Journal of Threatened Taxa

Published by Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society
Online ISSN: 0974-7907
Print ISSN: 0974-7893
Publications
An investigation was conducted during 2018–19 after a time span of 13 years in the Senkhi stream, an important hill stream that flows through western corner of the capital city, Itanagar. The present study aims to compare decadal changes in ichthyofaunal diversity, status, and abundance with reference to the impact of increasing urbanization in the capital city. The ichthyofaunal diversity assessed presently is restricted to 37 species spreading over 30 genera under 13 families which include four species more, not reported in the past. Thus, of the 37 species recorded, 33 species only could be compared, and noticeably resulted ultimate reduction of 14 species belonging to 11 genera under 10 families from the study area. It indicated that nearly 64% decline in fish abundance within stream zone under urban area and about 46% reduction in undisturbed area. The present study hitherto revealed the alarming rate of decline in fish diversity and also unfolded key factors responsible for crucial decline of fish diversity along with the possible mitigation measures.
 
Map of road killed Lowland Tapirs in a section of the BR-163 road, Pará state, Brazil. Records 1 to 10, during May, July and August 2016, records 14 to 19 during June 2017. Records number 10-13 were obtained from Sistema Urubu. 
Fifteen Lowland Tapirs Tapirus terrestris were found road killed between kilometer six and 76 of the BR-163 highway, in the state of Pará, Brazil. The findings took place during two periods, May/July 2016, and June 2017. This highway is internationally known for its environmental impact and here we present additional evidence of its impact on the population of a threatened species.
 
The article talks about a new distribution record of an orchid namely, Crepidium aphyllum. Earlier it was known to be endemic to India. A brief description of the plant along with photographs is provided here for easy identification along with notes on phenology and ecology. This species has been globally assessed as Vulnerable.
 
Gegeneophis goaensis and G. mhadeiensis were described by Bhatta et al. in 2007 from Keri Village (Goa) and Chorla Village (Karnataka) respectively from a set of three specimens for each species. The present account expands the morphological and morphometric variations within the species with new site records for both species. Habitat sharing with other congeneric species is discussed.
 
A female Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata was sighted in Saatvoini Beel on February 10, 2014. The female of this species was characterized by grey head, with a white ring around the eye which continued as a streak behind it. In India Mandarin Duck is vagrant and there were very few reported records from India. In 1902, Baker reported six individuals Mandarin Duck on the Subansiri River, Assam. The present sighting of this species from Baksa district is the first reliable record of this species in Assam after a gap of 112 years.
 
Map of northeastern India, showing the location of Dampa Tiger Reserve. In the inset is a map of India. 
This work reports the distribution of two rare Zingiberaceae, Globba spathulata and Hemiorchis pantlingii, in Dampa Tiger Reserve, a protected area, located in Mizoram, northeastern India. Both these species have a distribution restricted to the northeastern part of India and the adjoining countries of Bangladesh, Myanmar and northern Thailand. In this study, we enumerate the species, present their current global distribution and conduct a conservation assessment for them. The study indicates presence of rare floral species in the protected landscape, and a lack of ecological and conservation attention to the region. A conservation assessment conducted for both species, based on their existing global distribution and potential threats, identifies the species as ‘Vulnerable’.
 
Silene nigrescens has been re-collected after a gap of 130 years from Pangarchulla area of District Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India. This species was earlier collected by J.F. Duthie from the above-mentioned location in 1885. On the basis of J.F. Duthie’s collection this species is known from only two localities (Pangarchula area and Nila valley) in western Himalaya. Due to a dispersed type of distribution, extremely rare occurrence and poor herbarium history, this species should be considered as a conservation dependent species in the western Himalaya.
 
Bulbophyllum medioximum is reported as a new addition to the orchid flora of India along with two new records for the state of Arunachal Pradesh, namely, Herminium macrophyllum and H. edgeworthii. A detailed description supported by the photo plates and updated distribution ranges have been provided.
 
Taeniophyllum filiforme J. J. Sm. a rare epiphytic orchid has been collected after a lapse of 135 years from Rutland Island in South Andamans. Brief description and illustration are provided.
 
This paper gives an account of fifteen black mildew fungi collected from Kodagu in Karnataka and Kollam in Kerala state. Of these, Asterina cassiigena, A. chrysophylligena, A. hemidesmi, A. ushae, A. thevalakkaraensis, A. vitacearum, Asterostomella derridicola, A. vernoniae, Prillieuxina humboltiae, Echinodella mimusopsidis, Mahanteshamyces litseae, Sarcinella bischofiae, S. pogostemonis and S. securinegae are the new species, while Asterina antidesmatis forms a new record to India.
 
Pedostibes tuberculosus, the Malabar tree toad, was described 137 years ago from the Malabar region (now the coastal parts of Kerala) of the Western Ghats. Since the description of this arboreal toad, not much information is available on the natural history, breeding habits and life cycle except for its description, range of distribution and advertisement call details. In the present account, the tadpole stages of this toad from Gosner tadpole Stage 21 to 45 are presented and the phytotelmatic mode of life of this toad has been confirmed by locating the tadpoles within the Ochlandra reed culm.
 
