2010 Conference

The first conference took place on 16-18 June 2010, at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.  A further description is below:

 

Workshops: There were 7-9 workshops, conducted in parallel batches in the afternoons. The goal of the workshops is capacity-building in terms of training in basic conservation and research skills as well as introductions to new ideas, concepts and techniques in conservation science. 

Other activities: A session similar to the “Who’s Who in Conservation” session at Cambridge was arranged. For this, academic departments, NGOs and government departments working in the field of conservation were invited to bring posters and other material describing their work and possible employment opportunities. Representatives from participating organisations were present to interact with student participants. In addition, we had round-table discussions on topics like conservation in industry, conservation science and conservation practice, conservation and livelihoods, and so on.

 

Programme

 
WEDNESDAY 16 JUNE 2010 

09:00–10:00 Registration 

10:00–10:30 Inauguration 

10:30–11:30 Plenary talk 1: Ruth DeFries: Linkages between Protected Areas and their surroundings in India's human-dominated landscapes
11:30–12:00 Refreshments 

12:00–13:30 Session I: Conservation Biology (Chair: Prithiviraj Fernando) 13:30–14:30 Lunch and poster set–up 

14:30–16:00 Panel discussions and workshops 16:00–16:30 Refreshments 

16:30–18:00 Who’s Who In Conservation 

18:00–19:00 Plenary talk 2: Rom Whitaker: Conservation tools to fix the planet: do we know what they are and are we using them correctly?
19:00–21:00 Dinner at IISC Guesthouse Lawns 

 

THURSDAY 17 JUNE 2010 

09:00–09:30 Registration 

09:30–10:30 Plenary talk 3: Harini Nagendra: Conservation in forests and cities: challenges of collective action

10:30–11:00 Refreshments 

11:00–12:30 Session II: Conservation and Human Communities (Chair: Asmita Kabra) 12:30–13:30 Lunch and Poster session 

13:30–15:00 Session III: Mammal conservation (Chair: Mewa Singh) 15:00–15:30 Refreshments 

15:30–16:30 Session IV: Landscape Ecology (Chair: Jagdish Krishnaswamy) 16:30–18:00 Panel discussions and workshops 19:00–21:00 Dinner at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS). Transport is arranged leaving the JN Tata Auditorium at 18:15, and returning from NCBS at 21:15. 

 

FRIDAY 18 JUNE 2010 

08:30–09:00 Registration 

09:00–10:00 Plenary talk 4: Rhys Green: The race to save Asia's vultures from extinction
10:00–11:00 Session V: Species Interactions (Chair: Asad Rahmani) 11:00–11:30 Refreshments 

11:30–13:00 Panel discussions and workshops 13:00–14:00 Lunch and Poster session 

14:00–15:00 Session VI: Conservation Genetics (Chair: Praveen Karanth) 15:00–15:30 Conclusion 

15:30–16:00 Refreshments 

 

PANEL DISCUSSIONS:

 

01. 16 June. Should conservation limit its focus to protected areas, or should it equally consider areas outside, including production landscapes? Panel: MD Madhusudan (NCF, Mysore), K Ullas Karanth (WCS, Bangalore), TR Shankar Raman (NCF, Mysore), Prithviraj Fernando (CCL, Sri Lanka) Summary: What scientific foundations and practical compulsions have shaped the different approaches to conservation described in the title? How effective have they been in conserving species and ecosystems in the short-term and the long-term? What are the social, economic and political fall-outs of their implementation, and how do they influence our ability to pursue these approaches into the future? And finally, given that the practice of conservation is about prioritising the use of scarce resources and efforts, to what extent are these approaches in conflict with each other, and hence undermining conservation? How, if at all, can they be made truly complementary in practice?

02. 17 June. Conservation targets: should we focus on species, ecosystems or services? Panel: Jagdish Krishnaswamy (ATREE, Bangalore), Mahesh Sankaran (NCBS, Bangalore), R. Sukumar (IISc, Bangalore) Summary: This workshop will focus on new paradigms about prioritizing conservation of species, ecosystems and ecosystem functions at the landscape scale. It will discuss the conceptual, spatial, temporal synergies and trade-offs between biodiversity and different regulatory and provisioning ecosystem services and the challenges this poses for conservation and management of landscapes for multiple stake-holders.

