The project is part of long-term research to understand the potential of urban landscapes for the conservation of large carnivores including Tigers.
We have divided the study area into various zones based on their distance from the city center. We thoroughly survey these zones to understand vegetation, wild prey, livestock, and human presence so we can understand how tigers and humans use these spaces. We collect tiger scats to analyze them for genomic information and determine their relatedness with other tiger populations and also understand their diet composition.
Between 2021-23, we will focus our research on studying spaces in and around Bhopal city, where human density is more than 2500/sq km. We hope to use a combination of camera traps and field surveys to document the presence of wildlife and determine patterns of space use.
A better understanding of the diet and space use patterns of tigers, and their acceptance by humans will help us develop an understanding of how tigers are using city spaces and their diet. In addition, my team and I will interview people groups living in and around Bhopal and understand their perceptions and views about living with tigers. People's knowledge, beliefs, and fear coping strategies are all important for building an understanding of tigers and people's coexistence.
After analyzing and synthesizing my tiger-human interactions findings, I can build a holistic insight into how tigers exist in urban Bhopal. The factors that are in their favor (and those that are not). If and how, and what human attributes are influencing (or threatening) the continued presence of tigers. And how people are using the same landscape while (seemingly?) avoiding risks of direct encounters. Finally, with this study, we hope to find answers to whether it is worth (conservation-wise, money-wise, and effort-wise) promoting tiger conservation in densely populated areas.
Urban Tiger Conservation Project
Urban to rural gradients or Peri-urban landscapes are transitional zones or areas between urban and rural areas. These transitional areas are influenced by the fast, dynamic development and contain characteristics of both urban and rural landscapes. For example, mosaics of landscapes and activities like farmlands, parks, nature areas, hills and streams, activities like construction of buildings, people grazing cattle, farming, small industries, all take place in these peri-urban areas.
In these landscapes, people's land use and practices also lead to changes in the habitats of wildlife, meaning undomesticated and domesticated animal species. This increases human-wildlife interactions and peri-urban landscapes become arenas of these encounters. Achieving a good coexistence between humans and wildlife in these peri-urban landscapes is a new challenge for conservation managers and policymakers and communities living in these areas.
The Urban Tiger Conservation Project, Bhopal focuses on coexistence and policy support of these peri-urban spaces. Your support is much needed to make the coexistence of people and wildlife successful. Please write to me if you are interested in supporting the Bhopal Tiger Conservation Project.
Scientist-G, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun
Board Member, Leo Foundation, The Netherlands
Assistant Director, Snow Leopard Trust
Dr. Sharma has been always a mentor and core supporter since my master's. He donated this website for the project and supporting us to raise funds further.
Founder Sensing Clues Foundation, Netherlands
Sensing Clues have developed an application for wildlife monitoring "Cluey" with a web-based interface "Focus". We collaborated to field test the application with real-time data.
Managing Trustee, Aranya Lok Nyas
She runs a residential hostel for Pardhi Kids for education and livelihood. She is a member of Inspire Network for Environment and supported us by coordinating the Rufford Funding. We also work for environmental education
Nature Candid Production LLP
He is a photographer and documentary maker. He is documenting tigers and their interaction in landscape and producing a small documentary for the project.
The Rufford Foundation seed-funded the project in 2019-20 for field expenditure and camera traps for Bhopal-Ratapani Corridor.
MPSBB seed-funded the project in 2019-21 for field expenditure and camera traps for city component of the project.
RF supported DP Srivastava with partial funding to buy a second-hand vehicle, his stipends and other expenses.
LF supported the project by raising partial funding of 1800 GBP for a second-hand vehicle and technically supporting the project.
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