Paramesha Mallegowda

Program Associate (USAID), Centre for Environment and Development

Email: paramesh@atree.org

PhD in ‘Functionality of wildlife corridors in the fragmented landscape of the Western Ghats, India: Implications for conservation and management’. Manipal University.

Doctoral Advisory Committee: Dr. R. Ganesan, Dr. T. Ganesh and Dr. Bejoy Thomas

Title: Functionality of wildlife corridors in the fragmented landscape of the Western Ghats, India: Implications for conservation and management

Summary of the research

Wildlife corridors are critical for the movement and long term survival of species in a fragmented landscape. Increasingly these migratory routes are threatened due to demands on forest land, unsustainable use of forest resources often leading to human-wildlife conflicts (HWC) or complete loss of functionality of the corridors. Biligiri Rangan hills (BR hills) which is part of the Mysore-Nilgiri Corridor landscape of the Western Ghats, is connected with Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in the south and Eastern Ghats in the east through corridors that are considered critical for large mammal movement. Presently the linkages are under threat due to expansion of human habitations, resource exploitation, intensive farming, ill-planned infrastructure developments and rapid spread of invasive plant species. My research focused on identifying the functionality of wildlife corridors in the BR hills landscape in terms of habitat quality, historical land-use and land-cover changes and also seasonal use of this matrix by both wildlife and human.

The study reveals that, in spite of drastic change in habitat quality due to various historical and current anthropogenic pressures, the corridors and adjacent forested areas are used by large mammals. This was because of complex set of factors including vegetation structure, non-overlap of people and large mammal movement, water and forage availability allowed the corridors to be functional. The study also reveals that, functional corridors play a major role in mitigating HWC. Since the causes of conflict are ecological and the consequences are social, I addressed the conflict issue through corridor perspective in BR hills landscape. Responses drawn from various stakeholders from the landscape towards both corridors and conflict were used to develop strategies to conserve wildlife corridors and also mitigate HWC. This could provide an opportunity to improve the habitat quality and restore the corridors for safe wildlife migration, improve ecological processes and also reduce HWC in the fragmented forest landscapes of Western Ghats.

PUBLICATIONS

  • Mallegowda, P., Rengaian, G., Krishnan, J. and Niphadkar, M. (2015). Assessing habitat quality of forest-corridors through NDVI analysis in dry tropical forests of south India: implications for conservation. Remote Sensing 15(7), 1619-1639.
  • Ticktin, T., Ganesan, R., Paramesha, M. and Setty, S. (2014). Disentangling, again, the drivers of population decline for two harvested species: a response to Prasad et al. (). Journal of Applied Ecology, 51 (3), 774–784.
  • Mallegowda, P. (2013) Baduki, Badukalu Bidi... (Live let live) appeared in Kannada news papers Prajavani, dated 11 December 2013.
  • Mallegowda, P. (2013) Interdisciplinary research: way forward for biodiversity conservation. Current Science, 109(9), 1202-1203.
  • Ticktin, T., Ganesan, R., Paramesha, M. and Setty, S. (2012). Disentangling the effects of multiple anthropogenic drivers on the decline of two tropical dry forest trees. Journal of Applied Ecology, 49 (4), 774–784.
  • Mallegowda, P. (2012). Do wildlife corridors need protection? Sanctuary Asia, 30, 70-71.
  • Paramesha, M. (2011). Sourcing local solutions for confict. Current Conservation. 5 (3), 38-39.
  • Mallegowda, P. (2010). Human-wildlife conflict in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Ghats, India: A preliminary assessment from villages in three elephant corridors. Project report submitted to ATREE-NORAGRIC Small Grants, Pp-33.
  • Mallegowda, P. (2008). Effect of soil type on the distribution of treefall gap size and its effect on seedling recruitment in a lowland rain forest of Malaysia. Proceedings of 8th CTFS-AA International Field Biology Course-2008, Pp-12.
  • Tunjai, P., Musa, M.H. and Mallegowda, P. (2008). Relationship between leaf litter and ant diversity along elevation gradient in a hill dipterocarp forest of Malaysia, Proceedings of 8th CTFS-AA International Field Biology Course-2008, Pp-12.

