Camera trap surveys carried out by WCS – India to estimate tiger and leopard densities across India have produced valuable occurrence records for several rare and elusive carnivores such as the clouded leopard, Malayan sun bear, marbled cat, hog badger, fishing cat and ratel. In addition, we have supported research projects specifically directed at carnivores other than tigers and leopards.
WCS – India supported PhD student, Devcharan Jathanna is currently working on a project, examining the biology and spatial ecology of endemic small carnivore species in the Western Ghats, using a range of field and analytical approaches. An MSc project supported and advised by WCS – India used camera trap surveys in a capture recapture framework to estimate hyena densities in Rajasthan, while another applied a recently developed occupancy-based abundance estimation technique to estimate small carnivore abundance in a south Indian deciduous forest.
Other WCS – India supported student projects have included studies on small clawed otter occupancy patterns in protected areas and human-dominated landscapes, habitat use by Indian foxes and parasite loads in free-ranging Asiatic lions.