Tracking and Conservation of Big Cats in the Himalayas

SFS 3191

Tracking and Conservation of Big Cats in the Himalayas

4 credits

is an interdisciplinary, field-based course focused on understanding key issues and challenges associated with conservation of wild cats and associated species. Bhutan is home to 10 wild cat species, with the snow leopard, tiger and the clouded leopard being the most charismatic big cat species and Bhutan is increasingly seen as the last biodiversity refugia. Students will be introduced to the socio-political and cultural significance of Himalayan landscapes and biodiversity, with a special focus on these charismatic species. Interactions with stakeholders from the government, academia, local people, and civil society will enable students to understand field realities of changing landscapes and human-wildlife conflicts. Students will learn camera trapping techniques and associated data analysis skills to estimate population sizes and map species distribution ranges in a GIS. Students will also be introduced to radio-telemetry. A final student project will aim at developing either a conservation project proposal or an adaptive species management plan for a designated landscape.

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