Rachakonda Sreekar

Academic Qualifications

Ph.D. in Ecology, University of Adelaide

M.Sc. (Top Graduate Researcher) in Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden

B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University

Research Areas

Applied ecology; community ecology; conservation biology; land-use change; sustainable livelihoods

Research Interests

Dr. Sreekar’s research focuses on using ecological theory to inform conservation decision making. He is interested in a broad range of topics, including biodiversity offsets, community assembly rules, extinction synergies, local ecological knowledge, spatial scaling in ecology, and unsustainable hunting. His current research focuses on finding nature-based solutions to environmental problems. It aims to identify novel ecosystems that can simultaneously conserve biodiversity, sequester carbon, and sustain local livelihoods. Dr. Sreekar is an avid birder and enjoys this aspect of his work both professionally and recreationally.


Dr. Sreekar spent the last 10 years in institutions across Australia, China, Czech Republic and India, specialising in scientific research of biodiversity and conservation biology. He serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Dr. Sreekar is also engaged in citizen science and has been an eBird editor (World’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project) since 2013. He assisted in filming multiple wildlife documentaries, including BBC’s Deadly 60. Dr. Sreekar rediscovered two lizard species in South India and was formerly an IUCN Red List assessor.

Selected publications

  1. Sreekar R*, Sam K, Dayananda SK, Goodale UM, Kotagama SW, Goodale E (2021). Endemicity and land-use type influence the abundance-range size relationship of birds on a tropical island. Journal of Animal Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.13379.
  2. Huang G*, Sreekar R*, Velho N, Quan RC, Corlett RT, Tomlinson KW (2020). Combining camera-trap surveys and hunter interviews to determine the status of mammals in protected rainforests and rubber plantations of Menglun, Xishuangbanna, China. Animal Conservation, DOI: 10.1111/acv12588. *Equal contribution.
  3. Sreekar R, Koh LP, Mammides C, Corlett RT, Dayananda SK, Goodale UM, Kotagama SW, Goodale E (2020). Bird community assembly at multiple spatial scales: roles of land-use, environment, and space. Oecologia, 193: 801-809.
  4. Sreekar R, Katabuchi M., Nakamura A, Corlett RT, Slik JWF, Fletcher C, et al. (2018). Spatial scale changes the relationship between beta-diversity, latitude and species richness. Royal Society Open Science, 5: 1181168.
  5. Sreekar R, Corlett RT, Dayananda SK, Goodale UM, Kilpatrick A, Kotagama SW, Koh LP, Goodale E (2017). Horizontal and vertical species turnover in tropical birds in habitats with differing land-use. Biology Letters, 13: 20170186.
  6. Harrison RD, Sreekar R, Brodie JF, Brook S, Luskin M, et al. (2016). Impacts of hunting and wildlife trade on Asian tropical forests. Conservation Biology, 30: 972-981.
  7. Sreekar R, Huang G, Zhao J, Pasion BO, Yasuda M, et al. (2015). The use of species-area relationships to partition the effects of hunting and deforestation on bird extirpations in a fragmented landscape. Diversity and Distributions 21: 441-450.
  8. Sreekar R, Zhang K, Xu J, Harrison RD (2015). Yet another empty forest: Considering the conservation value of a recently established nature reserve in Xishuangbanna, China. PLOS ONE 10: e0117920.
  9. Sreekar R, Quader S (2013). Influence of gaze and directness of approach on the escape responses of the Indian rock lizard, Psammophilus dorsalis. Journal of Biosciences 38: 829-833.
  10. Sreekar R*, Nghiem TPL*, Harrison RD (2010). Vertebrate assemblage at a fruiting fig (Ficus caulocarpa) in Maliau Basin, Malaysia. Tropical Conservation Science 3: 218-227. *Equal contribution.

Feature and publications in popular media

  1. Datta, A. and Naniwadeka, R. 2019. [Commentary] Hunting for answers: the scale and impacts of hunting, and the importance of listening to hunters. Mongabay India.
  2. Hughes, A. C. 2017. Southeast Asia's ecosystem is in serious trouble. World Economic Forum.
  3. Gaworecki, 2016. Hunting, not deforestation, biggest threat to Southeast Asian biodiversity: Study. Mongabay.
  4. Hughes, A. C. 2017. Southeast Asia is in the grip of a biodiversity crisis. Eco-business.
  5. Hughes, A. C. 2017. Trading in extinction: how the pet trade is killing off many animal species. The Conversation.
  6. Shanahan, M. 2015. The empty forest where 100+ bird species are feared extinct. Under the Banyan.
  7. Bernstein, R. 2013. Celebrating India’s National Science Day. PLoS blogs.
  8. Hance, J. 2010. Planting figs could save endangered species in Borneo. Mongabay.

Conferences and Presentations

  1. 2018 Spatial scale changes the relationship between beta-diversity and latitude. Annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), Malaysia.
  2. 2017 Drivers of bird community composition in Sri Lanka. Annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), China.
  3. 2015 Occupancy dynamics of birds and mammals in a rubber-forest mosaic affected by hunting. Students Conference for Conservation Science (SCCS), India. Shivarama-Karanth conservation award - best student talk.
  4. 2014 Hunting escalates bird extirpations in fragmented landscapes. Society for Conservation Biology – Asia, Malaysia.
  5. 2014 Flight initiation distance as a proxy measure for hunting pressure. Annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), Australia.
  6. 2013 Hunting impacts on birds in Bulong Nature Reserve, Yunnan, China. Annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), Indonesia.
  7. 2012 Birds in your beverage: conservation of natural windbreaks in tea dominated landscapes of Western Ghats. Students Conference for Conservation Science, India.