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Adaptive Management of India’s Wildlife Sanctuaries

  • Paul RobbinsEmail author
  • Anil K. Chhangani

Abstract

This chapter examines India’s wildlife sanctuaries as laboratories for understanding the nuanced relationship between science, democracy, and conservation. India’s 523 wildlife sanctuaries have been set aside by the Indian Wildlife Act for the purpose of conserving biodiversity and the natural heritage of the county. Amidst social and economic change, these sanctuaries face the threats of urban growth, agricultural encroachment, and exploitation by mining and timber extraction. Even so, these wildlife sanctuaries cannot be considered pristine or characterized by wilderness because they have been recently created and have long been influenced by people. The purpose of this essay is to investigate the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan in detail to understand the intertwining relationship between new institutions and complex landscapes, thereby providing a scientific opportunity to enhance our understanding of conservation science. A close examination of this sanctuary suggests: (1) ecological transitions in the sanctuary are multidirectional, (2) extensive conservation resources reside outside the sanctuary, and (3) ecological knowledge resources are extensive and untapped. These results suggest an adaptive management approach is paramount, insofar as it would take advantage of the complex dynamics of reserves, as well as the inevitable human impact on the landscape and the considerable ecological knowledge possessed by local communities.

Keywords

Wildlife reserve Human Impact Ecological knowledge Kumbhalgarh Political ecology 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nelson Institute of Environmental StudiesUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental ScienceMaharaja Ganga Singh UniversityBikanerIndia

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