Dr. Rajan Amin
Senior Wildlife Biologist
Terrestrial mammals and birds play critical roles in ecosystem function, including herbivore regulation, nitrogen cycling and maintaining plant diversity. Many species are also becoming rare due to excessive hunting and habitat loss / fragmentation. Therefore, understanding the ecology of terrestrial mammal and bird communities and monitoring their populations are critical conservation needs. However, for many areas, we lack information on these species that is collected consistently through time. My interests centre around conservation biology, with an emphasis on science-based conservation management of some of the world's most threatened species. My work spans many aspects from wildlife research and monitoring to wildlife health, species recovery planning and capacity building.
I have been involved in researching factors threatening species and developing a strong evidence base for conservation planning. This work included helping develop the conservation strategies for a number of species including more recently the Black rhino, African elephant, Hirola and Roan antelope. I worked closely with KWS in Kenya to help to setup the Tsavo West Intensive Protection Zone and the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary extension, Hirola Predator Proof Sanctuary, Ruma Rhino Sanctuary and the Aberdare Salient Intensive Protection Zone. I also helped with a number of national conservation programmes in recent years including the South Africa Crane Conservation programme, the Greater one-horned rhino recovery programme in Nepal, the Gangetic river dolphin programme in the Brahmaputra River - India, Aders’ duiker and other endemic species conservation in the coastal forests of Kenya, Cape Leopard conservation in South Africa and coral conservation in the Bahamas.
Wildlife monitoring tools and techniques
I have researched into novel approaches and tools for wildlife monitoring and management. A number of these techniques and tools have been developed and implemented in partnership with Government organisations. This includes Kifaru for wildlife metapopulation management and MSTRiPES being implemented across all tiger reserves in India. I am also a founding member of SMART, a protected area management tool being rolled out globally.
I have also been working in the field of camera trapping for a number of years. I developed with couple of colleagues, the ZSL camera trap tool to help manage and analyse large volumes of camera-trap images being generated globally. I also conduct wildlife surveys across a range of sites and habitats. I am also looking into integrating camera-trap monitoring with SMART patrolling and crowd-sourcing to provide measures of management impact on conservation goals.
Biodiversity status and species prioritization
I was involved in the development of the algorithms for the Living Planet Index and the Red List Index. I am also helping in developing more efficient approaches for national Red Listing and linking this to the global Red List data. I work on Nepal’s Red List Programme where we developed the first detailed Red Data books for birds (871 species – six volume) and mammals (207 species).
Teaching and training programmes
I am part of a team that initiated the Wildlife Health Bridge programme with its overall objective to improve the expertise and knowledge of wildlife health professionals in bio-diverse developing countries, and specifically to 1) provide high quality education in wildlife and ecosystem health and wildlife biology; 2) facilitate interchange of students between collaborating countries for research studies in wildlife health; and 3) provide a global graduate network of wildlife health professionals.
As part of this work, we have developed the Interventions in Wild Animal Health Course which provides practical knowledge to complement the theoretical understanding gained from other courses of the online Conservation
Medicine Cert/Dip/MVetSci programme at the University of Edinburgh. I also teach on the ZSL-RVC MSc courses in Wild Animal Health and Wild Animal Biology. The courses are internationally recognised and has trained students from 55 countries.
I also helped develop the EDGE Fellows field training course and the ZSL Ecological Methodology Summer Field Course in Mongolia.
I have facilitated a number of workshops in Africa and Asia particularly in developing and implementing monitoring programmes, national strategies and Red Lists.
I have co-supervised a number of PhD and MSc students over the years.
Cape Leopard Trust https://capeleopard.org.za (Technical Advisor)
Kenya Wildlife Service – http://www.kws.go.ke (Technical Advisor national Rhino and Elephant Steering Committees)
Wildlife Institute of India - http://www.wii.gov.in
YME-Coral Conservation Bahamas http://www.ymebahamas.org (Technical Advisor)
IUCN Asian Rhino Specialist Group
IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group
IUCN Conservation Breeding Specialist Group
IUCN National Red List Working Group
1. Kenya Black Rhino Action Plan (2018-2022) (in prep)
2. Conservation and management strategy for the Hirola in Kenya. KWS. (in press).
3. Kenyan elephant conservation and management strategy (2012-2021). M Litoroh, P Omondi, R Kock & R Amin. KWS.
4. Conservation and management strategy for the black rhino in Kenya (2012-2016). KWS.
6. Conservation and management strategy for the black rhino in Kenya (2003-2007), Kenya. KWS.
7. Management plan for the Aberdare National Park, Kenya (2010). KWS.
8. Habitat assessment of Ruma National Park for the reintroduction of black rhino (2009). B Okita-Ouma & R Amin. KWS.
9. Strategic plan for invasive species, Kenya (2009). KWS.
10. Feasibility assessment of rhino sanctuary in Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve, Nepal (2008). Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, National Trust for Nature Conservation.
