Guwāhāti, India
Guwāhāti, India
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Sengupta S.,Arya Vidyapeeth College | Sailo S.,North - Eastern Hill University | Lalremsanga H.T.,Mizoram University | Das A.,Aaranyak | Das I.,University Malaysia Sarawak
Zootaxa | Year: 2010

A new species of megophryid frog of the genus Leptolalax is described from the Tamdil wetlands of Mizoram State, north-eastern India. L. tamdil new species, is compared with congeners from India and other parts of south-east Asia. The new species is diagnosable in showing the following combination of characters: SVL 32.3 mm in the only male and 31.8 mm in the only female known; dorsum tuberculate; eyelids with tubercles; tympanum and supratympanic fold distinct; supratympanic fold extending to posterior edge of tympanum; macroglands, including preaxillary, pectoral, femoral and ventrolateral glands present; Finger II > I; toe tips not dilated, bearing dermal fringes; relatively long hind limbs, with heels in contact when limbs are held perpendicular to body; dorsum with dark blotches; flanks with small dark blotches; dark tympanic mask present; venter pale; labial bars present and limbs with dark cross-bars. Copyright © 2010 Magnolia Press.

Takahata C.,Imperial College London | Amin R.,Conservation Programme | Sarma P.,Aaranyak | Banerjee G.,Conservation Programme | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Management | Year: 2010

The Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands, which once extended along most of the Himalayan foothills, now only remain in a number of protected areas. Within these localities, grassland burning is a major issue, but data on frequency and distribution of fires are limited. Here, we analysed the incidence of active fires, which only occur during the dry season (Nov.-Mar.), within a significant area of Terai grasslands: the Manas National Park (MNP), India. We obtained locations of 781 fires during the 2000-2008 dry seasons, from the Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) that delivers global MODIS hotspot/fire locations using remote sensing and GIS technologies. Annual number of fires rose significantly from around 20 at the start of the study period to over 90 after 2002, with most (85%) detected between December and January. Over half of the fires occurred in tall grasslands, but fire density was highest in wetland and riverine vegetation, dry at the time. Most burning took place near rivers, roads and the park boundary, suggesting anthropogenic origins. A kernel density map of all recorded fires indicated three heavily burnt areas in the MNP, all within the tall grasslands. Our study demonstrates, despite some technical caveats linked to fire detection technology, which is improving, that remote fire data can be a practical tool in understanding fire concentration and burning temporal patterns in highly vulnerable habitats, useful in guiding management. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009.

Talukdar B.K.,Aaranyak | Talukdar B.K.,International Rhino Foundation | Sinha S.P.,Wildlife Institute of India
Pachyderm | Year: 2013

Currently, the wild population of the greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is found in India and Nepal. To manage this transboundary population along the Indo-Nepal border, their habitats and numbers need scientific monitoring. Regular data should be collected on their movement patterns and management, and the data shared across borders with concerned conservation and management agencies to monitor the rhino population and the corridors they use, especially in Suklaphanta–Lagga Bagga, Pilibhit Forest Division, Dudhwa, Katerniaghat and Bardia landscape. Rhinos moving around the Indo-Nepal border in Katerniaghat– Bardia and Lagga Bagga–Suklaphanta should be fixed with radio collars to generate vital information that will assist conservation and management of the greater one-horned rhino along the border, strengthen transboundary planning and conservation for the rhino, besides orienting the police and border security forces in both countries to contribute towards protection of this rhino population moving between the countries. © 2013, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. All rights reserved.

