Programmes: MSc (Wildlife Science); MSc (Wildlife Biology and Conservation)
Best institutes: WII-Dehradun, NCBS-Banglore
Job opportunities: Field researchers, scientists, conservation biologist, wildlife journalist and campaign manager
Recruiters: National parks and tiger reserves, NGOs like WWF, WCS, WTI, PETA
|GOOD CONSERVATION practices deman blending wildlife science with community participation |
WHEN Delhi-based journalist Joy Mazoomdaar visited Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar district, Rajasthan in 2005, he found there was not even one tiger left in one of India’s oldest tiger reserves. For him, this was the biggest wildlife-related news of that decade. As the news was published, the country was in for a shock. Several organizations confirmed media reports which stated that ‘’not a single sign of evidence - direct or indirect - indicated the presence of tiger in Rajasthan’s Sariska reserve”.
It proved to be a turning point in the cycle of wildlife conservation in India. The country officially declared the existence of a ‘Tiger Crises’. The extinction of an iconic animal like the tiger from Sariska attracted the focus of everyone concerned with environment and wildlife conservation. Through government programmes like Project Tiger, which started in the early 70s’, the idea and approach towards wildlife conservation changed significantly. Yet, there is an immense need to integrate the efforts, approach and expertise of key stakeholders. In the past, working for wildlife has been a passion for many people. But now it offers various roles and opportunities for those wanting to dedicate their lives to it.
|Are you a multi-tasker? |
Working for wildlife
The field has witnessed a shift from authority-led to community-oriented conservation, and several government agencies and NGOs are working at various levels, with varying approaches to protect natural habitat and wildlife. This is because tackling the challenges of wildlife requires different combinations of expertise.
Field Biologist Dr. Dharmendra Khandal now leads the initiatives of Tiger Watch, an NGO working for conservation of wildlife in Ranthambore National Park. Since 2003, he has done phenomenal work in tiger monitoring and anti-poaching operations. “Working for wildlife conservation is largely a multitasking operation. I started with tiger monitoring, then got involved in anti-poaching operations and helped the police and forest departments to catch 68 poachers.
Rehabilitation and education of poaching tribes around tiger reserve is also an integral part of our efforts,” shares Dr. Dharmendra But it’s not all easy. He was attacked, continues to get threats and has had to struggle to raise funds for his operations. But according to him, getting recognition for good work is getting easier and opportunities are growing. “Working for any aspect of wildlife conservation has its own charm, challenge and excitement,” he shares. Many shift between sub-domains also. “Some researchers become film-makers or administrators become experts. Essentially, everyone concerned with wildlife may have some role in its conservation,” he shares.