Publications & Resources

Our faculty, students and researchers work together everyday to contribute to a better world by grappling with urgent problems we are facing in India. We conduct rigorous work to produce high quality learning resources and publications to contribute to public discourse and social change. Here, we feature a sample from our work for everyone to access. You can explore featured resources, policies, and the latest publications from the University. 

To explore all the work of our University, please visit our publications repository.

  • Forests of Life September 2023 Newsletter page 0001
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    Abstract

    This is a monthly newsletter published by Azim Premji University, as a part of Forests of Life, a climate awareness festival celebrating forests — a quest and yatra of young people from across different parts to engage with the youth of this country. In this edition, we celebrate National Forest Martyrs Day which is commemorated on September 11 each year to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives to protect forests and wildlife. The day is aimed at creating awareness about protecting forests and the environment at large.

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  • Tracking workers across generations a cohort based analysis
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    Abstract

    Alongside rapid economic growth, India also saw steady de-agrarianisation of its economy in terms of contribution to GDP. In terms of employment, however, the movement out of agriculture was slower, and when they did exit, it was often a withdrawal from the workforce entirely. In general, more of the workforce are in salaried employment, however, these have filtered differently by gender, caste and religion. While cross-sectional data gives us a sense of how these structural changes affect workers at any given point in time, it cannot tell us how these play out for workers over their lifetime as well as how different generations or cohorts of workers have been affected. Here, we use seven rounds of nationally representative official data to construct cohorts who are tracked over these periods to observe employment participation and the patterns over time. We find that younger generations of women systematically less likely to be in paid employment whereas for men, after a certain age, generations look similar in terms of employment rate. Similarly, when examined from the perspective of cohorts, we find that access to salaried employment has changed by gender and caste, and increase in earnings over time over their lifecycle has slowed for certain groups.

    Author:

    • Rosa Abraham

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  • Reviewing the Republic Cover
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    Abstract

    The Constitution of India has been amended over a hundred times in the last seven decades. Yet, its basic principles remain supreme. For young students of India’s growth and progress, a deeper understanding of its Articles is essential. The maturing of our democracy and the deeper social consciousness pervading our people, owes much to the manner in which we have been guided by its timeless precepts. A reading of Reviewing the Republic’ will help any reader appreciate how our Constitution came into being and its powerful impact on the daily life of our citizens. 

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  • Forests Of Life August 2023 Newsletter Final 2 Page 1
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    This is a monthly newsletter published by Azim Premji University, as a part of Forests of Life, a climate awareness festival celebrating forests — a quest and yatra of young people from across different parts to engage with the youth of this country. In this edition, we celebrate International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, aiming to raise awareness and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. We intend to pay respect to all the Indigenous people who have made significant contribution towards the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge.

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  • Issue 16 Cover Page
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      Abstract

      We all know the pure pleasure of listening to stories as children and we have, in this issue, articles that demonstrate how storytelling can be used to great success in subjects as diverse as maths, physics, social studies and inclusion in schools everywhere – urban or rural. There are descriptions of how discussions emerging from a single story can be skillfully used to arrive at some really important understanding. All this adds up to creating a channel of exchange that cuts across age groups and backgrounds and finds common ground in the magical world of stories.

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    • Ajs 2023 129 issue 1 cover
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        Abstract

        Research on democracy has shed much light on two kinds of democratic politics: patterns of voting and patterns of associational or movement politics. But there is growing recognition that in order to better understand the quality or depth of democracy, we need to move beyond this dualistic focus to better understand the everyday practices through which citizens can effectively wield their rights; these practices often diverge from the formal equality enshrined in laws and constitutions. The researchers study this question through a large, unique sample survey carried out in a South Indian city. We find that effective citizenship is refracted through the institutional specificities of urban India and that, as a result, the poor access the state through political participation and the rich through particularistic connections to persons of influence. But unlike the conventional celebration of participation as a citizenship-deepening activity, we also find that a substantial part of participation is associated with forms of brokerage that compromise democratic citizenship.

