Nitya Mohanty

Background

I completed my BSc. (Hons.) in Zoology from University of Delhi (2008-11) and my MSc in Wildlife Science from the Wildlife Institute of India (2011-13). I studied the impact of invasive spotted deer on understory reptiles of the Andaman archipelago for my Master’s dissertation. Since then, I have continuously worked on a number of projects in the Islands, as an independent researcher. Most recently, I investigated the sleeping behaviour of Bay Island lizards, endemic to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Apart from scientific publication, I attempt to communicate science to people outside academia through popular articles and the visual media.

Current research

The Indian bullfrog, Hoplobatrachus tigerinus, naturally occurs in the Indian sub-continent and Sri Lanka. Introduced populations of the bullfrog, localized to a few areas, were reported recently (2009-10) from the Andaman Islands. The bullfrog has a potential to become invasive in these tropical islands which also harbour a high proportion of endemic biodiversity. The bullfrog’s large size, generalist diet, breeding vigour, and synanthropic nature confer it with an ability to outcompete and predate heavily on native anurans and other vertebrates. My doctoral study aims to assess the extent and drivers of the bullfrog’s invasion, its impact, and effective management scenarios for its eradication.

The findings of the study would provide management action worthy inputs, such as, pathways of introduction and spread. Given that the Andaman Islands are a global biodiversity hotspot, several endemic species could potentially be safeguarded through management action based on the findings. In tandem with a growing national concern on invasive species in India, the findings of the study would contribute to formulating a general strategy for preventing invasions into island ecosystems of the country.

Publications

Popular Articles