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Dr Shekhar Kolipaka

Leo Foundation, The Netherlands/ Leiden University, The Netherlands

I am a Biosocial Conservation scientist with an interest in both the human dimension and wildlife aspects of reintroductions. For example, in India I studied how following reintroduction, tigers and humans cope to each other’s presence and activities. This complex multi-disciplinary topic is published as a book “Can tigers survive in human-dominated landscapes?”. 

Based on the facts from my studies on reintroduced tigers in India, I concluded that the human-wildlife relationships are two directional. This means that people influence the reintroduced animals and the animals exert their influence on people. This happens both at a practical level and a psychological level. Outside category I and II PA's the influences I mention are unavoidable and shape the behaviour of people and animals living in shared landscapes. As reintroduction managers we have limitations on influencing the behaviour of reintroduced animals, but what we can certainly do is filter out those human practises and activities that have a detrimental impact on the reintroduced animals. By tweaking human actions we can re-correct animal behaviour and reduce negative human-wildlife interactions. This re-corrected situation is very favourable for the survival of reintroduced species outside PA's. What I mean to say is we need the participation of the biologist and the sociologist to gain deep understanding.