A New S Asian Nat Hist Journal

D. P. Wijesinghe VHWBC at CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU
Fri Aug 19 14:28:03 EST 1994


Announcing a new journal:
 
                   JOURNAL OF SOUTH ASIAN NATURAL HISTORY
 
(Editorial to Vol. 1, No. 1, April 1994):
 
   South Asia (the former British India together with Sri Lanka and
the Maldive Islands), was one of the first tropical regions to be
subjected to methodical floral and faunal exploration by the early
European naturalists. By the time of Linnaeus, the flora was considered
to be well known. By 1900, the same was said to be true of the fauna.
The exploration of South Asia continued at an ever-increasing speed
until the 1950s, when British influence in the region began to decline.
Unfortunately, together with this, interest in natural history too,
declined.
 
   The reason for this has not been the lack of new material or the
potential for new discoveries. It has been largely apathy on the parts
of governments and their associated institutions. Natural history
exploration in South Asia, always partly the province of the amateur,
is now even more so.
 
   It is fashionable for governments to promote "conservation" these days.
Aid agencies are conscious of the impact of development projects on the
environment. Environmental Impact Assessments have become a lucrative
business. Yet, do we really know what it is that we are conserving? Faunal
and floral lists are produced _ad lib_. Many of these are the result of
exploration of the (usually out-dated) literature and not exploration of
the biotas themselves. Organisations associated with conservation programmes
seldom stop to think about how much is actually known about the composition
of the actual faunas and floras they seek to protect. As often as not, they
do not know. An even then, many of the programmes are orientated towards
protecting the large, "cuddlier", mammals and birds.
 
   The infrastructure for natural history exploration and research too, is
rapidly disappearing. Shortages of funds, a result of the slumbering economies
of the countries in the region, limit peer interaction between workers in
the region and their foreign counterparts. Laboratory and library facilities
are minimal. Most of the relevant research establishments and museums have
been shrouded in a mist of lethargy.
 
Is there hope?
 
   We like to think there is. We have commenced publishing the _Journal of
South Asian natural History_ largely in order to afford workers on the
natural history of this region to publish their results in a journal with
reasonably high standards of production and review. Unusually for journals
in this region, we _encourage_ authors to publish colour photographs of the
taxa they are dealing with. We do not levy page charges. Because we are not
doing this for profit (production is in fact heavily subsidized), we are
able to market the journal at a low price, which we hope will encourage
circulation.
 
   Although the journal is published in Sri Lanka, its geographic scope
extends to the entirety of South Asia and the Asian countries bordering the
western Indian Ocean. Biogeographically, South Asia is often considered to
form a single precinct within the Oriental region. Each of its constituent
nations shares much of its history, fauna and flora with its neighbours.
Natural history results from one country are often of importance also to
the others.
 
   We would like to give space in equal parts to botany, zoology and
ecology. This first issue deals mostly with Sri Lanka and aquatic biology
largely because of our personal interests. This issue is meant to be a
"sampler", indicating the kinds of articles we would like to receive. The
choice of desired disciplines is wide (see _Guide to the preparation of
manuscripts_ in the last four pages of this issue).
 
   The South Asian region is faced with alarming rates of population growth
and habitat loss. Most of our floral heritage has already been lost. The
fauna is, even in the most optimistic estimates, on the brinck. We would
like to think that in some small way we can help improve the awareness of
the scientific community of the riches that surround us.
 
                                          Rohan Pethiyagoda
                                            Managing Trustee,
                                The Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri Lanka.
 
Editorial Board:
Senior Editors: M.D. Dissanayake, Mangala de Silva
Consulting Editors: John F. Eisenberg, A.M. Greller, Maurice Kottelat,
 Karl V. Krombein, David Mabberly, Peter K.L. Ng, Barry C. Russell,
 Eric D. Wikramanayake
Managing Editor: Rohan Pethiyagoda
 
