oxidation in archaea has been targeted for studying the abundance, diversity and spatio-temporal variation of AOA in the estuarine water of Indian Sundarbans mangrove and the coastal water of Bay of Bengal (Digha coast). Total environmental Genomic DNA was extracted from the collected water samples. amoA gene fragment (635bp) were amplified and cloned in pGEM-T vector (Promega) and sequenced using ABI prism 3130 Genetic Analyzer using Bigdye chemistry(AB). The sequences were translated into amino acid and phylogenetic tree was constructed using NJ method in MEGA-v5.

The preliminary results indicate the presence of AOA in the estuarine and coastal environments from both the study sites, which remained unreported previously. Majority of the clones showed 97-100% identity (amino acid level) with published uncultured crenarchaeotaamoA sequences targeted previously from different environments including the coastal water of Arabian Sea, East China Sea and water column of Indian Ocean. Preliminary results also indicate spatio-temporal variation in archaeal communities in the estuarine environments of Indian Sundarbans, which could be linked with prevailing biogeochemical conditions. Further investigations including gene expression studies are presently underway to understand the role of AOA in nitrogen cycling in Indian Sundarbans and coastal Bay of Bengal.

 

T30. Bridges & islands in the sky: Speciation patterns in Shortwings ofWestern Ghats

V.V. Robin, Arpad Nyari, Sushma Reddy

Loyola University, Chicago, USA

Email: robinvijayan@gmail.com

Keywords: Shortwing, shola, Western Ghats, endemic

The topography of earth and climatic changes over the last millennia have driven distributional and demographic patterns of a number of species. The Last Glacial Maximum has had a profound impact on various species across the globe. Little is known about how species in the Indian sub-continent have responded to such paleo-climatic events and what may happen to species under future climate change scenarios.  Recent genetic studies of an endemic bird, the White-belied Shortwing, found population contractions at LGM accompanied by multiple phylogeographic breaks. We proposed to use a different method based on ecological niche modeling to examine if the species distribution breaks predicted by the niche model are reflected in the phylogeographic structure. We examined if genetic breaks dated based on molecular clocks correlate with distributional breaks predicted by paleo-climatic data. We also build predictive models of effects of future climate change on Shortwings. We used occurrence data from locations throughout the Western Ghats covering all known populations of the species. We obtained climatic data of 19 variables from the WORLDCLIM data set and generated niche models with MAXENT. We used previous phylogenetic trees to examine congruence between the paleogeographic predictions and phylogeographic structure. The species distributional model accurately reflected the present distribution of the species. We found a hitherto undescribed biogeographic divide in the Western Ghats that appears to have formed at the LGM. Molecular dating also supported the timing of this break. The major genetic breaks in Shortwing populations were concordant with the distributional model. While there is niche conservatism across two populations, there is also evidence of niche divergence in some populations. Although there is considerable consistency in niche space used by Shortwings throughout time, populations have become increasingly fragmented, while future scenarios predict an even higher population fragmentation.

 

T31. Functional advantages of female-biased dimorphism in flyingsquirrels

R. Nandini, F. Stephen Dobson

Auburn University, Auburn AL, 36849, USA

Email: nandinirajamani@gmail.com

Keywords: flying squirrels, Renschs rule, female biased size dimorphism, gliding

Female-biased size dimorphism (FBSD) is uncommon in mammals, and unlike male-biased size dimorphism (MBSD), which is typically explained by sexual selection, FBSD is often explained by functional or reproductive advantages to females. If FBSD provides functional advantages to offset increased costs of maternal locomotion, this should result in selective pressure on female body proportions that enhance gliding performance. Additionally, gliders with different body sizes and patagial shapes will experience different performance losses, and consequently should offset these costs of increased wing loading by different compensatory mechanisms.

We examined patterns of scaling (Rensch’s rule) of FBSD across 27 flying squirrel species based on morphometric measurements obtained from 1500 museum specimens. Flying squirrels were seen to scale in accordance with Rensch’s rule which predicts that FBSD decreases with increasing body size across related species. Females had relatively longer tails and larger heads than males, indicating that selection for enhanced gliding ability may have resulted in FBSD.

We found that within flying squirrels, small body sized gliders with reduced patagia had more compensatory morphological adaptations than large body sized gliders with extended patagia. Sexes of species within each of these two groups also scaled differently, and the slopes taken together explain the pattern of allometric scaling in accordance with Rensch’s rule. Flying squirrels are one of the few groups where FBSD scales across related species in accordance with Rensch’s rule, and this pattern can be directly explained by adaptations of females to the interaction of differing airfoil structure, body size and potential weight gain. Patterns of gliding morphostructure, and consequently dimorphism are deeply rooted within the phylogenetic history of this subfamily.

 

15TH DECEMBER; TALK SESSION 1; HALL B

T32. Occupancy pattern and foraging of sympatric kingfishers inBhitarkanika

Joli Borah, Abishek Harihar, Mousumi Ghosh, Bivash Pandav, Gopi G.V.

Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Email:  joliborah@gmail.com

Keywords: occupancy, kingfishers, niche

Eight species of kingfishers, Common, Collared, White-throated, Pied, Stork-billed, Black-capped, Brown-winged and Rudy coexist in the mangrove forests of Bhitarkanika along the east coast of India. Sympatric species with similar resource requirements need to have niche partitioning as a strategy to avoid competition in order to coexist together. To understand the mechanisms underlying such species coexistence, it is vital to know about the food requirements, foraging habitat preferences, and how the resources are shared between these sympatric species. The present study attempted to understand the potential mechanisms that might play a role in food-niche differentiation and examined the occupancy patterns of four sympatric kingfishers i.e. Common, Collared, Black-capped and Brown-winged kingfisher in Bhitarkanika mangroves.

Sixteen one-km section of creeks were selected. Each 1km trail was divided into 10,100 m spatial sub-units and only seven were surveyed randomly with replacement. In total, 160 creek segments were surveyed six times and habitat variables were recorded. Focal animal sampling method was used for foraging behaviour observation. Occupancy and detection probability were estimated for each variable. Occupancy analysis confirmed that Collared and Black-capped Kingfisher occur seasonally in Bhitarkanika mangroves; Collared being more abundant in summer and Black-capped in winter. River/creek width had a negative association with detection probability for all four species. Water depth affected the detection probability of Common and Black-capped negatively but had no affect on detection probability of Collared and Brown-winged. Water current and turbidity negatively affected the occupancy of Common and Brown-winged. However for Collared and Black-capped, occupancy differed with vegetation layer. The size of foraging-niche of each species in terms of perch-height and foraging distance corresponds to their respective body sizes. Foraging-niche partitioning allows these species to co-exist.

 

T33. Coexistence of sympatric primates in Hollongapar Gibbon WLS,Assam

Narayan Sharma1, Madhusudan, M.D.2 & Anindya Sinha1

1National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

2 Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore

Email: narayansharma77@gmail.com

Keywords: macaque, congener, coexistence, habitat fragmentation, nicheseparation           

An intriguing problem in behavioural ecology is the ability of several congeneric species to exist sympatrically, especially under conditions of resource limitation. Competing for the same resources, such species may have evolved a variety of behavioural mechanisms to reduce competition. My talk addresses how three sympatric macaque species in a highly fragmented, tropical lowland rainforest of the Upper Brahmaputra Valley of northeastern India have evolved various behavioural mechanisms to reduce competition for limiting resources. In order to estimate the feeding ecology, instantaneous group scans was conducted at every 20 minutes interval on two troops each of rhesus, pig-tailed and stump-tailed macaques. The GPS locations were taken at the centre of the group at every 5-minute interval throughout the day to estimate the home range of each troop.

Our results indicate that interspecific differences in habitat utilisation, home range patterns and food resource use, have allowed for restricted niche partitioning among the three congeneric primate species and their continued co-existence in the threatened rainforest fragments of the Sanctuary.

 

T34. Do gibbons thrive in fragments? A case study from ArunachalPradesh, India.

Kuladip Sarma, Awadhesh Kumar

North Eastern Regional Institute of Science & Technology, Nirjuli (Itanagar), Arunachal Pradesh

kldpsarma306@gmail.com

Keywords: Eastern Hoolock Gibbon, forest Fragments

The lowland tropical forest of eastern Arunachal Pradesh is abode of Eastern Hoolock Gibbon (Hoolock leuconedys), distribution of which is impacted by the Dibang Brahmaputra River system. In the present study, we surveyed the non-protected forest fragments in two administrative cycles of Lower Dibang Valley District of the state to find out the existing disturbances on H. leuconedys  due to habitat destruction and fragmentation.  We estimated the fragment size and minimum distance between two fragments in relation to gibbon locations using Q-GIS, open source GIS software. The gibbon locations were taken from the previous study carried out by the author in the same area. GIS map was prepared to compare the effect of degradation on the group size of the animal. A total of 5 fragments were found in the study area with largest fragments of 54 sq. km area. From the known records of 57 groups of H. leuconedys in the non protected areas of Lower Dibang Valley District, we found 38 group locations were falling in the fragments and the average group size was estimated as 2.76 individual per group which is very low in comparison to other estimates within and outside India. Habitat destruction was mainly observed for expansion of permanent agricultural practices, tea plantation, construction of national highway and permanent settlement.

 

T35. Response of western hoolock gibbon towards  disturbance regimes inDampa TR, Mizoram

Samuel Pachuau

DETAILS MISSING

 

T36. Biodiversity Conservation of Manas Biosphere reserve         

Santa Paul,,Anaru Boro, Nilakshee Devi, Gajen C. Sarma, C. K. Baruah

Gauhati University, Jalukbari, Guwahati, Assam

Email: santalaceae09@gmail.com

Keywords: plants, taxonomy   

Manas Biosphere Reserve in North East India is known for its unique and rich biodiversity. It has a total area of 2837 sq. km and a core area of 500 sq. km. The vegetation comprises evergreen and semi-evergreen plants. It consists of diverse plants, of which some are rare, endangered and threatened. There is, therefore, an urgent need for conservation of the unique vegetation of Manas Biosphere through an alternative livelihood programme.

Intensive field surveys were undertaken in different parts of the Ultapani forest range from 2008-2010. Collected plant samples were preserved in the form of herbarium specimens following standard herbarium technique (Jain & Rao, 1977). The name changes were verified with the help of Bennet’s Name changes in Flowering plants of India and adjacent regions (1987). I present a brief description of the floristics of MBR., and of the conservation of biodiversity of the study area through a community conservation progrrame.

 

15TH DECEMBER; TALK SESSION 2; HALL A

T37. Land and Forests: Re envisioning the environmental politics inAssam

Dipak Kumar Sarma  

Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam

Email:dipakdadhara1@gmail.com

Keywords: environmental history, activism, conservation

The paper wants to explore the real politic of the forest conservation and industrialization in Assam throughout the British period to the present days keeping in view the cultural, economical and social attachment of the people of Assam with land and forests. Whether people’s right over the natural resources, land and forest is a vital point of concern for the authority; along with the livelihood issue and if so how the grievances, emanating from the large scale exploitation of nature, have been redressed. In a way, it is methodical voyage to see the whereabouts of the shift in environmental politics over the centuries in Assam.

That the forced alienation of people from the nature during the British period and even during the post colonial period had lasting repercussions, felt very deep today. The change in the land and forest resource use during the British period changed the people’s relationship with the environment resulting in a state of relative deprivation and political cleavage among various ethnic groups of people and preset day social movements are the legacies of this historical wrong.

The research is based upon secondary sources.  Published books on colonial history and politics of Assam and North East were discussed extensively.  Articles published in Economic and Political weekly and Social Scientist on Tea garden workers, Muslim migration and Assamese Identity formations were main sources. Besides these, books on ecology and environment were also used as a source of data.

 

T38. Human-elephant interface: An assessment of conflict status inSathyamangalam WLS Human-Elephant conflict, Sathyamangalam.         

Sreedhar Vijayakrishnan, Salman QureshiUmesh Kanna

Forest College and Research Institute, Mettupalayam, Tamil Nadu

Email: elephanttracker@yahoo.co.in

Keywords: human-wildlife Conflict, elephants

Human-wildlife conflict is a combative issue among conservation initiatives, authorities and local communities round the globe. Especially Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) has attained an inevitable position in conservation all across India, Africa and parts of south east Asia, wherever they have been indulging in destroying crops or attacking and killing human beings and livestock. A study was conducted in the Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary to assess the status of Human-Elephant Conflict.

Sathyamangalam, a part of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, is a major habitat for the pachyderms. Due to fragmented landscapes, which are a result of intense agricultural practices, the elephants are forced out of their natural habitats leading to Human-elephant Conflict. The present study was done to analyse the extent of conflict, and the damage on both sides.

The study focused on comparing and contrasting change in conflict patterns, and on assessing the success of various mitigation measures being adopted by the local communities and by the forest department. Primary survey consisted of onsite field evaluations, site inspections, interviews and group discussion carried out in the affected villages. Secondary survey consisted of crop ex-gratia payment records and other related records obtained from the forest department records. Field observations of responsible elephants were also done to assess the group size of the elephants involved in crop raiding.Data collected on various aspects of HEC such as the number of human deaths, number of human injuries, cattle killed and crop damages shows the inconsistency of HEC during a period of a decade from 2000 to 2009.

The number of human deaths was found to be high in 2006-07, whereas crop damage was severe during 2001-02. On analysing the success of various mitigation measures adopted by forest department and local communities, it was found that out of 5 ranges in sathyamangalam forest division, thalavadi range recorded highest number of elephant visits and raids in case of solar fences, AC batteries and conventional deterrents. In all ranges, only 40-50% of the visits resulted in crop raiding.

 

T39. Un-cozy commensal: Red fox along a gradient of settlement size in theTrans- Himalaya

Abhishek Ghoshal, Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, Yash Veer Bhatnagar

Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore

Email: globalwarming.abhi@gmail.com

Keywords: commensal, Himalaya, settlement

Commensals of human are known to derive benefit from human habitations. Red fox Vulpes vulpes is a widespread commensal carnivore. Apart from natural landscapes they occur in rural, sub-urban and urban areas over large tracts in the Northern Hemisphere. The diet of red fox is versatile, and it often scavenges from household wastes. In India, prime habitat of red fox is the Greater and Trans Himalayas. Understanding of red fox is lacking in the sub-continent. Seldom has importance been given to the response of such commensal species towards high levels of anthropogenic disturbances from a low productive cold-desert landscape.

We predicted that the costs of deriving benefits from human habitations would surpass benefits at higher levels of disturbances (e.g. free ranging dogs). We hypothesized (i) the relative abundance of red fox would increase from small to medium sized villages, but decline towards larger villages; and (ii) anthropogenic items would increase in diet of red fox as village size increases.

Relative abundance of red fox was estimated by recording track density from spatial replicates of plots. For assessing diet, scat samples were collected along transects. Contribution of food items to diet by micro-histology and prey species preference (using electivity index) was assessed. Density of free ranging dogs was estimated through block count sampling. Relative abundance increased from small to medium sized villages but declined sharply towards larger villages (hump-shaped pattern). Initial increase in abundance is suggested due to increased food resources; while the decline is suggested due to high densities of free ranging dogs in large villages in spite of higher food availability. In diet, anthropogenic items (livestock and trash) dominated over natural items. Goat was preferred; sheep was consumed in proportion to availability while large-bodied livestock species were avoided. Easy availability of garbage and livestock carcasses is attributed to the high proportion of anthropogenic items in diet. Even commensals of human can succumb to anthropogenic disturbances beyond certain limits.

 

T40. Livestock depredation by Golden jackal Canis aureus in and aroundAssam University 

Dipankar Debnath, Hilloljyoti  Singha, Biman Kumar Dutta

Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Centre for Biodiversity & Natural Resources Conservation, Assam University, Silchar

Email: dipankareco@gmail.com

Keywords: Canis aureus, conflict

Golden jackal Canis aurius is a top carnivore in and around the Assam University (AUS) campus . The AUS campus is contiguous with the forest that leads to Inner Line RF. There is evidence that jackals kill livestock and that they themselves are killed by local livestock holders in Dargakona and Irrongmara villages around the university campus. Such conflict may lead to the extirpation of the species from the area, and also has impacts on the livelihoods of local people. We studied the jackal and human conflict in these two villages near forests to:

1. Understand the socio-economic status and livestock pattern of the villagers.
2. Assess livestock/pet animal depredation by jackals.
3. Assess human attacks on jackal.