Plankton samples collected (April 2009 -March 2010) from Deepor Beel, a Ramsar site, revealed 21 species of the Phylum Rotifera belonging to 12 genera and eight families as new records. Amongst these, Brachionus durgae is a new record for northeastern India. The recorded species included the Australasian Brachionus dichotomus reductus and Notommata spinata; two Oriental endemics, namely, Keratella edmondsoni and Lecane blachei while Lecane lateralis, L haliclysta, Lepadella benjamini, Platyias leloupi, Mytilina acanthophora, Macrochaetus longipes, Trichocerca bicristata and T. flagellata are examples of regional distribution interest. The present report increases the number of species recorded from this important wetland of northeastern India to 134 species which, in turn, is the richest rotifer diversity known till date from any aquatic ecosystem of South Asia.
 
District map of Meghalaya showing location of Nokrek Biosphere Reserve (indicated in dark green) and its core area shown in light green; (after Sharma & Sharma 2011).
Systematic list of the examined Cladocera
Thirty-four species of Cladocera, belonging to 24 genera and seven families, documented from the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve of Meghalaya indicate fairly speciose and diverse taxocoenosis and comprise 57.7% of species known from this state. Coronatella anodonta is the first confirmed report from India and two species are new records from Meghalaya. Disperalona caudata is an interesting Australasian element and a number of species show regional distributional importance. The Cladocera of the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve show tropical characteristics with Cosmopolitan > Cosmotropical species, and are characterized by a distinct richness of the littoral-periphytonic members of the Chydoridae as well as a paucity of limnetic elements. The species richness of Cladocera in various localities ranges between 11–24 (15±3) species.
 
District map of Meghalaya showing location of Nokrek (inset map of India showing locationof Meghalaya State) 
Plankton samples collected from the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve of Meghalaya (Northeast India) revealed 70 species of Rotifera belonging to 24 genera and 15 families. Eight species are new records from the state of Meghalaya. The Oriental Lecane blachei and the palaeotropical L. unguitata are biogeographically interesting elements. The Rotifera taxocoenosis of Nokrek Biosphere Reserve is characterized by a distinct richness of the tropic-centered genus Lecane, paucity of Brachionus species, greater diversity of littoral-periphytonic elements and a general tropical character with cosmopolitan (71.4%) > tropicopolitan (17.1 %) species.
 
Caralluma diffusa (Wight) N.E.Br. is an important edible succulent potted and rockery plant of curiosity as an endemic species of southern India occurring in Coimbatore District, Tamil Nadu.
 
Eight species of Hemidactylus are currently recognized in Sri Lanka—frenatus, leschenaultii, scabriceps, parvimaculatus, depressus, hunae, lankae, and pieresii—with the latter four endemic to the island. A ninth species, Hemidactylus platyurus, was until now only confirmed from Sri Lanka by two specimens sent to the British Museum of Natural History by E.F. Kelaart in 1855. There was no exact collection locality recorded for these specimens, which are associated simply with the provenance “Ceylon” (now Sri Lanka). The present communication reports the rediscovery of the gecko H. platyurus and confirms its occurrence in Sri Lanka.
 
Monthly variations in richness of zooplankton, Rotifera and Cladocera (2002–03) 
Monthly variations in richness of zooplankton, Rotifera and Cladocera (2003–04) 
Hierarchical cluster analysis of zooplankton (2002–03) 
Hierarchical cluster analysis of zooplankton (2003–04) 
Zooplankton communities of Loktak Lake showed rich and speciose biocoenosis (162 and 142 species), high monthly richness (91 ± 13 and 80 ± 10 species) and by higher similarities (51.1–82.0 and 51.8–78.3 %) and peak richness during winter and autumn over two years of study. Zooplankton (267 ± 41 n/l) formed a significant quantitative component (56.0 ± 6.3 %) of net plankton and showed annual peak abundance during winter. Rotifera > Cladocera are dominant quantitative groups while Copepoda > Rhizopoda are sub-dominant groups. We observed significant annual and monthly variations of zooplankton richness and abundance. This study showed limited influence of individual abiotic factors on zooplankton, with richness showing a significant inverse correlation with water hardness and chloride, and abundance inversely correlated with nitrate. Multiple regressions indicated higher cumulative effects of 15 abiotic factors on richness and abundance. Our results exhibited no definite periodicity of richness and abundance of zooplankton and their constituent groups during two annual cycles. Zooplankton is characterized by highest species diversity (4.172 ± 0.237), higher evenness and lower dominance.
 