                   Contents of Vol. 1, No. 1, April 1994
Editorial..................................................................  1
de Silva, M. & B.V.R. Jayaratne: Aspects of population ecology of the
  leopard (_Panthera pardus_) in Ruhuna National Park, Sri Lanka...........  3
Pethiyagoda, R.: _Rabaulichthys stigmaticus_: first record from Sri Lanka
  (Pisces: Serranidae: Anthiinae).......................................... 15
Kathirithamby, J.: Records and a checklist of Strepsiptera (Insecta) from
  Sri Lanka................................................................ 17
Ng, P.K.L.: A note on the freshwater crabs of the genus _Spiralothelphusa_
  Bott, 1968 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Parathelphusidae), with
  description of a new species from Sri Lanka.............................. 27
Kottelat, M: Authorship and date of publication of _Pseudosphromenus dayi_
  (Pisces: Belontiidae).................................................... 31
Pethiyagoda, R., Raheem, I. & B.C. Russell: J.W. Bennett, his fish names
  and dates of publication of "Fishes of Ceylon"........................... 35
Ekaratne, S.U.K. & D.P. Goonewardena: Behaviour and consumption of _Thais
  mutabilis_ preying on _Cerithidia cingulata_ (Mollusca) and its effects
  on structuring estuarine soft-bottom communities......................... 49
Book reviews and announcements............................................. 61
de Silva, M., Dissanayake, S. & C. Santiapillai: Aspects of the population
  dynamics of the wild Asiatic water buffalo (_Bubalus bubalis_) in Ruhuna
  National Park, Sri Lanka................................................. 65
Manamendra-Arachchi, K. & S. Liyanage: Conservation of the agamid lizards
  of Sri Lanka with illustrations of the extant species.................... 77
Pethiyagoda, R. & M. Kottelat: Three new species of fishes of the genera
  _Osteochilichthys_ (Cyprinidae), _Travancoria_ (Balitoridae) and
  _Horabagrus_ (Bagridae) from the Chalakudy River, Kerala, India.......... 97
Ng, P.K.L.: First record of the synaxid lobster _Palinurellus wieneckii_
  (de Man, 1881) (Crustacea, Decapoda, Palinuridae) from Sri Lanka.........117
Fernando, P., Dayawansa, N. & M. Siriwardena: _Bufo kotagamai_, a new toad
  (Bufonidae) from Sri Lanka...............................................119
Guide to the preparation of manuscripts....................................125
 
Scope of Journal:
 
  The journal aims to provide rapid publication of articles based on
original research in natural history. Although the region of particular
interest is South Asia (comprising of the political units of India, Pakistan,
Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, the Maldive Islands and Sri Lanka), articles
dealing with topics of interest in the Asian countries of the western Indian
Ocean are also welcome. The term _natural history_ as used here includes all
areas of zoology and botany (e.g. taxonomy, biology, parasitology, ecology,
biogeography, conservation, ethology, limnology, biography and history of
natural history), but excludes technology and applied biology (e.g. fisheries,
agriculture, forestry, pest control, livestock management). "Whole animal"
and "whole plant" treatments will have preference over part animal or plant
studies. Articles of interest to a very specialized readership (e.g. cell
biology, biochemistry) will be discouraged unless the results are of interest
to a relevant area of more general interest (e.g. systematics). The
description of new taxa, faunal and floral inventories based on recent
surveys, new records, taxonomic revisions and ecological studies are
particularly desired.
 
  Apart from original results, review papers giving a comprehensive overview
of topics of interest, and photographic essays presenting high quality colour
photographs of taxa hitherto not illustrated in publication will also be
accepted.
 
Address for all correspondence:
 
Managing Editor,
Journal of South Asian natural History,
95 Cotta Road,
Colombo 8,                               Fax: (+94 1) 698433
Sri Lanka.                         Telephone: (+94 1) 699219, 686579, 698366
..........................................................................
 
If you or your institutional library would like to subscribe to the
_Journal of South Asian natural History_, or have a journal exchange
arranged, please write to the Managing Editor at the address above.
A free complimentary copy of Vol. 1, No. 1 may be had (while stocks
last) if the request is made on your institutional letterhead.

-------
   D. Priyantha Wijesinghe                    E-mail: vhwbc at cunyvm.cuny.edu
   Department of Entomology                           wijesing at amnh.org
   American Museum of Natural History
   Central Park West at 79th Street
   New York, NY 10024, USA



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