Data collection: Data on village socio-economics, livestock depredation and human attacks on jackals (from 2000 to 2010) were collected through direct interactions and interviews with prepared questionnaires including cross-questions. Four species of livestock, viz., goat, hen, duck and dog were recorded as attacked by jackals during 2000-2011. Among these, attacks on goat were found to be significantly more and these were consistent across years. Significantly more attacks were recorded on adult goats and adult hens. All animals were attacked significantly more at night, while more goats were attacked in day. Except goats, all livestock were significantly attacked more in winter season by jackals; however, more goats were significantly attacked in monsoon season. Number of attacks on goat was significantly associated with the presence of forest. Killing of jackals occurred in all seasons. Adult male jackals were killed significantly more and as many as 70 jackals were killed during 2000-2011. Among the different.. INCOMPLETE

 

T41. Ecology of the Brahmaputra River Islands and Protected Area Linkages

Smarajit Ojah1, Anup Saikia1, Dilwar Hussain2, Kulen Das3

1Department of Geography, Gauhati University, Assam

2Laokhowa Burhachapori Wildlife Conservation Society Nagaon, Assam

Department of Geography, Nowgong Girls’ College, Nagaon, Assam

Email: smarajit.ojah@gmail.com

Keywords: Protected areas, river ecology, corridor

The braided river system of the Brahmaputra allows for the formation of numerous river islands which have a rich ecology in the form of diversity of flora and fauna. These islands as well as the river play a crucial role in linking the Protected Areas (PA) of the region with each other. However, with the growing population and associated problems, there are hardly any river islands in the Brahmaputra which have not come under the influence of anthropogenic activities. This has led to a situation where not only the ecology and biodiversity of the islands are being degraded and destroyed, but it is also delinking the PA Network of the region by disrupting the animal movement through these corridors.

This paper focused on the study of the river islands of the Brahmaputra adjoining the Burhachapori WLS of Assam which are key components in the migratory corridor of animals of the Kaziranga-Laokhowa-Burhachapori-Orang PA Landscape. The present study was an attempt to conduct a detailed assessment of these river islands and document the ecological importance and the anthropogenic pressures operating in these islands  and come out with a strategy for their conservation and management.  Identification of the key indicators of ecological significance of the river islands in the study area and anthropogenic pressures operating in and around them was done through conduct of reconnaissance visits followed by intensive study of the parameters by applying appropriate field techniques.

The islands offer an ideal habitat for numerous species of migratory birds and reptiles. The present study records a number of challenges that face these islands are numerous; such as occupation of large tracts of land by khutti owners with large cattle population, extensive damage to the grassland biome due to grazing and thatch cutting, extensive fishing activities and unabated human encroachment. All these problems are not only degrading the ecology of the islands but also delinking the Protected Areas from each other. The study recommends demarcating the entire region as the ‘Eco Sensitive Zone’ of Burhachapori WLS so as to control the rapidly increasing anthropogenic disturbances in the study area.

 

15TH DECEMBER; TALK SESSION 2; HALL B

T41. Butterfly Diversity of Sakchi Kho Watershed- An approach to assessthe watershed diversity

Nabanita Das1, Mantu Bhuyan1, Ridip Choudhury2, P.R.         Bhattacharyya1

1 CSIR-NEIST (formerly RRL), Jorhat, Assam

2 Rubber Board Field Station Kokrajhar, Rubber Board, Govt of India, Kokrajhar, Assam

Email: nabaneetaa@gmail.com

Keywords: watershed diversity, butterflies, bio-indicators

Watershed management has emerged as a new paradigm for planning, development and management of land, water and biomass resources with a focus on social and environment aspects following a participatory approach.  In this context, the watershed areas of Arunachal Pradesh have tremendous prospect not only for the state alone but also for the entire plain land of Assam. Butterflies are designated as the indicator species for assessing quality of environment.  Quality of watershed and its biodiversity maintains a delicate relationship, which depends on each other. Hence, periodic assessments of biodiversity in watershed help us to understand the quality of watershed. Presently, watershed is in critical condition mainly due to intensive anthropogenic activities. Butterfly being a model representative of environment and acceptable bio-indicator could be used to examine the health of watershed. However, from Sakchi Kho (Kalaktang) watershed there was no any information of butterfly fauna.

Sakchi Kho watershed Kalaktang area of Arunachal Pradesh is located between 26.066N-27.100N latitude and 92.550E-92.583E longitude and at altitude from 200 m to 1500 m comprising 369.77 ha. Five distinct habitats i.e. grassland, woodland, rocky, agricultural land and riparian habitats have been identified in the watershed area. Butterflies were surveyed through line transect.

70 species of butterflies were recorded at the watershed. Of these Nymphalidae was found to be the dominant family then Pieridae and Papilionidae, in contrast to Lycaenidae and Hesperiidae which were scarce. Diversity indexes were also worked out. The availability of these butterflies indicates that the watershed possesses larval and nectar host plants of all those butterflies. In future, systematic study and taxonomical description of unexplored butterfly host plants will be studied. The study will help to establish a fruitful indication of the health and status of the watershed as well as to strategize a comprehensive plan for management and conservation of baseline ecological aspects of the watershed through butterfly indicator for future.

 

 T42. Some observations on butterflies of Pakke Tiger Reserve, ArunachalPradesh

Jis Sebastian1, Arindam Pachoni2

1 Rainforest Research Institute, Jorhat, Assam

2College of Veterinary Science, Guwahati, Assam

Email: alkaeliza@gmail.com

Keywords: species diversity, similarity index, Wildlife Protection Act (WPA)

The north-eastern Himalayas are the least explored area among hotspots in the entire Indian subcontinent, whether it is flora or fauna. In this study, for the first time, we documented the butterfly diversity during autumn season in and around the Pakke tiger reserve, Arunachal Pradesh.

The study was opportunistically done during a project in the reserve. There wasn’t any methods designed nor transects laid for recording butterflies. We studied the forest edge and forest habitats, in other words, forest core area (ranges from 150m to 700m), over 45 days in autumn. The butterflies were photographed and recorded from the two sites monitored.

Out of 62 species recorded, 48 species were in the forest habitat while 26 were noted in the forest edge. Jaccard’s similarity index of butterfly fauna between forest edge and forest habitats was 0.194. The same was calculated for each family to check the degree of similarity between the two sites and it was Hesperidae J=0; Papilionidae J=0.18 ; Pieridae J=0.25; Lycaenidae J=0.25; Nymphalidae J=0.187 respectively.

J’ index showed greater dissimilarity of butterfly fauna between the two sites and also within families in two sites. The reason could be the vegetation composition and disturbances. We recorded ten species which are protected by Indian Wildlife Protection Act and CITES. We recommend a detailed study on lepidoptera to promote eco tourism.

 

T43. Assemblage of vertebrate fauna in the tropical semi evergreen forestof Assam University

Manabendra Ray Choudhury, Parthankar Choudhury

Department of Ecology & Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar, Assam

Email: manabendraray@ymail.com

Keywords: Vertebrate fauna, Assam University           

The present study was conducted in the ecoforest inside the Assam University campus, Silchar.  With increasing human pressure the habitat of vertebrate fauna has now become fragmented and confined to smaller areas in this region. There are several references of occurrence of some endangered species like Hoolock Gibbon and Phayre’s leaf monkey in the study area. Our present study was conducted to reveal the status of the vertebrate fauna in different habitats the AUS campus area.

The study area was divided into three sites viz. open scrub forest, dense scrub forest and ecoforest.  We used the opportunistic method for survey. For avifaunal survey, in the morning, particular trails were followed through different habitats. Direct searching method was followed for surveying the amphibian fauna. All the opportunistic encounters are recorded in case of reptiles and mammals.

A total of 88 species of vertebrate fauna including 13 species of amphibian, 10 species of reptile, 56 species of avifauna and 9 species of mammal were recorded. Among these some interesting and rare species like Red eyed frog (Leptobrachium smithi), Painted balloon frog (Kaloula pulchra), Rufus necked laughing thrush (Garrulax ruficollis), White browed scimitar babbler (Pomatorhinus schisticeps), Brown hawk owl (Ninoxscutulata), Brown fish owl (Ketupa zeylonensis), Crested serpent eagle (Spilornischeela),  Common snipe (Gallinago gallinago) are also recorded. The species richness and diversity was found to be high in edge area of the secondary forest.

 

T44. Study of spider species found in the Assam university campus andadjoining areas

Rashmi Rekha Bhagawati

Assam University, Silchar

Email: bhagawatisunu@gmail.com

Keywords: Spider Web, Diversity,Spider silk

Spiders are ancient animals with a history going back over 350 million years. They are abundant and widespread in almost all ecosystems and constitute one of the most important components of global biodiversity. Spiders have a very significant role to play in ecology by being exclusively predatory and thereby maintaining ecological balance. Spiders belong to the class Arachnida of the phylum Arthropoda, which are characterized by jointed appendages and a chitinous exoskeleton. The members of the class Arachnida are generally characterised by two body regions, the cephalothorax and the abdomen. All spiders are carnivorous and they feed almost exclusively on living prey. Spiders webs are made mainly for defence and food capture. Webs are made of continuous strands of silk. Various works on spider by different workers are summarized hereunder. A preliminary work was done on spider diversity at Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand by Quasin S. and Uniyal V.P. 2010.
The main objectives of the present study are cited below-
1) Checklist of spider found in the relevant area.
2) Comparison between the species found in paddy field and ecoforest area.
3) Food habit difference among various

The study was done to survey in and around the Assam University Campus especially ecoforest region, housing complexes and the paddy fields to document the spider diversity of the area. During that period, representative of three major habitat types were surveyed. Collections were made randomly and opportunistically. Direct searching method was used. The species after taking photos were released.

Species diversity and richness is highest in ecoforest region is 3.7096 and10.931 followed by Housing complexes is 2.6389 and then the Agricultural field is 1.7007 and 1.9136. A total of 56 nos., 23nos. and 90 nos. individuals were recorded from ecoforest, agricultural field and Housing complexes respectively. A total number of 74 species found in the relevant area among which 44 species are not identified, only 30 species are identified. Total number of species in ecoforest, egricultural field and Housing complexes was found 46 , 7 and 21 respectively. The highest numbers of individuals recorded from the housing complexes are 90 followed by ecoforest (56) and agricultural fields (23 ). The species Leucauge decorata is observed both in ecoforest and paddy field.

 

T45. Fisheries ecology of floodplain wetlands of Assam     

Saprativ P Das1, Birendra Kumar Bhattacharjya2, Soumya Sasmal1,Dipesh Debnath2 & Sona Yengkokpam2       

1 Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam

2Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (ICAR) Regional Centre, Dispur, Guwahati, Assam

Email: s.sasmal@iitg.ernet.in

Keywords: riparian wetlands, ichthyofauna

Floodplain wetlands of Assam support rich aquatic biodiversity including ichthyo-fauna contributing considerably to the state’s fish production, supporting livelihoods of resource-poor riparian fishers besides discharging a number of ecological functions like recharge of aquifers, regulation of water quality, treatment of waste waters, secondary production and wildlife, erosion control and recycling of organic wastes. However, fisheries ecology of the floodplain wetlands of Assam is poorly studied except for those located in the vicinity of a couple of educational institutes (e.g., Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Silchar). We carried out first-time extensive random field studies in 60 wetlands in 18 districts of Assam both in Brahmaputra and Barak valleys on their fisheries ecology using stratified sampling method. Soil of the selected wetlands was characterized by acidic pH, except for two wetlands, and high organic carbon. The pH of water, total alkalinity, total hardness, specific conductivity of water, dissolved organic carbon, dissolved oxygen and free carbon dioxide varied widely. Nitrate-N and phosphate-P levels were low. A total of 54 species of phytoplankton community and 17 zooplankton species were recorded. Aquatic macrophytes, gastropods and macrophyte-associated fauna showed strong seasonal variations. 95 fish species (64 genera, 24 families and 11 orders) were recorded. The study showed that in spite of generally acidic nature of soil and water, the selected wetlands are conducive for fish production.

 

SPEED TALKS-CUM-POSTER PRESENTATIONS

13TH DECEMBER

S1. Horizon Scanning India   a 10 question survey 

Meghna Krishnadas, Jayashree Ratnam, Mahesh Sankaran, Suhel Quader, Varun Varma,Vinatha Viswanathan

National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India

Email: drmeghna.82@gmail.com

Keywords: conservation prioritization, biodiversity, India

Across the planet, biodiversity, ecosystems and natural resources are in steep decline. These declines will affect us all, with important consequences for human welfare and quality of life. The conservation of our natural world is a challenging and complex task and needs to take into account concerns of everyone who will be affected. It is therefore important to consider present and future threats identified by a large and diverse group of people. This will help guide the direction of future research, and lead to conservation and management of resources which will be better informed. Horizon Scanning India is an initiative by researchers from institutions and NGOs in India, and is funded by the UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). We are working to identify priority topics and areas of future research in biodiversity, ecosystems and natural resources in the country, by taking into account the views of scientists and non-scientists alike. It completely depends on the participation of large numbers of people from diverse backgrounds to effectively capture the variety of opinions and perspectives on biodiversity and ecosystems.

There are two stages to the survey. The first is a questionnaire where the respondent can fill in up to 10 questions that they consider vital for future research. At least one question is needed. In the second stage, the respondents will be contacted and asked to rate the importance of the most commonly asked questions.

At the end of the two stages, we would have identified a list of priority areas and topics for research that are considered important by a large number of people across the country. The list will be representative of the opinion of people from different backgrounds, with different concerns and will provide a guide for future research and management of biodiversity, ecosystems and natural resources in India.

 

S2. Population status and activity budgeting of Western Hoolock Gibbon (Hoolockhoolock)        

Mofidul Islam1, Parthankar Choudhury1, Parimal Chandra Bhattacharjee2

1Assam University, Silchar, Assam

2Gauhati University, Guwahati, Assam

Email: mofi.glp@rediffmail.com

Keywords: demography, diet, activity budget

Hoolock gibbon, is found only in the northeast, India, south of the Brahmaputra River and east of the Dibang River in India. Adjoining Indian territory, this ape is only found in eastern part of Bangladesh and adjoining country Myanmar. Hoolock gibbon is a canopy dependent species, occurs in some reserve forests and in some densely vegetated areas of the district, but their population has gone down drastically due to habitat loss and hunting. They are now surviving in some isolated pockets in the reserved forest areas of Barak valley, Assam, where they are found in scattered groups. A species living in such isolation, therefore deserve serious attention. Initiatives taken for the protection and conservation of Tiger and Rhinoceros by the government are quite appreciable, but  such steps have not yet been initiated for safeguarding the Hoolock population. This study will focus on its distribution.

For  gibbon population study, two methods were used i.e. direct and indirect method. In direct method, distance sampling was used which was mainly based on line transect method (Burnham et. al., 1980). In indirect method, call records were noted from each of the pre determined listening posts in the forest (?).

During the present study, 21 localities of the Inner line Reserved Forest were covered, which has forest patches suitable for gibbon habitats. However, the position response both by inquiry and observation was available from only 7 localities. The total no. of groups found was 9 and the average group size was 3.4. Among them, ecology & behavioural study is going on in two groups. Activity budget – feeding (31.5%), resting (27.4%), foraging (25.4%), travelling (7.9%), calling (3.3%), territorial (2.4%), playing (2.1%) .They usually called from 6.30 AM to 12.00 AM. They spent maximum time in feeding (29-35%) & resting (25-36%) and they remained active in the morning hours.  About 13 food plants species were recorded.  Among these, the most preferred food plant was Ficus species.

 

S3. Nutrient cycling in wetland ecosystem

Nayanmoni Gogoi1, Utpal Bora1,2, Chandan Mahanta1,3

1Centre for the Environment, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam

2Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam

3Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam

Email: nayan.g3@gmail.com

Keywords: ecosystem ecology, wetland

Wetlands play a significant role in maintaining some of the key activities of large rivers like the Brahmaputra and the Ganga. Wetlands can be regarded as the heart of a riverine ecosystem. They play an important role in nutrient cycling, water purification, climate regulation, flood regulation, coastal protection, recreational opportunities, and, increasingly, tourism (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). Wetlands in Majuli River Island of the mighty Brahmaputra are a good example of a pristine ecosystem. The wetlands are home to several flora and fauna endemic to that region. Several migratory birds are witnessed by the local inhabitants of Majuli, the second largest river island in the world. Most of these wetlands are open wetlands and directly connected to the Brahmaputra. Study of the nutrient status in the wetland ecosystem in Majuli River Island helped in establishing a significant correlation between the biotic community present in soil and water and the nutrients available in the system. The presence or absence of a particular type of organism has been attributed to the availability of nutrients in the surrounding environment. Standard methods approved by American Public Health Association (APHA) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) have been applied in the analysis of nutrients in soil and water. Estimation of nutrients such and as nitrate, sulphate, phosphate, other elements as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium have been carried out by APHA and ASTM methods and cross checked. The nutrients present in the soil and water in three wetland ecosystem of Majuli – Sarala Bil, Tuni Bil and Magurmara Bil was estimated. It was found that almost all the nutrients were present in sufficient quantity in Magurmara Bil which corresponds to the rich species diversity in the wetland as compared to the other two wetlands.

 

S4. Peoples perception on conservation and conflicts in Kaziranga NP, Assam

Rakesh Soud

Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Assam

Email: assam_rhino@rediffmail.com

Keywords: conflict, conservation

The idea of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) originated in the early decades of the 20th century at a time when three rhino asylums were proposed along the river Brahmaputra. Like other game reserves in British India and elsewhere, the KNP was born amidst a general cry for lost species such as lions, bisons and rhinos and also for the imperial rulers‘s claim for privileging hunting practices. However, with the growing concern over the wildlife conservation in both policy level and public domain ,, the park  has been benefited with concern development of scientific research, wildlife management and infrastructure developments. In the past couple of years, Kaziranga earned a wide reputation as a major success story of conservation initiative. Apart from the official highlights backed by the state, there is a massive sociopolitical crisis building over the near future of the park. The present study focuses on the basic social crisis that threats the Kaziranga ecosystem as a whole.  The study also tries to judge the community perception over conservation practice and conflicts around the park boundary.

