Conservation and livelihoods, Nagarahole, India

Term: October 2008-September 2009

Funding: USAID-Translinks

Project contacts: PI: Lisa Naughton, Communications director: Kurt Brown

Participating institutions: LTC, Wildlife Conservation Society.

Summary: During December 2008, Adrian Treves and Lisa Naughton (LTC) will travel to Karnataka, India for pilot research with Ullas Karanth (WCS India) and Krithi Karanth (Earth Institute, Columbia University). The team will review existing data and assess future research opportunities to evaluate voluntary resettlement as a management option for protecting endangered species, mitigating human-wildlife conflicts and improving human livelihoods. The focal point of the study will be Nagarahole National Park, where 250 households of tribal people have relocated voluntarily and 1,300 people have yet to relocate. During the pilot study, the team evaluate research design and methods for assessing social and ecological outcomes of relocation, and for identifying incentive structures and governance systems necessary to make such a process fair for local people and effective for conservation. The team will also discuss priority training needs for WCS-India field staff and affiliated Indian students.