03. 18 June. Human-wildlife conflict: gaps in our understanding. Panel: Janaki Lenin (Draco-India, Chennai), Anindya Sinha (NIAS, Bangalore), Prithviraj Fernando (CCL, Sri Lanka), Ravi Chellam (WCS-India, Bangalore) Summary: Conflict generally occurs when large carnivores or herbivores use human landscapes. Although conflict with some species such as elephants has been studied for a long time, there are large gaps in our understanding of their foraging and movement patterns, habitat use and behaviour. There is also no clear understanding of the extent, intensity, trends and causes of conflict. In other words, there is little knowledge of the ecology of these animals outside Protected Areas, where a lot of our wildlife lives. On the other hand, we do not know what influences the degree of tolerance of people suffering loss? While it is recognized that conflict is as much about the competition for resources between man and wildlife as it is about the attitudes of local people, there is very little attention paid to the sociological aspect. There are a whole range of mitigation measures being used but little is known of their effectiveness. At this discussion, we will hear different views on all these points.

WORKSHOPS:

 

01. 16 June. Elements of good study design in ecology. Conducted by: Advait Edgaonkar (IIFM, Bhopal) & Kavita Isvaran (IISc, Bangalore) Capacity: 30. This workshop will discuss a range of issues that arise when designing a study in ecology and conservation. These include how to identify and distribute sampling units and avoid bias while doing so; what inferences can and cannot be drawn from particular research designs; what spatial and temporal scales are appropriate for answering different kinds of questions; and finally some general advice on making inferences from the statistical analysis of ecological data. Throughout, we will use examples to make concepts as clear as possible. After a brief presentation by us on the design of good ecological research, students will split into small groups and discuss different case studies. Representatives from each group will then lead discussions on the strengths and weaknesses of their designs, and on how to improve them to obtain better results.

02. 16 June. Applying genetic techniques to conservation. Conducted by: TNC Vidya (JNCASR, Bangalore), Uma Ramakrishnan (NCBS, Bangalore), Praveen Karanth (IISc, Bangalore), Shomita Mukherjee (SACON, Coimbatore). Capacity: 100. Summary: This workshop will provide an overview of the use of genetic techniques in conservation, including studies on genetic diversity, phylogeny, phylogeography and population genetics, and forensic studies, and methods such as sequencing and microsatellite analysis. It will provide a brief introduction to analytical tools.

03. 17 June. Conservation and livelihoods: getting down to earth. Conducted by: Asmita Kabra (Ambedkar University, Delhi), Arnab Mukherji (Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore) Capacity: 30. Summary: The workshop will introduce participants to social science methods/thinking in the context of conservation research. Some of the issues that the workshop will engage with are (1) Analytical frameworks for understanding rural livelihoods (income approaches, livelihood approaches); (2) Basic research methods: combining survey techniques with participatory methods; and (3) Common pitfalls and dilemmas of rural livelihood research. The workshop will be participatory, and will include hands-on exercises in designing rural livelihood and forest dependence surveys.

04. 17 June. How to get a job in conservation. Conducted by: Rom Whitaker (Agumbe Rainforest Research Station), Ruth DeFries (Columbia University, USA) Capacity: 100. Summary: So, you have a masters or a doctoral degree in conservation or a related field. What next? This workshop will explore the gamut of career options in conservation. With resource people who have chosen very different career trajectories, this session will give you a global perspective on opportunities in the field of conservation. It will cover the range from academic careers to working with NGO’s to creating your own opportunities for work, the pros and cons of different types of jobs, and how to prepare yourself for the type of career that best interests you.

05. 18 June. Where and how to apply for funds for your conservation research. Conducted by: Mewa Singh (University of Mysore) and Ajith Kumar (WCS-India and NCBS, Bangalore) Capacity: 60. Summary: Are you a Masters or PhD student with little or no funding for your conservation research? Or looking for a little extra to make sure you can add an exciting component to your work? This workshop will describe major and minor funding sources available to you; and will give you tips for how to write an effective proposal.

06. 18 June. Introduction to GIS using open-source tools. Conducted by: Srinivas V. (FERAL, Bangalore), Neil Pelkey (Juanita College, USA) Capacity: 30. Summary: In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of GIS, including importing shapefiles and customising maps, using the open-source GIS software QGIS. Participants will need to bring their own laptops, as we don't have a computer lab available. You must install QGIS and other software before the workshop starts. Details will be emailed to you before the conference begins.

All posters were displayed on all three days of the conference. The list below has been loosely grouped into four categories: Behaviour, Conservation Strategies, Livelihoods & human communities, and Status & distribution. 