The grass root level information based on interviews with local villagers and analysis of secondary data of news paper clips and published literatures on the historical and social discourse of the park were used to have an understanding on the sociopolitical and socioeconomic issues related to the park.

There is a need of multidisciplinary approach and critical understanding on such issues. The present study broadly summarizes the sociopolitical issues as habitat and encroach, rhino crisis, tiger and science, poachers and encounters, community conflicts. Without taking the neighborhood social milieu into account, conservation would have a long way to go before it can achieve its goal.

 

S5. Understanding the eco-biology of tea mosquito bug with the help of RS and GIS         

Debasmita Pakrasi, Chandan Goswami, Kasturi Chakraborty, K.K Sarma

North Eastern Space Applications Centre, Umiam-793103, Meghalaya

Email: debosh4009@gmail.com

Keywords: Tea mosquito bug, H. theivora, RS, GIS     

Tea is one of the most important beverage and highest foreign exchange earning agricultural crop of India. The states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya, Sikkim and other tea growing areas of North East India and North Bengal contribute significantly to the overall tea production in the country. The tea industry suffers major losses due to heavy infestations of Tea mosquito bug (Helopeltis theivora Waterhouse (Heteroptera: Miridae). It is a major polyphagous pest of tea causing substantial crop loss and the climatic conditions of NE India promotes its profuse multiplication. They prefer moist conditions, mild temperatures and shaded places. Nymphs and adults both suck the cell sap from pluckable tender tea shoots that eventually become curled, dried and black producing no yield. For controlling the pest, planters use heavy doses of different contact and systemic pesticides that eventually exceeds the maximal residual limit (MRL) in tea prepared for consumption. Recent investigations also indicated insecticide resistance due to indiscriminate use of such insecticides.
Research question- Is there any link between insect infestation and environmental parameters ?

RS and GIS tools are being used to track the insect infestation progression over the years across geo-spatial domain and for monitoring the growth and health of tea plantations. The spectral reflectance of the tea fields is being measured using the multispectral sensors. Different vegetation indices like NDVI, LAI, REP, OSAVI are being used.   This model will serve for an effective pest management followed by reduced pesticidal load, inhibition of development on resistance mechanisms and overall to evolve an economic management practice.

 

S6. Habitat utilization of sloth bears in Mount Abu wildlife sanctuary, Rajasthan

Prakash Mardraj¹, NPS Chauhan², V.C. Soni³

1Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun

2Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun

3Department of Bio Science, Saurashtra University, Rajkot

Email: pmardaraj@gmail.com

Keywords: ecology, sloth bear, habitat use, Mount Abu         

The bear species currently exist in more than 60 countries on four continents  Four species of bear have been reported in India. Among all, Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) is endemic to the Indian sub-continent.  The sloth bear is an endangered species. Its population is declining in most of the areas due to loss, degradation and fragmentation of habitats.  No information available on its ecology and behaviour of highly dense population of sloth bears. Sloth bears are start straying out from PAs and results in serious human-sloth bear conflict in form of human casualties and agricultural crop raiding. This may adversely affect the conservation efforts.

Methods:
1. Based on the direct sightings.
2. Number of den sites in different habitat.
3. Sign survey in different habitat types.
4. From indirect evidences (claw marks, foot prints, diggings and presence of scats).
5. We also recorded evidences outside transect (opportunistic sampling).

As per the evidences dry deciduous forest is most preferable by the sloth bears. But most of the den sites are located in the moist deciduous forest.  This depicts that they prefer moist- deciduous habitat for dens and dry- deciduous habitat for activities. Sloth bears were found distributed throughout the wildlife sanctuary and they were using available habitats to different degree.

 

S7. Diversity of ant under the influence of forest fragmentation in Meghalaya

Holdingstone Kharbani, Sudhanya Ray

North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong-22

Email: hplyngkhoi@gmail.com

Keywords: ant, diversity, Meghalaya, forest habitat

Taxonomic studies have been reported from Meghalaya, however diversity on habitats monitoring studies have not been carried out. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate scientifically ant diversity in different forest microhabitats that have been under anthropogenic activities in order to understand the value of ants as indicators of overall forest ecosystem health. Ant fauna were sampled from subtropical hills forests of West Khasi Hills at Mawthhungkper (1484 m asl). Sampling was established from five different sampling stations. Ground-dwelling ant were sampled using pitfall traps,with 11 pitfall traps placed at 10m intervals along a line transect of 100m. In each sampling sites a permanent 100m line transects were set up.

A total of 28 species in 18 genera under 5 subfamilies. Subfamilies comprised of Myrmicinae (11 species) follow by Formicinae (9 species), Ponerinae (5 species), Dorylinae, Cerapachyinae, Dolichoderinae (1 species each). Collectively species richness indicated maximum during warmer season while lowest was during December-February. Total abundance followed the same pattern as species richness in seasonal variation. Comparisons of the sample size among five different microhabitats were made within area under study, where their diversity measure indicates that Primary forest have relatively high diversity than others disturbed microhabitats. The results shown that diversity varies particularly when compared with the effect of fragmentation within-patches habitat characteristics.

 

S8. Livestock depredation and perceptions about Dhole (Cuon alpinus) in western ArunachalPradesh.

Salvador Lyndgoh, K.M. Selvan, G.V. Gopi, Bilal Habib

Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Email: salvador@wii.gov.in

Keywords: human-wildlife conflict, carnivore, Dhole, Mithun, Wild pig           

Less than 2500 mature individuals of Dhole are estimated to be left in the wild. Arunachal Pradesh holds a fraction of the historical range of this species. A major threat to wild dog population in the state is retaliatory killing by local people due to livestock depredation and prey depletion. All across its range in India the dhole faces continued habitat degradation, enroachment, prey depletion and a high degree of isolation. The only information on dhole abundance comes from a few protected areas in southern and central India. These estimates have not been obtained through systematic sample-based surveys methods, but are based on estimates of the number of packs. This study attempts to fill this gap in eastern Himalayan geographical range of this species.

The main research questions for this study are to determine prey availability and habitat conditions where the dhole is present. The second research question is to look at the prey selection and dietary requirements of the dhole along with its sympatric species. The third question is to understand various socio-economic factors and local perceptions towards the dhole.

Line transects were laid in  Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR)  and walked in order to determine prey availability. Data was analysed using Distance software. Diet selection was determined by collecting scat samples. Samples were washed, dried and examined under microscope. Program SCATMAN was used to examine use vs. availability. A questionnaire survey was done in villages near  PTR.

A total of 354 scats of Dhole, Tiger and Leopard were analyzed. Diet overlap of Dhole was 81.67% with tiger and 44.52% with Leopard. For dhole, prey preference was in the following order: wild pig > barking deer > sambar. A total of 208 households from 25 villages in the East, North and North-eastern part of Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR), were visited to investigate socioeconomic status and human-wildlife conflict through a set of open and close ended questionnaire survey. The target indigenous communities were the Nishi. Overall sampling effort varied between 20%-30%. Proportion of Mithun depredated by a large predator was highest (> 20%) and wild dog accounted for the major proportion (> 70%) of this depredation. Depredation was high near north-eastern parts.

 

S9. Envirocloud: community environmental monitoring system     

K. A. Nishadh, M.K. Sebastian, P.A. Azeez

Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore

Email: nishadhka@gmail.com

Keywords: sensor web, crowd sourcing, monitoring

Availability of environmental data is crucial in environmental management and conservation. Currently a large quantum of man power (volunteered or assigned) and sensors are deployed for procuring that. But due to its inherent variability in procurement objectives, mode of storage and data publishing, it severely adjusts and restrains the full potential of those efforts. Hindrance in interoperability, delayed knowledge generation and informed decision-making are some of the results of that adjustment.  Sensor web concept is considered as better way to reduce this hindrance. It basically envisages reducing the gap between physical-digital worlds. It creates a widely accessible spatial data infrastructure of environment by making web of various sensors and sensor networks deployed to monitor the environment with different objectives and specification. The main aim of the present project is to develop a web-based application, which can provide a facility to receive real time environmental data from citizen scientists possessing the most available mobile information technology. Thus it aims to create a data repository of real time environment data collected by volunteers.

The web application was developed using Ushahidi as Crowd sourcing platform. Software FrontlineSMS was used as SMS gateway software. PHP script was used for receive, process and store the SMS describing environment in certain format from the volunteers, which also contain geocode of the area in it. Google Maps Javascript API V3 was used to spatial visualization of the received information.

At present Envirocloud has potential usability in retrieving, curating and publishing the geocoded environmental observations. It is presumed that by integrating the SWE standards, the application can be extended as a tool for synchronized citizen scientist based environmental monitoring initiatives, early warning system in man-animal conflict regions, as a platform for integrating volunteered sensors such as climate stations and personal mobile sensors.

 

S10. Inventorization of avifauna in Mizoram, northeast india          

Vanlalsawmi Renthlei, G.S. Solanki

Mizoram university, Aizawl, Mizoram

Email: sawmirenthlei@gmail.com

Keywords: birds, global biodiversity hotspot

The state of Mizoram is located in the southern part of northeast India. It covers an area of 21,081 sq. km. and falls in the Indo-Burman global biodiversity hotspot and the Eastern Himalaya Endemic Bird Area.

This study was conducted from November 2010 to November 2011 at Mizoram university campus, Dampa tiger reserve, and Community forest at Sialsuk Village. Line transects method was used for counting birds. The time scheduled for the study was from 0600 to 1000hr and from 1500 to 1800 hrs. Observations were carried out with the aid of binoculars, photographs and calls. In Mizoram university campus 47 species of birds were recorded, Dampa Tiger researve 54 species of birds were recorded and in Sialsuk Village 30 species of birds were recorded. The inventorization of birds in these areas is still in progress and the work is not yet completed to satisfaction. The main threat for birds species is hunting in the area as poachers are still caught even in the reserve area and the mindset of the villagers need to be changed.  So, awareness is so much required throughout the state of Mizoram.

 

S11. A picture is worth a thousand words: population monitoring, mark-recapture

Akshita Misra1, Koustubh Sharma2

1 Ambedkar University, Delhi, Integrated Institute of Technology Campus, Sector 9, Dwarka, New Delhi 110 077

2 Snow Leopard Trust   Snow Leopard Trust 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North Suite #325 Seattle, WA 98103 USA

Email: tanudelhi89@gmail.com

Keywords: Tourism, Conflict, Wildlife Monitoring

The debate on the relation shared by tourism and conservation in National Parks is a long drawn one. While many conservationists view tourism as a nuisance and advocate that natural habitats should be kept as free of human presence as possible, there are those who believe that even though tourism and conservation are at times in conflict, tourism does hold the potential of aiding conservation by not only providing economic incentives to the managers and the local people but also by providing patrolling benefits in the tourism zones. This project analyzed the potential of tourist photography to quantify population dynamics in a tiger reserve, in order to highlight the role tourism can play as a means of wildlife monitoring

More than 5000 photographs taken from handheld cameras in the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve over 35 years were analysed. Which were classified into four time zones: 1976-1981, 1982-1989, 1990-1999, 2000-2011. Tigers were identified by their unique marking patterns. The data was subjected to mark recapture models for estimation of population dynamics.

Out of 5000 photographs of the tigers in Ranthambhore, Tigers in 82% of the photographs could be positively identified,A total of 62 tigers over 35 years were seen, of which 25 were photographed as cubs at some stage. Furthermore, by subjecting the data to mark recapture modeling, estimates of the tiger population in the tourist zone of the Reserve in the four time phases were derived. This showcased a slump in the adult tiger population in 2000-2010, falling to 32% of the population in 1982-1989. Results from other published studies in Ranthambhore showed similar trends.

 

S12. Roosting colonies of Pteropus giganteus  Brunnich, 1782 in Cachar District,Assam           

Jayashree Bhattacharjee1, Hilloljyoti Singha1,2, Biman Kumar Dutta1, Parimal ChandraBhattacharjee3, Panna Deb1,2

1Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Assam University, Silchar-788011, Assam, India

2Centre for Biodiversity and Natural Resources Conservation, Assam University, Silchar-788011, Assam, India

3Department of Zoology, Gauhati University, Guwahati, Assam, India

Email: jbhattacharje@yahoo.com

Key words: Indian Flying Fox, Pteropus giganteus, Cachar district, Barak Valley, roosting tree,Anthocephalus cadamba.

Survey for roosting colonies of Indian Flying Fox was carried out during 2010-2011 in Cachar district. It was a pioneer study for no such work has been carried out in Barak valley on bats. So the research questions were: what was the status and distribution of Indian Flying Fox in particular; how many and where the roosting colonies were located; and what species of roost trees were used.

  1. To estimate the population and distribution of Indian Flying Fox in Cachar district.
  2. To identify the roosting colonies (both regular and irregular) and roost trees as well as surrounding non-roost associated tree species.
  3. To find if any particular tree species was used more than the other tree species.

Opportunistic information was gathered from various sources about the existing bat colonies and verified them by visiting the locations. Random survey was done by following the National Highways, other public roads, going to remote villages, enquiring people about the existence of roosting colony of bats in the locality. The survey excluded the protected areas. In some instances a colony consisted of more than one roost tree; in such cases the closest inter-roost tree distance (CIRTD) was measured. When the CIRTD was ≥ 50 m, then these were considered to be two separate colonies. The roost tree species were identified and surrounding tree species (≥ 10 cm GBH) within 25 m radius around the roost tree were recorded. Total individual count of bats were made; however, if it was a too large colony, then went for sampling method (Javed et al. 2000).

Twenty-two roosting colonies of Indian Flying Fox have been recorded. Estimated population was not less than 4150 in those colonies. The number of bats ranged from 30 to 654 individuals in different colonies. Fifty-five roost trees belonging to 19 species and five bamboo clumps were documented. Among these, Kadam Anthocephaluscadamba was significantly highest in number. The youngest colony was of eight years old and the oldest one was of 80 years. Five temporary or irregular colonies were recorded. All the colonies were found in private land.

Primary study reveals that a good amount of roosting colonies and a sizable population of bats still exist in Cachar district. The important fact was that all the roosting colonies of them were traditionally occupied by them; probably due to their strong site fidelity, Indian Flying Foxes have been using the same roosting sites year after year. The relatively young colonies suggest that formation of new colonies, may be due to splitting of the bigger population or moving out to establish at a new site has been on the process. Irregular colony suggests that bats migrate to some other places as well. As all of the colonies were located in private land, the conservation measures must be with the cooperation of the people.

 

14TH DECEMBER

S13. Individual variation in territoriality and dispersal/space-acquisition

Sayantan Das, Anindita Bhadra

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata

Email: sayantaniiser@gmail.com

Keywords: territoriality,dispersal, aggression

The primary determinants of territoriality,dispersal and space acquisition/sharing is distribution and abundance of food resources along with availability of receptive mates. Nonetheless, behavioral idiosyncrasy of individuals and the nature of interaction between them, both within and between groups may determine/contribute to minor variations in the same This may further indicate possible existence of multiple strategies at play.The investigation of the same is crucial since under conditions of stable ecological resources,it could be behavior that drives such macro processes. Therefore,this project investigates the existence of possible relationship between individual behavioral traits and the variation observed in territory size, territory defence,age and maturity at dispersal and in allowance/persistence of intruders in territory

Behavioral Sampling:
1.All-occurrence sampling of 10 minutes duration,a single session lasting for 2 hours
Interaction between individuals (both inter and intra-group) are recorded
Encounters were classified and scored based on nature of interaction,duration and intensity

Ecological Sampling:
Determination of ‘ranging’ using GPS device  The study is in progress..INCOMPLETE

 

S14. Assessment of a CDM project to ascertain its socio-economic sustainability

Tanuj Nagpal

Ambedkar University Delhi, New Delhi

Email: tnagpal.10@stu.aud.ac.in

Keywords: climate change, CDM, carbon credits

As an increasing amount of literature builds validating global warming induced climate change as a phenomenon directly affecting the people, efforts such as policy instruments like the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) have been undertaken to mitigate potentially adverse effects of climate change and to reduce vulnerability.

The aim of my study is to understand the impacts of the Certified Emission Reductions (a form of carbon credits) earned from an Afforestation CDM project being implemented in Sirsa, Haryana. This study can also lead to ground truthing of the expected promises from the project and/or of the recent status report.The project area falls in the Sirsa District of Haryana and is affected by aeolian sand and thus majority of land under this is partially or totally degraded. The land belongs to 227 farmers and is spread across 369.87 hectares.

The methods used will pertain to ethnography such as questionnaires, focused group discussion, personal interviews, etc. in order to obtain socio-economic information from the local farmers.

 

S15. Role of constant nutrient input in plankton community ecosystem

Anal Chatterjee, Samares Pal

University of Kalyani, Kalyani

Email:chatterjeeanal172@gmail.com

Keywords: community ecology, phytoplankton, fish

Marine plankton ecosystems play numerous and important roles in the earth system, phytoplankton organisms are the principal primary producer in the marine ecology. The phytoplankton occupies a central position in the food chain. They transform inorganic materials into new organic compounds by the process of photosynthesis, starting thereby most aquatic food webs.

