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National Mission on Himalayan Studies

Implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC)
Nodal and Serving hub with G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment & Sustainable Development

University / Organisation Name:

Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)

1. Fellowship Details
Sanction Date: 31-03-2016
Year 2015-2016
Fellowship Duration 3 Years

1. Water Resource Management

2. Livelihood Options and Employment Generation

3. Biodiversity Conservation and Management

4. Skill Development and Capacity Building

5. Infrastructure Development

Project Site/ State/ Districts/ Villages Covered:

Eaglenest Wild life Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, East Sikkim, The study has been identified as the Darjeeling tea‐forest landscape lying between 600m and 2100m elevation, Kyongnosla alpine sanctuary, East Sikkim , Fambongloh wildlife sanctuary, East Sikkim ,Kanchendzonga National Park, West Sikkim, Mukter Dhara, Kamrang, South Sikkim , Gaddi khola, Gaddi, South Sikkim, 1. FambongLho Wildlife Sanctuary, Rabom Reserve Forest and Kanchendzonga National Park (KNP), Dzongu Reserve Forest, Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary

No of HRAs: 3 Nos
No of HJRFs: 7 Nos

2. Financial Details
Total Institutional Fellowships: Rs.1,75,82,400/-
1st Year Fellowship Grant: Rs. 57,59,160/-
2nd Year Fellowship Grant: Rs.56,40,798/-
Expenditure (in Rs.) (upto 15.01.17): Rs.29,57,995/-

3. Fellowship Objectives and Deliverables(HRAs)
Position Study Area Proposed Objectives Deliverables Achievements (upto 31.03.18)
HRA001 Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim

Studies on selected ant species richness and occurrence in eastern Himalaya

• Database on ant species in Sikkim Himalaya

• Identification of areas for conservation and use

• Published paper based on field protocols used for sampling and a review of quantitative studies on ant communities




HRA002 Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim To assess the opportunities for supplementary livelihood options in remote eastern Himalayan communities towards promotion of eco-agriculture landscape

• Alternative livelihood means giving emphasis on green job creation explored; and

• Value addition in local products and value chain established.

• Presented and subsequently submitted paper titled “Community structure of native fishes of Ranganadi sub-basin, Arunachal Pradesh” at a conference to NMHS first consortium held at Dehradun in May 2018.

• Identified and catalogued more than 30 fish species from the study area.

• Compiled fish guilds in six fish guild categories including important lifehistory traits and other traits. • We have preserved fish samples for selected indicator species (Schizothorax, Garra etc) at ATREE’s Conservation and Genetic lab for future studies.

• Exploratory data analysis on field data dataset is ongoing.

HRA003 Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim

Study the impact of dams genetic diversity of key native fish species.

• New information on the ecology of the NE fish species and for important strategies and opportunities for their conservation.

• Final phase of fieldwork has begun.

• A review paper for a special issue of the journal Water Policy is under review.

• Second visit of supervisor to the field site in April-May 2018.

• Research proposal and design was accepted for carrying out the field studies.

• Registered for PhD in February 2018. Visited the Department of International Environment and Development Studies (NORAGRIC) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) under the Royal Norwegian Embassy Grant for Student Exchange (Nov - Dec 2017).



4. Fellowship Objectives and Deliverables(HJRFs)
Position Study Area Proposed Objectives Deliverables Achievements (upto 31.03.18)
H-JRF001 Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim --Tamze, Phedang and Tsomgo

Extent of wetlands evaluated for ecosystem services:

Documentation of the selected wetlands' chemical and sediment characteristics.

• Valuation of ecosystem services.

• The results from the statistical analysis in which I examined the relative influence of environmental variables and spatial position (as a reflection of biotic processes) supported both the environmental control model (Whittaker 1956) and biotic control model (Connell 1983, Woodward 1983) of the distribution and abundance of species and composition of assemblages

• Environmental variables alone accounted for >50% of the explained variation in the species abundance matrix

• Purely spatial variation accounted for only 4%.

• At this scale of analysis, environmental variation appears to have greater effect on the composition of frog assemblages at forest streams

H-JRF002 Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim -- Tamze, Phedang and Tsomgo

Number of strategies developed/executed for conservation of critical wetlands:

Assessment of major flora and fauna in and around the wetlands.

• Identify threats and pressures and suggest mitigation strategies.


• Completed fieldwork and data collection for all biodiversity assessments

• Established relationship and engaged with the West Bengal Forest Department and Directorate of Forests, The Darjeeling Tea Association, The India Tea Association at Darjeeling, The Tea Research Institute. The Uttar Banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya in Cooch Behar

• Conducted awareness and training workshops in tea estates for workers

H-JRF003 Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim -- Tamze, Phedang and Tsomgo

Predict the changes in selected wetland features and biodiversity in the light of Climate Change .

• Support participatory conservation approach and practices.


• Mapping the present distribution of two high altitude Rhododendron species –R. setosum and R.lepidotum

• Mapping the future distribution of two species by projecting it to two scenario for the year 2050s.

H-JRF004 Eastern Himalaya Sikkim State and Darjeeling

Number of LTEM sites established/investigated/robust data-sets generated.

