Entries by administrator

Global plant diversity

Our latest paper (here) in the prestigious journal Nature Communications is about global patterns of plant diversity. Species richness is usually described with alpha diversity (number of species in a plot), beta diversity (change of species among plots) and gamma diversity (regional to continental number of species). This paper is about alpha diversity. The number […]

A tribute to Bellan, Forest Watcher

  Nassim Taleb, one of my favorite authors, wrote about heroes in his book “The Black Swan”. He said something a bit startling: if an administrator had taken the proper safety steps, the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York may not have happened. This administrator would have been a hero but no one […]

The ultimate tragedy of the commons?

Some of our colleagues and friends who are social scientists think of us conservationists as neocolonialists and/or pro-capitalists when we say that forests should be more protected. They often view forests as an ill-managed resource because for them (i) forest management is inherited from the British colonial rule, (ii) the poor need to have control […]

Greta Thunberg, Extinction Rebellion and the march of folly

Greta Thunberg, the teenager from Sweden who became a climate change activist, does not need any introduction. Everyone knows that she stopped going to school in 2018 because she thought she has no future since “nothing” was done to fight climate change. According to her, climate change may de-stabilize our civilization. She has established herself […]

Incidents with elephants and deforestation

  Contrary to what is advertised, nature lovers might be a bit lost in Coorg. We just published this paper “Deforestation Increases Frequency of Incidents With Elephants (Elephas maximus)” available here, in Tropical Conservation Science. It may be the first paper that shows a correlation between the intensity of deforestation and increased incidents with elephants. […]

We are all into it

  We recently have published a paper: ‘Point intercept method for estimating biomass of invasive lantana (Lantana camara) in the Nilgiris, India’ in the Indian Forester (here). This paper is part of our student Muneer Ul Islam Najar’s Ph.D. thesis on the population dynamics of lantana in the Nilgiris Plateau. I was astonished by the […]

Risk our lives or wait till the law is implemented?

Today is the second time I was seriously charged by an elephant because of the irresponsible behavior of people. The first time was on 25th January at 10:20 am (these things tend to stick to memory). The personnel of a nearby school at Vazhaithottam came to the river near our house throwing loud fire crackers. […]

Sigur Nature Trust small-grant 2019 for education and awareness

Children from the center of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve paradoxically have little incentives to know about their exceptional environment. On the 15th September 2019, the Sigur Nature Trust will provide a small grant (Rs40,000 maximum) to undertake an awareness project in a local school (Mavinhalla or Masinagudi or Kargudi). The awareness project will describe the […]