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      • Article

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        If one asks a teacher in preschool learning spaces in India, about the most usual story that is narrated to children, what is the most common answer? Will there be unanimity in the fact that the story of Thirsty Crow works just as well in many Indian languages, as it does in Indian Sign Language? Those who engage with early childhood care and learning would often stress upon the need to have a visually rich environment in these learning spaces, full of picture books and enthusiastic teachers who never give up a chance to bring out yet another story. Bringing Indian Sign Language to early childhood learning spaces, creating an immersive experience for children before they enter school years by making available in these spaces Indian Sign Language resources (and then taking such initiatives to schools, colleges, and community spaces) would allow us to slowly move toward the dream cherished by deaf adults.

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      • Article

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        Urbanisation is one of the most transformative drivers of global environmental change today, with India representing one of the fastest urbanising countries. The researchers map the urban expansion of India’s ten largest cities from 2001 to 2016, through a regression tree classification of Landsat data in Google Earth Engine. Indian cities are growing through sprawl, and simultaneously densifying through in-filling. In Delhi, Mumbai and Pune, urban growth is multinucleated, aggregating to form a larger urban region. However, the dominant pattern in most cities is mono-nucleated growth via edge-expansion. The colonial signature is visible in many cities such as Bengaluru, where due to the British colonial practice of planting trees in the cantonment, the city interior has lower urban density at the core as compared to the periphery. Much of the urban growth between 2001 – 2016 is at the expense of agriculture and fallow areas. Across all cities, urban patches have expanded and coalesced into larger units. At the same time, there is an overall loss of surface water cover within cities. Urban growth has led to fragmentation of tree cover, agriculture/​fallow and water bodies. This paper demonstrates that India’s urbanisation is leading to severe impacts on water security (because of the loss of surface water), biodiversity (because of the fragmentation of tree cover and the conversion of agriculture and fallow lands to built-up urban cover), factors which if left unaddressed will severely impact the sustainability of Indian urbanisation.

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      • 9781003155065
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        Abstract

        This chapter provides the emergence and practice of Dalit Studies within academia through a critical engagement with curriculum structures that exist within pedagogic discourses. It explores different kinds of academic writings that have prevailed within Dalit discourse by looking into their composition, engagement with the curriculum, and pedagogic practices. The Dalit community has created spaces for the emergence of public debates and conferences, study groups, and seminars that enable discursive engagement with Dalit Studies. One of the major milestones in Dalit discourse was taken up by Sukhadeo Thorat, who, under his chairmanship of University Grants Commission, granted the institutional setup of the Center for the Study of Social Discrimination and Exclusion for a systematic engagement with Dalit discourse. Dalit feminist scholars have highlighted contradictions in schooling in that curricula and school cultures reproduce Brahmanical values”.

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      • Forests Of Life July 2023 Newsletter Page 1
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        Abstract

        This is a monthly newsletter published by Azim Premji University, as a part of Forests of Life, a climate awareness festival celebrating forests — a quest and yatra of young people from across different parts to engage with the youth of this country. In this edition, we celebrate International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, aiming to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems.

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      • Language and Language teaching issue 24
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        Abstract

        Globalisation has resulted in ever increasing linguistic diversities and a worldwide recognition of the need to support linguistic pluralism through education (UNESCO, 2003). Keeping abreast with the global trend, India’s education policy has provided for the cultivation of multilingualism by including at least three languages in the curriculum. However, in reality, India’s education system is guided by monolingual ideologies that disregard multilingual realities and promote a form of monolingual multilingualism” (Neumann, 2015). This translates into separatist pedagogy and practices that keep languages strictly compartmentalised at schools. Different time slots are allotted to teaching learning of disparate languages. Proficiency in a language is interpreted as the ability to use it without resorting” to any other language. In effect, monolingual ideologies function to reject translanguaging (Garcia, 2009), or natural language practices of multilinguals, that enter into classrooms. Strategies such as code-switching and translating are invalidated when they occur in spoken or written conversations in classrooms. This article aims to study the monolingual ideologies that permeate the education system to understand their implications for the process of teaching and learning in Indian classrooms.

