We are delighted to host Vidya Athreya who will be sharing her work and world with us. Vidya is an ecologist who has been working on the human leopard conflict issue since 2003. She is interested in understanding the drivers of man-animal conflict in the backdrop of the socio-cultural ethos of India which inspires tolerance for other life forms.
The Talk: Vidya will be talking about the presence of wildlife in human areas in India. She says that we are often baffled why wild animals ‘stray’ into human settlements, but we fail to understand the reasons for this and have preconceived thoughts on where they should be and what they should eat, without really understanding or studying them. Does the current approach of catching these animals ‘outside’ and returning them to the ‘inside’ work, or does it create further conflict? She will speak about the multi-dimensional aspect of human – wildlife interactions in India, and that India should in fact teach the rest of the world how to live with potentially dangerous large wild animals.
Date: Friday, 22nd August, 2014
Time: 6.45 pm
About Vidya: Her recent research work has led to a better understanding of leopard ecology when they live among humans in agricultural landscapes. She also is very interested in the interplay between socio-politics of conflict and the role of cultural tolerance towards wildlife in India. Her work also questions known paradigms of large cats living among humans and she believes that persistence of large carnivores has a lot to do with the acceptance of local people towards these species. She has written extensively on this issue and all the material is online at www.projectwaghoba.in
Vidya has a Masters degree from University of Pondicherry and Iowa in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She is currently with Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - India program, Bangalore.