SEES Weekly Lecture: Conservation Importance of Serval and Leopard in South Africa

January 25, 2017

Dr. T. Ramesh, Postdoctoral Fellow, National Research Foundation and University of KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa delivered a lecture titled, “Conservation Importance of Serval and Leopard in South Africa” on January 20, 2017 at Interim campus, Nalanda University.

This lecture explored how spatial determinants of large and mesocarnivore populations indicate the ecological condition of the ecosystem, and provide a wider scope for conservation planning and management.Human interventions through the conversion of wetlands for farming have led to small disconnected patches of native vegetation within the matrix of inhospitable human altered land uses. This poses a serious threat to the survival of wetland dependent indicator species such as the serval in Drakensberg Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Dr. Ramesh shared how to address the effects of habitat fragmentation on serval space he used GPS fixes of collared individuals. Fragmentation indices were measured within the serval’s home range and results showed that wetland was a key determinant for the survival and movement of servals in fragmented landscapes. 

Dr. Ramesh while delivering the lecture

Dr. T. Ramesh, Postdoctoral Fellow, National Research Foundation and University of KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa while delivering the lecture.

Bio-Sketch of Dr T. Ramesh 

Dr. Ramesh is a postdoctoral fellow of National Research Foundation and the University of KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa. He has recently been awarded a Ramanujan Fellow to conduct advanced high quality research on large carnivores in the Western Ghats. He is also the India Program Coordinator of Society for the Preservation of Endangered Carnivores & their International Ecological Study (S.P.E.C.I.E.S.), USA. Prior to this he worked in various wildlife conservation institutions and organisations like the Wildlife Institute of India, WWF Greater Mekong and Bombay Natural History Society. With 14 years of research experience spanning India, Laos and South Africa he worked on several keystone species like the Asian Elephant, tiger, leopard, and dhole. He is an IUCN specialist for carnivore species, a reviewer for >18 journals including many top ecology and wildlife conservation journals. He is involved in several reintroduction programs for serval conservation in South Africa. He has published >44 research papers in top international peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Ramesh represents many international funding bodies like the National Research Foundation, Rufford Grants for Nature Conservation, and World Wide Fund for Nature. He is supervising 5 PhD students, 4 Master’s students and 3 Honour’s students.

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