MSc. Student, University of Cincinnati
Location: Northern Western Ghats, India
Research: Effect of Synthetic Chemicals on Amphibians in Western Ghats, India, a Biodiversity Hotspot
Abstract: Western Ghats of India is listed as one of the top 25 biodiversity hotspots around the world due to immense biological wealth and very high endemism. Faced with tremendous population pressure, the forests of the Western Ghats have been dramatically impacted by agricultural invasion and thus amphibian decline is a major concern in India. Use of synthetic chemicals to improve farm productivity has been implicated as a major cause of amphibian diseases and mortality in other parts of the world. This project aims to assess the impact of chemical use on amphibian declines in Western Ghats. Specifically this research will examine amphibian population health and community structure in agricultural fields with and without use of synthetic chemicals. This kind of scientific documentation is not available in India and therefore can be used to assist decision making by NGOs working towards conservation, particularly in Western Ghats.