Key ZSL reports and books
1. Mammal diversity survey in Sapo National Park, Liberia (2016). Final Report. R Amin, K Davey & T Wacher, Zoological Society of London (in prep.)
2. Mammal diversity survey in the Ibex Reserve, Saudi Arabia (2016). Final Report. T Thomas, T Wacher, K Davey & R Amin. Zoological Society of London (in prep.)
3. Kenya national biodiversity monitoring protocol and manual. S Andanje, L Kenana, D Muteti & R Amin (in prep).
4. Terai Arc Landscape – A field techniques manual. N Subedi, C Pokheral & B Lamichhane & R Amin (editors), Nepal (in prep.).
5. Interventions in wild animal health. MVetSci Conservation Medicine course manual (2016). R Amin, N Anderson, P Malik, N Masters, A Meredith, P Nigam, T Sainsbury, K Sankar, A Thomas. Zoological Society of London, Wildlife Institute of India & University of Edinburgh.
6. Bird diversity survey in the Boni–Dodori forest system Kenya (2016). J Musina, F Ng’weno, M Mwema, D Ngala, M Ngala, A Baya, E Mlamba, T Mwinami, D Chesire, M Alale, A Shizo, W Ware, I Mohamed, B Binda, B Mohamed, A Mohamed, A Hassan, M Morris, J Bett & R Amin. Zoological Society of London. vii + 70 pp.
7. Mammal diversity survey in the northern coastal forests of Kenya: Arabuko-Sokoke forest and the Boni-Dodori forest system (2016). H Stokes, B Ogwoka, J Bett, T Wacher & R Amin. Final report 2010 & 2015. Zoological Society of London. ii + 95 pp.
8. The status of Nepal’s birds – the Red Data Book (2016). Inskipp C, Baral H S, Phuyal S, Bhatt T, Khatiwada M, Inskipp T, Khatiwada A, Gurung S, Singh P B, Murray L, Poudyal L & R Amin. Vol I-VI, 3000 pp, Zoological Society of London, UK. ISBN 978-0-900881-75-6.
9. A standard toolkit for the management and analysis of camera-trap data - user manual (2016). R Amin, K Davey, A Fitzmaurice, H Stokes, T Bruce & T Wacher. Zoological Society of London.
10. SMART ecological monitoring module user manual (2015). R Amin. The SMART Partnership.
11. Camera trap training course (2015). R Amin & T Wacher. Zoological Society of London.
13. The status of Nepal’s mammals – the Red Data Book (2012). S R Jnawali, H S Baral, S Lee, K P Acharya, G P Upadhyay, M Pandey, R Shrestha, D Joshi, B R Lamichhane, J Griffiths, A P Khatiwada, N Subedi & R Amin. Zoological Society of London, UK.
14. Ecological methodology field course (2011). R Amin. University of Mongolia & Zoological Society of London.
15. EDGE marine and terrestrial field course (2010-2012). R Amin. EDGE-ZSL.
16. Biodiversity monitoring assessment in logging concessions, Cameroon (2013). R Amin, P Ornellas, O Fankem & M Dethier. Zoological Society of London.
17. Freshwater monitoring protocol for high conservation value areas (2012). R Seidler, M Zrust & R Amin. Zoological Society of London.
18. The greater one-horned rhinoceros monitoring instructors’ training manual (2010), R Amin et al., Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
19. Monitoring tigers, co-predators, prey and their habitats (2009). Y Jhala, Q Qureshi, R Gopal, R Amin, National Tiger Conservation Authority, Wildlife Institute of India.
20. The status and distribution of the greater one-horned rhinoceros in Nepal (2009). R Amin, S Rj Jnawali, N R Chapagain, N Subedi, G Updhayay, N Pradhan, R C Nepal, M Pandey, P Kharel, B Paudel, K Thapa, S Murphy & R Kock. DNPWC.