 

BEHAVIOUR

01. Abhijeet Bayani: Dynamic forms of predatory behaviour and variable hunting strategies of Marsh Crocodiles (Crocodylus palustris) benefit their survival in river Vishwamitri, Vadodara, Gujarat.

02. Asif Hussain: Effect of livestock and herding activities on habitat use, activity pattern and diet of Tibetan wild ass (Equus kiang) in Changthang wildlife sanctuary Ladakh India.

03. Bhrigu Prasad Saikia: Habitat utilization pattern of Golden langur Trachypithecus geei, Khajuria, 1956 in Manas National Park, Assam, India

04. Elisabet Purastuti: A study of human elephant conflict (spatial analysis of elephant home range in Sekincau, Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Lampung)

05. Karakkunnummal Shanij: Leaf litter trapping and consumption by sesarmid crabs: is it crucial for mangrove ecosystem?

06. Krishnendu Mondal: Response of leopards to re-introduced tigers in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan.

07. Lan Qie: Vertical stratification responses of an arboreal dung beetle species to tropical forest fragmentation

08. Patrick David: Fig seasonality and fig-use by birds and mammals in Sriharikota Island, southern India.

09. Shamshad Alam: Diet of Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena) in Gir National Park and Sanctuary, Gujarat, India

10. Shreya Dasgupta: Home range and Movement pattern dynamics of Indian wolves in semi-wild landscapes of Deccan plateau in Maharashtra, India

11. Sreedhar Vijayakrishnan: Elephant behaviour and ecology in stressed situations: A comparative study between behavior of Wild and Captive elephants under distressed conditions

12. Sreekar Rachakonda: Who does what to who? A preliminary study on the impacts of human beings on the Indian golden gecko Calodactylodes aureus

 

CONSERVATION STRATEGIES

01. Dhruba Bijaya B. C.: Community Forestry as a vehicle for poverty reduction, good governance and gender equity.

02. Gurshabadjeet Singh: Conservation, livelihoods and hunting tribes: A case study on Pardhees, an indigenous hunting tribe in Madhya Pradesh

03. Meha Jain: Community-based forest management: conserving forest cover while providing valuable ecosystem services

04. Nalin Wijayawardene: Role of forest dwelling communities for conservation of Ritigala Strict Natural Reserve (SNR) in Sri Lanka

05. Ruth Pinto: Role of forest guards in forest conservation

06. Sweta Mishra: Community Conservation Initiatives in Orissa: A self initiated and self driven step by the local communities, towards ecological security and addressing the livelihood requirements

STATUS & DISTRIBUTION

In this session, academic departments, NGOs and government departments working in the field of conservation displayed posters and other material describing their work and possible employment opportunities. Representatives from these organisations were present to interact with participants. Organisations that took part in this session were:

01. Aaranyak

02. AERF: Applied Environmental Research Foundation

03. Agharkar Research Institute, Pune

04. Agumbe Rainforest Research Station

05. ARCH: Action for Research and Conservation in Himalayas

06. CIKS: Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems

07. CEPF-ATREE Western Ghats Small Grants Program

08. College of Fisheries, Mangalore

09. Conservation Research Group - Kerala

10. DAAD: Deutscher Akademischer Austauch Dienst / German Academic Exchange Service

11. Dakshin Foundation

12. The Ecological Society, Pune

13. Equations

14. FERAL: Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning

15. FES: Foundation for Ecological Security

16. GNAPE: Group for Nature Preservation and Education

17. Growing Wild

18. Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Trivandrum, Kerala

19. JNCASR: Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research

20. Keystone Foundation

21. MCBT: Madras Crocodile Bank Trust/Centre for Herpetology

22. NCBS: National Centre for Biological Sciences

23. National Institute of Advanced Studies

24. Narendra Babu Memorial Research Fund

25. Orange County

26. Orissa Wildlife Society

27. RANWA: Research and Action in Natural Wealth Administration

28. SACON: Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History

29. Samrakshan Trust

30. SSTCN: Students' Sea Turtle Conservation Network

31. TREE Foundation

32. Tribe 10 Foundation

33. Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program

34. Wildlife Institute of India

35. WRCS: Wildlife Research and Conservation Society, Pune

36. Wildlife Society of Orissa

37. WTI: Wildlife Trust of India

38. WWF-India

39. YETI: Young Ecologists Talk and Interact

40. ZOO: Zoo Outreach Organisation