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Assessing the threats facing wetland mammals in India using an evidence-based conservation approach

Chatterjee, A and Bhattacharyya, S (2021) Assessing the threats facing wetland mammals in India using an evidence-based conservation approach. In: Mammal Review .

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mam.12242


Environmental change and anthropogenic pressure are primary drivers of biodiversity loss, particularly in wetland ecosystems that have been modified significantly. Among wetland specialists, mammals may be particularly vulnerable to extinction. We aimed to increase understanding of threats and knowledge gaps faced by 11 mammal species inhabiting wetlands throughout India. We adopted a systematic literature search protocol following an evidence-based conservation approach to obtain information on conservation threats and identify knowledge gaps for each species. Each species received threat scores based on the occurrence and magnitude of ecological and anthropogenic threats, a score based on its International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List category, and a knowledge gap score. A cumulative conservation threat score based on the four individual scores was calculated for each species to assess overall conservation threats. Only about 10 of the literature search results were relevant. Of the major research categories, ecology was the most well-studied, whereas the impact of anthropogenic pressure on wetland mammals was the least studied. Pressing ecological and anthropogenic threats, scientific knowledge gaps, and conservation needs contributed to a high cumulative threat score for the sangai Rucervus eldii eldii (cumulative threat score = 34), followed by the wild Asian buffalo Bubalus arnee (threat score = 33) and the Bengal marsh mongoose Herpestes palustris (threat score = 32). Poaching/hunting, habitat loss due to development, and changes in land-use practices were found to be the major anthropogenic threats resulting in decreasing population trends. We identified knowledge gaps concerning the ecology of wetland mammals (e.g. population abundance). It is essential that these knowledge gaps are filled for effective conservation planning. We identified important areas (population ecology, disease ecology, human�wildlife conflict, changes in land use) that should be considered as research priorities for wetland mammals in India, in order to make conservation efforts more effective and enable management planning, to ensure the long-term survival of these mammals. © 2021 The Mammal Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Mammal Review
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Additional Information: The copyright of this article belongs to Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2021 09:36
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2021 09:36
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/68239

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