Research Scholar, High Altitudes
BSc. Environmental Biology, McGill University
Currently a Ph.D. candidate at University of Bristol/University of Oxford
Being born amongst the beautiful mountains of Kashmir meant that nature was always a part of my life. I completed my schooling in Mumbai and subsequently obtained a BSc in Environmental Biology (Wildlife Biology) from McGill University, Canada. Through multiple research experiences that took me from the caves of Panama, to rainforests of Costa Rica and the steppe of Central Asia, I realised the importance the environment and its species truly hold both for me and the entire living planet. With the help of these experiences and much more in the making, I aim to work on social and ecological issues/questions in relation to wild species and their populations. The mountains hold a special place in my heart and accentuate this passion of mine. I strongly believe that good science breeds sustained conservation . Someone wise once told me, “if you aren’t drowning, then head towards rougher waters”. This is what I aim to do!
- Journal Article2019Sampling bias in snow leopard population estimation studiesPopulation Ecology 10.1002/1438-390X.1027Download
PDF, 10.1 MB
Accurate assessments of the status of threatened species and their conservation planning require reliable estimation of their global populations and robust monitoring of local population trends. We assessed the adequacy and suitability of studies in reliably estimating the global snow leopard (Panthera uncia) population. We compiled a dataset of all the peer-reviewed published literature on snow leopard population estimation. Metadata analysis showed estimates of snow leopard density to be a negative exponential function of area, suggesting that study areas have generally been too small for accurate density estimation, and sampling has often been biased towards the best habitats. Published studies are restricted to six of the 12 range countries, covering only 0.3–0.9% of the presumed global range of the species. Re-sampling of camera trap data from a relatively large study site (c.1684 km2) showed that small-sized study areas together with a bias towards good quality habitats in existing studies may have overestimated densities by up to five times. We conclude that current information is biased and inadequate for generating a reliable global population estimate of snow leopards. To develop a rigorous and useful baseline and to avoid pitfalls, there is an urgent need for (a) refinement of sampling and analytical protocols for population estimation of snow leopards (b) agreement and coordinated use of standardized sampling protocols amongst researchers and governments across the range, and (c) sampling larger and under-represented areas of the snow leopard's global range.
- Report2018Population assessment of the Nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) using the Double-observer Survey method in the Anamalai Tiger ReserveTechnical Report, Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore, India
- Popular Article2017"Are Blue Sheep Really Blue?"Nature in Focus (Wildlife Photostory) https://www.natureinfocus.in/indian-wildlife-information/are-blue-sheep-really-blue
- Popular Article2017Murder in the MountainsSaevus Magazine, September
- Newsletter2017Observation of multiple sarcoptic mange related deaths in Himalayan Serow in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, IndiaKhanyari, M., Geladi, I & Ryan, R. (2017) Observation of multiple sarcoptic mange related deaths in Himalayan serow, in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, India. IUCN Caprinae Newsletter.Download
PDF, 6.34 MB
The epizootic disease, sarcoptic mange is a wide-ranging problem across multiple taxa of the world. Its presence in Himalayan species has seldom been recorded and much less understood. This article is the first account of deaths caused by this disease in the cryptic and understudied Himalayan Serow, Capricornis thar, in the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand, India. Data of deaths caused by sarcoptic mange in serow was collected by chance encounters with deceased individuals, semi-structured interviews with village communities and retrieving information from the Kedarnath Wildlife Department’s wildlife mortality archives. Between the months of March and October 2016, at least 12 adult serows were confirmed to have died due to sarcoptic mange, a number that according to the local community was higher than ever before for a given year. This account sheds light on the importance to understand long-term trends and mechanism of this disease in such mountain ungulate species, along with studying the ecology and habitat use of the serow, so that sustained conservation initiatives can be implemented.
- Popular Article2017The Saiga Saga: Mongolian EditionSaiga News, August 2017 http://www.saigaresourcecentre.com/saiga-news/saiga-news-issue-22,-autumn-2017/
- Report2017Population Density Estimation of Mountain Ungulates from Upper Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh.Khanyari, M., Malgaonkar, A., Ghoshal, A & Suryawanshi, K. (2017) Population Density Estimation of Mountain Ungulates from Upper Kinnaur. Submitted to Himachal Pradesh Forest Department.
- Popular Article2017"A Cat Among the People"Nature in Focus (Conservation Photostory)https://www.natureinfocus.in/nature-and-wildlife-conservation/a-cat-among-the-people
- Report2017Population Density Estimation of Snow Leopard from Upper Kinnaur, Himachal PradeshMalgaonkar, A., Khanyari, M, Ghoshal, A. & Suryawanshi, K. (2017) Population Density Estimation of Snow Leopard from Upper Kinnaur. Submitted to Himachal Pradesh Forest Department.
- Popular Article2017"PIKA-boo"Nature in Focus (Wildlife Photostory) https://www.natureinfocus.in/indian-wildlife-information/pika-boo