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About the Author
 

Dr Shekhar Kolipaka is a wildlife behavioural biologist and a cultural anthropologist. The focus of his research is on carnivores outside protected areas and human-wildlife interactions. Based on his researched understanding, he develops prototypes of conservation models and tests them in real life situations. Models with potential for wider application are then shared with policy and decision makers and other stakeholders for scaling up. He conducts his work outside protected areas, where people also live. For this reason, he strongly believes in and encourages engagement with local communities and brings out those hidden facets about people such as their culture, their views about nature and their knowledge about wildlife and develops conservation approaches that are locally justified and holistic. He observed that taking this approach inspires active local participation in wildlife conservation efforts and people also see the benefit in conserving their natural wealth and heritage.

Dr Shekhar Kolipaka studied Natural Resource Management (MPhil) at the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, India. He has an MSc in Environmental Sciences from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa and a PhD in Bio Social Conservation Research from Leiden University, The Netherlands. In his first project in 2000, he examined the status and distribution of the endangered Indian caracal in India. The synthesis of his work is published as a book, The Forgotten Cat: Caracal in India. His interests also extend to other lesser known wildcats and small carnivores and studying such relatively unknown animals have allowed him to collect a wealth of information on Indian wildlife. He published some of that information in a book titled Tracks and Signs of India wildlife.

 

He spent a considerable amount of time in the Panna landscape of Madhya Pradesh, where he has local patronage. Such local patronage allowed him to address important and complex human-wildlife issues. For instance, during 2007-08 when tigers became extinct in the Panna national park and the park management wanted local people’s support for the tiger reintroduction project, he advised the park management and through an action research project brought in different groups of locally influential people and made them actively participate and support the government’s efforts to revive the tiger numbers and make the program a success. His four years of work with the local people is published as a book titled, Assessing Change to a Human-Tiger Coexistence Scenario using Theory U. Following his work on local people, he examined how the increasing numbers of reintroduced tigers in Panna, as they expanded into the adjoining human use lands, and people living there, co-adapted. His encouraging findings are published in the book Can tigers survive in human-dominated landscapes?

Dr Shekhar Kolipaka continues to work in India and his current projects include:
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     • Developing an acoustics-based early warning system to reduce predation of livestock by wolves.
     • Involving local faith leaders in conservation communication efforts in Panna.
     • A study on the human-fishing cat interactions in Howrah, West Bengal state of India.

     • You may order his books via this website and also find information on his on-going projects.
     • If you are interested in professional consultancy services please check consultancy services page.
     • For volunteer opportunities in his projects check this website for openings.
     • To contact Dr Shekhar Kolipaka directly use shekhar_k_s@yahoo.com.
     
His projects also need funding and if you have some tips please do write to him.

     
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