Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi

Scientist, High Altitudes

Kulbhushansingh 20suryawanshi 20profile lowres

Ph.D. Ecology and Conservation, NCF & Manipal University
M.Sc. Wildlife Biology and Conservation, NCBS & WCS-India
B.Sc. Zoology, Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad

I aim to work towards wildlife conservation through robust applied scientific research informing management and policy. My work, so far, has focused on the understanding and conservation of the alpine and high-altitude regions of the Himalaya and other Central Asian mountains. My Doctoral thesis focuses on identifying the causes of livestock predation by snow leopards and finding ways to minimize it through management of wild herbivore and livestock populations. I also examined the perceptions and attitudes of local herders to find ways of minimizing the persecution of the snow leopard. I used population ecology to develop an understanding of the interactions between large carnivores, their wild ungulate prey and livestock.

Projects

Dscn9469

People, livestock and snow leopards

Unique livestock insurance schemes betters prospects for herders and carnivores

Red 20fox 20in 20gete 20village  20spiti  20hp ag

Completed

Response of red fox to village expansion

How does red fox respond to increasing village size in the Trans-Himalaya?

Dsc 1033

Shared pastures

How mountain ungulates of the trans-Himalaya live together

Walking 20snow 20leopard 20sign 20transect 20above 205 000m

Snow leopard and prey distribution

Factors affecting snow leopard & wild-prey at multiple scales 

Livestock demchokarea

Snow Leopard Friendly Pashmina

converging traditional livelihood, culture and wildlife conservation

Sl 20cam 20trap 201

Snow leopard - prey dynamics

Understanding impact of wild prey availability on snow leopard killing livestock

Urial devika

Understanding urial

Factors affecting distribution and abundance of Ladakh urial

Publications

  • Book Chapter
    In press
    Conflicts over snow leopard conservation and livestock production
    Conservation Conflicts, Redpath S, Young J, Gutierrez R, Wood K (eds.), Cambridge University Press.
  • Journal Article
    In press
    Local community neutralizes traditional wolf traps and builds a stupa
    Oryx
  • Report
    2018
    Population assessment of the Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) using the Double-observer Survey method in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve
    Technical Report, Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore, India
    Download

    PDF, 4.59 MB

  • Book Chapter
    2018
    Living with Snow Leopards: a pluralistic approach to conservation
    In Conservation from the Margins. (Eds) Umesh Srinivasan & Nandini Velho. Orient Blackswan
    Download

    PDF, 1.68 MB

  • Book Chapter
    2018
    Large Carnivore and Conservation and Management
    Charudutt Mishra, justine Shanti Alexander, Yash Veer Bhatnagar, Orjan Johansson, Koustubh Sharma, Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, Muhammad Ali Nawaz, Gustaf Samelius
    Download

    PDF, 1.44 MB

  • Dataset
    2017
    Data from: Impact of wild prey availability on livestock predation by snow leopards
    Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, Steve Redpath, Yash Veer Bhatnagar, Uma Ramakrishnan, Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Sophie Smout, Charudutt Mishra
    Data Dryad: doi:10.5061/dryad.8p689
  • Journal Article
    2017
    Impact of wild prey availability on livestock predation by snow leopards. 
    Royal Society Open Science, 4(6), 170026.
    Download

    PDF, 566 KB

    An increasing proportion of the world's poor is rearing livestock today, and the global livestock population is growing. Livestock predation by large carnivores and their retaliatory killing is becoming an economic and conservation concern. A common recommendation for carnivore conservation and for reducing predation on livestock is to increase wild prey populations based on the assumption that the carnivores will consume this alternative food. Livestock predation, however, could either reduce or intensify with increases in wild prey depending on prey choice and trends in carnivore abundance. We show that the extent of livestock predation by the endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia intensifies with increases in the density of wild ungulate prey, and subsequently stabilizes. We found that snow leopard density, estimated at seven sites, was a positive linear function of the density of wild ungulates—the preferred prey—and showed no discernible relationship with livestock density. We also found that modelled livestock predation increased with livestock density. Our results suggest that snow leopard conservation would benefit from an increase in wild ungulates, but that would intensify the problem of livestock predation for pastoralists. The potential benefits of increased wild prey abundance in reducing livestock predation can be overwhelmed by a resultant increase in snow leopard populations. Snow leopard conservation efforts aimed at facilitating increases in wild prey must be accompanied by greater assistance for better livestock protection and offsetting the economic damage caused by carnivores.

  • Book Chapter
    2017
    Birds in Relation to Farming and Livestock Grazing in the Indian Trans-Himalayas
    In Bird Migration across the Himalayas: Wetland Functioning amidst Mountains and Glaciers
    Download

    PDF, 194 KB

  • Journal Article
    2017
    Commensal in conflict: Livestock depredation patterns by free-ranging domestic dogs in the Upper Spiti Landscape, Himachal Pradesh, India
    Chandrima Home, Ranjana Pal, Rishi Kumar Sharma, Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, Yash Veer Bhatnagar, Abi Tamim Vanak
    Ambio: doi:10.1007/s13280-016-0858-6
    Download

    PDF, 1.89 MB

    In human-populated landscapes worldwide, domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are the most abundant terrestrial carnivore. Although dogs have been used for the protection of livestock from wild carnivores, they have also been implicated as predators of livestock. We used a combination of methods (field surveys, interview surveys, and data from secondary sources) to examine the patterns and factors driving livestock depredation by free-ranging dogs, as well as economic losses to local communities in a Trans-Himalayan agro-pastoralist landscape in India. Our results show that livestock abundance was a better predictor of depredation in the villages than local dog abundance. Dogs mainly killed small-bodied livestock and sheep were the most selected prey. Dogs were responsible for the majority of livestock losses, with losses being comparable to that by snow leopards. This high level of conflict may disrupt community benefits from conservation programs and potentially undermine the conservation efforts in the region through a range of cascading effects.

  • Report
    2017
    Population Density Estimation of Snow Leopard from Upper Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh
    Malgaonkar, A., Khanyari, M, Ghoshal, A. & Suryawanshi, K. (2017) Population Density Estimation of Snow Leopard from Upper Kinnaur. Submitted to Himachal Pradesh Forest Department.
    Download

    PDF, 4.2 MB

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