The comprehensive of model behavior and its dependence on model assumptions and parameter values, on environmental forcing becomes more difficult due to model complexity. Many models have already been built to simulate zooplankton-phytoplankton interactions. Some of these have been discussed and compared by Edwards and Brindley(1996, 1999), Mitra (2009), Chattopadhyay and Pal (2002), Bairagi et al.(2008), Flynn (2003). The importance of nutrient for growth of plankton in phytoplankton-herbivore interaction models have been discussed by Ruan (1993, 2001). Edwards and Yool (2000).

What is the effect of constant nutrient input in plankton ecosystem in presence of planktivorous fish have been discussed here?  What is the effect of mortality rate of planktivorous fish have been discussed here?Study the stability analysis of non linear differential equation. Numerical analysis of differential equation has been solved by Matlab program. On analyzing our model we have observed that changes of different parametric values give different behaviors of the system. Constant nutrient input certainly plays an important role in this model. Extinction of the planktivorous fish population due to decrease of constant nutrient input  evidently an important factor in our model. Extinction of the planktivorous fish and plankton population due to further decrease of constant nutrient input.

 

S16. Erosion problem of the Brahmaputra River (Palasbari) and its impact on local areaerosion

Kishore Bharali1, Santanu Sarma2

1 Department of Environmental Science, Gauhati University, Guwahati, Assam

2 Department of Geology, Cotton College, Guwahati, Assam.

Email: kishoreiitg@gmail.com

Keywords: river ecology, hydrology, erosion

Variability in channel configuration and sediment transport are the characteristics of the river Brahmaputra throughout its 720 km river course within the Assam valley. Brahmaputra is an example of a braided river with multiple channels twinning around numerous mid channel bars as well as lateral sand bars. Most part of the Brahmaputra bank line is extremely unstable within the Assam valley, because the river is flowing through loose alluvial formation. As a result, its wide alluvial channel is marked by continuous shift of the thalweg and changes in the geometry and location of sandbars. River bank failure is more pronounced in the falling stages of the annual flood season of the river.

Infrastructures and resources, located in the areas affected with continuous bank line recession, face the continuous threat of extinction. There is constant threat to the resources like cultivated land, forest land and wetlands; and infrastructure like roads, bridges, settlements, embankments etc. This extinction ultimately effects the riverside population.

Various studies has been carried out on the channel migration and channel widening of the river Brahmaputra. Infrastructure and resource information in the riparian tract of the river were digitized from the toposheets and clipped by using the polygons representing the area of erosion in 2006 with respect to 1972. Quantitative measurement in terms of area or length of the resources and infrastructure parameters affected by erosion in the span of 34 years were calculated in the GIS database.    In the 20 km downstream reach of Palasbari a vast area in both the river banks is being eroded away since 1972 till 2006. Total area of erosion during the study period in both the banks is estimated to be 96.52 sq.km, out of which 31.52 sq. km is in the south bank and 65 sq. km is the north bank. The average rate of erosion in this studied reach in the 34 years span is calculated to be 0.93 sq.km per year in the south bank and 1.91 sq.km per year in the north bank. In the process of bank erosion, the average bank line recession of 3 km and 1.6 km has been observed in the north bank and south bank respectively within the studied reach. Because of the erosion of 96.52 sq.km land over the years, the various natural resources and infrastructures in the riverine area is being lost.

 

S17. Does road widening have impact on the faunal diversity in protected areas?

Murali Krishna, Parimal Ray, Kuladip Sarma, Awadhesh Kumar

Department of Forestry, NERIST, Nirjuli, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh

Email: murali7murali@gmail.com

Keywords: linear disturbances, connectivity, mammals

During our study in Namdapha National Park we observed the road widening works happening currently between Miao and Vijyanagara along Namdapha National Park. JCB’s and Bulldozers are used to widen the road. Several huge trees along the pre existing road are being uprooted along with huge amounts of soil and are pushed downhill. The scrubby vegetation along the hilly slopes is lost as a result of clearings which has the impact on the many faunal species.

Does decrease in the canopy bridges result affects the arboreal mammal population intermixing? If yes, will it lead to genetic depression in future? What will be the impact of speedy moving vehicles? Will they lead to road kills? Line Transect method was used in the pre-existing roads. The direct evidences that we came across during the survey is the reduction in the number of canopy bridges. The decrease in the canopy bridges hampers the movement of the arboreal mammals and other amphibians such as canopy frogs from being dispersed from one portion of the forest to the other. This currently might not have adverse effects but might create problems in future. Arboreal mammals such as Hoolock Gibbons, slow Loris are the worst among those which will get affected. The huge amounts of soil removed as a result of uprooting of trees being pushed down the hills covers the burrows of many fussorial mammals affecting their habitat. Landslides were observed in the areas where the uphill vegetation was removed. Some of the areas have developed a canopy gap more than 100-200m.

 

S18. Understanding evolution of sholas through population genetics and niche models

V.V. Robin, Uma Ramakrishnan

National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore

Email: robinvijayan@gmail.com

Keywords: evolution, shola, bird, plant, genetics

The topography of the earth and climatic changes over the last millennia have driven distributional and demographic patterns of a number of species. Understanding the link between climate, geography and demographic response in multiple species that constitute an ecosystem will be critical to understand their evolutionary history while striving to safeguard their future. Understanding past effects of climate may help us predict possible impacts of future climate change. Studies have shown that forests had contracted and grasslands expanded during extreme climatic conditions, caused by glacial events, exemplified by the Last Glacial Maximum. There is little known about how species in the Indian sub-continent have responded to such paleo-climatic events. The unique Shola habitat on the sky islands of Western Ghats, where both forests and grasslands co-occur naturally as a matrix, gives us an opportunity to examine the effect that past climate had on various species in these two habitats. Using genetic methods, we examine multiple species from two taxonomic groups, plants and birds, to investigate if the demographic decline in forest plants at the LGM are reflected in the decline of forest birds while a converse increase in grasslands causes an increase of grassland birds.  We use niche models to make parallel predictions on possible species distributions at LGM and in the future.

We predict that species respond differently to paleo-climate, species more ecologically specifically adapted to a habitat would indicate more drastic changes when compared to generalists species. Our preliminary results provide encouraging results that in eight species of birds, we found differential genetics difference across a large geographical divide. We believe this will be a unique study as being one of the only to examine multiple species demography from different taxonomic groups to infer evolution of a habitat.

 

S19. Survey of rare mammal species in Himalaya- case study of Hangul and Argali         

Karthik Murthy           

The Energy and Resources Institute, New Delhi

Email: karthik.teri@gmail.com

Keywords: mammal survey       

Hangul, Kashmir stag being the state animal is a subspecies of European Red Deer. Among the rare and endangered species inhabiting Tran-himalayan rangelands, is the Tibetan argali, a subspecies of rare Eurasian wild sheep.

To find Hangul (Study area: Naranag WLS, Western Himalayas )
To find Argali ( Study area : Hemis National Park, Changthang WLS, Trans-Himalayas).

Baseline work for occupancy of herbivores and carnivores

Trail sampling was conducted.
Intensive search was undertaken to determine the presence/ absence of the mammal species around the trail. Both indirect and direct signs were used to determine presence/absence. Indirect evidences include footprints, scats, claw marks in the forest areas data regarding slope, aspect, forest type and terrain were noted along the trail walks.

The results of our study showed that altitude zones of 2900m – 3100m and 3300m – 3500m were important for the long term of conservation in Naranag WLS.  The environmental variables used as predictive variables in the Logistic regression model. The predictive variables cliff and Altitude were able to model the Herbivore presence/ absence with good significance (p < 0.0 38 for altitude and p < 0.043 for cliff) and low probability of presence of herbivore with area having cliffs.

The encounter rate of the Argali is 0.034 in the current study and Argali was encountered in the altitude range of 5201-5300 and 5401-5500. .The predictive variable cliff was significantly model the carnivore presence/ absence (at p< 0.019) and results showed that carnivore presence increases in the cliff.

 

S20. Role of zoos in spreading the environmental awareness for better survival enrichment,sustainability      

SR Sumant Yanamandra, Ramalingam Gamineni

Indira Gandhi Zoological Park, Visakhapatnam

Email: srsumanth009@gmail.com

Keywords: conservation education, zoo

Zoos are not only for the animal display but are very much involved in research activities, environment education and conservation breeding. For instance we can take Indira Gandhi Zoological Park which serves as a good education center. Environment education center displays movie clips, dramas, video shows and an interpretation center which shows different treasures of Eastern Ghats especially of North coastal Andhra. Other Educational activities include snake awareness, photographic walks, bird watching, nature treks etc. Zoo friends meet is an idea exchange program organized periodically in which different people of different fields are involved. Zoo corps is organized on sundays and holidays to inculcate ecofriendliness among children. Animal adoption scheme has been started not for the reason that Zoo authorities are incapable of maintaining the animal but to generate the interest among people to participate in the activity. Concept of Immersion exhibits develops more greenery which is must in the present scenario. Enrichment of enclosures creates the environment similar to that of natural to the animal.

Methods include encouraging the children to visit Education center, Zoo library, snake awareness, nature treks etc. Zoo corps lead the cleanliness of Zoo so that they can do it in future in a large area. Animal adoption bridges the relation between man and animal. Making public understand the environmental crisis and let themselves realize that sustainable development is the panacea to address it. After starting the aforesaid activities, children enthusiastically took part in all the activities. School authorities on behalf of their students adopted a white tiger in the zoo. Children actively took part in wildlife week celebrations, world sparrow day and world environment day by way of participating in quiz, drawing, essay, debate, tree identification etc. Zoo is getting developed in faster pace after getting the valuable suggestions from Zoo friends and scientists of the relevant field.

 

S21. Understanding Malabar whistling thrush biogeography through song

Chetana Purushotham1, V.V. Robin1, Anindya Sinha1, Divya Mudappa2

1National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

2Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore

Email: chetana.puru11@gmail.com

Keywords: bird song, biogeography

Biogeographical divides such as geographical gaps are known to affect gene flow in some organisms and cause speciation in many known species. Yet, populations of a few common species, widespread across peninsular India, are still considered contiguous when it is more likely that they occur as several small populations isolated by geographical barriers in the landscape. Although divergence between populations can be recognised by genetic differences, breeding song is often used as a non-invasive surrogate for genetic differences in distinguishing populations of birds. Breeding song is a species-specific, often population- specific, trait that tends to evolve faster than genetic traits. At a finer level it also provides a reliable method to study cultural variation within a species, since spatially closer individuals are known to share songs and song types.

We propose to examine if biogeographical divides play a role in differentiating populations of the Malabar Whistling Thrush Myophonus horsfieldii by studying the variation in its song structure across its known distribution range.

We propose to examine variation in song structure to quantify divergence across hill ranges, rivers and geographical gaps that occur within the range of the species. We will test for individual- and population-level differences using nested MANOVA and assign songs to specific populations with Discriminant Function Analysis.       At present, the Whistling Thrush is known to occur as a single large population across the Western and Eastern Ghats and some parts of central India. It is, however, more probable that it occurs as smaller divided populations in isolated pockets with possible and genetic and cultural differences. This study could therefore contribute immensely to our understanding of the ecology and evolution of species populations. By using the breeding song of the Whistling Thrush to measure population differences, we also provide a reliable means to investigate possible responses of species to varied landscape-level processes, including habitat loss and fragmentation.

 

S22. Environmental impacts of coal mining in India

Bindu Kiranmayee Malla

ANGRAU, Hyderabad

Coal is  the  only natural resource  and fossil fuel available  in abundance in India. The major environmental challenges encountering the coal industry are impacts of mine fires,deterioration of water table and quality of ground and surface water, fly ash generation, noise and vibrations etc.

Coal mining drastically altering physical,chemical and biological nature of mined area. Coal plays a unique role in meeting the demand for a secure energy supply. It is most abundant and economical than any other fossil fuels. Coal can be used for both power generations and industrial applications. However, coal has a crucial role in meeting current needs and it is a resource to meet future goals through the enhancement of knowledge and technology. The challenge is to apply the right technology of coal mining in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way. My study on environmental impacts of coal mining in India was carried out with the following objectives which are mentioned below:-

Advantages and disadvantages of coal mining with respective to present environmental and social scenario.

Descriptive study of environmental issues like:-

1. Impact of mining on air quality.

2. Impact of mining on water regime.

3. Impact of mining on land.

4. Impact of noise and vibrations from mining.

Environmental managemental practices to be followed for the above issues.

S23. Survey and observation of Rhesus macaque (Macaca  mulatta) in Mahamayatemple         

Debahutee Roy, Jeganathan Pandian

A.V.C (Autonomous) College,  Mayiladuthurai, TamilNadu

Email: moni.roy8@gmail.com

Keywords: Primates,habitat loss, conflict        

Man-monkey association is as old as man’s own existence. Rhesus monkey (Macaca muatta) is one of the species of non-human primates found in north east India .The rapid increase in the declining of the food source and forest cover, has lead to increase in competition between human and monkeys which finally leads to human-monkey conflicts. Certain temples of Assam harbor a good population of Rhesus macaques and exemplify cases of human-monkey conflict. Human attitude towards monkey differ from area to area and species to species. Likewise, monkeys are not liked in massive agriculture, horticulture since they raid and damage the crops and orchards. In such areas they are considered as pests (Roonwal & Mahnot,1977). The raiding of crops and entering in human habitations and consuming the household food increases with decrease in the availability of fruits foods in the natural habitat as well as the temples too.. So keeping the above facts in view, the present study was conducted to obtain the basic information on the population, group size and the attitudes of the people towards the primates. The population survey of Rhesus macaque in Mahamaya temple was done by using total count method (Bibly et al.,1992). Direct counts of group sizes and age-sex composition for each of the groups were done. Also ethnological data were collected using both interviews and questionnaires. A questionnaire was designed to record information on the past histories and present status of the groups.

A number of primates live permanently in the temple, an association between monkeys and human that is an ancient trend in the region. From the population survey it was recorded that the total number of Rhesus macaque was 59 comprised if four groups and the group size ranges from 13 to 16 in the study temple from May 15 to June 15, 2011. Man-monkey conflict is due to the conversion of forest land into large scale monoculture plantations, forest cutting due to agriculture purposes, and encroachment in the home range of the animal, urbanization and reduction in the availability of natural foods to the primates. The raiding of crops and entering in the human habitations and consuming house hold food increase with the decrease in the availability of fruits and food in the natural habitat.

 

S24. In-vitro observations on the antagonistic potential of some fungal species

Anuradha Das, Biman Kumar Dutta

Department of ecology and environmental science, Assam University, Silchar

Email: anu2008aus@gmail.com

Keywords: Brown root rot, Fomes lamaoensis, pathology

Brown root rot is a commonly occurring disease of tea in the Barak valley region of Assam. The causative organism is Fomes lamaoensis which causes rapid disease development and once established, it spreads to adjacent plants through root- to root contact. This disease is a threat to the tea plantations. Furthermore, the chemical control measures with broad spectrum fungicides create imbalances in the microbial community, which may be unfavourable for the activity of beneficial organisms and also lead to the development of resistant strains. Biological control offers a powerful means to increase yield by suppression or destruction of pathogen inoculums, protect plants against infection, or increase the ability of plants to resist pathogens. The result obtained in the present work suggests that some of the soil microorganisms (fungi) can be used as biocontrol agent against the pathogen. The in vitro colony interaction between rhizosphere fungi F. lamaoensissuggests their potential to control the disease under field condition also.

  1. Isolation of the soil fungal species and to identify upto the species level.
  2. Antagonism study to observe the potential of tea soil mycoflora to control
    Fomes lamaoensis (Brown root rot pathogen of tea) in vitro.

Some potential antagonists were isolated and identified from the tea soil and their pure cultures were made. Subsequently, they were identified upto the species level.

The colony interaction between rhizospherie fungi and F. lamaoensis was observed in vitro. Aspergillus niger and Penicillium nigricans inhibited the the growth and overgrew the colony of F.lamaoensis (‘Bi’ type). Aspergillus ochraceous and Vertiicillium terrestre produced inhibition zones (Type “C’). Aspergillus tamarii showed high competitive ability and suppressed the growth of F.lamaoensis (‘Bii’ type), while Aspergillus fischeri, A. fumigatus,  Trichoderma viride and T.harzianum showed mutual intermingling of growth (‘A’ type).In case of A. flavus, the growth was stopped by the test pathogen, but there was no inhibition zone formed by them. It can be suggested that the microorganisms isolated from the tea agroecosystem soil may be used to control this tea root pathogen.

 

13th DECEMBER

P1. Tree diversity in Bisle Rain Forest of Yeslur Forest Range in Western Ghats

K.R. Shrinivas, Vijaya Kumara

Kuvempu University, Shimoga

Email: shrinivaskr@gmail.com

Keywords: rainforest, tree diversity, indices

Tropical rainforest is one of the Earth’s most spectacular natural wonders and is  the oldest living ecosystem on Earth. The tropical rainforests are considered as the most complex biome (structure and species diversity) on Earth. Bisle Reserve Forest is a Tropical Rain forest which comes  under Yeslur Forest Range of Hassan Division. Bisle Reserve forest is densely covered by large trees and its area is about 31.35 sq. km. The chief aim of the work was to study about the tree diversity w.r.t. abundance, frequency and density and to get the Simpson’s and Shannon-Wiener Diversity Indices. Finally to identify and recommend the urgent measures to be taken to protect the Tree species in this pristine tropical evergreen forest.