Distribution of two species of Pinguicula in Gunma Prefecture and surroundings: Closed circles-P. macrocears in Gunma | Open circles-P. macroceras in neighboring prefectures | Closed triangles-P. ramosa in Gunma | Open triangles-P. ramosa in Tochigi | Lines within Gunma Prefecture show municipal borders (as of 2019). Numbers correspond with those in the text: 1. Mt. Akagi-yama, 2. Mt. Nikko-Shiranesan, 3. Oze, 4. Naramata-gawa River, 5. Mt. Hotaka-yama, 6. Tanigawa Mountain Range, 7. Mt. Arafune-yama, 8. Mt. Kesamaru-yama.
  • Hiro Shimai
    Hiro Shimai
  • Takehiro Ohmori
    Takehiro Ohmori
We studied the distribution of two Pinguicula (Butterwort) species in Gunma Prefecture, Japan based on our herbarium specimen examinations and field observations. As a result, several localities of Pinguicula macroceras, such as Mt. Akagi-yama or the Tanigawa Mountain Range, were present today. In addition, two new localities of P. macroceras, Mts. Hotaka-yama and Ojikazawa-no-kashira, which had not been previously recorded, were found. However, only a single locality of P. ramosa, a threatened species (Endangered in the Red List of Gunma Prefecture and Vulnerable in the Red List of the Ministry of the Environment of Japan), was confirmed to be present in the prefecture. The two species have extremely narrow environmental preference and are restricted to specific environmental niches. The population size of both species at each microhabitat is small and there is a potential risk of disappearance of those localities in the future by the impacts of environmental stress or human activities. This study documents the current situations of the genus in Gunma Prefecture and suggests that urgent conservation is necessary to protect both the two species and their habitats in the prefecture.
 
The breeding biology of White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis was studied in plains and hilly areas from September 2008 to August 2011. Four villages under Savar upazilla were selected for plains, and Chittagong University Campus, Chattagram for the hilly area. The breeding season started in February in hills and April on plain. Mean (SD) time required to build a new nest was 11.3 (3.9) days in plains and 15.3 (0.57) days in hills. Clutch size was 3–4 in hills and 3–7 in plains. Mean egg parameters (length, width, and weight) and mean egg volume and surface area were similar in both areas. The mean incubation period on plains was 16.4 (1.2) days, in hills 14.1 (0.7) days. On plains fledging success was 52%, compared to 57% in hills. Theft by local inhabitants was a major reason for fledgling loss in plains, hence increased public awareness may reduce nestling mortality and increase breeding success.
 
Study area within human dominated habitat and the camera trap locations.
  • Subrat Debata
    Subrat Debata
Activity pattern of the Golden Jackal was studied by camera trapping survey in an urban influenced protected habitat in Odisha, eastern India from January to April 2019. A total of 552 independent photos of Golden Jackals were obtained from 771 trap nights. Although Golden Jackals were active throughout the day, they showed two major peaks in activity; the first peak during late evening after sunset, and the second peak during early morning until sunrise. The reduced activity of Golden Jackal during day time in the present study area might be due to less movement of prey species, intense heat, and heavy human traffic.
 
We compiled records of 291 elephant deaths over a 33-year period (1979–2011) from the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and the reserved forests of Nilgiri North and South divisions of southern India from the databases of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, the Wildlife Protection Society of India and the Nilgiri Wildlife and Environment Association. We tested the null hypothesis that the causes of elephant deaths would not differ with time, by gender and with level of protection. We classified records by gender and age: adults (≥15 years), sub adults (5–15 years), juveniles (>1–<5) and calves (≤ 1). We organised records over 3-decade periods. The database consisted of 209 adults (≥15 years), 27 sub adults (5–15 years), 33 juveniles (>1–<5) and 22 calves (≤ 1). MTR had the maximum records (148) followed by NND (138) and NSD (4). The median age of death was 20 years for adult males and 30 years for adult females. Mean survival time for adult males was 22.45 years, and 31.84 for females. Poaching was responsible for the majority of deaths (40%), particularly of male elephants (82%), and unknown causes (31%) for the majority of female deaths (66%). Human-caused deaths, which included poaching and some accidents, averaged 72% between 1979 and 2000 and decreased to 22% during 2001–2011. Deaths due to unknown causes and diseases increased from 28% in 1979-1989 to 69% in 2001–2011. Relative to estimated population size, deaths attributed to poaching was higher in NND (47%) than in MTR (34%). The causes of death differed by region. In conclusion, the elephant population in the Nilgiris is at risk and needs stringent protection; the mortality database should be systematised; forensic capabilities upgraded, and detection of carcasses improved.
 
Location of Guatopo National Park in Venezuela and map of the 26 grid cells making up the total study area. Black dots show the location of the detection stations by cameras-traps.  
Activity patterns of Spotted Pacas (dark bars) and Red-rumped Agoutis (white bars) in GNP. Spotted Pacas were nocturnal and Red-rumped Agoutis were diurnal (based on Van Schaik y Griffiths 1996), without overlap in their activity.  
The Spotted Paca Cuniculus paca and the Red-rumped Agouti Dasyprocta leporina are affected by habitat loss and hunting. In Venezuela, their conservation status is unknown, even within protected areas. The objective of this study was to estimate the relative abundance, activity patterns, habitat use, and effect of human activities on these species in Venezuela. To achieve this, 26 camera-trap stations (20.8km2) were established in Guatopo National Park between February and April 2011, characterization of the habitat was undertaken and occupancy models were created. The relative abundance of the Spotted Paca was 1.62 captures/100trap-nights, with a fully nocturnal activity pattern. The relative abundance of the Red-rumped Agouti was 2.32 captures/100trap-nights, with a pronounced diurnal activity pattern. The occupation probability of the Red-rumped Agouti (0.61 SE 0.02) was higher than that of the Spotted Paca (0.27 SE 0.02). Spotted Pacas were mainly found in areas with mature forest and high tree density, whereas the Red-rumped Agoutis were most frequently found in valleys with little disturbed forest. A positive correlation was found between illegal hunting activities and areas occupied by the Spotted Paca. It is important to strengthen the park control measurements to reduce illegal hunting of Spotted Pacas.
 