News Article | April 26, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

The primate monkey species "White Cheeked Macaque," biologically known as "Macaca Leucogenys," has been discovered for the first time in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in India. The wildlife conservation organization Aaranyak confirmed that the discovery was made by a group of biologists and wildlife photographers — Dr. Ranjan Kumar Das, Dr. Dilip Chetry and Udayan Borthakur, along with Binanda Hatibarua, their guide for their bird-watching trip. This group had visited the Anjaw district in March 2015, wherein they had taken a couple of photographs. On examining the images, they discovered this species that is new to India. It differs considerably from all the other possible macaque species like the Arunachal Macaque, Raesus Macaque, Assamese Macaque and the Tibetan Macaque. It took the scientific community a year to finally confirm that the spotted species was indeed that of the rare White Cheeked Macaque. "On the basis of our observations, the photographs and experts' comments, we have come to the conclusion that the macaques we observed and photographed in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh are white-cheeked macaque," said Dr. Dilip Chetry, primatologist and the head of the Primatology Division at the wildlife NGO Aaranyak, who was part of the group that discovered the species. The White Cheeked Macaque itself is a species relatively new to the science world. It was discovered for the very first time quite recently in 2015 through photographs by Dr. Cheng Li and his team. The species was spotted in southeastern Tibet, China. The details of the findings had been published in the American Journal of Primatology dated April 2015. This same primate species discovered in India is absolutely new to the country and the first of its kind — thanks to the amazing discovery made in Arunachal Pradesh. "Until our discovery this primate species was not known to India. Though we found the species last year, we waited till it is confirmed by experts that the primate species is new to India," said Udayan Borthakur, Head of Aaranyak's wildlife genetics. Dr. Ranjan Kumar Das, a renowned bird expert, is absolutely over the moon with his discovery. He is thrilled with the opportune moment that his photographic works can greatly contribute toward the better understanding of this rare species. This discovery is a wonderful revelation and proof of India's rich and diverse fauna, and highlights the need for biodiversity conservation. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Borah J.,WWF India | Sharma T.,WWF India | Das D.,Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment | Rabha N.,Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment | And 4 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2014

Effective conservation of rare carnivores requires reliable estimates of population density for prioritizing investments and assessing the effectiveness of conservation interventions. We used camera traps and capture-recapture analysis to provide the first reliable abundance and density estimates for the common leopard Panthera pardus and clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa in Manas National Park, India. In 57 days of camera trapping, with a total of 4,275 camera-trap days, we photo-captured 27 individually identified common leopards (11 males, 13 females and three unidentified), and 16 clouded leopards (four males, five females and seven unidentified). The abundance estimates using the M h jackknife and Pledger model M h were 47.0 and 35.6, respectively, for the common leopard, and 21.0 and 25.0, respectively, for the clouded leopard. Density estimates using maximum likelihood spatially-explicit capture-recapture were 3.4 ± SE 0.82 and 4.73 ± SE 1.43 per 100 km2 for the common and clouded leopards, respectively. Spatially-explicit capture-recapture provided more realistic density estimates compared with those obtained from conventional methods. Our data indicates that camera trapping using a capture-recapture framework is an effective tool for assessing population sizes of cryptic and elusive carnivores such as the common and clouded leopards. The study has established a baseline for the long-term monitoring programme for large carnivores in Manas National Park. Copyright © 2013 Fauna & Flora International.

Tschakert P.,Pennsylvania State University | Tschakert P.,University of Western Australia | Tschakert P.,CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research | Das P.J.,Aaranyak | And 5 more authors.
Global Environmental Change | Year: 2016

Recent advances on power, politics, and pathways in climate change adaptation aim to re-frame decision-making processes from development-as-usual to openings for transformational adaptation. This paper offers empirical insights regarding decision-making politics in the context of collective learning through participatory scenario building and flexible flood management and planning in the Eastern Brahmaputra Basin of Assam, India. By foregrounding intergroup and intragroup power dynamics in such collective learning spaces and how they intersect with existing micropolitics of adaptation on the ground, we examine opportunities for and limitations to challenging entrenched authority and subjectivities. Our results suggest that emancipatory agency can indeed emerge but is likely to be fluid and multifaceted. Community actors who are best positioned to resist higher-level domination may well be imbricated in oppression at home. While participatory co-learning as embraced here might open some spaces for transformation, others close down or remain shut. © 2016 The Authors

Borthakur U.,Aaranyak | Das P.K.,Aaranyak | Talukdar A.,Aaranyak | Talukdar B.K.,Aaranyak
ORYX | Year: 2016