The methods used to sample  tree vegetation were quadrat and plot method. In this method, a square  plot of 25m2 was drawn at one corner of the quadrat. Similarly 4 plots were drawn in a quadrat with a distance from each plot being nearly 400m. All the plants with 30 cm or more in GBH were considered as tree and identified or photographed if field identification was not possible.

 

 

P2. Butterfly diversity around the Assam University campus          

Simi Talukdar

Assam university, Silchar, Assam

Email: simfly@rediffmail.com

Keywords: butterflies, species diversity, habitat

Species diversity of butterflies was studied in two different habitats in the vicinity of Assam University, Silchar, Cachar district, Assam. One of the habitats was in a village, called Irongmara and the other one was tropical semi evergreen forest, called ‘Ecoforest’ within the Assam University campus. The aerial distance between these two habitats was two km.

Host plant species for butterflies  within the study areas were recorded.Transect count, or Pollard Walk method along with visual encounter survey was adopted for sampling of butterflies. One kilometer distance with 3 meter wide on either side of a transect was opted. Species diversity was measured by Shanon-Weiner index (H’) method and. Species similarity was compared by Sorensen similarity index.

We recorded 54 species of butterflies belonging to five families collectively in both the habitats, among which Nymphalidae was the largest one represented by 27 species. Though more number of species (48) was recorded in Ecoforest in comparison to Irongmara village (30), there was no significant difference between these two. However, species diversity of butterflies was found more in Ecoforest (H’ = 3.40) than in Irongmara (H’ = 2.91), but neither frequency nor abundance of butterflies differed significantly in both the habitats (z-test, NS). Twenty-four species were observed in Ecoforest as well as in Irongmara; i.e., common in both the habitats.  In Ecoforest six species of butterfly showing 100% frequency, while only three species in case of Irongmara.

 

P3. Sensory ecology of oviposition behavior in Oleander Hawk-Moths

Aravin Chakravarthi, V.T. Yadugiri, Sanjay P. Sane

National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India

Email: arvinss@gmail.com

Keywords:insect migration, sensory ecology

Sphingid moths present a very interesting system in which to study a diverse range of ecological questions including plant-insect interactions, insect flight and migration as well as several physiological questions such as insect endocrinology. Because most sphingid moths are crepuscular in nature, they occupy a very special environmental niche in terms of the specific flowers they pollinate and the food plants on which they oviposit. We have recently begun a series of studies on the Oleander hawk moth, Daphnis nerii to ask how these moths identify larval food sources such as Nerium oleander under low light conditions. Our experiments show that these insects deposit their eggs in younger leaves as compared to older leaves. Moreover, they identify the younger leaves using olfactory and visual cues. When we reared hatchlings on old versus new leaves, it was evident that hatchlings that were reared on old leaves showed significantly greater mortality as compared to those that were reared on new leaves, suggesting that some aspect of older leaves (either chemical or mechanical) is not conducive to larval survival. We are currently measuring diverse parameters such a leaf mechanics (‘penetrance’), water content etc. to quantify the mechanical differences between new and old leaves. Together, our results show new leaves are necessary for larval survival and also that female moths are capable of specifically identifying young vs. old leaves using sensory cues. These findings may be of relevance to recent studies on insect migration which show that insect migratory patterns are driven, among other factors, by leaf phenology and patterns of leaf flush.

 

P4. Functional resilience of soil microbial community in a forest fire gradient 

Rahi Soren, Parthiba Basu

University of Calcutta, 35, Ballygunge Circular Road, Kolkata

Email: rahisoren@gmail.com

Keywords: resilience, forest fire, CLPP

Ecological redundancy, a much debated issue in ecology has been defined as the coexistence of more than one species within a precisely allocated guild that perform the same ecological functions has been linked to the rate of resilience in a system (Naeem 2003). Ecological resilience, the restoration capacity of species communities and restoration of key ecosystem functions (KEF) following disturbance has been a thrust area of inquiry in ecological research in recent times.In our study, fire has been taken up as the Ecological Driver influencing the health of the ecosystem. . The field study is taken in a dry deciduous forest, classified by Champion and Seth as Northern Dry Deciduous Forest, which is exposed to recurrent fire in Bankura district of West Bengal.
Objectives:
1. To assess the impact of fire on the structural diversity and maintenance of ecosystem functions of a forest detritus system exposed to recurrent fire.
2. To assess if there is any ecological redundancy in the soil guilds especially microbes of varying fire history and discern any relationship between species redundancy and ecosystem resilience.

Forest patches at different time lag after fire have been identified. In each four 100-square metre identified plots the following will be taken up for study. Soil monoliths (25cm x 25cm x 30cm) are dug in each plot. Soil monoliths are to be sliced at every 10 cm depth and are to be broken open for collection of soil microbes. The microbial functional diversity are determined through CLPP method.

The results are yet to be analyzed.  However, the study would assess the structure and functions of soil decomposer community in a Northern dry deciduous forest ecosystem in Bankura district, West Bengal that comes under recurrent fire, with special reference microbial communities. It is also expected to bring out the possible role of the soil microbes in utilizing the different carbon source in the fire affected forest and contributing the simpler nutrients to other parts of the ecosystem. Such nutrients, in turn, prepare suitable fertile grounds for the luxuriant growth of plants and also become incorporated in the adjoining food chain, thereby accelerating productivity of the ecosystem as a whole

 

P5. Study of zooplankton community dynamics in East Kolkata Wetlands

Sarmistha  Saha

Institute for Environmental Studies and Wetland Management, Kolkata, West Bengal

Email: sarmisthasaha2004@gmail.com

Keywords: zooplankton, management process, wetland

Fishery bheris (ponds) of East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) are unique in the world as city sewage (domestic) is used here by the fishermen as nutrient for fish feed. Zooplankton community dynamics in response to the typical management process is poorly studied in the perturbed system of fishery bheris in EKW. I proposed to study zooplankton community dynamic in parallel to the on going management process of EKW fishing ponds.

In this study, to get a clear view of zooplankton community structure, zooplankton sample to be collected in parallel to the management regime and its load per lt. to be calculated. To comprehend the change in water quality, chemical parameters like pH, temperature, DO, salinity, conductivity, BOD etc to be measured. My proposed methodology involves collection of zooplankton by sieving water using zooplankton net and preserving samples in alcohol. Zooplankton will then be identified following standard literature (Needham and Needham, 1972; Tonapi, 1980 etc) using research microscope. For chemical parameter analyses, water samples should be collected and analyzed using standard methods. The result of zooplankton load calculation may show the presence of a number of pollution tolerant zooplankton species at the first few days of sampling where as sensitive species at the last stage of sampling cycle. The study may show change in chemical parameters showing betterment of water quality along with the management regime.

Study of zooplankton community dynamics may reveal succession process that occurs during community establishment in parallel to the fishery management process within this sewage fed fisheries. More study on zooplankton diversity and community dynamics is needed along with sewage water quality parameters for better understanding of sustainability of these unique bheris as it plays a crucial role in the aquatic food chain.

 

P6. Path integration as a strategy for ant navigation and foraging

Sumedha Agashe, Ramarani Sethy, Sarang Mahajan, Sreekant

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram

Email: sumedha@iisertvm.ac.in

Keywords: path integration, navigation, foraging

It is known that desert ants use path integration to navigate efficiently between foraging sites and their colony. Ants do not actually perform true vector addition but instead use some simple formalism in integrating their path. By this ants can return to their colony by approximately by the shortest path. Path integration is believed to be a startegy that desert ants use because pheromone trails are likely to be very short lived at high temperature. In this project, we studied the common yellow crazy ant, (Anoplolepis gracilipes) and obsevered the movement of ants between artificial food resources we provided and the colony to examine if their navigation suggests that path integration might be used in this species.

The study was carried out in IISER Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. The study was done for 20 days (out of that 4 days path integration and remaining days other factors like food preference,learning). Around 105 ants were counted from the videos gathered. After locating a colony of A. gracilepis, we provided food at a distance of 1 m from the colony. A wooden board covered with graph paper was placed between the colony and the food in order to obtain coordinates for the ants that moved between the feeder and the colony. The path followed by ants between the colony to the feeder and back ot the colony was observed and video recorded at regular time.

While going towards food, almost all the ants followed complex path with lot of loops. But while returning back out of the total 105 ants we observed, almost 64 ants followed the straight line path, while 22 ants chose curved path and remaining 18 ants followed zigzag path.

It was calculated later that around 60.95% ants follow the shortest path (straight) back from the feeder to the colony. In other studies, the straight line path is also considered as path integration as the total foraging path is of the order of 100 m. As compared to that the foraging path in this case was very low, so the curved path is noted separately.

 

P7. Fuelwood, alternative energy at Mankanthpur village, Ramnagar

Biba Jasmine Kaur¹, Sanjay Das¹, Dipankar Ghose2

1 Indraprastha University, Delhi

2 World Wide Fund for Nature, New Delhi

Email: bibajasmine@gmail.com

Keywords: bioenergy, harvest

Natural environment provides bioenergy to humans. In developing countries, about 30% of energy supplies come from fuelwood. Natural environment also supports biological diversity and provides many other ecosystem services. Excessive extraction of bioenergy (e.g., fuelwood) has resulted in ecosystems degradation, leading to biodiversity loss and deterioration of other ecosystem services.

This study was exclusively conducted in the Mankanthpur Village which is located in the Ramnagar block (Terai West Forest Division) of Nainital district in Uttarakhand. The village falls in the Kosi-Baur wildlife corridor that connects the western portion of Corbett to the east in the Nandhor valley. The study examines the introduction of biogas plant and improved chullas for their potential to help reduce local people’s dependence on the forest corridor, i.e. Bailparao-Kotabagh Corridor, part of the major Kosi-Baur corridor.

The corridor is of great importance as it has high wildlife movement. Over 15 villages are located within the Corridor, and many of the residents are dependent on the forest resource such as fuelwood, fodder and NTFPs posing pressure. Data was collected through questionnaire survey and group discussions, particularly with the women of the village. The collection and consumption of fuelwood were key issues researched in this study. Specifically, I examined whether the Biogas users were still involved in fuelwood collection and consumption than the non biogas users. The introduction of biogas is an important issue because they help minimize people’s forest dependence by reducing the amount of fuelwood required to meet their household needs. The study discusses implications for improving the livelihood of biogas users and examines effectiveness of these efforts.

The study found that, the consumption of biogas users has gone down compared to the traditional stove users. Biogas users collect more fuelwood during the rainy season and then store it for future fuelwood consumption. Study concludes that there is significant relationship between biogas users, improved chullas would result in less participation in fuelwood collection, and therefore less pressure on the forest.

 

P8. Mapping degradation in tropical deciduous forests using Remote Sensing

Meghna Agarwala

Columbia University, New York

Email: ma2902@columbia.edu

Keywords: Remote sensing, degradation, Kanha        

Remote sensing tools have been used to map deforestation and clear cutting in forests, but there has been less work on mapping changes in forest structure related to human activities, such as removal of trees and branches for fuelwood, reduction of understory due to livestock grazing, or increase in understory due to weed infestation. This reduction in forest biomass due to human activities may be considered degradation, and its quantification is important for the REDD initiative of the UNFCCC, which aims to provide carbon credits for avoided degradation. Most research on mapping forest degradation, such as selective removal of trees, has occurred in tropical evergreen forests, and these remote sensing techniques have become the basis of a forest monitoring system in the Amazon. Deciduous and semi-deciduous forests have been less studied, even as they comprise 17% of natural tropical forests and are the third most common forest type. This research project maps forest structure and loss of biomass in heterogeneous, open canopy forests in Central India where local populations intensively use the forests for livelihood needs.

Seventy six 1-km long transects from December 2009 to July 2010 measured tree density and understory cover every 100 meters. LANDSAT images from December 2009 and March 2010 were spectrally unmixed (Asner et al., 2005). Least AIC scores in a Generalized Linear Model (Burnham and Anderson, 2002) were used to select the best model predicting tree density and understory. Spectral mixture analysis may be able to distinguish two important aspects of degradation: thinning of canopy cover; and removal of understory. It performs better in estimating understory cover than NDVI. Results may be further improved by incorporating measurements of spatial heterogeneity

 

P9. Pollination biology of Cissus vitiginea L. (Vitaceae)

P Hareesh Chandra, K Venkata Ramana, Jacob Solomon Raju

Andhra university, Vishakhapatnam

Email: hareeshchandu@gmail.com

Keywords: butterflies, interaction

Cissus vitiginea is a climbing shrub with simple and stout tendrils. It is deciduous during summer and produces new leaves following the first monsoon showers in late May/June. The leaves are simple, broadly cordate, lobed, pubescent, dentate and acuminate. The flowering occurs during late June-late July at population level but an individual shrub flowers for about a month only. The flowers were visited during day time exclusively by butterflies. The butterflies included 9 species representing Papilionidae, Pieridae and Nymphalidae. Nectar is produced in traces by an annual disc present at the flower base and partly fused with the petals, stamens and ovary. The butterflies were found to access the nectar with great ease due to exposure of nectar in cup-shaped flowers. The butterflies tended to move frequently between clusters of flowers on the same plant and on different plants; this inter-plant nectar feeding activity was considered to promoting cross-pollination. The plant is exclusively psychophilous.

The study showed that Papilionids and then Pierids play an important role in the pollination of C. vitiginea. The fruit growth and development begins immediately after pollination and fertilization. Fruit is a globose fleshy indehiscent berry bearing 1-4 dark purple to black ellipsoid seeds. The fruits mature within a month and detach from the fruit subsequently. Causal observations indicated that sunbirds feed on the fleshy pulp of the fruit; this feeding may contribute to seed dispersal to some extent. The butterflies collect nectar throughout the day but their foraging activity pattern is directly related to the standing nectar crop from the morning to evening.  Lycaenid and Hesperiid butterflies, and also other insects occur in the habitat but all of them do not visit the flowers.

 

P10. Restoring pasture commons: An experiment in central India

Akshita Misra, Suresh Babu

Ambedkar University, New Delhi

Email: tanudelhi89@gmail.com

Keywords: restoration, commons

The importance of rural common property resources (CPRs) as institutional arrangements created for assisting adaptation to harsh and stressful environments is long accepted. However despite the persistence of the stressors which necessitated these resources, CPRs have witnessed a rapid decline which has had an adverse impact on the communities dependent upon them. Their decline has been attributed to increased population pressure, weak institutions and fragility of certain low productivity ecosystems.

This study aims to assess the feasibility and develop a restoration plan for three degraded pasturelands owned collectively by 27 households in the Paira village, Madhya Pradesh with the twin objectives of fulfilling the community’s needs while reducing the pressure on the surrounding forest areas. Standard ecological sampling techniques would be employed to understand present conditions of the landscapes as well as establish the conditions of reference sites. Biological inputs for restoration would involve grasses, legume species closely resembling the successional trajectories common to this landscape. The needs of the community from the pastureland would be identified by questionnaires.

 

P11. Implementation of modified SEAV for identification of bird species through calls     

Mahesh Nandwana1, Chetana B. Purushotham2, V.V. Robin2, Nitin Chandrachoodan3, Anil Prabakhar3

1 National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur

2 National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

3 Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai

Email: mahesh.nandwana@gmail.com

Keywords: bioacoustics, method

An assessment of biodiversity is often difficult with traditional methods since they are either labour or time intensive. We propose to build an automated audio monitoring system for identification of bird species based on songs and calls recorded from the wild. Such methods can then be used to estimate diversity of birds in an area. In the first stage of this project, we proposed to build an algorithm that can effectively separate and identify the songs of two bird species Magpie RobinCopsychus saularis and White-bellied Shortwing Brachypteryx albiventris. The data required was taken from the recordings done in the forests of different parts of Western Ghats, India.

SEAV technique of bird call identification has been explored. The implementation does not require complicated calculations and can be easily implemented using any low end processor. In order to make the method more efficient and well suited for real time implementation, the algorithm has been modified in various aspects. The approach has been normalized for detection of two particular bird species

The algorithm was implemented in MATLAB software and the results were encouraging. The accuracy of the proposed algorithm was found to be nearly 88% for White-bellied Shortwing species and 72% for Magpie Robin species, this resulting overall accuracy of 80%.

Modified SEAV implementation on real time field recorded data was found to be pretty accurate. The overall accuracy of the system was around 80% which is pretty encouraging, and shows the potential of modified SEAV over the conventional methods for bird call identification. Further extensions of this work involve development of bird call identification software, iOS or Android application, hardware implementation and extension to more species.

