Explore The Wild In India
Updated: Apr 11
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Wildlife studies in India are always sour grapes to many youngsters who choose different other paths because they don't find satisfactory encouragement, guidance, and proper support system even from the one who are directly concerned with wildlife. It is not that career in wildlife is not everyone's cup of tea, but not everyone who dreams to master in it work for the same. It is over the past few years that there was an increased concern regarding the conservation, research and teaching regarding wildlife, towards a leaping pace. With the increasing awareness among public, and growing concern among government officials to combat conflicts, crimes and,clashes between humans and wildlife and importance of wildlife species in maintaining the ecosystem, the need to recruit professionals is the need of the hour. The recent "one health" concept also stress upon wildlife, public health, and zoonoses related to the same. Then let's get started with the most interesting life experience of a wildlife conservationist "Miss. Sahila Kudalkar", Conservation Director and Program Manager at Wildlife Conservation Society, Inida.
Since my decision to switch to studying wildlife, I have spent a considerable portion of my time thrashing about in the dark, stumbling over social and educational boulders and often falling flat on my face. Starting out, my first thought was, "I hate biology but want to study wildlife". Fresh out of school, my perception of biology was as a claustrophobic science that deals with 'human anatomy and diet'. A curt "You can't do anything without biology" from a respected teacher deflated all hope and led me to believe I could do nothing without a zoology/botany degree in hand. How mistaken I was! Practitioners of interdisciplinary science are the need of the hour in conservation biology today. From engineers who design wildlife drones and discourage poachers, geographers who map global distribution of threatened species, mathematicians and computer programmers who devise novel statistical methods, social scientists who aim to understand cultural attitudes towards wildlife, architects and urban planners who build sustainable housing to journalists who uncover conservation stories from the hinterlands, lawyers fighting to uphold environmental laws and economists who integrate ecological stability in their models- everyone is welcome to attempt wildlife conservation. True, you need an excellent understanding of species ecology and much of it requires long hours of arduous fieldwork. But formal education is never be a barrier to becoming a conservationist. Here are some lessons I learnt that may help you in your struggle.
The Rainbow Process: 7 rules for an Amateur Naturalist in India
Step One: Join the meetyeti email-list to get regular updates on educational, job and volunteer opportunities in India. This is also a fantastic way to know what skills you need to cultivate to gain a foothold in the diverse, interdisciplinary field of conservation. Step Two: Volunteer. Make sure you are on the lookout for volunteering opportunities during your Bachelor's program, especially during summer vacations (Here's where the YETI listing comes in useful). Engineering students from Mumbai could check out weekend volunteering opportunities at the Bombay Natural History Society, SPROUTS and Mumbaikars for SGNP. The wildlife surveys of the Center for Wildlife Studies provide an excellent chance for fieldwork. You can also contact your nearest zoo- Katraj Zoo in Pune, Tata Steel Zoological Park in Jamshedpur, Madras Crocodile Bank Trust in Chennai to volunteer. Step Three: Stay updated. In the internet-era, this is the simplest task of all. Get an RSS reader and subscribe to updates from websites like Mongabay, ConservationIndia, ConservationBytes, Environment360 etc. Subscribe to Sanctuary-Asia, Hornbill, Newsletter for Birdwatchers, Indian Birds and Protected Area Update. Read, watch, hear, discuss, debate to your heart's content. Step Four: Communicate with experts. Don't hesitate to communicate your desire to work together on a particular subject. Take care to be specific- What are your interests (broad and narrow), why would you like to work on, what skills do you possess that maybe useful in their ongoing projects etc. Step Five: Keep a Journal. Be meticulous in your record-keeping. The journal needn't be an old-school diary- be creative, take your experiences online through blogs and youtube channels. Employ the use of photography, videos, sketches, origami, humor or whatever tool you have at hand. This ensures an early start to a vital aspect of wildlife conservation- Science Outreach. Step Six: Network. Make friends. Jolt yourself out of your comfort zone. You will learn precious little hunched in a corner while your fellow volunteers boisterously share wildlife stories over dinner. Gather your guts and join in, even if it is your first time. At the very least, establish a one-on-one rapport with other participants. Conferences such as the Student Conference on Conservation Science or YETI are another great way to meet with a diverse range of professionals. Step up to the great 'Networking Challenge'. Step Seven: Be prepared for failure. You will fail. It's how Nature works. Embrace failure and make new mistakes the next time.
