Charudutt Mishra

Scientist, High Altitudes

P1300316

Ph.D. Ecology and Resource Conservation, Wageningen University
M.Sc. Wildlife Sciences, Wildlife Institute of India

Charudutt Mishra is the Science and Conservation Director of the Snow Leopard Trust, responsible for guiding research and conservation programmes in snow leopard range countries of Asia. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Snow Leopard Network, a worldwide organization of leading snow leopard experts and over 500 member individuals and institutions. Charu is a Founder Trustee of the Nature Conservation Foundation. He serves on the editorial boards of the journals Animal Conservation and Oryx, on the winner selection panel of the Whitley Awards, and is a member of the IUCN’s Cat Specialist Group. Charu has a Ph.D. in Ecology and Natural Resource Conservation from the Resource Ecology Group, Wageningen University (The Netherlands), MSc degree in Wildlife Sciences from the Wildlife Institute of India, and BSc. in Zoology from the University of Delhi (India).

Projects

P1120807

Big cat chow

What snow leopards eat: predation on livestock and wild ungulates

Dsc02937

Cashmere and Kiang

Conflict between the kiang and pastoralists in Ladakh

Dsc04574

From science to policy

Project Snow Leopard: towards a national conservation policy

Bundesarchiv bild 135 s 05 13 21  tibetexpedition  gazellenbock

Gazelles on the brink

Local extinction looms large for the Tibetan gazelle

A ncbs 40d

Gazing upon graziers

Understanding wildlife conservation and pastoralism

Dsc02000

Goats and Wild Goats

Forage tussles between Himalayan ibex and livestock

Dscn6646

Completed

Kitchen Stories

Understanding how Nicobar communities share resources in the wake of the tsunami

Arunachal macaque photo by kripaljyoti mazumdar

Monkey of the deep jungle

Ecology and conservation of Macaca munzala

Dscn9469

People, livestock and snow leopards

Unique livestock insurance schemes betters prospects for herders and carnivores

A ncbs 31e

Plants, herbivores and communities

Rangeland dynamics in the Trans-Himalaya

Red 20fox 20in 20gete 20village  20spiti  20hp ag

Completed

Response of red fox to village expansion

How does red fox respond to increasing village size in the Trans-Himalaya?

Dsc 1033

Shared pastures

How mountain ungulates of the trans-Himalaya live together

Walking 20snow 20leopard 20sign 20transect 20above 205 000m

Snow leopard and prey distribution

Factors affecting snow leopard & wild-prey at multiple scales 

Argali 20adult 20male

Completed

Status of the Tibetan Argali

Aiding the survival of an endangered sheep

Schraubenziege   markhor

Completed

War and wild goats

Conservation of the Pir Panjal markhor in Kashmir

P1490789

Wild carnivores and people

Understanding human response towards snow leopards and wolves

Publications

  • Journal Article
    In press
    Goral Nemorhaedus goral
    In: A. J. T. Johnsingh and N. Manjrekar (eds.) Mammals of South Asia: ecology, behaviour and conservation. Permanent Black, Delhi.
  • Book Chapter
    In press
    Conflicts over snow leopard conservation and livestock production
    Conservation Conflicts, Redpath S, Young J, Gutierrez R, Wood K (eds.), Cambridge University Press.
  • Journal Article
    In press
    Serow Nemorhaedus sumatraensis
    In: A. J. T. Johnsingh and N. Manjrekar (eds.) Mammals of South Asia: ecology, behaviour and conservation. Permanent Black, Delhi.
  • Book Chapter
    2017
    Birds in Relation to Farming and Livestock Grazing in the Indian Trans-Himalayas
    In Bird Migration across the Himalayas: Wetland Functioning amidst Mountains and Glaciers
    Download

    PDF, 194 KB

  • Journal Article
    2017
    Suryawanshi, K. R., Redpath, S. M., Bhatnagar, Y. V., Ramakrishnan, U., Chaturvedi, V., Smout, S. C., & Mishra, C. (2017). Impact of wild prey availability on livestock predation by snow leopards. 
    Royal Society Open Science, 4(6), 170026.
    Download