 

P12. Environmental issues and dairy farming practices in lower Dibang valley

Puspa Komor1, Jayashree Borah2

1 Gauhati University, Guwahati

2 Cotton College, Guwahati

Email: puspakomor03@gmail.com

Keywords: farming, pollution

Though there has been a rapid proliferation in studies about the environmental aspects of Dairy farming, the Indigenous Knowledge System of dairy farming practice by the Nepali Community in the terrai region of the Eastern Himalayas, Lower Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh has not yet been covered. Relative contribution to environmental damage and improvement by the dairy farm units has been stressed but the level of concern of the environmental issues varies spatially considerably. The present study attempts in understanding the environmental underpinnings in this traditional system of Dairy farming practices and its relative importance at the farm level.  The study is exploratory by nature. Basic tools and techniques used are focused group discussion, Participatory Rural Appraisal exercises & field observations. GPS transects were conducted. The pattern of spatial variability and related actions reflecting the environmental issues of the farmed environment were assessed by maps, imageries and statistical analysis

Twenty-two dairy farm units were surveyed (10 buffalo farms and 12 cow dairy farm units); the cost benefit ratio of these farms amounts to 1:3.92 (cow/day) and 1:8.37 (buffalo/day) in an economic outlook. Owing to the vast availability of the water (annual precipitation and the hydrological processes, viz., Dibang, Kundil etc), land resources (per capita availability of land is 7,730 hectares) and the total area under permanent pasture (254.53 hactares) the relative effect of the dairy units with the traditional management practice the dairy farm units level is found out to be very low.

 

P13. Diet composition and habitat preferences of frugivorous pigeons at Jeypore RF.

Oinam Sunanda Devi, Prasanta Kumar Saikia

Gauhati University, Guwahati, Assam

Email: sunan_o@rediffmail.com

Keywords: Jeypore, Frugivorous Pigeon, Diet, Habitat

Fruit eating pigeons are important frugivorous bird groups of tropical forests performing valuable services in seed dispersal and forest regeneration and in some cases are the only vector by which seeds of certain tree species are dispersed. As a consequence, local declines in frugivorous columbid populations may have long-term detrimental effects for regeneration of tropical forest ecosystems. Data on their ecological and biological aspects is deficient as very few studies were conducted on the Columbidae group as a whole. In India, only few studies are conducted on the Columbidae family (Ali & Ripley, 1987).  Birdlife International (2010) placed most species of the family under least concern category owing to its wide distribution and abundance but its eco-biological data is deficient. Therefore, the present study was conducted to provide information regarding the diet composition and habitat preferences of selected fruit eating pigeons in a tropical forest of eastern Assam.

Field surveys were conducted at Jeypore Reserve Forest for two years (2008-2009). The surveys followed lines transect and point count methods (Bibby et al.1992). Feeding guilds were classified as per direct observations and available literatures (Ali & Ripley 1987; Grimett et al. 2000). Data were analyzed using specific statistical software.

A total of 63 frugivorous birds were recorded including 15 Columbidae species, of which 9 were fruit eating pigeons. Twenty-eight fruiting trees belonging to 15 families were recorded as the main diet composition of the pigeons during non-breeding season & 21 species belonging to 9 families during the breeding season including 9 fig species. Pigeon diversity is high at undisturbed habitat rather than moderately disturbed and disturbed habitats. But the preferences of forest habitats and canopy levels differ in different species. Logging activities of fruiting and nesting trees besides hunting are the main threats for these forest dwelling species.

 

P14. Phytosociology of Sapium sebiferum an invasive species in HP, western Himalaya

Vikrant  Jaryan1,Sanjay K. Uniyal1, R. D.  Singh1, R. C. Gupta2

1CSIR, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology Palampur-176 061

2Department of Botany, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab

Email: vikrantjaryan@gmail.com

Keywords: invasives, exotic, phytosociology.

Plant invasion studies are now of global concern and second only threat to habitat degradation. Limited studies on this aspect from Himalaya are major bottleneck in the conservation and management of bioresources. Sapium sebiferum, has caused severe ecological damages in many parts of the globe, to an extent that a tallow tree replacement programme had to be initiated. Now,Sapium can be seen profusely growing in the sub-Himalayan tracts, which has serious conservation implications. Keeping this view, we studied the distribution pattern and phytosociology of Sapium a highly invasive species in Himachal Pradesh (HP).

Systematic surveys were conducted to different areas of HP. Based on field surveys and reported distribution limit of S. sebiferum till 1800 m asl, surveys were confined to areas below 2000 m asl. Total 128 GPS points were identified and recorded using global positioning system (GPS).  Quadrats of 10 x 10 m were used (n=10) for sampling the trees, 5 x 5 m for shrubs and 1 x 1 m for herbs.

The study revealed presence of natural populations of Sapium in five districts, namely Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, Solan and Sirmaur of HP. The plant was observed growing from 574 to 1632 m asl. On these 15 locations with its gregarious patches, mean density of S. sebiferum was 9.90 ± 3.6/100 m2 while the species richness ranged from 31 to 53 and the diversity from 2.20 to 3.03. 225 flowering plant species associated with it, in which 129 were herbs, 39 shrubs, 48 trees, 2 bamboos and 7 climbers/lianas. Interestingly of all 225 flowering plant species, 76 were exotics (30%). We observed the plant over a wide altitudinal gradient and almost on all slope and aspects, thereby indicating its wider ecological amplitude. Recognizing the importance, trans-disciplinary studies in this field are desired.

 

P15. Asiatic Black Bear conservation in NE India: a case study of orphaned cubs

Arindam Pachoni1, Liss Sebastian2, NVK Ashraf3, Prashanth Boro4

1College of Veterinary Science, Guwahati

2Sebastian Rainforest Research Institute, Jorhat, Assam

3Wildlife Trust of India, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh

4Veterinary Surgeon, Bokakhat

Email: arindam.pachoni@gmail.com

Keywords: Asiatic Black Bear, orphancy, NE india      

In a scenario where no valid information is available on the Asiatic Black Bear from North East India, we made an attempt to study the causes of displacement of bear cubs, a common phenomenon from various parts of NE India reported for the last ten years. The main objective of the study was to gather information on the displacement causes of Asiatic Black Bear, a less noticed species, from North East India where still hunting practices exists.

This study was a compilation of ten years of information, from the efforts of the Centre for Bear Rehabilitation and conservation, Arunachal Pradesh. After analysis, it was found that out of the 34 cases in North East India, male -female ratio was 1:1. There is an increase in the trend in displacement of cubs from 2002 to 2011. The number of orphaned bear cubs was high in 2007 compared to other years. The maximum displacement of cubs in NE is due to parent killing and this is followed by cases of hunting /poaching / trade attempts and unknown reasons respectively.

There could be cases missed out in the earlier periods due to remoteness of region. Therefore, the given increasing trend is subject to change. These results could explain the population decline and lack of information on black bear in North East India. It is time for the intervention of research and conservation efforts, with people’s participation in NE India.

 

14th DECEMBER

P16. Tea ecosystem and incidence of tea mosquito bug, Helopeltis theivora: A study in inorganic vs organic tea plantations P17.

Kaustubh Rakshit, Amar Jyothi Daurah, Mantu Bhuyan, PR Bhattacharyya

Medicinal, Aromatic and Economic Plant Division, CSIR-North East Institute of Science and Technology, Jorhat 785006, Assam, India

Email: kaustubhrakshit@gmail.com    

Keywords: agriculture, pest,organic    

Tea is grown in porous, well-drained, acidic soils(pH3.3-6.0); living through temperature from -12°C-40°C, annual rainfall from 938-6000mm, radiation intensity from 0.3-0.8 calcm-2min-1 and relative humidity 30%-90% in diverse agro-climatic zones in the world. Tea ecosystem is evergreen, long-lived, man-made single species forest ecosystem, which provides a relatively steady microclimate and food supply for insect pest and their natural enemies. Helopeltis theivora have become the greatest enemies of tea planters in the world. Both nymphs and adults suck cell sap from tender stems, young leaves and buds,which may result in heavy crop loss.

Comprehensive surveys have been conducted in representative tea plantations of different agro-climatic zones of north east India for understanding the bio-ecology of one of the major tea pests,tea mosquito bug, Helopeltis theivora Waterhouse (Hemiptera: Miridae), during 2011. During the survey, both organic and inorganic tea plantations were considered for recording the data of the pest. Comparison was made in terms of cost of the pest management, shed tree diversity and tea clone diversity in both types of plantations. The abundance of H. theivora was found to be lower in organic plantation, (0-2 no.per100 tea bushes) and in inorganic plantations the population of the pest was recorded to be 2-41 no.per100 tea bushes. It was found that the cost of pest management in organic plantations was much lower i.e. Rs. 2000/ha/yr and in inorganic plantation it was around Rs. 4500/ha/yr. Further study revealed that organic tea plantations possessed highest shed tree diversity i.e.1.25 no. shed tree species/ha and tea clone diversity 7.0 no. clone/ha in comparison to inorganic plantation 0.0010 no. shed tree species/ha and 0.0013 no. clone/ha. From this preliminary study it can be concluded that organic tea plantation with high shed tree and tea clone diversity may be viable option for pesticide free commercial tea production.

 

P17. Ecology of Nepenthes khasiana in South Garo Hills

Anupriya Karippadath

M.E.S. Babasaheb Garware College, Pune, Maharashtra

Email: star.anu@gmail.com

Keywords: Nepenthes khasiana, CPP, inquilines

Nepenthes khasiana is a pitcher plant endemic to the state of Meghalaya in India. It falls within the Indo-Burma hotspot, and it is the only carnivorous pitcher plant native to India. Populations of the plant are found scattered across pockets in the hill ranges of Meghalaya (Flora of Meghalaya). Though it is a threatened species (CITES), it’s exact range and population is not yet known. The exact status of the plant and the threats to it are also not quantified. Local efforts to conserve this carnivorous plant are in progress in the form of Community Conservation Reserves and a Pitcher Plant Sanctuary has also been demarcated by the Government. However, without adequate supporting information about the plant itself, it is impossible to build a comprehensive strategy focused on conserving this unique species.

This is the first study on the ecology of Nepenthes khasiana. The study includes broadly two parts. The first is concerned with variations across the study sites in the density of plant growth and corresponding variation in habitat features like soil type, water availability, light intensity etc. The second part of the study is focused on the inquiline community (enclosed fauna) of N. khasiana and its variations corresponding with varying characteristics of the pitcher traps.

 

P18. A study on species specificity of ant pheromone trails in navigation

Ritwika V.P.S., Daniel Sylvinson M.R., Ramasubramonian D., Kavyasree P R

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram

Email: ritwikavps@iisertvm.ac.in

Keywords: behavior, navigation, ants, pheromones

Under natural conditions, numerous ant colonies are found in any given area resulting in a number of pheromone trails of different species. The composition of the pheromone trails in a given area can be similar or dissimilar to each other, and are influenced by factors such as phylogeny, ecology and behaviour. Here, we examine the species specificity of the pheromone trails of two species, A. gracilipes and P. longicornis, individuals of which were collected from the CET campus, Trivandrum (Kerala, India). Specifically, using lab experiments conducted within a T-maze, we asked the question how intraspecific and interspecific trails of these two study species influence decision-making while foraging.

We used an acrylic t-maze in which ants are forced to choose to move on to one of the arms at the bifurcation. By allowing test ants of each species to move in the experimental set-up, we examined whether species specificity of pheromone trails exist for both species.We verified our results by preparing a crude extract and eluted pheromone samples of both species and compared them using NMR and GC-MS.

Our results suggest that pheromone trail specificity does not exist for both species. These results were strengthened by repeating the experiments using the crude extract preparations of both species. A comparison of the results of NMR and GC-MS of the crude extract and the eluted pheromones revealed that they were similar for both species, thus providing a chemical basis for the lack of specificity that we observed. The two species belonged to the same taxon at the pre-genus level. This might explain the lack of specificity due to phylogenetic constraints. In addition, we observed that P. longicornis introduced into a colony of A. gracilipes was chased away by soldier ants in the colony suggesting that there does appear to be recognition mechanisms despite the similarity of their pheromone trails. Follow-up studies with larger sample sizes and controls for any directional and orientation effects are planned.

 

P19. Effects of coloration on predation risk in bumblebees

Allwin Mabes Raj

The American College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Email: allwinmabesraj@gmail.com

Keywords: Bombus terrestris, mimicry rings

It is already a surveyed fact that sympatric bumblebee species form mimicry rings to gain from the studied predator avoidance. Similarly we aimed to introduce some imported non-native bumblebees to the local bumblebees group. The imported bumblebees have differently colored coats. We hoped to find out whether this change in the coat colour has some effect on the predators(which are unfamiliar with color change). To test whether populations of non-native bumblebees suffer higher worker loss rates during foraging, we conducted transplant experiments in Southern Madurai under TPK hills. The loss rates of foraging workers of four Bombus terrestris populations and Bombus terrestris dalmatinus were compared.

The hypothesis that foragers from the non-native bumblebee populations, which differ in coloration from the local native population, would suffer higher predation risk was not upheld. This indicates that it is affected by factors other than the familiarity of local predators with aposematic colour patterns.

The colonies were housed in the field in specially designed bipartite plywood nest boxes. All workers in each colony were identified and noted. During each observation period, all marked bees were allowed to leave and enter the nest at will; the departure and arrival time for each bee was recorded. The mass of all workers was measured on each departure from and arrival to the nest.

It was found that the white tip of the abdomen in all populations reflects UV light strongly, except the Corsican B. t. xanthopus, whose tail is orange-red and UV absorbing. The receptor signals in an insectivorous bird’s eye of the black, yellow and white body parts were indistinguishable between populations. In our study, native populations did not consistently have the lowest loss rates. On the contrary, in Sardinia, the native population actually had the highest losses. This suggests that a pattern of body coloration unfamiliar to local predators did not appear to expose bumblebees to a higher predation risk at the three sites studied here. One possibility is that it is not the familiarity of local predators with local aposematic patterns that determines predation risk but overall colour.

 

P20. Predation tactics used by King cobra

Dhiraj Bhaisare1, Romulus Whitaker1, Matt Goode2  

1Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, Karnataka, 2University of Arizona, US

Email: dhiraj.arrs@gmail.com

Keywords: King cobra, diving, Apnea, prey handling

The study was a part of King cobra radio-telemetry project held at Agumbe Rainforest Research Station during March 2008 to August 2011. The main aim of the study was to conserve this charismatic snake which plays role of apex predator, through studying it’s natural history unknown till the time. The most significant findings were documenting site fidelity in king cobras and the negative effects of translocation. Apart from documenting natural history which will help in it’s conservation, we also recorded many interesting facets of King cobra behaviour for the first time through the project like cannibalism, diving and scavenging etc. Romulus Whitaker, a well known herpetologist of India and Matt Goode, Professor in University of Arizona, USA who is an telemetry expert; were the principal investigators and 5 adult individuals (1 female, 4 males) were observed during the study period for varying period.
Research Question: Does the prey handling of King cobra varies depending on species and size of the prey? What tactics do King cobras use while predating venomous snakes? Temperature-sensitive radio transmitters (Holohil Systems, Model AI-2T) were implanted in the coelomic cavity of the snakes. Little is known about aquatic predation and diving in terrestrial elapids.

During the study we have reported free-ranging king cobras diving while foraging and using streams to hunt. We observed total 49 feeding instances and found that the prey handling varies depending on species and size of the prey. While hunting venomous snakes, King cobras always prefer to grab the head/neck whilst feeding on non-venomous snakes they go for any body part. In several instances we observed that they use available surface water opportunistically to drown their prey to hasten death through asphyxiation which might be aided by the lungs getting filled with water and along with effect of venom, allowing quick death of prey.

 

P21. Algae- promising future biofuel: a review

Dipti Yadav, Lepakshi Barbora, Pankaj Kalita, Utsab Guharoy, Pinakeshwar Mahanta

Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati

Email: dipti_ydv@iitg.ernet.in

Keywords: biofuel, energy, algae

Increased concern for the security of oil supply and the negative impact of fossil fuels on the environment, particularly greenhouse gas emissions, has put pressure on society to find renewable alternatives. Recent fuel-development strategies to reduce oil dependency, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and utilize domestic resources have generated interest in the search for alternative sources of fuel supplies. Algae have recently received lots of attention as a new biomass resource for the production of renewable energy. Some of the main characteristics  which set algae apart from the other biomass are that algae have high biomass yield per unit of light and area, can have high starch and oil content do not required agricultural land, fresh water is not essential and nutrient can be supplied by wastewater and CO2 by combustion gas. This paper reviews the current status of algae use for biofuel production and as feedstock for biogas production, including their cultivation, harvesting and processing.

 

P22. Pollinator Density Assessment and Flower Visitation Rate

Jenner Prince

The American College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Email: invinciblejenner@gmail.com

Keywords: pollination, interaction, honeybees           

Insects are mostly viewed in the negative light by many but major percentage of insects play the role of pollinators for many floras. Both managed and under-managed areas (containing both natural and cultivated) essentially need the help of pollinators for their reproduction. One-third of human food crops need pollination by insects due to their floral morphology and environmental conditions. Pollinators’ visitation to flowers depends on several factors. So studying, surveying, protecting and preserving their pollination role is mandatory. But the misuse of insecticides and pesticides paves way for the destruction of their habitats which leads to a global pollinator decline.