The House Sparrow Passer domesticus is widely distributed across the world, and local alarming declines in sparrow populations have prompted studies focused on this species. An understanding of fundamental life history aspects such as roosting patterns is necessary for the development of efficient conservation strategies. This study examined House Sparrow roosting patterns in urban, suburban and rural areas of Bhavnagar during 2017–2018. Potential roosting sites were identified, and peak arrival/ departure times and roosting duration of sparrows were recorded. We found that peak arrival and departure times were correlated with solar timings, indicating a strong influence of photoperiod on sparrow behaviour. Little variation was observed in sparrow arrival and departure times across the urban, suburban and rural gradient. However, arrival duration was significantly larger in urban and suburban areas. This may be due to the restricted availability of suitable patches within these habitats, requiring birds to spend more time foraging. House Sparrows mostly preferred thick vegetation for pre-roosting activities and roosting, and the loss of thick vegetation poses a threat to sparrow populations worldwide. In addition to increasing nesting opportunities by providing artificial nest sites, the importance of retaining appropriate habitats should be a major focus of conservation strategies.
 
Golden Jackal sightings at Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary between December 2013 and June 2014.
Percent frequency occurrence of various food items identified from Golden Jackal scats in different season at Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary between December 2013 and June 2014.
Food preference of the Golden Jackal at Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary recorded between December 2013 and June 2014.
Frequency occurrence of various food items recorded from jackal scats (n = 155) at Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary.
Prey availability (abundance estimate) and prey use (% frequency occurrence in diet) data to calculate the food preference by the jackal ( * due to inadequate sample size instead of density encounter rate arrived; -indicates that abundance data unavailable).
Golden Jackal Canis aureus, a medium-sized omnivore belonging to the family Canidae, ranges widely from Europe and extends across the middle-east to India. It’s adaptable social system according to the distribution of food resources enabling it to range widely from desert to evergreen forests, mangroves, rural, and semi-urban human-agro-ecosystems. Despite its wide distribution, the species has not received adequate scientific attention in much of its southern India range. This study was carried out to assess its distribution pattern, diet composition, and prey preference at Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary, a well-known habitat for the jackal and the only predator of the sanctuary. Data on distribution collected through extensive field surveys revealed that the species distribution is uniform in southern and southeastern parts of the sanctuary, in areas where the habitat is more open with grasslands and mudflats and is patch in the tropical dry-evergreen habitat. Analysis of 155 scat samples revealed that the diet comprised 19 species of food items, including mammals, birds, insects, other invertebrates, and plant matter characterizing omnivorous nature. Temporal variation in diet composition—with significantly higher proportion of birds during winter than in summer—coincides with abundance of prey species in relation to season, which indicate the opportunistic foraging and hunting nature of the species. Data on diet preference showed that jackals in the area preferred Black-naped Hare, Spotted Dove and Lapwing followed by Chital, Grey Francolin, Cattle Egret, and Large Egret, while Blackbuck, Bonnet Macaque, and cattle were not preferred, which is discussed under optimal foraging. The jackal being the only large-sized predator of this natural system, more detailed studies and effective measures to conserve the species are vital not only to understand the prey-predator mechanism, but also to conserve the biodiversity of this unique ecosystem.
 
Known geographic ranges of blue whales in relation to the Philippines: A-shows the location of the Philippines in relation to the known geographic ranges of blue whale populations | B-shows the map of the Philippines and the location of the Bohol Sea | C-shows the Bohol Sea in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines.
Study site in the Bohol Sea with areas surveyed marked with polygons with diagonal lines.
Point locations of blue whale sightings from surveys and sightings. Red circles are sightings from vessel surveys while green crosses are from reported sightings.
For over two centuries there were no records of Blue Whales Balaenoptera musculus in the Philippines. Whalers recorded Blue Whales in the Philippines in the 19th century, and the next confirmed sighting in the country was of a mother and calf in 2004. Since then 33 subsequent Blue Whale sightings of potentially one individual were recorded between 2004 and 2019, all within the central region of the Philippines around the Bohol Sea. This individual, recognized through photo-identification, was sighted on at least 13 occasions during eight different years: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. The geographic location and timing of the sightings (January to July) suggest that Blue Whales in the Philippines may extend the outer range edge of the Indo-Australian population that migrate between western Australia, Indonesia, and East Timor. Blue Whale sightings in the Bohol Sea coincide with times of high ocean productivity, although further investigation is needed to determine if they are actually feeding in this region. Acoustic studies and photo-identification matching with other Blue Whale catalogues will clarify the stock identity of Blue Whales in the Philippines and their relation to the rest of the Blue Whale population, with implications for the conservation of this endangered species across multiple jurisdictions.
 
