Dr. Ajith Kumar

Dr. Ajith Kumar was Faculty at the Wildlife Institute of India and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, and was the Director of  the Masters Program in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at the National Centre for Biological Sciences from 2003 to 2020. He is presently an Affiliate Scientist at the Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore He began his wildlife career with a survey of primates in South India in the late 1970s. His doctorate, from Cambridge University, was on the ecology and population dynamics of the lion-tailed macaque. This study introduced him to the tropical rainforest in the Western Ghats, where he and his students later studied herpetofauna, small carnivores, rodents and arboreal mammals for the next many years, especially in the context of habitat fragmentation. Sikkim Himalaya has been another area of interest to him, where he and his colleagues have studied mammals, herpetofauna and birds. His research interests include rainforest ecology, primates and small carnivores


Recent books

  • Gupta, A.K., Kumar, A & Ramakantha, V. (eds) 2003. Conservation of rainforests in India. Envis Wildlife and Protected Areas, Vol, 4.
  • Molur, S., Brandon-Jones, D., Dittus, W., Eudey, A., Kumar, A. et al. 2003. Status of South Asian Primates. Zoo Outreach Organisation & IUCN Primate Specialist Group. 
  • Umapathy, G and Kumar, A (2011), Impact of Habitat Fragmentation on the Arboreal Mammals: Ecology of arboreal mammals in rain forest fragments of Western Ghats. Lambert Academic Publishing. 148 pp.

Recent papers (2010-present)

  • Anand, MO, Krishnaswamy, J, Kumar, A. & Bali, A (2010). Sustaining biodiversity conservation in human-modified landscapes in the Western Ghats: Remnant forests matter. Biological Conservation, 143, 2363–2374.
  • Hussain, S, Ram,MS, Kumar, A, Shivaji, S. & Umapathy, G (2013). Human presence increases parasitic load in endangered lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus) in its fragmented rainforest habitats in southern India. PLoS One, 8:e6368.
  • Jathanna, D., Kumar, N.S., Kumar, A. & Karanth, K.U. (2020). Summary and highlights of small carnivore photo-captures during a field season in the central Western Ghats, India. Small Carnivore Conservation, 58, e58017.
  • Krishna YC, Kumar A. & Isvaran K. (2016). Wild Ungulate Decision-Making and the Role of Tiny Refuges in Human-Dominated Landscapes. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0151748. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0151748
  • Krishnadas, M, Chandrashekhara, K. & Kumar, A (2011). The response of the frugivorous lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) to a period of food scarcity. American Journal of Primatology, 73,1-11.
  • Krishnadas, M., Kumar, A. & Comita, L.S. (2016). Environmental gradients structure tropical tree assemblages at the regional scale. Journal of Vegetation Science, DOI 10.1111/jvs.12438.
  • Krishnamani, R. & Kumar, A. (2018). Why are lion-tailed macaques rare? In Sivaperuman, C. & Venkataraman, K. (eds) Indian Hotspots: Vertebrate Faunal Diversity, Conservation and Management. Springer, pp 285-294.
  • Kumar, R, Shahabuddin, G. & Kumar, A (2011). How good are managed forests at conserving native woodpecker communities? A study in sub- Himalayan dipterocarp forests of northwest India. Biological Conservation, 144, 1876-1884.
  • Kumar, R. Shahabuddin, G. & Kumar, A. (2014). Habitat determinants of woodpecker abundance and species richness in sub-Himalayan dipterocarp forests of north-west India. Acta Ornithologic, 49, 243-256.
  • Kumar, R., Ghazala, S. & Kumar, A. (2020). Foraging Niche Differentiation Among Sympatric Woodpecker Species in Forests of North-Western India. Acta Ornithologica, 55(1), 88-100.
  • Mithileshwari, C. Srivastava, T., Kumar, V., Kumar, A. & Umapathy, G. (2016). Non-invasive assessment of fecal progestagens and pregnancy detection in Himalayan musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster).  Theriogenology, 85, 216–223.
  • Mudappa, D, Kumar, A. & Chellam, R (2011). Diet and fruit choice of the brown palm civet Paradoxurus jerdoni, a viverrid endemic to the Western Ghats rainforest, India, Tropical Conservation Science, 33 (18), 282-300.
  • Panicker, D., Sutaria,D., Kumar, A. & Stafford, K.M. (2020). Cetacean Distribution and Diversity in Lakshadweep Waters, India, Using a Platform of Opportunity. Aquatic Mammals, 46(1), 80-92. 
  • Perinchery, A, Jathanna, D. &  Kumar, A. (2011). Factors determining occupancy and habitat use by Asian small-clawed otters in the Western Ghats, India. Journal of Mammalogy, 92, 796-802.
  • Prakash, N, Mudappa, D, Raman, T.S.R. &  Kumar, A. (2012). The conservation of riparian mammals in human dominated landscapes: the case of the small clawed otter in the Western Ghats. Tropical Conservation Science, 5, 67-78.
  • Ram, M.S., Marnel, M., Gaur, A. Kumara, H.N., Singh, M., Kumar, A. & Umapathy, G. (2015). Pre-Historical and Recent Vicariance Events Shape Genetic Structure and Diversity in Endangered Lion-Tailed Macaque in the Western Ghats: Implications for Conservation. PLoS ONE| DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0142597 
  • Ramachandran, R. Kumar, A., Sundar, K.S.G. & Bhalla, R.S. (2017). Hunting or habitat? Drivers of water bird abundance and community structure in agricultural wetlands of southern, India. Ambio,  DOI 10.1007/s13280-017-0907-9.
  • Rege, A., Punjabi, G., Jathanna, D. & Kumar, A. (2020). Mammals Make Use of Cashew Plantations in a Mixed Forest–Cashew Landscape. Frontiers in Environmental  Science, doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2020.556942
  • Srivastava, T. &  Kumar, A. (2018). Seasonal habitat use in three species of wild ungulates in Sikkim Himalaya. Mammalian Biology, 88,100-106.

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