The greater one-horned rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis is a flagship species for conservation in protected areas in India and Nepal. In India the species is afforded the highest level of legal protection under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. Although censuses of greater one-horned rhinoceros have been carried out for decades using the traditional total count method, no advanced scientific approach has been adopted for population estimation of the species in India or elsewhere. We optimized noninvasive genetic techniques for identification of greater one-horned rhinoceros from dung samples, and applied these to estimate the number of rhinoceros in Gorumara National Park, in West Bengal, India. Our results confirmed the presence of 43 individuals from 60 dung samples collected throughout the Park in 2011. We confirmed a male-to-female sex ratio of 3.8 : 1, based on analysis of DNA from dung samples, using a y-chromosome linked marker. Our results are in concordance with a census carried out by the West Bengal Forest Department that found 42 rhinoceros in the Park, with a male-to-female sex ratio of 3.5 : 1. Our study thus demonstrates the feasibility of using a noninvasive genetic approach for population estimation of greater one-horned rhinoceros in the wild. Copyright © Fauna & Flora International 2016

Borthakur U.,Aaranyak | Barman R.D.,Aaranyak | Das C.,Aaranyak | Basumatary A.,Aaranyak | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2011

The Brahmaputra Valley of Assam, India, is one of the prime habitats for the endangered Royal Bengal tiger Panthera tigris tigris. With dwindling global population, estimation of the minimum number of tigers has always been a curiosity to wildlife researchers as well as to protected area managers. In the present study, DNA-based techniques were used for identifying individual tigers present in Orang National Park of Assam, from 57 faecal samples collected during February 2009. Orang National Park stands as an island of a single forest patch along the north bank of river Brahmaputra. The present study confirms the presence of 17 individual tigers in Orang National Park, with five male and 12 female. DNA-based capture-recapture analysis yielded minimum range estimate of 18 and 19 individuals, with possible overestimates of population size following two models of capture probability in CAPWIRE. The results of our genetic counting of tigers are compared with the estimates of 19 tigers based on pugmark analysis by the state Forest Department in 2000 and an independent capture-recapture estimate of 14 (±3.6) individuals based on photographic identity study in 2009. Looking at high mortality of tigers in the area, with 19 reported deaths during 2000 to 2009, our results indicate high individual turnover in the area. This study shows that Orang National Park harbours a healthy breeding population of tigers. However, the possibility of a source-sink dynamics operating in the landscape could not be ruled out, with possible immigration from nearby Kaziranga National Park on the south bank of Brahmaputra, which has the highest reported density of the species in the world. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Lahkar B.P.,Aaranyak | Talukdar B.K.,Aaranyak | Sarma P.,Aaranyak
Pachyderm | Year: 2011

The successes achieved in Assam towards conservation and management of greater one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis) are often overshadowed by a few poaching incidences. Rhino conservation efforts made by the Assam Forest Department, assisted by communities and civil society organizations, have made it possible to downgrade the status of greater one-horned rhinos from Endangered to Vulnerable on IUCN's 2008 Red Lists of Threatened Species. One of the major threats besides poaching is the slow and steady intrusion of invasive species in grassland habitats, which directly reduces suitable flora for rhinos and other herbivores. This matter has not yet been highlighted to attract conservation intervention and support. The increasing invasion of weeds that has been observed in Nepal and India's grassland habitats in the past decade needs scientific intervention to ensure the long-term conservation of rhino habitats. Based on available information, we portray the threats posed by invasive species towards the survival of greater one-horned rhinos in India and Nepal.

PubMed | Aaranyak
Type: | Journal: Zootaxa | Year: 2015

A new species of montane toad Duttaphrynus is described from Nagaland state of Northeast India. The new species is diagnosable based on following combination of characters: absence of preorbital, postorbital and orbitotympanic ridges, elongated and broad parotid gland, first finger longer than second and presence of a mid-dorsal line. The tympanum is hidden under a skin fold (in male) or absent (in female). The species is compared with its congers from India and Indo-China. We propose to consider Duttaphrynus wokhaensis as junior synonym of Duttaphrynus melanostictus.

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