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      • CSE Working Paper 51
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        Abstract

        Small manufacturing firms are considered to be engines of growth and job creation. While most research on small firms focuses on formal sector units, in India informal sector units far outnumber the formal. This is true even for manufacturing units employing 5 to 49 workers, which constitute only 5% of all unorganised units, but in absolute numbers are nine times more numerous than organised units in the same size class. Such firms have the potential to contribute to structural transformation but their capacities vis-a-vis formal firms are not well understood. To address this, the researchers create a unit-level dataset combining Annual Survey of Industries data for organised (formal) units with the National Sample Survey data on unorganised (informal) units. They also discuss problems involved in this exercise and some ways to deal with them. They find that matching organised and unorganised units on observable characteristics reduces the labour productivity differences between them to around 25 percent. The researchers discuss some policy implications of their results.

        Authors:

        • Amit Basole
        • Dimple Chopde
        • Paaritosh Nath

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      • Pathshala Issue 16 Cover
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          Abstract

          पाठशाला भीतर और बाहर के सोलहवें अंक में शिक्षा के कुछ बुनियादी मसलों यथा शिक्षा में समावेशन, शुरुआती भाषा शिक्षण के पहलुओं, सामाजिक विज्ञान शिक्षण व नैतिक समझ के विकास आदि पर कक्षा के अनुभवों से उभरे व उन अनुभवों के विश्लेषण को समेटे हुए लेख हैं। चूँकि यह लेख कक्षा से अनुभवों से उभरे हैं, अतः यह उनके यथार्थ, संभावनाओं व चुनौतियों को सामने रखते हैं।

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        • June Cover Page Of Newsletter
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          Abstract

          This is a monthly newsletter published by Azim Premji University, as a part of Forests of Life, a climate awareness festival celebrating forests — a quest and yatra of young people from across different parts to engage with the youth of this country. The editions of this newsletter cover diverse aspects of forests — ecology, biodiversity, and climate change impacts; informative and unique titbits about forests, their resources, communities, and conservationists; national parks, wildlife sanctuaries; puzzles, quizzes, activity corners for children, and much more!

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        • Religions 14 00742 with cover page 0001
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          Postcolonial democratic deepening brings new challenges to religion as a social imaginary in India. Increasing cultural differentiation and pluralisation are countered by fundamentalisation, but also challenge existing minority/​multicultural imaginations. Religion, as the overarching identity category, has come under scrutiny given the politicization of caste among Muslims, who form the country’s most significant religious minority. Through social-justice and anti-caste politics in the 1990s, lowered-caste Muslims started to enact a new identity named Pasmanda, which means those who have been left behind”. The Pasmanda discourse emphasises internal heterogeneities and hegemonies and pluralises the Muslim”. It thus ruptures the imaginary of Muslims as a homogeneous minority in a culturally diverse country and problematises the majority – minority framework. An important site of contestation is the reservation (quota) policy in public employment, education, and the legislature. While privileged-caste Muslims generally prefer a quota based on religion, the lowered-caste Pasmanda Muslims increasingly mobilise for a caste-based quota, thus challenging systems of recognition and redistribution.

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        • Article

          The canvas of science education

          in Contemporary Education Dialogue

          Article

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          Abstract

          The canvas of science education needs to be viewed in its totality to prevent the confounding of some basic issues and to enable us to evaluate the fads and fashions in educational practice. Policies and processes in education are tacitly shaped by theories in the humanities and social sciences. Inadequate understanding of these theories, or the lack of attention to uncalled-for implications of their practical import, takes education in undesirable directions. To be a good science teacher has never been easy. The teacher is a master of knowledge in science. But that is not all. She is equally committed to the principles governing the practice and communication of science.

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        • Urba 8 1
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          Cities are characterised by social and cultural diversity. The management of urban wildlife requires developing a better understanding of cultural beliefs associated with wildlife in diverse urban settings. We document a range of cultural beliefs associated with the slender loris (Loris lydekkerianus), an endemic, nocturnal primate, in the Indian megacity of Bengaluru. Many residents associate the loris with practices such as black magic, and they believe that the animal’s call is a bad omen that brings death and misfortune. Others consider it a harbinger of good luck that offers protection to young children. These superstitious beliefs may motivate illegal wildlife trafficking of the loris. Urbanisation has led to changes in these perceptions, and many respondents now report that they consider these beliefs to be old-fashioned superstitions that hold no place in a modern city. This study contributes to knowledge on changing urban attitudes to wildlife, which is vital to developing conservation strategies that involve local residents.