In this study we surveyed the abundance and the flower visitation rate of different pollinators to some ever-green shrubs and some cultivated food crops present in and around rural Madurai. The study site was divided into grids for easy orientation and calculation. The composition and the abundance of Pollinators were assessed by conducting counts on floral visitors. All the pollinators within the 5m radius of the selected shrub is photographed and identified. The sampling was conducted in august during which the flowering rate was at its peak. The sampling was conducted during 6:00am to 8:00 am in the morning and 5:00pm to 7:00pm in the evening.

The result supports the global pollinator decline ratio. Without pollinators earth will not be herself.The Honey bee (Apis mellifera) was the most abundant and dominant pollinator. The highest flower visitation rate was shown by Anthophora quadrifasciata (Anthophoridae; 29.6 flowers/min),Macroglossum stellatarum (Sphingidae; 23.6 flowers/min), Bornbus pascuorum (Apidae; 21.4 flowers/min) and Anthophora ochroIeuca (Anthophoridae; 20.3flowers/rain). The differences in the flower visitation rate is due to Flight time(FT) and handling time (HT). Hymenoptera deposited more pollen and more often than Lepidoptera or Diptera.

 

P23. Sacred groves of Manipur: threats and conservation status

Priya Atri, Bobbymoore Konsam, Mary Thangjam, Rajkumari Khrideshori

North Centre for Environmental Education and Research, Imphal-795001, Manipur

Email: atri.priya@gmail.com

Keywords:  Sacred groves, ethnobotany, pollution, forest fragmentation, deforestation, ecological balance

Manipur, one of the seven states of northeast India is one of the most biodiversity rich state in the country. The state harbours large number of endemic species. Since time immemorial, different ethnic communities have been conserving the biodiversity of the state with the belief that their deities/ancestral souls reside in them and protect them from different calamities. Different communities have their own traditions and rituals for conserving forests and biodiversity. The sacred groves are century old preserved forests which act as carbon sink and helps in mitigation climate change impacts. There are 365 sacred groves besides many community forests in the states.

The Bishnupur District lies in the state Manipur and is dominated by Meitei community, which is the dominant community in the Valley of Manipur. Meitei practice nature worship and ancestor worship (Singh, K.J, 2011). The sacred groves are locally known as Umanglai and the Meitie community ensures to maintain a harmonious relation with nature.

Primary data was collected via the extensive interviews with Umanglai committees and local people on the change in floristic diversity and ecosystem of the sacred groves, forest fragmentation in last 50 years. Secondary data was collected through review of literature and publications of eminent researchers.

After the extensive on field studies it was found that sacred groves in Bishnupur district of Manipur are degrading due to following factors:
1 Rapid urbanization, modern agricultural practices and illegal collection of plants.
2 Overuse of plastic which has choked the ponds within sacred grove and mismanaged pilgrim visits.
3 Loss of ethnic belief and globalization
4 Pollution which has taken a toll on healthy sustenance of living organisms of the sacred grove

The sacred groves of Bishnupur District harbour large number of ethnobotanically important plants. Rare and endangered tree species Xylosma longifolia, a sacred tree locally known as Yurei, was observed in the Channing Lairembi sacred grove.

 

P24. Analytical instruments for in-situ aquatic ecological investigation

Somnath Chanda, Chandan Mahanta

Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati

Email: chanda2@gmail.com

Keywords: monitoring, aquatic

The concept of mobile labs for better quality control of the collected samples and subsequently advantage of analyzing it on spot is gaining consideration these days. With increasing ecological degradation and safety concerns, the area of environmental monitoring has a larger horizon. The number and type of samples to be analyzed has multiplied. Recent trend of availability of compact & automated instruments has given environmental professionals an opportunity to analyze their samples outside the lab setups, directly on spot of sample collected. The state of Assam with vast wetland ecosystem is seriously affected by anthropogenic activities. Newer profile of pollutants is reported and it demands for the development of novel and sophisticated techniques to analyze these pollutants. For example, hyphenating techniques is a new trend to analyze these pollutants.

With tremendous research and development newer molecules are available at the service of mankind. But releasing these molecules to environment has added these molecules to new profile of pollutants. This, in turn has affected the ecosystem by emergence of newer microbes posing serious threat to human health. To address these issues new methods for analyzing these molecules have to be identified/ dMany of these substances are of anthropogenic origin, originating from chemicals used in industrial process and from consumer use e.g. surfactants, drugs and pharmaceuticals and compounds excreted by the human body e.g. hormones. These compounds have adverse biological effects on wildlife due to their biological activity; they are continually introduced into the environment, so even if they degrade, more are being continually added.

Main features of latest developments in analytical Instruments:
(1) Compactness
(2) Instant analysis
(3) User friendly instruments
(4) Manipulation proof
(5) Automation
(6) Hyphenating techniques
(7) Utilization of software

Latest instruments are better user friendly and easy to use and can provide the readings for minimum qualified/ trained personal

 

P25. Geospatial approach for vegetation type mapping in Lahaul and Spiti, India

Kanchan Puri, Gopala Areendran, Krishna Raj, Archana Chatterjee, Akshaya Mane

WWF- INDIA, Lodi Estate, New Delhi-110003

Email: genetics_1407@yahoo.co.in

Keywords: Trans-himalayas, LULC, GIS

Vegetation pattern of Himachal Pradesh varies from dry scrub at lower altitudes to alpine meadows at higher altitudes. In this study, remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) technology has been used for mapping the vegetation types in the Lahaul & Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh as it is physically challenging to gain such information due to tough terrain and restricted mobility. The orthorectified satellite data of Landsat (MSS, TM & ETM) for the years 1979, 1989 and 2000 were used to prepare the Land use land cover (LULC) map and IRS LISS-III data (October and November 2010) for vegetation cover-type map using the supervised classification. The maps from this study can be used to assess the resource availability and land use land cover (LULC) dynamics in these areas. Also vegetation type map can be used as a prime input for further landscape ecological analysis.

 

P26. Seasonal Introduction of various species of butterflies in North-East Madurai

Aasai Pandi, Allwin Mabes Raj, Prince Jenner

The American College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Email: aasaidhevan@gmail.com

Keywords: biodiversity survey, seasonality

An accurate data on the prevalence and seasonal diversity of various species of butterflies in the southern Tamil Nadu is currently unavailable. In this study we aimed to provide this data by surveying the seasonal welcoming of various species of butterflies in North-East Madurai.

We used the Shannon weaver index to calculate the richness component and the species diversity during the autumn season. The Shannon weaver index reveals the rich diversity ratio.  The sampling site was divided into grids and the activity was noted through four month period (Sep-Dec). The butterfly activity was at its peak during the time period of 8:00 am to 11:00 am. The species were photographed and identified.

We collected an average of 36 species belonging mainly to five families. The commonest species are the Common mormon, Lemon emigrant, Small grass yellow and Glassy blue tiger. A restricted number of Lycaenidae were noted. The family Hesperidae was seen only in 6 grid sites. Papilionidae and Pieridae were seen throughout the sampling period. Nymphalidae is the dominant family in our study with a total of 13 species of butterflies in all the sites.

Analysis suggests that more no. of butterflies are associated with large open grassy area and the fauna. In the family Nymphalidae, many members are Polyphagous. In Madurai the butterflies feed on the nectar for their nutritional balance from mainly Tridax sps, Hibiscus sps and common cheese marigolds.

 

P27. Narcondam Hornbill and its conservation: a review

Akshay Mane, Shirish Manchi

Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History, Coimbatore

Email: akshayamane@gmail.com

Keywords: population trend, species conservation

Narcondam Hornbill (Rhyticeros narcondami)is endemic to the Narcondam Island, a dormant volcano, of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with an area of about 6.82 km2. As the IUCN Red-list species, with highly restricted range, is considered to be one of the most priority avian species in the world. It is also discussed in the National Wildlife Board for immediate conservation efforts. As per the literature availabl, population trend of the species seems to be confusing because of the estimations made in past by different researchers between 1905 and 2003. Also various threats like introduction of goats, following deputation of police personals in 1976 on Narcondam Island, poaching and firewood collection, to the species and its habitat were recorded. The proposed study is to estimate the population, understand the population trend and habitat requirement of the species and also formulate the strategies towards conservation of the species and its habitat. Open width line transect for population, focal nest sampling and focal animal sampling method for habitat requirements and quadrat method for vegetation sampling will be used after gridding (1ha2 grid size) the whole island. The data will be analyzed using the statistical tools like SPSS, Q- GIS will also be used for generating habitat suitability model of the species.   In previous short studies, population of the Narcondam island was estimated 365, 432 and 365 individuals respectively during 1999, 2002 and 2003. Sankaran (1999) mentioned that the population trend of the species is decreasing; Vivek and Vijayan (2003) mentioned that its not growing and Yayha (2002) mentioned it stable. Being the longest study about the species the proposed study should be able to estimate the population trend of the Narcondam Hornbill. Yahya, 2002 documented presence of small groups of the feral goats near campsite, causing a problem to the forest regeneration. Our attempt to study the species and its habitat can help us to understand current scenario of population and threats to formulate the strategies towards conservation of the species and its habitat.

 

P28. Environmental impacts of Coal Mining in India 

Bindu Kiranmayee Malla

Acharya N.G.Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad

Email: binducabm@gmail.com

Keywords: mining, pollution

Coal is the only natural resource and fossil fuel available in abundance in India. The major environmental challenges encountering the coal industry are impacts  of mine fires, deterioration of water table and quality of ground and surface water, fly ash generation,noice and vibrations. Coal mining drastically alters physical, chemical and biological nature of the mined area. Coal plays the unique role of meeting the demand for a secure energy supply. It is most abundant and economical than any other fossil fuels. Coal can be used for both power generations and industrial applications. However, coal has a crucial role in meeting current needs and it is a resource to meet future goals through the enhancement of knowledge and technology. The challenge is to apply the right technology of coal mining in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way.

My study on environmental impacts of coal mining in India was carried out with the following objectives which are mentioned below:-
Advantages and disadvantages of coal mining with respect to present environmental and social scenario.
Descriptive study of environmental issues.

Analysing the environmental conditions of various coal fields by interacting with people of different regions working at coal fields, residing near coal fields, based on news paper articles and literature.

Discussion includes advantages and disadvantages of coal mining, environmental issues like impact on air, water, land qualities, impact of noise vibrations from mining and environmental management practices for the above issues.

 

P29. Living together: mitigating snake-human conflict        

Kankana Biswas

Asutosh College, Kolkata

Email: kankana.biswas@yahoo.com

Keywords: human-wildlife conflict, Lotka-voltera model          

The status of snakes in human dominated landscape is in definite peril due to their unprecedented extrication. One of the cardinal causes of the same is their undesirable association with superstitions and taboos in religious and social contexts along with ‘fear’ and ‘ignorance’. A thorough study on the population trend of snakes in both wild and human-dominated landscape is missing. In the absence of any baseline data, based on the number of ‘snake -rescue calls’ received and record of snake bites, it can be speculated that in last 10-15 years the scenario has undergone a drastic change.

Based on Lotka-Voltera’s mathematical model on prey- predator relations it can easily be concluded that the increase in rodent population is a direct indicator of the decrease in snake number and there exists anecdotal reports of the same from the city of Kolkata. In this study a questionnaire survey is undertaken to investigate the perception of human towards this highly misunderstood species and why are they being extricated in such a large number. This is in an attempt to mitigate snake-human conflict.

Suburbs chosen in kolkata for survey and potential risk zones were identified.Regions were classified as urban, semi-urban, semi rural, rural etc. Identified regions were visited and a random set of people  were pursued to fill a questionnaire based designed to enquire possible causes of ophiophobia if any, frivolous snake-slaughter if any. Various comparative analysis were performed

The survey is in progress and hence the results are being analysed. The survey results can be used to draw a probable inference about the  perception of rural and city inhabitants towards snakes .Results are based on (1)public survey which is the best known way to collect any data on snakes.(2)random sampling is done as people from different background had participated in it. The study also provides probable outcomes in brief that might occur due to the increased or decreased density of snake population in either massive or small amount.

Through the proposed survey plan, I hope to unearth probable causes behind the general animosity towards snakes and thus attempt to mitigate the intense conflict existing.

P30. Nutritional stress in trapped populations of western hoolock gibbon 

Mitrajit Deb¹, Shubhadeep Roychoudhury¹², Indu Sharma¹, Sudip Choudhury¹, Parimal C. Bhattacharjee²

¹ Assam University, Silchar, Assam

² Wildlife Trust of India, Guwahati, Assam

Email: mitrajit.deb.aus@gmail.com

Keywords: captivity, stress, primates

Western hoolock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock) is one of the most 25 endangered primates in the world with less information on its distribution ranges particularly in Southern Assam or Barak Valley, India. The species is often found in various tea estates of Barak Valley as the clearing of virgin forests for tea garden plantations created forest fragments trapping these non-human primates. The aspects of nutritional stress on these gibbons have been less studied as compared to the effects of habitat destruction and forest fragmentation. Here the work plan is proposed to study its distribution and ill- effects of nutritional stress in Barak Valley, Assam. Also, prevalence of gastro-intestinal parasites due to poor nutrition and increased human contact will be studied.

All the reserve forests, wildlife sanctuary and suspected and known tea estates with hoolock gibbon population will be surveyed. During survey’s gibbon’s behaviour, amount of food supply in the forest, any change in diet pattern and perceived threats will be recorded. Fresh and dry faecal samples will be collected, brought to laboratory for parasitic study.

During our preliminary field studies, hoolock gibbons were observed in Rosekandy Tea Estate, Cachar District of Barak Valley. The gibbons have been recorded to feed extensively on leaves thereby shifting from a known frugivorous diet to a folivorous diet.

The proposed study will reveal many unknown ill- effects of nutritional stress in hoolock gibbon,  change in diet pattern in hoolock gibbons over the years due to change in food supply and perceived threats. Study may also lead to a better understanding in gastro- intestinal parasite colonization, growth and fecundity in primates due to improper diet and nutrition. The field studies will also generate information on new locations and distribution ranges of hoolock gibbon in Southern Assam.

 

15TH DECEMBER

P31. Insular biogeography of Nicobar Islands from a bird community perspective

A.P. Zaibin, P. Pramod.

Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History, Coimbatore

Email: zaibinap@gmail.com

Keywords : community ecology, species-area relationship

Objectives of the study were:
1. To examine relationships of species richness and abundance of resident birds of  Nicobars to island area and three different measures of isolation
2. To find out whether inter-island distances and habitat similarities determine the compositional similarity of birds among pairs of islands in Nicobars.

3. To investigate nestedness of birds for the entire Nicobars and for each island subgroup (Car Nicobar, Nancowry & Great Nicobar groups).
4. To examine co-occurrence patterns at species levels under different null models, and to identify idiosyncratic islands and species, and causes of idiosyncracy.
5.To suggest inter-island colonisation patterns from bird species distribution of Nicobar Islands and to understand direction of species movements within the island group

Variables of interest were bird species richness and abundance. Sampling method was variable width point count (0-5, 5-15, 15-30, 30-50 and 50> m) in representative habitats of each island.
17 islands were covered during the study which was carried out during March 2009-Sep 2011.

Here I present the proposal of my work. Data has yet to be entered and analyzed.

 

P32. Examining socioeconomic driver of fuelwood dependence in forest adjacent to villages

Bijita Barman, Aparajita De

Assam university, Silchar, Assam, India

Email: vaantiii9@gmail.com

Keywords: fuelwood, socioeconomic survey

The extraction of biomass in the form of forest products like fuelwood and fodder alters wildlife habitat and constitutes one of the most important threats to forests and wildlife. This study examines the socioeconomic processes that affect fuelwood dependence in two villages, Irongmara and Dorgakona along the boundary of Eco-forest, Assam University, Silchar. Geographically, the area has an altitude of 26 – 27 m above MSL. Dargakona University campus is situated adjacent to the Chatla beel area of Cachar district. The forest type in this part is represented by Tropical Semi Evergreen type. The socioeconomic aspects of fuelwood dependence on the Eco-forest were studied with the specific objective of providing information that is useful in designing conservation initiatives to mitigate the impacts of fuelwood dependence on the Eco-forest. The vegetation around the University campus represents a secondary successional status. The sites exhibit degrees of disturbance.    Dependence was studied both at the level of the household as well as at the level of village by means of questionnaire survey. At the village level, influence of location and economic structure of a village, and at the household level, the role of primary income source, number of family members in a family and area of landholding in influencing various aspects of fuelwood dependence were examined.

No significant difference was found in the amount of fuelwood extraction between the two villages. A very strong relationship was found between the number of family members per family and amount of fuelwood extraction (r=0.46, df= 38, p< 0.01). There is no significant difference in the amount of extraction of fuelwood among the villagers having different occupation in the two villages. No significant relationship was found between the amount of fuelwood extracted and area of land possessed by a family(r=0.19, df= 38, NS). Artocarpus chama was highly preferred by the people as fuelwood having moisture content 86% and ash content 12%.Most of the species of trees collected as fuelwood were having moisture content from 40%-55%.

 

P33. Impacts of wind power on birds and bats: a case study from Kutchch, Gujarat.

Ramesh Kumar, Samsoor Ali, Arun, P.R., Murugesan, M.

Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History, Coimbatore

Email: ramesh.wild@gmail.com

Keywords: bird collision, wind energy

Wind energy is one of the fast growing energy sectors in the world. Wind energy is an important alternative to the burning of fossil fuels in efforts to reduce the production of greenhouse gases, it too has environmental impacts. No study has been done on the impacts of wind power on birds and bats in India. The present study is to Monitoring the impact of Jangi wind power farm (91.8 MW) with special reference to birds and bats in Kutchch district of Gujarat.  The study was initiated in August 2011. Field surveys in the wind farm area were conducted to find out the diversity, population and mortality of birds and bats. A survey was conducted to document the vegetation cover for 10 km radial distance around the study site.  The bird survey was carried out in study site by line transect method. A preliminary survey was made to locate the roost-site of bats in possible trees and buildings in the study site.  Intensive searches for birds / bats carcasses were conducted around 28 turbines during the study period.

The study reveals the occurrence of 118 species of birds belonging to 40 families and 15 orders in this area. The Rosy Starling Sturnus roseus was most abundant species found gregariously in and around the agricultural fields. Among the 118 species, birds such as Lesser Flamingo, Oriental White Ibis, Black-bellied Tern, European Roller, Eurasian Curlew and Painted Stork are included under the IUCN near-threatened Category. No bat roost-site or activity was observed. One severely injured Blue Rock Pigeon Columba livia and an old carcass of Corvus sp. were recorded in the turbine area. According to the information given by security guards of wind turbine, there were around 15 birds collision happened around the 28 wind turbines in the period of 4 months.

 

P34. Diet selection by Capped Langur in Holongapar Gibbon wildlife sanctuary

Uddipana Kalita, Ajith Kumar, Anindya Sinha

National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore

Email: uddi_7@yahoo.co.in

Keywords: nutritional ecology, behavour, primate

The capped langur (Trachypithecus pileatus) is an arboreal folivorous primate which lives in the fragmented forests of Hollongapar Gibbon Wildlife sanctuary in Upper Assam. I propose to study the nutritional ecology of the capped langurs in this sanctuary and study diet selection mediated by different nutritional qualities of the food they eat. I propose to quantitatively assess whether capped langurs actively select for certain food species and their particular parts and to understand what drives this selection. It is expected that such a study on the foraging ecology of this threatened species would majorly contribute to the better management of their last available habitats. The specific objectives are:
1. Identification of the important food plants for the capped langur in the lowland rainforests and comparative evaluation of the species most important for its survival.
2. To find out if there is a sequence of selection on the basis of the chemical composition of the selected plant parts
3. Quantification of the important nutrients and secondary compounds in the selected parts of preferred plant species through chemical analysis to determine their influence on selection.

The following methods would be employed during the study
1. Behavioural observations: scan sampling and focal animal sampling
2. Vegetation and phenology sampling: to quantify resource abundance in the habitat
3. Chemical analysis of food items: to determine the chemical basis of selection

P35. Birds of Burhanpur district

Ashish Kumar Raut    

Fergusson College, Pune

Email: shailesh.690@rediffmail.com

Keywords: survey, species distribution

Burhanpur is a district in central India. Out of it’s total geographical area, 56% (1901 sq. km.) is forest land. Forest includes tropical dry deciduous, moist deciduous and open scrub forest. The avifaunal diversity of Burhanpir district has not been studied in a purposeful scientific manner till now. The large forest area of thjs district and the presence of the critically endangered Forest Owlet which was rediscovered by Pamela Rasmussen and Ben King in 1997 in and around the forest area of Burhanpur, increases the importance of this study.

Our aim is to study the distribution and status of birds and assess threats to their survival in Burhanpur district, and to also prepare a checklist of birds found in Burhanpur district.We selected three areas rich in forest wealth, namely Asirgarh, Khaknar forest range and Jambupani, for our field visits. We also visited the bank of Tapti. We used visual scanning method with Olympus binocular of ’10*21′ magnification. We also used call identification method in fields with the help of a CD (piyu) containing songs of birds. When we analyzed the data obtained during our three months survey in Asirgarh, Burhanpur and Khaknar forest range, it can be easily established that the rich flora in Burhanpur is responsible for good woodland bird diversity in certain areas. Out of Total 80 species of birds which we observed, 63 belonged to a different woodland ecosystem and 17 belonged to the wetland ecosystem. Out of them 5 were winter visitors. Though there are few perennial rivers like Tapti and Mohna, and few big ponds, water birds were not seen in large numbers. Reasons for this may be that all the ponds are man made and lack nesting sites for water birds.

 

P36. Pathway of phenol degradation in Chlorella pyrenoidosa

Bhaskar Das1, Tapas K  Mandal2, Sanjukta  Patra3                                       

1Centre for the Environment, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati

2Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Guwahati

3Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati

Email: bhaskar.das@iitg.ernet.in

Keywords: Chlorella pyrenoidosa, meta pathway        

Phenol produced at the rate of 6 million tons/year by industrial processes of petrochemical, coal, steel and coal gasification industries cause toxic effects on the aquatic flora and fauna of the receiving water bodies. Drinking water containing phenol can cause diarrhea, effects on liver, central nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal disturbance and even cancer. The applicability of algal strains for degradation of organic pollutants is very poorly studied. Algae can prove to be an efficient degrader of phenol in polluted water owing to their natural habitat. The present work usesChlorella pyrenoidosa (NCIM 2738) to degrade phenol and further unravel the phenol degradation pathway during the sojourn.

To determine the potential of the algal strain to degrade phenol, the residual phenol is measured by using a modified Folin-Ciocalteau micromethod at regular intervals of 24 hours. Enzyme assays for phenol hydroxylase, catechol-2, 3-dioxygenase and catechol-1,2-oxygenase were carried out and their products are determined by terminating the reaction with 0.6M HClO4 at specific time intervals. The microalgae has potential for phenol degradation. The highest degradation within first 24 hours in case of 80 mg/l phenol suggest the optimum induction of degradative enzymes at 80 mg/l phenol. In phenol hydroxylase assay, NADPH is oxidised and catechol accumulation increases with time. This indicates phenol is hydroxylated to catechol by phenol hydroxylase. In the catechol-2,3-dioxygenase assay and catechol-1,2-oxygenase assay, the accumulation(with time) of 2-hydroxymuconic  semialdehyde and cis,cis-muconic acid respectively increases. The accumulation of 2-hydroxymuconic semialdehyde is comparatively higher as compared to cis,cis-muconic acid. This suggest induction of both ortho and meta cleavage pathway. Phenotypic expression of meta pathway is higher than ortho pathway.

 

P37. Ecological farming is need of hour

Rangam Raja, Reyes Tirado  

Green Peace Research Laboratories, University of Exeter, UK

Email: rangamraja@gmail.com

Ecological farming safe to environment.

modern agriculture strategies which are
1  monoculture farming,
2 capital intensive technology
3  pesticide and chemical fertilisers
4  transgenic plants

cause to raise the ecological crisis.

Ecological farming both relies on protect nature by taking advantage of natural goods and services such as biodiversity,nutrient cycling,soil regeneration and natural enemies of pests integrating these  natural resources into agroeco system that ensures food for alll today and tomorrow.ecologycal farming is need base technology to protect environment from destructive agriculture methods.
questions:
Can ecological farming feed the world ?
Can ecological farming help fight climate change?

Ecological farming reduce
1.chemical contamination of soil and water
2.genetic erosion caused by the transgenic plants
3.destruction of natural control mechanisms
it promotes biodiversity.,Diversity farming is the single most important modern technology to achive food security.
it provides food production in safer way to environment..so ecological farming need of any hour .
farming methods:
organic farming
crop rotation
reduce cultivation of transgenic plants
efficient water management techniques
diversity in faming
soil management practices
increase natural enimies population against pests in farm
these methods are safe to environment in the way of increasing yields.

 

P38. Predation risk and response to mating call of frog species Euphlyctis alosi 

Merrin Joseph, Niya Thomas 

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram

Email: niya@iisertvm.ac.in

Keywords: bioacoustics, mate choice

When faced with predation, individuals lacking morphological defenses commonly alter their behavior in an effort to reduce the risk of being eaten. The mere presence of predators often decreases the growth rate of prey individuals, which devote energy and time to predator avoidance mechanisms. In the case of amphibian larvae, it lowers their activity when exposed to predators, which increases their survival probability but lowers their growth rate. Mate recognition is central to the process of speciation. In frog species, it’s the male who produce the mating call. Once at the breeding ground, male frogs call to attract a mate, collectively becoming a chorus of frogs. The call is unique to the species, and will attract females of that species.

We investigated how time constraints affect the growth strategies of pool frogs (Euphylctis aloysi) in the presence and absence of caged predator (African cat fish) and what the consequences are for their survival during the larval stage, and We set out to study the response of female frogs speciesEuphlyctics aloysi, to the co-species call and hetero-species call. Six tadpoles were kept in experimental tank along with four predator- African fish is kept and they are separated by a pored fiberglass plate. Both species were fed regularly and the weights of each tadpole were taken once in 4 days. Natural mating calls of 4 different species including experimental species were recorded and played back to three female frogs and responses is noted. In the presence of chemical and visual cues of predator, tadpole species had undergone a comparatively high reduction in growth. There is an average reduction of about 30% and 40% in experimental tank. In control tank, where tadpoles were grown in the absence of caged predators, show comparatively absence of reduction in growth rate. The average percentage weight reductions were 16.5 and 19.65.

Females exhibit strong and unequivocal recognition of con-specific mating signals and reject those of other sympatric hetero specific. Female frogs moved towards the mating call source and the distance they moved were measured. Under predator presence the tadpole species Euphlyctis aloysi showed a reduction in growth rate. Frogs species Euphlyctics aloysi preferred co-specific mating call.

 

P39. Character displacement and ecological partitioning of squirrel communities

R. Nandini1,3, Narayan Sharma2,3

1Auburn University, Auburn, USA

2Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore, India

3National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science campus, Bangalore, India

Email: nandinirajamani@gmail.com

Keywords: body size, niche partitioning, vertical stratification

The structure and mechanisms underlying the co-existence of sympatric species within communities have received much attention, especially how species partition resources within these assemblages. Morphological differences associated with resource use (eg. body size) between closely related co-occurring species have long been considered indirect evidence for competition. Hutchinson proposed that sympatric, similar species are spaced along a size sequence, separated by an average size ratio of 1.3 in linear measurements. Squirrels comprise a speciose guild that is a key component of tropical rainforests, and both Northeast India and the Western Ghats are species rich, especially in diurnal tree squirrels. We examined non-overlapping squirrel assemblages to determine character displacement, quantifying body size partitioning. We quantified the use of vertical strata and habitats as a proxy for resource use.

We compare data on assemblages of squirrels in multiple localities, specifically northeast India and the Western Ghats. Squirrel body sizes were obtained from the literature and museum samples, and data on vertical stratification was collected through spot observations in Hollangapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam and Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu.

Squirrel assemblages were seen to mirror patterns of body size assortment as well as vertical stratification in both Northeast India and the Western Ghats. Vertical strata occupied were seen to be positively associated with body size, with the largest species occupying the canopy in all assemblages examined. In both localities, squirrels in the same body size class were not seen to overlap in occurrence. Similar-sized species were seen to partition themselves into different habitats. Species body sizes, possibly indicating partitioning of resources… INCOMPLETE

 

P40. Foraging association of pig tailed macaque with drongo in Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam

Sampriti Kataki, Samrat Sengupta

Guwahati university, Guwahati, Assam

Email: sampriti1@yahoo.com

Keywords: heterospecific association, foraging

Objective: To study the primate-bird association in Gibbon WLS as well the specificity and  charectristic features of this association.

Data was collected on behavioural aspect of primates (Altman 1974) with special reference to pig tailed macaque, along with various other parameters like birds asociation time, nearest distance approached, foraging height and strata of the birds, their activity as well as the number of successful foraging hits (insects).

Preliminary investigation has shown high specificity of Drongo with Pig tailed macaque.

 

P41. Challenges of field identification in the study of butterflies and species diversity of butterflies (Lepidoptera) in vast altitudinal gradients of Eastern Himalayas.

Monsoon Jyoti Gogoi

North Orissa University, Orissa

Email: monsoonjyoti@gmail.com

Keywords: species identification, diversity

The report describes the challenges in the identification of butterflies and the species composition of butterflies in different altitudinal gradients of Eastern Himalayas. Many species of the same genus are identified only on the basis of venation, antenna, cilia ofthe wing, coloration of the wing and position of spots etc. Also, many rare and significant species do occur only in particular altitude. Extremely rare skippers like Purple Lancer, Red-vein Lancer,Yellow-band Palmer occur in very low altitude. Species such as White Punch, Pale Striped Dawnfly, Kohinoor occur is in little low altitude. Swallowtails like Gorgons, Khaki Silverline etc occur is mid-elevation while Striped Punch, Pale Hockeystick Sailer etc. do occur  above 1300m in high elevation of Himalayas.

 

P42. Pesticide poisoning of wildlife

Anjani Sneha Vajrala

Acharya N.G.Ranga Agriculture University, College Of Agriculture, Acharya N.G. Ranga Agriculture University, Andhra Pradesh

Email: anjanisnehavajrala@gmail.com

Keywords: agriculture, pollution

Pesticides are widely used in agriculture today. Producers use pesticides because they are effective and generally reasonably priced. The benefits include reduced yield losses and time savings to the producer, and lower food and fiber costs for consumer.

There are some downside risks to pesticide use. Pesticide poisonings of people, livestock, and wildlife have occurred when proper care was not exercised. Pesticide applicators must be very careful to avoid these risks.

The term wildlife, as used here, shall include insects, spiders, mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and plants. Each species fills a certain niche, which includes its specific food, cover, water, space, and breeding site preferences. The location where a species can meet all of its living requirements becomes that species’ habitat. Wildlife habitats are not just the Grand Canyon, ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest, or rich coastal marshes off of the eastern and wastern seaboard; they exist across the earth’s landscape. Wildlife habitats, large and small, native and man-made, exist in urban settings, in agricultural fields, and in the wilderness.

Pesticides are applied in many forms via various delivery methods to forests, rangeland, aquatic habitats, farmland, rights-of-way, urban turf, and gardens. Their widespread use makes contact with pesticide residues inevitable for some wildlife. Pesticide poisonings to wildlife may result from acuteor chronic exposure. Additionally, pesticides may impact wildlife via secondary exposure or throughindirect effects to the animal or its habitat.

Reducing Pesticide Exposure Risk can be achieved through elimination of  unnecessary pesticide applications through IPM, choosing the pesticide least toxic to non-target organisms and other mechanical operations.

 

P43. A phytosociological study of Dipterocarp forest in Barak Valley, Assam

Debajit Rabha, Ashesh Kumar Das, Satish Chandra Garkoti

Institution: ?

Email: d10rabha@gmail.com

Keywords: tree density, basal area, Dipterocarpaceae

At present the tropical evergreen forest in Assam is confined in few patchy areas. In the present study we surveyed two Dipterocarp forest patches in Karimganj district of Barak Valley, Assam.

Using quadrat method we analysed the various Phytosociological characters of two Dipterocarp forest in Barak Valley. The individuals were categorized into 6 diameter classes i.e. <30, 30-60, 60-90, 90-120, 120-150 and >150. The population structure was analysed with the help of density-diameter curve.

A total of 22 species were recorded (13 species each) in two sites. Density and basal area of trees were recorded more in site-1. Dipterocarpus turbinatus is the single most dominant species in both site-1 and site-2 with IVI values 196.8 and 184.5 respectively. The girth class distribution ofDipterocarpus turbinatus showed the dominance of higher girth class trees in both sites.

In both study sites species number were less and 65-80% density and basal area was contributed by only one species namely Dipterocarpus turbinatus. Like other study in Dipterocap forests, the present study also inventoried the total dominance of Dipterocarpaceae family. Comparatively less density in site-2 may be due the human disturbance and easy accessibility of the plot. More conservation practice should be implied to conserve these tropical evergreen forest patches.

 

P43. Water resource management for ecological sustainability.

Sama Kishor Kumar, D. Vinod Kumar

College of Agriculture, Angrau, Hyderabad

Email: samakishor_88@yahoo.com

Keywords: virtual water, effective utilization, sustainability

Vulnerability of ecology to climate change varies across regions, sectors and social groups. Scientists complaining that the natural resources are being used at a very high rate than they can be renewed. The effective use of available natural resources is the need of the hour. It is a general conception that, if 3rd world war is going to be fought, it will not be for any other reason but for water.

Here I would like to stress about an aspect called Virtual Water. Virtual Water refers, to the water used in the production of a good or service. To use the water effectively, we need to know the virtual water values of few items.

The production of:

1 kg wheat costs 1,300 L water

1 kg eggs costs 3,300 L water

1 kg broken rice costs 3,400 L water

1 kg beef costs 15,500 L water

Jeans (1000g) contain 10,850 liters of embedded virtual water

A cotton shirt (medium sized, 500 gram) contains 4,100 liters of water

A disposable diaper  (75g) contains 810 liters of water

A bed sheet (900g) contains 9,750 liters of water

So, using the products which require less water and also reducing the quantity of export goods which require more water helps in effective utilization of the precious natural resource, Water.

Vadodara Weather

Location Map