    PDF, 566 KB

    An increasing proportion of the world's poor is rearing livestock today, and the global livestock population is growing. Livestock predation by large carnivores and their retaliatory killing is becoming an economic and conservation concern. A common recommendation for carnivore conservation and for reducing predation on livestock is to increase wild prey populations based on the assumption that the carnivores will consume this alternative food. Livestock predation, however, could either reduce or intensify with increases in wild prey depending on prey choice and trends in carnivore abundance. We show that the extent of livestock predation by the endangered snow leopard Panthera uncia intensifies with increases in the density of wild ungulate prey, and subsequently stabilizes. We found that snow leopard density, estimated at seven sites, was a positive linear function of the density of wild ungulates—the preferred prey—and showed no discernible relationship with livestock density. We also found that modelled livestock predation increased with livestock density. Our results suggest that snow leopard conservation would benefit from an increase in wild ungulates, but that would intensify the problem of livestock predation for pastoralists. The potential benefits of increased wild prey abundance in reducing livestock predation can be overwhelmed by a resultant increase in snow leopard populations. Snow leopard conservation efforts aimed at facilitating increases in wild prey must be accompanied by greater assistance for better livestock protection and offsetting the economic damage caused by carnivores.

  • Dataset
    2017
    Data from: Impact of wild prey availability on livestock predation by snow leopards
    Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, Steve Redpath, Yash Veer Bhatnagar, Uma Ramakrishnan, Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Sophie Smout, Charudutt Mishra
    Data Dryad: doi:10.5061/dryad.8p689
  • Book Chapter
    2016
    Richness and size distribution of large herbivores in the Himalaya
    In: Asian large herbivore ecology, Ahrestani, F., Sankaran, M. (eds.), Springer.
    Download

    PDF, 276 KB

    Species diversity across several taxa ranging from plants to vertebrates is reported to decrease with altitude, or to show a mid-elevation peak in mountain systems. Plant biomass availability for herbivores is similarly expected to decline with altitude as temperature becomes limiting. However, the relationship between herbivore species richness and altitude has not been examined in detail. We show that while the overall regional pattern (gamma-richness) for 25 large-herbivore species (56 % grazers, 44 % browsers/mixed feeders) in the Western Himalayas shows a mid-elevation peak, the species richness of grazers increases nearly monotonically with altitude peaking at 4000–5000 m. Median body mass of herbivores decreased with altitude, suggesting greater suitability of higher elevations for smaller bodied herbivores. We propose that seasonal altitudinal migration patterns, biogeographic influences, increases in the abundance of graminoids, and an increase in plant nutrients with altitude might explain the unusual high grazer species richness at higher altitudes in the Himalayan Mountains.

  • Book Chapter
    2016
    Livestock Predation by Snow Leopards: Conflicts and the Search for Solutions
    In Snow leopards: Biodiversity of the World eds (McCarthy T, Mallon D.) Academic press pp 59- 66.
    Download

    PDF, 3.23 MB

  • Journal Article
    2016
    Forage and security trade-offs by markhor Capra falconeri mothers. 
    110 (8): 1559-1563.
  • Journal Article
    2016
    Response of the red fox to expansion of human habitation in the Trans-Himalayan mountains
    European Journal of Wildlife Research, 62: 131-136, DOI 10.1007/s10344-015-0967-8
    Download

    PDF, 4.05 MB

    Habitat modification through rural and urban expansions negatively impacts most wildlife species. However, anthropogenic food sources in habitations can benefit certain species. The red fox Vulpes vulpes can exploit anthropogenic food, but human subsidies sometimes also sustain populations of its potential competitor, the free-ranging dog Canis familiaris. As human habitations expand, populations of free-ranging dog are increasing in many areas, with unknown effects on wild commensal species such as the red fox. We examined occurrence and diet of red fox along a gradient of village size in a rural mountainous landscape of the Indian Trans-Himalaya. Diet analyses suggest substantial use of anthropogenic food (livestock and garbage) by red fox. Contribution of livestock and garbage to diet of red fox declined and increased, respectively, with increasing village size. Red fox occurrence did not show a clear relationship with village size. Red fox occurrence showed weak positive relationships with density of free-ranging dog and garbage availability, respectively, while density of free-ranging dog showed strong positive relationships with village size and garbage availability, respectively. We highlight the potential conservation concern arising from the strong positive association between density of free-ranging dog and village size.

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