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        • CSE Working paper 50
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          Utilising data from the Periodic Labour Force Survey, the researchers estimate quarterly changes in urban labour market flow over the period 2018 to 2022 and the impact on unemployment rates for men and women. Their analysis provides non-intuitive explanations for established findings as well as points out important questions for further study. Both men’s and women’s unemployment rates have reduced in 2022 compared to 2018, showing rapid reductions following the high levels reached during the lockdown. Women’s unemployment rates have consistently been higher than men’s throughout this period. The gap between men’s and women’s unemployment rates reduced during the lockdown, but has shown signs of increasing since 2021, even as unemployment rates have fallen. For women, flows from the labour force to non-participation play a larger role in explaining changes in unemployment rates as compared to men. Flows from the labour force to non-participation, however, have reduced since the pandemic, providing an explanation as to why labour force participation rates have increased, namely, women staying for longer in the labour force rather than more women entering it. Despite rising labour force participation rates, the gender gap in unemployment rates has risen, in contrast to developed economies.

          Authors:

          • Paaritosh Nath
          • Rahul Menon

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        • Article

          Resolution of the LHCb ηc anomaly

          in Journal of High Energy Physics

          Journal of High Energy Physics
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          Authors
          • Sudhansu S Biswal
          • Sushree S Mishra
          • Sridhar K

          Abstract

          Due to the heavy-quark symmetry of Non-Relativistic Quantum Chromodynamics (NRQCD), the cross-section for the production of ηc can be predicted. This NRQCD prediction when confronted with data from the LHCb is seen to fail miserably. We address this LHCb ηc anomaly in this paper using a new approach called modified NRQCD, an approach that has been shown to work extremely well for studying J/​ψ, ψ′ and χc production at the LHC. We show, in the present paper, that the predictions for ηc production agrees very well with LHCb measurements at the three different values of energy that the experiment has presented data for. Modified NRQCD also explains the intriguing agreement of the LHCb ηc data with the colour-singlet prediction. The remarkable agreement of the theoretical predictions with the LHCb data suggests that modified NRQCD is closer to apprehending the true dynamics of quarkonium production.

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        • Article

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          The comprehensive environmental pollution index has been applied to identify and monitor industrially polluted clusters in India. In the calculation of the CEPI, there is a health parameter (Component C), which uses local health-related data. The article draws attention to the gaps in the design and guidelines to calculate Component C.

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        • Industry 5 0 bends towards human
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          The article argues that industry is coming alive to its social purpose, with considerations like equity, environmental impact and ethics. It starts with the history of industrial revolutions from 0.0 to 4.0, detailing their impact on society. It goes on to introduce the concept of Industry 5.0, which is built on the principles of human centricity, sustainability and resilience. The author explains the implications of Industry 5.0 to society, leadership, and HR. He argues that Industry 5.0 is not a revolution but an evolution of the manufacturing process, which is characterised by the integration of various technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and robotics. He concludes by discussing how individuals can adapt to the requirements of Industry 5.0. The article points to Industry 5.0 becoming more humane with greater responsibility for equity, justice, and sustainability.

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        • Article

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          • School of Development

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          This paper looks at a case of rural-to-rural movement of agrarian capital in southern India and the ways in which capital-labour relations are reworked to maintain oppressive forms of exploitation. Faced with an agrarian crisis, capitalist farmers from affluent communities of Wayanad, Kerala, take large tracts of land for lease in the neighbouring state of Karnataka and grow ginger based on price speculation. Landless Adivasis from Wayanad have served as labourers on these ginger farmlands for the past three decades. Recently, farmers have shifted to employing labourers from a Scheduled Caste (SC) from Karnataka. The change happened not just because of the lower wages the SC labourers were willing to work for, but also because of the farmers’ inclination to move away from Adivasis who have been resisting the poor working conditions on the farm. The story resonates with broader dynamics of agrarian-labour relations amidst capitalist expansion and highlights the centrality of socio-political factors at play.

