Press Releases

WCS conservationist Shashank Dalvi part of international team that discovers new Indian bird species

(January 21, 2016) Himalayan Forest Thrush. Photo Craig BrelsfordBengaluru: A new species of bird has been described from northeastern India and adjacent parts of China by a team of scientists from Sweden, India, China, the US, and Russia.The bird has been named Himalayan Forest Thrush Zoothera salimalii. The scientific name honours the great Indian ornithologist Dr Sálim Ali (1896–1987), in recognition of his huge contributions to the development of Indian ornithology and wildlife conservation. This ...

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Breaking News to Cutting Edge Science: Understanding leopards in human landscapes

(November 11, 2015) Bengaluru: In a country like India, media plays a very important role in disseminating knowledge as well as influencing public opinion. The large number of print media in English and vernacular languages can also provide powerful information for scientists to look at the spatial distribution of widespread wild animals like leopards. In a recent study scientists with the Wildlife Conservation Society India Program used information from media reports in a novel way, revealing interesting informati...

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Understanding elephant-habitat relationships is key to effective management interventions

(November 06, 2015) Bengaluru: Reiterating need for scientific management of Indian protected areas, a new study by scientists of Wildlife Conservation Society India Program has demonstrated overarching importance to preserve natural systems over ad hoc interventions, to safeguard country’s wildlife. Recording preference of elephants for natural water bodies, the study cautions that practices like creating waterholes without research on impacts may in fact be counterproductive for conservation.The research ev...

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WCS-NCBS Masters Program: Former graduate completes doctorate

(October 05, 2015) Bengaluru: Even as applications stream in for the next batch of the widely-acclaimed Post Graduate program in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, yet another former graduate has successfully completed his Doctorate, bringing the total to seven.A collaborative of the WCS India Program and NCBS-TIFR, the program was launched in 2004 to create a cadre of well-trained biologists and conservationists to effectively deal with challenges to wildlife. Since then, taking in a maximum of 15 students every ...

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Study maps distribution of wild herbivores outside Tiger Reserves in Karnataka

(September 03, 2015) Bengaluru: A new scientific study by the Wildlife Conservation Society India Program has assessed seasonal distribution patterns of five wild herbivores in human-use areas adjoining Tiger Reserves in Karnataka. The findings will help conservation managers better plan protection of these species as well as prevention of conflicts, outside the Tiger Reserves.With less than 5% of India’s area designated as protected areas, many wildlife species overlap with people sharing habitats, space...

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Human footprint limits elephant distribution in Western Ghats: WCS study

(July 25, 2015) Bengaluru: The Western Ghats forms the last stronghold for our National Heritage Animal, housing the world’s largest population of Asian elephants. Nevertheless, today, less than half of this landscape is occupied by elephants, a pattern largely driven by an increased human footprint, new research by Wildlife Conservation Society, India Program says.Across India, little reliable information exists on the status of Asian elephant populations. Without accurate information on elephant spatial...

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Age of the small cats: Researchers estimate population of leopard cats in Western Ghats

(June 27, 2015) Bengaluru: Very little is known on the status of the Asia’s most common wild cat species – the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), in India. The much understudied leopard cats face severe threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as commercial exploitation for their skins, as well as for pet trade. Research scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS India Program) have for the first time now, estimated population densities of the species in the Western Ghat...

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Researchers demonstrate approach to monitor elephant populations

(June 05, 2015) Bengaluru: Taking India a step ahead to better understand its national heritage animal, researchers from Wildlife Conservation Society India Program have demonstrated an approach to reliably monitor elephant populations. This approach, if replicated, can result in crucial information on the population status, strengthening elephant conservation in source sites across India.Reliable monitoring of key elephant populations have assumed great significance in the light of increasing poaching pressure...

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Strategy for conserving non-protected forests, using the sloth bear in India as a case study

(May 08, 2015) Bengaluru: Globally, protected wildlife reserves are important conservation tools as they provide refuge to several species of wildlife, many of which are critically endangered. There are over 600 such reserves in India, covering a mere 4% of its total land area. The focus of conservation in India has been somewhat limited to animals that occur within these protected reserves. Although large mammals, including carnivores such as wolves, leopards, bears, foxes and hyenas, among others, live in mu...

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Creating Conservation Opportunities: Commodity Agroforests as Wildlife Habitats

(April 28, 2015) Bengaluru: India became the world’s first country to adopt an agro-forestry policy, last year. Experts are now paving pathways to gather policy-relevant scientific data to benefit both biodiversity as well as agro-forest practitioners.A new interdisciplinary research paper titled ‘Political ecology of commodity agroforests and tropical biodiversity’ has now provided the framework for further research on this complex yet crucial model for future conservation. The authors include...

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