M Ananda Kumar
Scientist, Western Ghats
My doctoral thesis focussed on human-elephant conflict and behaviour of Asian elephants in this human-dominated landscape of plantations and rainforest fragments. I hold a Masters degree in Psychology as well.
My prior work includes the ecology, behaviour, and distribution of primates and large mammals in the region. I have also conducted surveys on the slender loris (Loris tardigradus, a nocturnal primate) in the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. For over a decade now, I have been working in the Anamalai hills. My major goals are in involving the local communities, government departments, school children, and also the business community in rainforest restoration and wildlife conservation in the region.
- Journal Article2018Seasonal variation in wildlife roadkills in plantations and tropical rainforest in the Anamalai Hills, Western Ghats, IndiaCURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 114, NO. 3
- Book Chapter2014Fostering human-elephant coexistence in the Valparai landscape,Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil NaduPages 14 - 26, in Human-Wildlife Conflict in the Mountains of SAARC Region - Compilation of Successful Management Strategies and Practices. SAARC Forestry Centre, Thimpu, Bhutan.
- Poster2014Spotting Elephant SignsDownload
JPG, 353 KB
Dung, Herd, Inefficient Digestion, Debark, Tuskers, Deciduous Forests, Grewia, Teak
- Journal Article2014Our backyard wildlife: Challenges in coexisting with uneasy neighbours. [Guest Editorial]Current Science 106: 1463-1464.
Available here: http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/106/11/1463.pdf
- Book Chapter2014Restoring nature: wildlife conservation in landscapes fragmented by plantation crops in India.Pages 178-214. In Nature Without Borders (Eds. Mahesh Rangarajan, MD Madhusudan & Ghazala Shahabuddin), Orient Blackswan, New Delhi.
- Poster2014Asian ElephantsDownload
PDF, 7.67 MB
Dexterous, Pondorous, Evergreen Forests, Grasslands, Patriarch, Bamboo, Browse, Bark, Ivory, Tamil
- Poster2014Shola GrasslandsDownload
JPG, 776 KB
Shola, Mosses, Epiphytes, Wild Balsams, Kurinji, Rhodendron, Orchids, Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Pipit, White-bellied Shortwing, Tamil
- Poster2011Endemic Mammals of The Nilgirissupported by Whitley Fund for NatureDownload
PDF, 25.5 MB
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Brown Palm Civet, Malabar Spiny Doormouse, Brown Mongoose Lion, Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Nilgiri Tahr, Stripe-necked Mongoose
- Journal Article2010Asian elephant Elephas maximus habitat use and ranging in fragmented rainforest and plantations in the Anamalai hills, IndiaTropical Conservation Science 3: 143–158
- Journal Article2010Behavior of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in a land-use mosaic: implications for human-elephant coexistence in the Anamalai hills, IndiaWildlife Biology in Practice 6: 69-80.Download
PDF, 1.01 MB
Understanding behavior of elephants in human-dominated landscapes can facilitate creation of management tools for conflict resolution and help foster human-elephant coexistence. We studied behavior of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in the Valparai plateau, a 220 km² landscape matrix of rainforest fragments, tea, coffee, and Eucalyptus plantations in the Anamalai Hills of the Western Ghats of India. We studied the nearest neighbor distance among elephants within the herd and their feeding behavior in habitat mosaics. We also recorded reactions of elephants to human proximity and number of people in the vicinity. We employed scan sampling for data collection. Feeding by elephants was lowest in open canopy habitat of tea, and it gradually increased in canopy covered plantations of coffee and Eucalyptus and in densely covered natural vegetation. Vigilance behavior of elephants was lowest in forest fragments and riverine vegetation as they could avoid encountering humans. This behavior peaked in tea plantations due to intense human activity there. Elephants maintained closer inter-individual distances in tea and this distance gradually increased in canopy habitats of coffee, Eucalyptus and natural vegetation. More humans in the vicinity and closer proximity to elephants reduced feeding and increased agitation in elephants, while proximity to settlements did not have any influence. We, therefore, suggest that protection and non-conversion of canopy habitats, restoration of rivers with native species, and maintaining distance from elephants would foster normal activities of elephants and help promote human-elephant coexistence in such landscapes.