How does citizen science support your research?
Citizen scientists help to support our research when we have limited manpower – to conduct surveys in villages, to help us to study human-wildlife conflict, for example. We also believe volunteers will help us to spread the message of conservation. There are limited numbers of people who think about conservation in this world. Through this project, through citizen science, we are creating a force with a vested interest in and knowledge of these issues. We believe that even after the first year, we are going to have a number of people who think about conservation.
What is your favorite moment in the field?
It’s hard to think of just one moment but I love working with wild animals and also with the local community. When I have interacted with villagers who had experienced a conflict with a tiger, or elephant, or a leopard, even those villagers who are very poor, not one person recommended killing the wild animal. Instead, the villagers would ask for interventions to minimize the conflict. No one wants to kill the animals. The communities know how to live with the wildlife and are living in a very peaceful manner. In some cases, we have asked them whether they want to be relocated away from the animals. But they always say no. They want to live with the wildlife – they just want some interventions to coexist with nature in harmony.