2. Africa’s forgotten forests: the biodiversity and bio-cultural values of Kenya’s northern coastal forests. R Amin, S Andanje, A Bowkett, J Bett, T Wacher & M Morris (in prep.)
3. A new species of giant sengi or elephant-shrew (genus Rhynchocyon) highlights the exceptional biodiversity of the northern coastal forests of Kenya. B Agwanda, F Ravero, S Andanje & R Amin. (in prep.)
4. Black rhinoceros (D. b. michaeli) demographic indicators as functions of PAN-PAM, woody cover and density. B Okita-Ouma, F van-Langevelde, I Heitkönig, P Maina, R Amin, S van Wieren & H Prins. (in prep.)
5. A standardised method for monitoring the status of the Gangetic River dolphin in the Brahmaputra River system. A Wakid, S Deori, A Phukon, C Ri, G Bhattacharya, T Akamatsu, R Amin, Q Qureshi (in prep.)
6. The impact of domestic camels on presence of the threatened Nubian Ibex within a Protected Area and the implications for conservation management. C Barichievy, T Wacher, R Amin, M Sandouka & Rob Sheldon (in prep.)
7. Demography and viability of the largest population of greater one-horned rhinoceros in Nepal (2017), Naresh Subedi, Babu Ram Lamichhane, Rajan Amin, Shant Raj Jnawali, Yadavendradev V. Jhala), Global Ecology and Conservation 12
8. Evaluating support for rangeland-restoration practices by rural Somalis: an unlikely win-win for local livelihoods and hirola antelope?. A Abdullahi, R Amin, J Evans, A Ford, M Fischer, A Kibara & J Goheen, Jacob (submitted to the Journal of Applied Ecology)
9. Rapid recovery of tigers Panthera tigris in Parsa Wildlife Reserve, Nepal (2017). B. L. Lamichhane, C. Pokheral S. Poudel, D. Adhikari, S. R. Giri, S. Bhattarai, T. R. Bhatta, R. Pickles, R. Amin, K. P. Acharya, M. Dhakal, U. R. Regmi, A. K. Ram and N. Subedi. Oryx. doi:10.1017/S0030605317000886
11. Status and behavioural ecology of sengis in the Boni-Dodori and Arabuko-Sokoke forests, Kenya, determined by camera traps (2017). R Amin, B Agwanda, B Ogwoka & T Wacher. Journal of East Africa Natural History 105 (2): 223–235.
12. Resource selection and landscape change reveal mechanisms suppressing population recovery for the world's most endangered antelope (2017). A Ali, A Ford, J Evans, D Mallon, M Hayes, J King, R Amin & J Goheen. Journal of Applied Ecology doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12856.
14. The use of camera trapping to monitor threatened forest antelope species (2016). R Amin, A Bowkett & T Wacher. Antelope Conservation: From Diagnosis to Action, First Edition. Edited by Jakob Bro-Jørgensen and David P. Mallon. John Wiley & Sons.
15. The northern coastal forests of Kenya are nationally and globally important for the conservation of Aders' duiker and other antelope species (2015). R Amin, S Andanje, B Ogwoka, A Ali, A Bowkett, M Omar & T Wacher. Biodiversity Conservation 24: 641.
16. Invasive Mikania in Chitwan National Park, Nepal: the threat to the Greater one-horned rhinoceros and factors driving the invasion (2013). S Murphy, N Subedi, S Jnawali, B Lamichhane, G Upadhyay, R Kock & R Amin. Oryx 47(3), 361–368.
18. Population status, structure and distribution of Rhinoceros unicornis in Nepal, with special reference to the population of Chitwan National Park (2013). Subedi N, Jnawali S; Lamichhane B; Dhakal M; Pradhan N; Malla S; Amin R; Jhala Y. Oryx, 47(3), 352–360.
19. A new population of the critically endangered Aders’ duiker Cephalophus adersi confirmed from northern coastal Kenya (2011). Samuel A. Andanje, Andrew E. Bowkett, Bernard Risky Agwanda, Grace W. Ngaruiya, Amy B. Plowman, Tim Wacher and Rajan Amin. Oryx, 45(3), 444–447.
