International Workshop Analysis and Management of Animal Populations — WII, Dehradun, 15-22 January 2013
January 15, 2013
January 22, 2013
Wildlife Institute of India
Introduction and workshop need
Despite a rapidly growing economy and the second-largest human population in the world, India supports an immense diversity of wildlife. Its many and varied landscapes support two global biodiversity hotspots, large numbers of endemic plants, vertebrates and invertebrates, and the largest populations in the world of charismatic fauna such as the tiger, Asian elephant and Indian rhinoceros. As pressures from the burgeoning human populations surrounding natural habitats continue to degrade, deforest and in other ways empty forests, grasslands and deserts, it becomes increasingly critical to put in place conservation monitoring programmes for wildlife populations, so that we can assess the need for conservation action and implement such conservation action informed by real-time data.
When estimating animal population parameters (such as abundance or survival), it is essential to consider various ‘observation processes’ and to account for how they interact with ecological processes in order to generate field data. Over the last three decades, there have been substantial advances globally in population estimation theory, models, field techniques and specialized software, that account for the many factors that confound the relationship between observation (data) and reality (e.g. true population size). Recently developed analytical approaches account for a variety of observation processes and are flexible enough to be tailored to a wide variety of field situations, thus enabling the reliable estimation of population parameters.
While the field of wildlife biology in India has immense potential for growth and capacity, building on a strong foundation of natural history laid in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, few biologists are able to take advantage of the recent advances in the field of animal population parameter estimation. This workshop will address this critical need among Indian wildlife biologists to conceptually understand these statistical approaches to population parameter estimation, thus enabling them to apply these techniques in their own work and generate reliable understanding and assessments of wildlife populations across the country.
The invited participants include faculty, researchers and students from research institutions and organisations across India, working on the population ecology of a wide variety of species.
Institutions and organisations to be represented include the Wildlife Conservation Society-India (WCS-India), Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS), Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Rajasthan Forest Department, Uttarakhand Forest Department, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology & the Environment (ATREE), Worldwide Fund for Nature-India (WWF-India), Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), Indian Institute of Science Education & Research-Kolkata (IISER-Kolkata), Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy & Learning (FERAL) and National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS).