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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Rapid expansion of transport networks and other infrastructure to meet development needs is occurring throughout the world. This expansion potentially severs connectivity across landscapes and disrupts gene flow for wide ranging endangered species. We propose to assemble data sets that provide options for simultaneously meeting needs for infrastructure development while maintaining connectivity of the landscape, including technological options (e.g. overpasses), planning (e.g. scenarios based on connectivity modeling for siting decisions), and management (e.g. road closures at sensitive times). We will examine these options in two landscapes critical for conservation in India: central India and the Western Ghats. Both of these landscapes are facing severe development pressures from road, rail, dams, energy infrastructure, human settlements and mining projects. We will assemble an advisory group comprised of high-level, key national- and state-level decision makers from the relevant sectors, including highway, mining, and energy sectors, and conservation scientists. A working group will carry out analyses of options for maintaining connectivity based on experiences in India and internationally, including costs and effectiveness of different strategies. The working group will also conduct connectivity modeling to test scenarios based on these strategies. The advisory group will consider the applicability of different strategies for the two landscapes based on input from the working group. We expect that results of the analyses combined with lessons learned from application to these two important landscapes will provide a pathway for decision-making in other landscapes throughout India and elsewhere.
Working Group Participants

Principal Investigator(s)

Krithi Karanth, Ruth S. DeFries, Ullas Karanth

Project Dates

Start: July 1, 2016

End: June 30, 2018



Praveen Bhargav
Wildlife First
Naveen Bhat
Ashwini Chhatre
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
Ruth S. DeFries
Columbia University
Trishna Dutta
Clemson University
M. K. Jiwrajka
Indian Forest Service
Krithi Karanth
Wildlife Conservation Society
Ullas Karanth
Wildlife Conservation Society
A. S. Karanth
Jagdish Krishnaswamy
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment
Ajith Kumar
Wildlife Conservation Society India
Patrick McGowen
Western Transportation Institute
R. Mohanty
India International Infrastructure Engineers Ltd.
Rajat Nayak
Foundation for Ecological Research Advocacy and Learning
Milind Pariwakam
Wildlife Conservation Trust
K. Ramesh
Wildlife Institute of India
M. Seshagiri Rao
Rail India Technical and Economic Services
Shishir Rao
Nitya Satheesh
Ramki Sreenivasan
Conservation India
Srinivas Vaidyanathan
Foundation for Ecological Research Advocacy and Learning (FERAL)
Anubhav Vanamamalai
Wildlife Conservation Society India


  1. Journal Article / 2020

    Bits and pieces: Forest fragmentation by linear intrusions in India