Extent of scientific evidences generated across key sectors.


• Identification of sites for long-term environmental monitoring.

• Relevant institutions identified and engaged.

• Mainstreaming of long-term monitoring and building scientific evidence base across key sectors achieved.


• Five long-term monitoring sites are being maintained across Sikkim for hydrological and rainfall parameters

• Data cleaning, processing and management tools and protocols have been developed for the same.

• Secondary rainfall data from Indian Meteorological Department was used to analyse spatio-temporal patterns in rainfall across Sikkim Himalaya and a manuscript detailing the same have been submitted to NMHSHRC. Further analysis is focusing on adding more data from satellite-based gridded rainfall products like TRMM and GPM; and ground rainfall sources to validate the findings at much finer scales.

H-JRF005 Eastern Himalaya North Sikkim

Prepared incentive based mechanism of conservation

Demonstrate successful pilots of incentive based mechanisms

• Studies on economic valuation (consumptive and non-consumptive) of the region’s biodiversity, habitats, landscapes and ecosystem services conducted.


• Interviews were conducted with bee keepers to understand their attitudes towards biodiversity, pollination service and their willingness to conserve those forest patches

• Important pollinator food plants in the fragmented forest patches were also ascertained through interviews.

H-JRF006 Eastern Himalaya (East Sikkim)

Extent of understanding developed on local/ upstream-downstream/ transboundary resource linkages.

• Key natural resources used and shared at local, upstream-downstream, and transboundary scale identified/ documented.

• Out of 30 plots installed, seedlings of trees within family Fagaceae occurred in 30% of the plots (under preparation). The frequency varied from one to three individuals within 0.1 hectare plot(Figure 2).

• Acorn viability result displayed great variability, both within and among different genera (Figure 3.a).

• The genus Castanopsis showed the highest seed viability and Lithocarpus the lowest (Figure 3.a). The volume of acorn varied between different species representing different genera. Lithocarpus pachyphyllus and Quercus lamellosa showed the maximum variation, whereas, Castanopsis tribuloides were recorded with the least variation (Figure 3.b).

H-JRF007 Sikkim Himalaya Inputs for better resource governance/ policy uptakes for conflict resolution.

• Existing formal and informal policy and institutional arrangements of their use and sharing at aforementioned scales documented.


• Interviews were conducted with key stakeholders in some villages of Upper Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh to ascertain their attitudes towards alternate livelihoods in general and ecotourism in particular

• Based on field observations of local skills and opportunities, a preliminary list of alternate livelihood practices were documented for future consideration.

• Successful and long-running ecotourism initiatives in Sikkim (Yuksom, West Sikkim) and northern West Bengal (Latpanchar, West Bengal) were visited to document the strategies and challenges faced in these areas.




S.No. Name Date of Joining Name of the PI Qualification Research Title Date of Resignation
1. Aniruddha Marathe 01/04/2016 Dr. Priyadarsanan Dharmarajan, Senior Fellow Masters in Biodiversity Understanding Patterns in Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Species Richness and Co‐occurrence Across Elevation Gradients.
2. Vidyadhar Atkore 01/04/2016 Dr.Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Senior Fellow Masters in Biodiversity Evaluating the role of anthropogenic and ecological factors on freshwater fish diversity in the Arunachal Pradesh: Implication for conservation
3. Rinan Shah 01/04/2016 Dr. Shrinivas Badiger, Fellow Masters in Climate change and Sustainability studies Climatic and Non‐ Climatic Drivers of Environmental Change and Human Well‐Being – Domestic Water Scarcity in the Eastern Himalaya
4. Barkha Subba 01/04/2016 Dr. Ravikanth G. Masters in Biology Water chemistry and ecosystem services of high altitude lakes Resigned
Kajal Gurung 29/08/18 Dr. Ravikanth G. Masters in Zoology Influence of environmental and spatial variables on the species richness and composition of stream frogs in Sikkim  
5. Annesha Chowdhury 01/04/2016 Dr. Soubadra Devy Masters in Zoology Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Human Wellbeing in the Darjeeling tea-forest landscape  
6. Shweta Basnett 01/04/2016 Dr. Soubadra Devy Masters in Biotechnology Ecological Niche Models of Two Alpine Rhododendron Species in the Himalayas  
7. Manish Kumar 01-04-2016 Dr. Jagdish Krishnaswamy Masters in Biotechnology Climate variability and change in rainfall and temperature in the 20th century Sikkim Himalaya  
8. Urbashi Pradhan 01-04-2016 Dr. Soubadra Devy Masters in Zoology Fragmented Landscape and Biodiversity: A study of pollinators and dispersers outside protected area network in Sikkim  
9. Yangchenla Bhutia 01-04-2016 Dr. Ravikanth G. Masters in Forestry Understanding the regeneration status of Oaks and its related species in the forest of Sikkim Himalaya  
10. Anirban Datta Roy 01-04-2016 Dr. Nitin Rai Masters in Wildlife Sciences Supplementary Livelihood Options for Local Communities and Other Rural Populations  
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Last Updated on: 23.04.2019

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