ORAL/POSTER PRESENTATION

  • 28 October 2015: ‘Functionality of wildlife corridors in the fragmented landscape of the Western Ghats, India: Implications for conservation and management’. Open defense of Ph.D. thesis, at ATREE, Bangalore (Manipal University), India.
  • February 04th 2015: PhD pre-submission colloquium entitled ‘Functionality of wildlife corridors in the fragmented landscape of the Western Ghats, India: Implications for conservation and management’ presented at ATREE, Bengaluru, India.
  • 25 - 28 September 2013: Poster entitled ‘Functional Corridors for wildlife conservation in human dominated landscape of the Western Ghats, India’ was presentation in an International ‘Student Conference on Conservation Science 2013’ held in Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), Bangalore.
  • August 27th 2012: Oral presentation entitled “Assessing the socio-ecological status of wildlife corridors for better management in Mysore-Nilgiri landscape of Western Ghats, India” at lab seminar organized by ‘ITES – Ecosystem Management’, ETH Zurich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich), Switzerland.
  • August 18th 2012: Oral presentation entitled “Multidisciplinary approach to conserve wildlife corridors in Mysore-Nilgiri landscape of Western Ghats, India” as part of the ‘Global Environments Summer Academy 2012’ held in Munich, Germany.
  • May 27th-29th 2011: Oral presentation entitled “Human-wildlife conflict in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Ghats, India” in the workshop on ‘People and biodiversity in the context of global change’ held in Sikkim, organized by ATREE and Norwegian University of Agricultural Sciences.
  • October 24th – 30th 2010: Oral presentation entitled “Assessing the socio-ecological status of wildlife corridors for better management in the Mysore-Nilgiri landscape of Western Ghats, India” in ‘International Symposium’ held in Kunming, China. Organized by Xishungbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.
  • September 24th – 26th 2009: Poster presentation entitled “Regeneration dynamics of Amla (Indian gooseberry) trees in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Ghats, India” at YETI conference held at Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, India.
  • June 12th – 20th 2009: Poster presentation entitled “Regeneration dynamics of forest trees, a case study of Amla in BRT Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Ghats, India” at GCOE-INeT Summer School 2009 held in Sapporo, Japan, Organized by Hokkaido University, Japan.
  • February 12th-15th 2009: Oral presentation on “Role of fruit-frugivores in conserving Amla, a wild bioresources of Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRT), Western Ghats, INDIA” at ATBC Annual meeting-2009, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Organized by King Mongkut’s University of Tech. Thonburi, Thailand.
  • July 12th –August 24th 2008: Six oral presentations given on various topics during the CTFS-AA 2008 International Field Biology Course held at Pasoh Forest Reserve, Malaysia in collaboration with Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM), Malaysia.
  • March 14th -16th 2008: Oral Presentation: “Amla fruit-frugivore interaction and Bioresource Conservation in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRT), Karnataka”. National Symposium on ‘Plant Resources of India: Linking Conservation, Livelihood and Culture’ by Sri JCBM College, Sringeri, Karnataka State, India.
  • November 19th – 21st 2007: Participated in XVII Annual Conference of IAAT and International Seminar on “Changing Scenario in Angiosperm Systematics” at Department of Botany, Shivaji University, Kolhapur, India.
  • December 1st -3rd 2006: Poster Presentation: ‘Long-term Monitoring of bio resources for better management – a case study of Amla’ at National Seminar on ‘Plant Resources of the Western Ghats, Organized by Karnataka Biodiversity Board, India.

WORKSHOPS/TRAINING COURSES/MEETINGS

  • 24 July 2016: Invited panelist for ‘Panel Discussion’ on ‘The Corridors of Power’ at Rangoli Rangasthala, Bangalore. Organized by Friends of Elephants, Bangalore, India.
  • 10 February 2016: Invited delegate for ‘Roundtable Discussion’ on 'Guidelines to involve private sector in afforestation of degraded forests' brought out by the Forest Ministry (MoEFCC). Event organized by Center for Science and Environment (CSE) at New Delhi, India.
  • 19-20 May 2014: Participated in an international workshop on ‘Long-term ecosystem monitoring’ organized by NCBS Bangalore and Oxford University, UK at NCBS, Bangalore. India
  • November 22nd – 26th 2013: Participated in a training workshop on Land Degradation Surveillance Framework (LDSF) biophysical field survey as part of the “Sentinel Landscapes” component of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agro-forestry led by CIFOR and ICRAF in the Western Ghats, India.
  • August 3rd – 24th 2012: Participated in the ‘Global Environments Summer Academy 2012’ (GESA 2012) held in Munich, Germany. Organized and hosted by the ‘Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society’ and the ‘Global Diversity Foundation’ at Munich’s ‘Ludwig Maximilian University’ as part of the Munich International Summer University, Germany.
  • April 1st-6th 2010: Participated in the ‘Scientific Writing Workshop’ at ATREE-Bangalore, conducted Prof. Charlie Shackleton from University of Rhodes, South Africa and Visiting Faculty at ATREE. Bangalore, India.
  • June 12th – 20th 2009: Participated in ‘GCOE-INeT Summer School 2009’ at Sapporo, Japan, Organized by Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.
  • February 17th – 27th 2009: Participated in the Scientific Workshop on ‘Statistics and Paper Writing’ held at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Bangkok, Thailand organized by ATBC in collaboration with KMUTT, Thailand.
  • July 12th –August 24th 2008: Participated in Six weeks ‘CTFS-AA 2008 International Field Biology Course’ held at Pasoh Forest Reserve, MALAYSIA in collaboration with Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM), Malaysia.
  • August 31st 2007: Participated in a workshop on ‘Ecological Niche modeling’ conducted by Dr. Shaily Menon - Grand Valley State University and Dr. Townsend Peterson - University of Kansas. Organized by Eco-Informatics Centre- ATREE, Bangalore, India.
  • September 1st – 3rd 2006: Participated in ‘Methodology workshop on Techniques for Analysis of Biodiversity’ at College of Forestry, Sirsi, India and Organized by DBT, New Delhi. India.

GRANTS/AWARDS

  • All international training courses, workshops, conferences, symposiums, summer schools which I have participated were fully funded by the respective organizations.
  • Article Processing Charge (Remote Sensing journl) from Royal Norwegian Embassy Grants in January 2015
  • ‘Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society’ and the ‘Global Diversity Foundation’ supported 1500 Euros through the ‘Salvia Foundation’ to attend the course ‘Global Environments Summer Academy 2012’ held in Munich, Germany from 3rd - 24th Aug 2012.
  • Edda G. Sehgal Foundation: Travel grant support to attend the ‘Global Environments Summer Academy 2012’ held in Munich, Germany from 3rd - 24th Aug 2012.
  • ‘ATREE-Noragric Small grants in 2010’ to conduct research on Human-wildlife conflict in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Ghats, India: A preliminary assessment from villages in three elephant corridors.

OTHERS

  • Member: Indian Association for Angiosperm Taxonomy
  • Alumni: Global Environmental Summer Academy
  • Alumni: GCOE-INeT International Summer School
  • Alumni: Center for Tropical Forest Science Field Biology Course