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
Dr Shekhar Kolipaka continues to work in India and his current
• 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
• For volunteer opportunities
in his projects check this website for openings.
• To contact Dr Shekhar Kolipaka
directly use firstname.lastname@example.org.
His projects also need funding and if you have some tips please
do write to him.