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        • Springer 978 981 16 9859 0
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          In this entry, the researcher will analyse neoliberal policies and how they have been popularised through the mass media – with a particular focus on market triumphalism. This is an important issue in contemporary times as neoliberal policies have led to an increase in economic inequality. However, public discourse has argued that these policies are beneficial to the economy and workers. The first section will describe the historical trajectory that shaped neoliberal policies. In the second section, the researcher will trace the introduction of neoliberal policies in India in the 1990s and how English newspapers popularised them. In section Sandel’s Critique of Market Triumphalism in America”, the researcher will discuss the popularity of market triumphalism through neoliberal policies in the USA and Michael Sandel’s (What money can’t buy: the moral limits of markets. Penguin, London, 2012) influential critique of it.

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        • LC Issue 15 Cove page
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            Wellbeing is a complex concept and while a wellness-focused school culture is key, it also requires a very individualised focus. Children function at the level of emotions. Their wellbeing depends on how the school, teachers, other students, and the entire ecosystem make them feel. In this issue, there are several articles that should make us think about how a child who is excluded feels. How does a child whose family life is full of strife feel in school? Why does another feel that no one would visit their home because they are poor or belong to a lower caste?

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          • Article

            Saussurian Sign

            in Language in India

            Article

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            Abstract

            At the time when Saussure or Pierce were propounding and formulating their ideas about the relationship between a concept and the multiple ways they can be referred to, the world was still going through the extended effects of the industrial revolution. The world was still connecting and finding out that there could be multiple ways of referring to most concepts around us. But fast forward a hundred years and the world has changed a lot. Concepts have changed and we now live on an earth that is more connected than ever and new languages’ keep cropping up once in a while. The concept of sign propounded has had a big role to play in the structure of language, at least from a theoretical point of view. The idea of sign has evolved over time and this paper presents a discussion of the relationships between signifiers and signifieds.

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          • Image The Impact of Covid 19 on Bengalurus Urban Poor Mar 2023 Page 01
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            Azim Premji University, in collaboration with 9 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), conducted a survey of 3,000 households in 92 low-income settlements across 39 wards of Bengaluru. The survey was done to estimate the continuing impact of COVID-19 induced lockdowns and economic disruptions on employment and livelihoods. The survey also captured information on access to government support as well as coping mechanisms to deal with such a crisis. Workers in a wide range of occupations such as drivers (cab, auto, and others), daily wage workers (construction and others), domestic workers, and factory workers (garment and others) were surveyed. The survey was conducted in the month of November 2021 with the help of Action Aid, Association for Promoting Social Action (APSA), The Center for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), Hasiru Dala, Gubbachi, Reaching Hand, Sangama, Swabhimaan Trust, and Thamate.

            Media coverage

            – Print

            – Online

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          • Article

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            Abstract

            The globally invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) possesses a venom lethal to some amphibian species in the invaded range. To test the novel weapons hypothesis (NWH), the effects of the toxin on the cohabiting amphibian species in the ant’s native range need to be investigated. The invader should benefit from the novel chemical in the invaded range, because the species are not adapted, but the venom should not be effective in the native range. The researchers explore the venom effects on juveniles of three amphibian species with different degrees of myrmecophagy inhabiting the ant’s native range: Rhinella arenarum, Odontophrynus americanus, and Boana pulchella. They exposed the amphibians to the ant venom, determined the toxic dose, and evaluated the short-(10 min to 24 h) and medium-term (14 days) effects. All amphibian species were affected by the venom independently of myrmecophagy. In addition to amphibian sensitivity, the researchers discuss how the differential Argentine ant abundance and density in the two ranges could be the key to the susceptibility of amphibians to the venom, resulting in the possibility of NWH. Their results confirm the potential magnitude of the impact of the Argentine ant in successfully invaded areas for the conservation of already threatened amphibians.

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