Study site map in Badopal village of Fatehabad district, Haryana, India.
Percentage time versus monthly group activity by Blackbuck (Error bars with standard error).
Percentage time spent on a particular group activity by season.
Annual mean of group activity (treatment bars with different letters differ significantly at P ≤ 0.05 based on Duncan Multiple Range Test.
Most dominant vegetation during all seasons, except trees, in descending order, and their interactions with Blackbuck. Some plant species were dominant in two seasons with varying densities.
To evaluate food preferences and group activity patterns, a fragmented population of Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra was selected for observation in a semi-arid ecosystem of western Haryana. A field survey was conducted fortnightly, from dawn to dusk, between September 2019 and August 2020, covering every season. Scan sampling and quadrat methods were used to record data on group size and vegetation. Group sizes ranged from 3 to 72 individuals. Based on visual observation, blackbuck seasonally consumed 26 species belonging to 25 families with varied preferences, out of a total of 53 plant species documented from the study site. Some plant species with high medicinal and therapeutic values were preferred, including Artemisia scoparia, Cucumis callous, Ziziphus jujuba, and Ziziphus nummularia. Unlike most herbivores, Blackbuck also consumed the toxic and medicinally rich Calotropis procera. We suggest that zoos which house blackbuck include these preferred wild plant species in their diet. Observations on group activity were analyzed on hourly, monthly and seasonal bases, and converted into time percentages. Group foraging activity was at a maximum in the monsoon (62%) and minimum in winter (50%), followed by resting: maximum in winter (21%) and minimum (12%) in monsoon, largely influenced by food availability. Foraging/walking ratio was at a maximum (5.2) in monsoon and minimum (3.1) in winter, and was correlated with the number of group sightings (maximum in winter and minimum in monsoon) in nearby farmland, when the animals faced food scarcity in their natural habitat and fed on crops.
 
The present communication documents the first observation of a morphologic anomaly in a juvenile Spiny Butterfly Ray Gymnura altavela. This observation is interesting for its similarity with a rostral abnormality in an adult G. altavela from the Canary Islands 10 years earlier and with the one from a juvenile Long-tailed Butterfly Ray G. poecilura from the Western Indo-Pacific. Although no firm conclusions can be drawn from these records, it reinforces the hypothesis of a congenital disorder for this type of malformation within the genus. The individual appeared to have successfully adapted for its anomaly, suggesting that these instances are not of major conservation concern. Hence, long-term studies are required to monitor anomaly occurrences and to evaluate their potential threats.
 
We report first case of melanism in Naja naja from Goa. Identification of snake is done based on meristic data collected from the specimen. Appropriate documentation of these types of individuals will farther our understanding of this phenomenon.
 
We report the first confirmed record of the Himalayan Crestless Porcupine Hystrix brachyura (Linnaeus, 1758) in Sundarbans mangrove forest, Bangladesh. An individual was observed and photographed in May 2018. The finding ensures the occurrence of this porcupine in a new habitat and stretches this species’ geographic distribution.
 
Information is presented on incidence of the Clouded Apollo Parnassius mnemosyne in the Republic of Mordovia (Russia). Over the period 2006-2016, more than 30 sites of the species were identified. The main increase in the number from 2 to 22 specimens per 1km of route was observed in 2006-2011. Biotopes of the species, fodder plants of the imago, and measures for species protection are described.
 
The Kosgoda nesting beach on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. 
Allele frequencies for the six microsatellite loci (a = Cm58, b = Cm3, c = Cm72, d = Cc117, e = Cm84 and f = Cc7) of Green Turtles at the Kosgoda Turtle Rookery, Sri Lanka. 
Calculated p values from HWE test results for the linkage disequilibrium of all pairs of loci (above diagonal) and presence of linkage disequilibrium (below diagonal)
We determined the genetic diversity of the Green Turtle Chelonia mydas (Linneaus, 1758) nesting at Kosgoda rookery, the second largest sea turtle aggregation on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Skin tissue samples were collected from 68 nesting females and genetic diversity was estimated using six microsatellite loci. High genetic diversity was observed within the population as all loci analyzed were highly polymorphic with a total of 149 alleles observed. The mean number of alleles per locus was 24.7 and the mean observed and expected heterozygosity across all loci were 0.75 and 0.93, respectively. It appears that five out of six loci were not in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, while micro-checker analysis suggested that the Kosgoda Green Turtle population was possibly in equilibrium. The viability of a population is unlikely to be reduced if high genetic diversity is maintained within it. Although the Green Turtle population nesting at Kosgoda is small compared to other nesting rookeries in the world, the high genetic diversity observed suggests that the population may not be undergoing a bottleneck.
 
Overview of the study area and its location in Peninsular Malaysia (Google Map 2020).
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. During a study near an ecotourism site, we recorded a melanistic Leopard Panthera pardus delacouri on top of Bukit Kudung in Jeli District. This finding is considered important because the Indochinese Leopard P.p. delacouri is classified as Critically Endangered in the Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). We hope that this record will foster conservation efforts in the area.
 
