The coffee plantations of Chikmagalur in Karnataka have a healthy mix of crops and trees, a practice known as agroforestry. These plantations are inhabited by several species of insectivorous bats, which act as a natural pest-control system. A new study investigates the present diversity of such bat species under changing habitat conditions.
The Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, recently released a website which compiles peer-reviewed information on over 10000 species of plants. The website, which is free to access, was launched on 2 March 2019.
The caterpillar fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis), commonly known as Keera jari (in Hindi) and Yartsagunbu (in Tibetan) is famous for its use in traditional Asian medicine, sometimes selling at prices higher than its weight in gold. A recent study in the Indian Himalayas investigates how this fungus influences the livelihoods and economics of local communities and the possible ecological consequences of overharvesting and exploitation of this natural resource.
Plasmodium, the malaria parasite, is believed to be of simian origin. Non-human primates can act as a reservoir for this parasite, and in certain cases the parasite has been shown to be transmissible between humans and apes. Researchers led by Praveen Karanth from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru recently profiled Plasmodium in multiple Indian non-human primate species, in an effort to better understand the spread of this parasite in monkey populations.
Rising global sea temperatures have had a devastating effect on coral reefs throughout the world. A new study by researchers from the National Center for Biological Sciences, Wildlife Conservation Society - India Program, and the Nature Conservation Foundation explores how marine species, in particular Melon butterflyfish, have adapted to the phenomenon of coral 'bleaching' in the Lakshwadeep islands
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), an aquatic fungus, has been implicated in the decline or extinction of nearly 200 frog species worldwide. Now for the first time, researchers have mapped and assessed the spread of this deadly pathogen in Indian frog populations, performing extensive field studies in locations ranging from the Himalayas to the Western Ghats to the Anadaman and Nicobar islands.
The 2004 Tsunami wreaked havoc on the rich mangroves of the Nicobar islands. In a new study, scientists from the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Wildlife Institute of India and Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research (Germany) investigate the current recovery status of these crucial ecological niches.