Dr. Sahil Nijhawan has recently finished a PhD in Conservation Anthropology at University College London. The research he will be conducting as part of the British Academy Visiting Fellowship builds on his doctoral research that identified a scientifically-unregistered population of tigers in Northeast India thriving without any formal protection.
Dr. Nijhawan concluded that local ‘Idu’ people’s beliefs in kinship with tigers had contributed significantly to their persistence while they had disappeared from the surrounding landscape. The area is now witnessing extensive infrastructure development including mega-dams and highways. This research seeks to investigate the evolving nature of the relationship between people and threatened wildlife in the face of rapid large-scale demographic, environmental and geopolitical changes.
Using mixed methods, Dr. Nijhawan plans to explore how Idu world-view that helped protect the tiger engages with the area’s fast changing realities. During the Visiting Fellowship, which will be based at Zoological Society of London’s; Institute of Zoology.