Time budget of partial incubation in Egyptian Vulture during hatching period (14-19 April 2017) On basis of video records: total observation time (OT) of 64.99 hours.
The present study has been conducted to document information on breeding behaviour of Egyptian Vultures Neophrons percnopterus from Punjab. This study is based on 688 hours of video records documenting breeding behaviour of a pair of endangered Egyptian Vultures Neophrons percnopterus occupying the same nesting site over three consecutive breeding seasons from 2015 to 2017. The site is located in the hollow of a ventilation window of the Space Observatory in Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab. During the third breeding period (February to August 2017), the nest activity has been extensively video-recorded in egg laying and incubation period, and chick rearing period using a Dome CCTV Camera. Both parents participated in nest building, and of the total recorded incubation time of 339.39h over 23 days the nest was attended for 199.35 and 139.46h by the female and male respectively, and unattended for 0.58h. The incubation period was 42 to 43 days, and the egg laying/hatching intervals between eggs/chicks was five days. A total of six young ones hatched and fledged from three broods of two eggs each. All chicks survived to fledging and no mortality or siblicide of younger chick occurred due to aggression/starvation by elder chick. The high fledging success rate indicates a healthy habitat and food source in the nesting area.
 
The Kosgoda nesting beach on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka.
Allele frequencies for the six microsatellite loci (a = Cm58, b = Cm3, c = Cm72, d = Cc117, e = Cm84 and f = Cc7) of Green Turtles at the Kosgoda Turtle Rookery, Sri Lanka.
Results from the Micro-Checker Version 2.2.3
Calculated p values from HWE test results for the linkage disequilibrium of all pairs of loci (above diagonal) and presence of linkage disequilibrium (below diagonal)
Genetic variation at microsatellite loci in nesting Green Turtle populations around the world. Modified and updated from Robert et al. 2004
We determined the genetic diversity of the Green Turtle Chelonia mydas (Linneaus, 1758) nesting at Kosgoda rookery, the second largest sea turtle aggregation on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Skin tissue samples were collected from 68 nesting females and genetic diversity was estimated using six microsatellite loci. High genetic diversity was observed within the population as all loci analyzed were highly polymorphic with a total of 149 alleles observed. The mean number of alleles per locus was 24.7 and the mean observed and expected heterozygosity across all loci were 0.75 and 0.93, respectively. It appears that five out of six loci were not in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, while micro-checker analysis suggested that the Kosgoda Green Turtle population was possibly in equilibrium. The viability of a population is unlikely to be reduced if high genetic diversity is maintained within it. Although the Green Turtle population nesting at Kosgoda is small compared to other nesting rookeries in the world, the high genetic diversity observed suggests that the population may not be undergoing a bottleneck.
 
The present study deals with the distribution and conservation of the globally threatened Sarus Crane Grus antigone in Alwara Lake of district Kaushambi, Uttar Pradesh, India. It proved to be an important site since the lake under investigation was totally unexplored from the conservation point of view. Hence it was aimed at protecting the habitat of this threatened bird species by suggesting conservation measures through rural masses and policy makers. Birds were recorded in all the three transects of the lake surveyed by the authors, however, their relative abundance varied in each transect. A total of 487 cranes was actually observed, although more cranes were claimed to exist in this area by the local people. Cropland habitat harboured the maximum number of cranes. A positive correlation was observed between the crane numbers and the area of agricultural land. The authors recommend continuous population census of this species and declaration of the entire lake zone as a conservation area.
 
Eastern Spotted Skunks Spilogale putorius are an understudied Vulnerable small carnivore. Here we report a novel capture of Eastern Spotted Skunks mating via a camera trap in central Texas. This detection adds to the minimal natural history knowledge of the species and highlights the utility of camera traps for documenting rarely observed behaviors.
 
We herein submit the response to the comments received on the publication "An unusual morph of Naja naja linnaeus, 1758 from Assonora, Goa, India (Serpentes, Squamata)".
 
Red-breasted Parakeet is one among the most widespread parakeets of the world. The ‘Near Threatened’ bird has been in pet trade for long and is already known as a feral bird from major cities in India. The biodiversity of India has been threatened by many alien invasive species and some have been of a serious threat to native species pushing them to extinction. Though Red-breasted Parakeet with a limited population in many of the cities is of no immediate threat, an increase in population can be of serious threat to native bird species. In this paper, we report the new sighting of Red-breasted Parakeet from Vellayani-Punjakari wetlands, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and discuss the possible threats this particular species can impart to the native bird diversity.
 
We recorded the Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna in Shettikeri tank and it turned out to be a first record of the species for the state Karnataka. Further, it appears like a wild vagrant to Karnataka and Southern peninsula.
 
PunatsangChhu in Wangduephodrang 27.486°N 89.899°E (1,273m) is one of the largest rivers and an important zone in Bhutan for resident and migrant water birds. It is the expanse where the diverse birds are seen on a stretch between 27.462°N 89.901°E and 27.579°N 89.867°E (Tobgay 2017). Large numbers of winter migratory water birds in Bhutan have been found in this location (Spierenburg 2005). Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula was first sighted on Saturday, 5th of January, 2019 along PunatsangChhu 27.512657’N 89.887610’E at the elevation of 1142meter above sea level in the morning but couldn’t capture photo and more over mistreated it to be some other common water birds. However, until on 8th of January, 2019, it was a success to have photographed while it was foraging alone at the sand extraction sites at around 12:30 hours in the evening. The duck was observed diving simultaneously under water foraging at the time of sighting. It was then photographed with the help of DSLR camera and kit lens 55–300 mm until it flew away to other side of the river.
 
