I am from the south Indian city of Bangalore and my love for animals has led me on the path from doing my bachelors in Microbiology (from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai) to my Masters in Environmental Science ( Mysore University, Mysore) and finally to WildCRU. My passion for big cat conservation was triggered when I worked on my MSc thesis of Human-leopard conflict focussing mainly on livestock depredation and its causes. I have interned at FERAL (Foundation for Ecological Research Advocacy and Learning) doing prey identification from scats of leopard, tiger and dhole and organizing camera trap data from Western Ghats of India. I have also volunteered at Vanamitraon a project which did biodiversity surveys of the Bangalore International Airport to reduce bird hits and in their awareness programme for tribal kids.
I hope to gain genetic, statistical, tracking and survey techniques necessary to have a successful project on the better management of human-wildlife conflict.
November 2020 Update
My career focus is to explore the dynamics of terrestrial large mammals co-occurring with humans in human-dominated areas. I am a Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore, India guided by Dr Krithi Karanth and co-guided by Dr Vidya Athreya. I have worked on the spatial, ecological and socio-economic aspects of human-leopard interactions in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh, India. This project has been the focus of my field activities since I graduated from the WildCRU diploma course.
I have also worked on two other human-wildlife interaction projects. I worked as a content developer for a program, called Wild Surakshe, designed for communities living adjacent to wildlife reserves in Karanataka state, India. This program provides training on how to prevent and safely respond to dangerous situations with wildlife, ranging from accidental encounters to disease transmission. In Kerala state, India, we estimated the occupancy of elephants using respondent surveys.
Following my training at WildCRU, my interest in big cat-human systems has developed into a PhD and I aim to continue my academic career in this sphere of wildlife conservation in my country.
Athreya, V., Linnell, J. D., Shivakumar, S., & Dhiman, S. P. (2019). The leopard that learnt from the cat and other narratives of carnivore–human coexistence in northern India. People and Nature, 1(3), 376-386.https://doi.org/10.1002/pan3.10039
Majgaonkar, I., Vaidyanathan, S., Srivathsa, A., Shivakumar, S., Limaye, S., & Athreya, V. (2019). Land‐sharing potential of large carnivores in human‐modified landscapes of western India. Conservation Science and Practice, 1(5), e34.https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.34
Packer, C., Shivakumar, S., Athreya, V., Craft, M. E., Dhanwatey, H., Dhanwatey, P., … & Fountain‐Jones, N. M. (2019). Species‐specific spatiotemporal patterns of leopard, lion and tiger attacks on humans. Journal of Applied Ecology, 56(3), 585-593. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13311