Biodiversity Projects

Endangered Species Conservation

Personnel: Neil Carter

We use human-environment systems science to study the interactions between subsistence-based agricultural communities and the globally endangered tiger in a biodiversity hotspot in Nepal. The challenges facing tiger conservation (e.g., habitat degradation, human-tiger conflict) epitomize the challenges facing wildlife conservation in many regions around the world. To date, we have evaluated and mapped human attitudes toward tigers, evaluated how land management practices and policies impact tiger habitat, assessed how tigers respond to human activities in space and time, and simulated tiger population dynamics for future scenario analysis. Our work has advanced human-environment systems science and informed conservation decision making. Yet, much more work remains to be done to help foster human-wildlife coexistence in regions around the world undergoing rapid social and environmental changes.

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Gorongosa Wildlife Recovery

Our research team is partnering with the Gorongosa Lion Project in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique to aid the restoration of large herbivore and carnivore species there. The park’s wildlife populations declined dramatically following a devastating civil war in Mozambique. Now, the Greg Carr Foundation is leading a massive ecosystem recovery effort in Gorongosa that will benefit both human wellbeing and biodiversity. Using data from GPS collars and camera traps, we are currently investigating what factors encourage or limit (e.g., snaring, prey abundance, water availability) the recovery of terrestrial mammal species in the Greater Gorongosa Ecosystem. In the future we will use human-environment systems science to develop a greater understanding of the human drivers of ecosystem change in the area and how those changes in turn affect local human communities. The HES Center is excited to be a partner in this important research and conservation endeavor.

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