Places of finds of Clouded Apollo in the Republic of Mordovia (highlighted in red). 
Information is presented on incidence of the Clouded Apollo Parnassius mnemosyne in the Republic of Mordovia (Russia). Over the period 2006–2016, more than 30 sites of the species were identified. The main increase in the number from 2 to 22 specimens per 1km of route was observed in 2006–2011. Biotopes of the species, fodder plants of the imago, and measures for species protection are described.
 
Location of study area
Habitat suitability variables and analysis
Process of preparing suitability map
Map showing sample plot locations and layout of the quadrats
Habitat suitability map of the study area (a) and suitability map of different predictor variables (b-j).
The Greater One-horned Rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis has been listed as a Vulnerable species on IUCN Red List, Appendix I of CITES, and a protected animal under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2029 B.S., 1973. In Nepal, it was found only in Chitwan, Bardia, Shuklaphanta and Parsa national parks, but it has recently been also reported from the forests of Rautahat. The main objectives of the study were to assess habitat suitability and threats for rhinoceros in Rautahat at an elevation range of approximately 300–1,000 m. Remote sensing data and geospatial modeling techniques were used to assess habitat suitability of rhinoceros. Vegetation assessment was carried out for tree, shrubs, and herbs of plot size 10m × 10m, 5m × 5m, 1m × 1m respectively for habitat suitability. Threat analysis was carried out using purposive sampling among local people and their perceptions were collected on the movement of rhinoceros and threats. The integration of nine explanatory variables showed that about 0.06%, 29.18%, 20.45%, and 50.31% of the study area was found to be most suitable, suitable, moderately suitable and unsuitable habitat respectively for rhinoceros. Out of 30 respondents, 37%, 23%, 20%, and 20% identified the main threat to rhinoceros to be unmanaged habitat, poaching, human-wildlife conflict and environmental factors, respectively. This study recommends parts of the Rautahat District to be extended as the habitat of rhinoceros and starting of immediate conservation initiatives in the area.
 
The Himalayan Wolf Canis lupus L., a top predator of the Third Pole, is proposed to be of a distinct wolf lineage (C. himalayensis) relative to the Holarctic Grey Wolf as described by mtDNA analyses. A biodiversity survey organized by the Gaurishankar Conservation Area Project (GCAP) has captured images of wolves in three different regions, and the study team has observed wolf scats in five additional regions above the tree line in Rolwaling Valley. Further, interviews with local herders provided evidence of wolf depredation of livestock in the area. The Rolwaling Valley in the Gaurishankar Conservation Area was the study area which was divided into 12, 4 x 4 km (16 km2) grid cells, each supplied with one camera trap operated continuously from June to November 2019 (only 6 out of 12 cameras functioned for the duration of our study). Wolf detections were recorded by camera traps from Yalung Pass (4,956 m), Tsho-Rolpa glacial Lake (4,536 m) and the Dudhkunda ridgeline (5,091 m). The photo capture rate index (PCRI) for wolves was 0.71. Our study reports the first photographic evidence of the Himalayan Wolf in the Rolwaling Valley.
 
A few records of the Striped Hyena Hyaena hyaena, a Near Threatened species, suggest that it can survive along coasts, preying on intertidal fauna. This record updates earlier information about the presence of the Striped Hyena preying on the Rushikulya Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Lepidochelys olivacea mass-nesting beach to show that the hyena persists in this human-dominated landscape. In addition, it provides details of the first direct sighting of the Striped Hyena feeding on sea turtle eggs. The implications of the presence of this predator for conservation and coastal development are discussed.
 
Comparison of tiger and large mammalian prey (spotted deer, wild boar and rhesus macaque) biomass densities (kg/100km 2 ) across six sites (1 -Katka-Kochikhali; 2 -Hironpoint; 3 -Mandarbaria; 4 -Harintana; 5 -Chandpai; 6 -Burigoalini) in the Sundarbans of Bangladesh.  
Six sites in the Sundarbans where the surveys of tiger and prey densities were conducted (each survey site was approximately 170km 2 )
Individual density and biomass density of tigers and potential prey in the Sundarbans East Wildlife Sanctuary
Tiger and prey population densities (extrapolated) and indices of abundance in the Bangladesh Sundarbans
The results from intensive small scale surveys are often difficult to extrapolate to wider spatial scales, yet an understanding at such scales is critical for assessing the minimum densities and populations of rare and wide ranging species. In this paper, the minimum size of population and minimum density estimates of Bengal Tigers Panthera tigris tigris and its prey were conducted from 2005 to 2007 using camera traps for 90 days and using distance sampling surveys for over 200 days, respectively. The results were extrapolated from the core study area in Katka-Kochikhali, southeastern Sundarbans, to five additional sites using indices of abundance. With the use of 10 camera-traps at 15 trap-points, field data provided a total of 829 photos, including seven photos of five individual tigers. A total of 5.0 (SE = 0.98) tigers (adults and sub-adults) are thus estimated in the core area with an estimated density of 4.8 tigers/100km2. Distance sampling surveys conducted on large mammalian prey species obtained an overall density estimate of 27.9 individuals/km2 and a biomass density of 1,037kg/km2. Indices of abundance were obtained by using tiger track sighting rates (number of tracks/km of riverbank) and the sighting rates of the prey species (number of prey/km of riverbank) in the core area and in five additional sites across the region. The densities of tiger tracks and sighting rates of prey were strongly correlated suggesting a wide scale relationship between predator and prey in the region. By combining the estimates of absolute density with indices of abundance, an average of 3.7 tigers/100km2 across the region is estimated, which given an area of 5,770km2, predicts a minimum of approximately 200 tigers in the Bangladesh Sundarbans.
 