Education Some of the wildlife programs offered in India currently are:
MSc in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore- Highly competitive program, admissions every two years
MSc in Wildlife Science, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun- Highly competitive program, admissions every two years
PhD in Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Bangalore
PhD program, Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore
PhD program, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore
PhD program, Center for Ecological Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
Madras veterinary college
There are 5 wildlife PG seats (3 local, 2 non-local)
Contact Person : Dr. K. Kumanan
Contact number : 4425304000
Email : eanmvctanuvas.org.in
Official Website : www.tanuvas.ac.in
Telefax : +91-44-2536 2787
Nanaji Deshmukh Veterinary Science University
Head Office Address -
South Civil Lines, Jabalpur
Madhya Pradesh -482001 (India)
Phone : +91-0761-2620783,
FAX : +91-0761-2620783
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Bangalore veterinary college
Check the ICAR Seats for Banglore college if not there you have to write state exam for KVAFSU
There are 3 seats each year in KVAFSU
Bangalore Veterinary College, Hebbal,Bangalore – 560 024
Phone No:- +91-80-23411483, 23410509
Nagpur Veterinary College
Seminary Hills, Nagpur -440006
E mail: email@example.com
No.of seats : 20, 15 Indian and 5 foreign nationals
Specialization : MSc wild life
Eligibility : Graduation in any discipline.
Selection criteria : On the basis of National Eligibility Test (NET), Personality Aptitude Test and Interview.
Programme Name : M.Sc. (Wildlife Sciences)
Specialization : Wildlife
Number of Seats :10
Eligibility Criteria :Refer Guide to Admission (http://www.amucontrollerexams.com/)
It is located in Wayanad district, which consists of a unique geographical region naturally blessed with varieties of wild flora and fauna. The location of the well equipped institute in this forest rich district of Kerala makes it the ideal place for development in the wildlife study sector and for the conduct of specialized wildlife related academic programmes like MS (Wildlife Studies).
Eligibility : Bachelor’s Degree in Biosciences (Botany, Zoology, Veterinary Science, Forestry etc.)
Duration : Four semesters
No. of seats : 20
Fee : Rs. 70,000/- per semester
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: National Centre for Biological Sciences, GKVK, Bellary Road, Bangalore – 560065
Other important institutes that provide wildlife related studies in India
A vast number of opportunities are available for students who wish to pursue their education abroad. Universities abroad usually require undergraduate study of 4 years prior to admission. Masters programs in U.S. universities are for a minimum of 2 years whereas U.K. offers programs of 1 year. There are simply too many study-abroad options to list out here, but do check out Anusha Shankar's post on applying to grad schools.
Independent Projects A few sources for seed funding of independent research ideas:
For latest updates on funding resources: Terra Viva
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Careers In addition to the NGOs already mentioned above, here are some more organizations which provide employment opportunities for wildlifers.
Indian Forest Services
Foreign wildlife internship opportunities :
Only few important are mentioned below, there are many other if we wish to drown in the ocean of wildlife.
The best part is that there are ways to raise funds to support your wildlife experience abroad.
The training cost reduces if a group approaches to intern with the same organization during the same period. So, the more you engage and encourage others to apply, the less is the training cost. Here goes the list.
Important scholarships for wildlife studies abroad :
Reaching the end of the article, would like to know your views and suggestions in the comments to source this info with many other resources.
Need motivation? Watch this great TEDx talk by Larry Smith
Sahila Kudalkar (Wild Beckonings)
Conservation Director and Program Manager (Counter Wildlife Trafficking) at Wildlife Conservation Society - India
Additional Info by:
Rama Goury Mandava
Dr. Hemalatha Talluri
Dr. Amit Kumar Tripathy