- Project name: Present distribution and conservation status of Cremnomys elvira (Rodentia) in Eastern Ghats, India
- Project site: Shervaroy Hills, Tamil Nadu, India
- EDGE species: Elvira rat Cremnomys elvira
- Active: 2019 - ongoing
Brawin has an MSc in Biotechnology from Madurai Kamaraj University, India. He developed his interests in small mammal surveys and conservation while working at the ZOO Outreach Organisation between 2010-2015, where he conducted detailed field surveys for south Indian hedgehogs in Tamil Nadu, India. He first learned about the Elvira rat when working on a project mapping species in the Western Ghats and was surprised by how little data existed for this species.
Brawin wants to use the Fellowship to reach more researchers in the scientific community and communicate the need to conserve small mammals, which he believes are often overlooked compared to large, charismatic megafauna.
Brawin’s project aims to establish a holistic conservation initiative in Salem District, India, that will conserve the Elvira rat, its habitat, and other co-existing species and be wholly managed by the relevant stakeholders. His objectives are to:
- Use trapping surveys to create distribution and occupancy maps for the species
- Create a Species Distribution Model to evaluate suitable habitats and identify priority conservation areas
- Collect genetic samples to learn more about genetic structure, diversity and effective population size of the species
- Map ongoing threats to both the vegetation and habitat,
- Conduct outreach programmes about the Elvira rock rat and its habitats in schools, colleges and local villages
• Host a workshop to develop a Species Action plan
• Submit a draft policy report to Salem Forest Department