Rohit Chakravarty

Rohit is a post-graduate student of Wildlife Biology and Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Society-India program at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. He has always been fascinated by lesser-known mammals like civets, mongooses, bats and rodents. But since these animals are elusive he had minimal opportunities to observe them.

His interest in bats was sparked by chance to rescues a Fulvous Fruit Bat and pipistrelles in Nagpur in 2007 which allowed me to observe bats up-close. This interest furthered during my graduation days when I began exploring caves around Mumbai during weekend treks. Since then he has been exploring caves and documenting various species of bats around Mumbai, Central India, Karnataka and most recently in the Andaman Islands. In January 2013, he was credited with the first record of Hodgson’s bat (Myotis formosus) from Western Ghats. As a part his my master’s dissertation he  worked on bats in the Andaman Islands. His work focused on exploring and comparing genetic structures of four species of bats- Dawn bat (Eonycteris spelaea), Short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopterus sphinx), Dobson’s horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus yunanensis) and Anderson’s leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros pomona)- which differ in their wing morphology and roosting requirements. This is an on-going project and the final results will hopefully be generated by mid-2015.

Apart from his interest in bats he is also an ardent birdwatcher and has volunteered with organizations like Centre for Wildlife Studies, Wildlife Trust of India and Tiger Watch Ranthambhore for population estimation of large mammals in Karnataka and Central India and surveys for presence of the Indian Wolf in Banas landscape of Rajasthan.  In 2008-09 he was also associated with the British Council through its International Climate Champions program and had represented West India in climate change awareness campaigns and workshops in China and Sunderbans.