20. Sengi (Elephant-Shrew) observations from northern coastal Kenya (2010). Samuel A. Andanje, Bernard Risky Agwanda, Grace W. Ngaruiya, Rajan Amin, Galen Rathburn, Journal of East African Natural History 99(1): 1-8.
23. Remotely-sensed active fire data for protected area management, Manas National Park, India (2009). Chihiro Takahata, Rajan Amin, Pranjit Sarma, Gitanjali Banerjee, and John E. Fa, Environmental Management.
24. Density dependence and population dynamics of black rhinos (Diceros bicornis michaeli) in Kenya’s rhino sanctuaries (2009). B Okita-Ouma, R Amin, F van-Langevelde & N Leader-Williams. African Journal of Ecology, 48, 791-799.
25. 2010 and beyond (2008). J Loh, B Collen, L McRae, G Kothari, R Mellor, O Daniel, A Greenwood, R Amin & J Baillie, CBD.
26. Taking the pulse of the planet: What the Living Planet Index can tell us by 2010 (2008). B Collen, J Loh, S Holbrook, L McRae, R Amin & J Baillie, 2008, Conservation Biology.
27. Towards monitoring global biodiversity (2008). J Baillie, B Collen, R Amin, H Akcakaya, S Butchart, N Brummitt, T Meagher, M Ram, C Hilton-Taylor, & G Mace, Conservation Letters.
28. Modelling Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) Carrying Capacity Relationships in Africa (2008). K Adcock, C Khalaye & R Amin, Conservation Biology.
29. The Importance of the Western Cape population of Blue Cranes to their Global Population in the Face of Climate Change: Implications for Conservation (2008). C Bessa Gomes, R Amin, L Theron, H Prinsloo, K Shaw & R Pettifor, 12th Pan-African Ornithological Congress.
30. Environmental Determinants of Continued Breeding Attempts by Wattled Cranes in KwaZulu-Natal: Implications for Conservation (2008). R Pettifor, K Wojtaszekova, A Roussouw, L Theron, R Amin, & K McCann, 12th Pan-African Ornithological Congress.
31. High serum concentrations of iron transferring saturation and gamma glutamyl transferase in captive black rhinoceroses (Diceros bicornis) (2008). F Molenaar, A Sainsbury, M Waters & R Amin, The Veterinary Record.
32. Minimizing competition by removing elephants from a degraded Ngulia rhino sanctuary, Kenya (2008). B Okita-Ouma, D Mijele, R Amin, F Gakuya, D Ndeereh, I Lekolol, P Omondi, D Woodley, M Litoroh, J Bakari, R Kock. Pachyderm No. 44.
34. Getting to grips with the magnitude of exploitation: Bushmeat in the Cross–Sanaga rivers region, Nigeria and Cameroon (2008). J Fa, S Seymour, J Dupain, R Amin, L Albrechtsen & D Macdonald, Biological Conservation.
36. Demographic drivers of a refugee species: large-scale experiments guide strategies for reintroductions of hirola (2017), Abdullahi H. Ali, Matthew J. Kauffman, Rajan Amin, Amos Kibara, Juliet King, David Mallon, Charles Musyoki, Jacob R. Goheen, Ecological Applications, doi:10.1002/eap.1664
37. Estimating the abundance of golden-rumped sengis, R Amin, T Wacher, G Rathbun (in prep)
38. An uncertain future: changing seasonal, temporal and spatial crop raiding trends in a human-elephant conflict hotspot, Lydia. N. Tiller, Tatyana Humle, Rajan Amin, Nick Deere, Benjamin. O. Lago, Nigel Leader-Williams, Fredrick. K. Sinoni, Noah Sitati, Matt Walpole, Robert. J. Smith (Submitted to Journal of Applied Ecology)
39. Modelling the implications of agricultural expansion in a human-elephant conflict hotspot, Lydia. N. Tiller, Tatyana Humle, Rajan Amin, Marc Goss, Noah Sitati, Jake Wall, Robert. J. Smith (Submitted to Plos One)
40. The status of Nepal’s mammals. Amin, R., H. S. Baral, B.R. Lamichhane, L.P. Poudyal, S. Lee, S.R. Jnawali, K.P. Acharya, G.P. Upadhyaya, M.B. Pandey, R. Shrestha, D. Joshi, J. Griffiths, A.P. Khatiwada & N. Subedi (2018). Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(3): 11361–11378.