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Having grown up in Nagpur in the midst of tiger reserves, I became interested in wildlife during my schooldays, following my first tiger sighting at Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary. After that there was no looking back. I started collecting field guides and books on natural history and set out on weekend nature trails identifying birds and other wildlife. During my graduation in Mumbai, I was exposed to two widely different habitats- sea and hills, and I immediately developed a fondness for a hobby of collecting mollusks and exploring caves for bats, which now forms my professional interest.

For my masters’ thesis I compared genetic structures of four species of bats differing in their flight capabilities and their roosting requirements, in the Andaman Islands. Apart from giving the chance to understand the usage of molecular tools, I also gained experience at netting and handling bats.

My future interests lie in understanding the biogeography of the bats of Andaman Islands and in exploring the natural history of rare and endemic species of bats in Central India and the Western Ghats.

 

Work experience

  1. In 2008; became associated with the British Council’s International Climate Champions program. Attended a climate change workshop tour through four cities in China and Hong Kong and a climate change camp in Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve, India.
  2. Volunteered with Centre for Wildlife Studies and Wildlife Trust of India in large mammal population estimation in Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka and Nagzira-Navegaon corridor, Maharashtra and interview-based surveys on human-wildlife conflict around Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh; and with Tiger Watch, Ranthambhore in surveys on wolves in the Banas landscape between 2010 and 2011.
  3. From April – July 2012; I was associated with a project related to acoustics of microchiropteran bats in northern Western Ghats. Participated in preliminary surveys of species diversity in different caves during which time I learned basic bat handling and use of bat detectors.
  4. November 2013 – July 2014; worked on my masters’ dissertation on understanding the effect of roosting specialization and dispersal ability in determining genetic structure of bats by studying populations of four species of bats in the Andaman Islands.
  5. December 2014 – October 2015; worked as a Project Associate with the Education and Public Engagement Program of Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), Mysore to popularize listing and monitoring of birds by local birding groups by conducting a series of workshops.
  6. November 2015 onwards; working as Project Fellow with Nature Science Initiative (NSI), Dehradun and as Principal Investigator on a Rufford Foundation-funded project titled ‘Status survey of bats with special emphasis on rediscovering the rare Peter’s Tube-nosed Bat and preparation of call library in Uttarakhand, India’.

Scientific publications

  1. Chakravarty, R. and Aul, B. (in review). Rhinolophus cognatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  2. Chakravarty, R., Srinivasulu, B. and Srinivasulu, C. (in review). Hipposideros hypophyllus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  3. Csorba, G. and Chakravarty, R. (in review). Harpiola grisea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  4. Chakravarty, R., Dalvi, S., Sankararaman, V. & Girish, D.V. (2014). First record of Myotis formosus Hodgson, 1835 (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae, Myotinae) from the Western Ghats, India. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 111(3): 213-214
  5. Chakravarty, R. (2014) Gene flow in species of bats with differing ecology and morphology. Masters’ thesis submitted to National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
  6. Chakravarty, R. & Isaac, S. (2014). Observations on Gonyosoma oxycephalum (Boie, 1927) predating on cave bats in the Andaman Islands, India. Sauria. 36(2): 55-58
  7. Kasambe, R., Gade, N. & Chakravarty, R. (2010). Sighting records of Ruddy-breasted Crake (Porzana fusca) and Slaty-breasted Rail (Gallirallus striatus) in Vidarbha. Newsletter for Birdwatchers. 50(1): 14

 

Popular articles

  1. Chakravarty, R. (2016). A Beginner’s Guide to Bat-watching. Saevus (March 2016)
  2. Chakravarty, R. (2014). A meeting with the ‘Blah ka Nas’. Saevus (November 2014)
  3. Chakravarty, R. (2014). Hunting of Blyth’s flying fox in Andaman Islands; Conservation India (March 2014) (short article)
  4. Chakravarty, R. (2013). Red-tailed Trinket eating a Leaf-nosed bat; Conservation India (December 2013) (short article)
  5. Chakravarty, R. (2013). First record of Hodgson’s Bat from Western Ghats; Conservation India (October 2013) (short article)
  6. Chakravarty, R. & Jha, R. (2013). Endemic Bats- Lost in Oblivion? Sanctuary Asia (August 2013). Republished online on the IBCRU website and in JLR Explore.

 

Conferences

  1. 3rd International Southeast Asian Bat Conference (14-17 August 2015) organized by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Southeast Asian Bat Conservation Research Unit in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Won 3rd prize for Best Oral Presentation.

 

Invited talks

2015: The Deep, Dark World of Bats (popular talk) for students at Parikrma Humanity Foundation, Bangalore (September), St. Xavier’s School, Narayana Vidyalayam and Centre Point School, Nagpur (October 2015)

2015: a) The Application of Genetics in Bat Research; b) Gene flow in species of bats differing in ecology and morphology: A comparative study from the Andaman Islands at Mhadei Research Centre, Goa on 30th Jan.

2015: eBird: Where Birding Meets Science at Pakshimitra Sammelan (State-level conference for birdwatchers) on 18th January in Pune, Maharashtra

2014: The Deep, Dark World of Bats (popular talk) for 8th and 9th Std. students at Sandipani School, Nagpur on 22nd Aug.

 

Workshops conducted

2015: An Introduction to eBird and eBirding in September at the Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS), Bangalore.

2015: eBird and Bird Monitoring Workshop in September in Bhaderwah and Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

2015: eBird and Bird Monitoring Workshop in April and May in Kolkata, Jalpaiguri (West Bengal) and Gangtok (Sikkim)

2015: eBird and Bird Monitoring Workshop in February in Ahmedabad, Gujarat

2015: Bat Ecology and Conservation Workshop- A capacity-building workshop for students; conducted by Dr. Claire Wordley, Rahul Khanolkar and myself for Indian Bat Conservation Research Unit (IBCRU). Chorla Ghats and Mhadei Research Centre, Goa from 29th-31st Jan.

2015: eBird and Bird Monitoring Workshop in January in Nagpur, Maharashtra

2014: eBird and Bird Monitoring Workshop in December in Amravati, Maharashtra

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