New host plants of Ceroplastes rusci and its population intensity in Uttarakhand, India.
A survey for the host plants of Fig Wax Scale Ceroplastes rusci (Linnaeus, 1758) was conducted in the Uttarakhand province, India. Among the six new host plants recorded during the study, four are new host records of C. rusci. A global check list of host plants of C. rusci was also prepared.
 
We describe the applicability of the cementum annuli analysis technique for estimating the age of Tiger Panthera tigris and Asiatic Lion Panthera leo using incisor teeth. We used I2 and I3 incisor teeth from the right mandible of Tiger and I2 and I3 from the left premaxilla of the Lion. The longitudinal sections of the teeth were prepared using an economical hand grinding technique with the help of sandpaper, followed by decalcification and staining with hematoxylin. Two cementum layers were observed under the microscope in each of the I2 and I3 incisor teeth of the Tiger and six cementum layers were observed in each of the I2 and I3 incisor teeth of the Lion. The permanent incisors in Tiger and Lion erupt between 12 and 14 months of age; hence, we added one year to the counted number of cementum layers to estimate the final age of Tiger and Lion incisors. The age of Tiger and Lion incisors were estimated to be of three years and seven years, respectively. This method may be suitable for estimating other carnivores’ age and applicable in wildlife forensic studies.
 
Location of the schools in northern Rio de Janeiro State, southeastern Brazil (CEEMM: Colégio Estadual Ercília Muylaert de Menezes, CEBP: Colégio Estadual Benta Pereira). The black circle is the mangroves in the Paraíba do Sul River estuary.
The study evaluated the perceptions of high school students (15 to 22 years old) on the value and ecosystem services (ES) provided by mangroves in the Paraíba do Sul River estuary, which is the habitat of the crab Ucides cordatus in northern Rio de Janeiro State, southeastern Brazil. One of the schools, Colégio Estadual Ercilia Muylaert de Menezes (CEEMM), is located in a rural area close to the mangroves, while the other school, Colégio Estadual Benta Pereira (CEBP), is located in an urban area 50km from the mangroves. The CEEMM students (n= 62) mainly attributed economic value to the ecosystem, while the CEBP students (n= 67) attributed ecological value. Students of both schools recognize the provision of services relating to commercial fishing of the crab U. cordatus as the main ES provided by the mangroves. The value of direct use (crab fishing) can encourage ecosystem conservation, however, it should not be the only resource considered for this purpose. We recommend that both schools implement environmental education activities to consolidate student knowledge about mangrove dynamics and its importance as an environment that supports and regulates coastal areas.
 
Moulvibazar district has been recognized as one of the biodiversity rich pockets close to the boundary side of Assam of India and situated in the North-eastern part of Bangladesh. Adompur reserve forest is one of the biodiversity hotspot in the North-eastern. The current article confirm, the presence of Kaniska canace Linnaeus, 1763, (Nymphalidae: Lepidoptera) which was not previously recorded in Bangladesh. This species was first recorded on 17 March 2017 at 15.30 (GMT+6) local time in the coordination of N 24°18'9.46"; E 91°55'4.23" at Kauyargola forest beat, Adampur reserve forest in Moulvibazar District.
 
A total of six individuals of S.chinensis were observed near the Jakhau creek, which is the western part of Gulf of Kachchh. The GPS location of the sighting is 23°14’28.5” N and 68°35’54.0" E. The dolphins were spotted in the mid-high tide time on 03 December 2014 at 9.53 hrs (IST). These dolphins were found less than 10 m away from the shore at a depth of 1-10 m. The dolphins were observed for a time period of 20 minutes. The dolphins while leaping continuously, kept following the boat for sometime and approaching as close as five meters during certain occasions. These dolphins were also observed at the same time on the same location on the following day. A questionnaire survey with nearby fishermen had confirmed that these dolphins were seen in this part of Gujarat during winter. Therefore, it is assumed that weather condition and prey availability is favorable for this species during this period. This is the first record of S. chinensis in western shore of Kachchh district detailed study regarding the distribution of this species is required across the creek system of Western Kachchh.
 
Top-cited authors
Krushnamegh Kunte
  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Nitin Ravikanthachari
  • University of South Carolina
S. Kalesh
  • Medical College Trivandrum
Neelesh Dahanukar
  • Shiv Nadar University