In current scenario, India is turning a big hub for wildlife research, reason being not only rich biodiversity of India but also due to the best expertise available in our country. When wildlife was taking its nascent steps in our country, most of the research; especially conservation oriented were supported by the foresters who so fondly conserved not only forests but also its inhabitants. Many species based programmes were initiated and wildlife got a huge impetus by political supporter like Smt Indira Gandhi. Our tryst with understanding of natural world is not new as BNHS (established in 1883) had been working perseveringly towards wildlife conservation quite a time ago. The 1900 era saw many institutions taking this natural heritage research and conservation seriously. The establishment of Zoological Survey of India (1916), Wildlife Institute of India (1982), The Centre for Ecological Sciences (1983), The Centre for Wildlife Studies (1984), Wildlife division of Aligarh Muslim University (1986), SACON (1990) to name few such organization which brought the field of wildlife in front of laymen Indians, affected many policies regarding forest and wildlife and gave a wealth of baseline research for future researchers. However, the aura of this scientific field attracts and also the need of hour of research is interdisciplinary minds to be working in close association.
A simple example of the involvement of various fields in wildlife research can be hypothetical study of estimate of a species population in any particular area. To understand the species and its interaction with the environment, biologist comes into picture. To plan the study over a large inaccessible landscape, Remote sensing and GIS expert is required. To place the right kind of technology to capture live; a veterarian or non-invasive capture of animal like cameratrap, drone application like MSTrIPES, pattern recognition software; an engineering background plays a humongous role. To understand human and animal interaction sociologist plays an important role. Once field data is collected the various statistical models required bolstering our studies outcome and here statisticians are a big help. Awareness and outreach is being encouraged by journalism students. The good and unique research is being conducted in one aspect and by one specialist and sometime all these backgrounds are required for research outcome. For the advancement of science an interactive group of the interdisciplinary research would form the best team.
Either a researcher does all this or a team of different experts come together for a common cause. This could be reason that institute like National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), located in Bangalore initiated masters programme for various background student. Wildlife sciences have expanded its wings in past decade tremendously and many people are making names in this field as ecologist, statistician, photographer, scubadivers, writer etc. In recent times many universities have recognized the specialized course of Zoology and provide Phd programme in Wildlife related research like Forest Research Institute, Saurashtra University, Manipal University, Amity University, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bharathiar University, Aligarh Muslim University, and University of Jammu and Kashmir , Mumbai University, Pune University etc. Even if students don’t want to pursue as Phd, many short courses are offered by BNHS, SACON etc and youngsters can explore the field to relax in nature or form a career in same.
Hopefully students from remote areas also explore this exciting field in nearby universities and also students from various field come and make a mark in Wildlife field.