Home People Earth Heroes Dr. Y.V. Jhala And Qamar Qureshi

Dr. Y.V. Jhala And Qamar Qureshi

Dr. Y.V. Jhala And Qamar Qureshi

WILDLIFE SERVICE AWARD: Scientists with the Wildlife Institute of India, Dr. Y. V. Jhala (right) and Qamar Qureshi (left) recently worked on a tiger enumeration methodology that revealed a disturbingly low figure of 1,411 tigers left alive in India. Courtesy: Dr. Y.V. Jhala.

Month Year: December 2008

Wildlife Service Award

For evaluating the status of tigers, their habitat and prey in India.Dr. Y.V. Jhala’s credentials are impeccable. A doctorate from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, U.S.A. in Wildlife Science, a stint at the Wildlife Conservation and Management Training Programme of the Smithsonian Institution, a post-doctorate on reproductive energetics of tree shrews and a long-standing career with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) that began in 1993. Apart from this, he is also a Ph.D. guide for the Saurashtra University, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun and Sagar University, M.P. One of India’s most eminent wildlife scientists, he has studied nutritional ecology and prey-predator interactions and has worked on a systems approach for ecosystem research, on physiological ecology and optimisation for the management of wildlife resources. He is credited with conducting one of the most technologically sophisticated research studies on these little understood carnivores. Professor Scientist in the Department of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology at the WII, he leads research initiatives, nurtures, teaches and guides postgraduate and Ph.D students and supervises over 50 wildlife biologists who are our future Protected Area Managers.

Qamar Qureshi's career as faculty with the WII began in 1993. Earlier, he obtained an M.Phil in Wildlife Biology from the Aligarh Muslim University. He is an expert in Geographical Information System and Remote Sensing. He has done extensive research in the Terai, Central Indian Highlands and the Trans-Himalaya ranging from community ecology to species biology. He has a special interest in landscape ecology. Jhala and Qureshi worked jointly on behalf of the WII and the National Tiger Conservation Authority to enumerate India’s tiger populations. The resultant report revealed a disturbingly low official figure of 1,411 tigers and has resulted in several fresh conservation initiatives that are expected to give the tiger an extra edge on life. Ranthambhore-Sariska Tiger Relocation Team, Rajasthan for the delicate and very difficult task of relocating tigers from Ranthambhore to SariskaSomewhere between July and November 2004, the last tiger in Sariska was killed. Three years and seven months later, an ambitious reintroduction project was implemented and two tigers from Ranthambhore were translocated back into Sariska (see Sanctuary Vol. XXVIII No. 5, October 2008). Carefully coordinated and executed team work made the translocation possible and this involved both senior officials and foot soldiers on whom the success or failure of most wildlife conservation efforts is dependent. The tiger translocation involved coordination between the state government, scientists, forest officials and local people. The plan was jointly prepared by the WII and the Rajasthan Forest Department. WII scientists handled the Ranthambhore tranquillisation and the Sariska recovery of tigers and WWF-India helped to obtain satellite collars to keep track of the released cats. The Chief Wildlife Warden of Rajasthan, R.N. Mehrotra, credits his field staff and Rajasthan’s political and administrative leadership with this successful first step and requested that the citation and award be accepted by four members of his field staff on behalf of the Rajasthan Forest Department.

First published in: Sanctuary Asia, Vol XXVIII No. 6, December 2008.


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