Effect of landscape change on mammals in Eastern Ghats, India

Vikram Aditya

The northern Eastern Ghats forests in southern India harbour several endangered species of flora and fauna. Landscape change driven by irrigation projects, mining, road construction and encroachments are degrading these forests and affecting mammalian populations yet there is no baseline information on mammals to understand why this happens. The overall goal of the project is to contribute to better informed management and conservation in and around Papikonda National Park, the only protected area in the region. The study will quantify landscape change through GIS time series analysis and landscape ecological software. An occupancy approach will be used to obtain abundance estimates of mammals across the study area through field sampling using camera traps. It will correlate mammal diversity with landscape change and habitat factors to understand how they respond to landscape change. Local communities and other stakeholders will be consulted to understand their views on landscape change.This information will be used to develop a conservation plan for the region.The plan will be disseminated to all stakeholders concerned with the conservation and sustainable management of the northern Eastern Ghats.