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Living at the Edge
Published by Bindu Raghavan, Yashveer Bhatnagar, 07 Jan 2003
Rapid Survey for the endangered Ladakh urial (Ovis vignei vignei) in Leh district of Ladakh Trans-Himalaya
When WTI was formed, its work agenda revolved around the triumvirate species that form the mega-charismatic pantheon of Indian wildlife—the elephant, the tiger and the rhino. It was only after an year or two of this focus that other species started appearing on the horizon and in the eight years of diversification a group of rarely seen, mostly threatened and oftignored high-altitude species stands centre-stage. These are the mountain ungulates and WTI has been fortunate to work directly on two species—the Chiru or the Tibetan antelope and the Markhor and indirectly on two; the Nilgiri Tahr and the Urial. The last mentioned was one of the first forays that WTI took into the distribution and ecology of the species in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India.

This occasional report documents the work done by the author for her master's dissertation under the guidance of one of India's foremost mountain ecologists Dr. Yashveer Bhatnagar and was a one-off, discretionary grant given by WTI, that came good. Though not an in-depth study, a small focused scientific excursion, such as this forms the basis for both longer term work and local conservation effort (the latter need not often need to wait for longer term work to yield results).

WTI is both proud and happy to have entered into this collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India and equally, because it supplements the work on other ungulate species that inhabit this fragile ecosystem of ours—the Himalayas.

Vivek Menon
Executive Director, WTI
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