HEAL at SCCS-Bng 2023

09 – 12 October 2023

We are excited to share that our teammate, Vasudha Mishra, delivered an insightful oral presentation at the Student Conference for Conservation Science ( @sccsbng ) in Bengaluru earlier this month.

Her talk, titled ‘Beyond Dichotomies: Unravelling the Nuances of Local Perceptions Towards Striped Hyenas in West Bengal,’ was based on the research she conducted as part of HEAL’s Striped Hyena Project.

Understanding the social dimensions of the human-hyena relationship is crucial for developing a hyena conservation strategy in Purulia’s drylands – can people identify striped hyenas? Do they understand its ecology? How do they perceive its ecological role? How is the hyena perceived in the cultural landscape? Are there misperceptions that need debunking? Is conflict present and if so what is the nature of the conflict?

Vasudha used a mixed methods approach deploying both quantitative and qualitative methods to start answering these questions.

The talk concluded with an emphasis on the significance of outreach efforts in raising awareness to diffuse fear and increase appreciation of the striped hyena’s role as a scavenger.