Sanjay Gubbi

Scientist, Western Ghats

Picture sanjaygubbi

Master of Science in Conservation Biology, DICE, University of Kent at Canterbury

Sanjay Gubbi works mainly on conservation issues in Karnataka state. Sanjay bridges a strong understanding of the socio-economic and political aspects of conservation with its scientific bases.

Sanjay's PhD examines factors underlying the variation of leopard distribution across a habitat modification gradient in southern Karnataka, and evaluates current approaches to management of leopard-human conflict to help achieve a better understanding and management of this beleaguered species. 

Sanjay’s recent work, focusing on the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India has strived to reduce the impact of habitat fragmentation, collaborated with the Karnataka Forest Department towards an expansion of protected areas, helped institute new social security and welfare measures for forest watchers and guards. On these projects, Sanjay works with a wide cross-section of people, including policy makers, media and social leaders.

Sanjay also conducts training workshops for print and electronic media and conservation enthusiasts, among others, to expand support for and enhance public understanding of conservation. He has taught Master’s program courses at the National Centre for Biological Sciences and the Wildlife Institute of India. Today, Sanjay sits on the State Wildlife Board and other key panels of the state.

He writes extensively both in English and Kannada, and is especially keen on popularising wildlife conservation in local languages. 

Projects

Publications

  • Journal Article
    2017
    From intent to action: A case study for the expansion of tiger conservation from southern India
    Sanjay Gubbi, N S Harish, Aparna S, H C Poornesha, Vasanth Reddy, Javeed Mumtaz, M D Madhusudan
    Global Ecology and Conservation, 9: 11–20
    Download

    PDF, 2.61 MB

    To conserve a large, wide-ranging carnivore like the tiger, it is critical not only to maintain populations at key habitat sites, but also to enable the persistence of the species across much larger landscapes. To do this, it is important to establish well-linked habitat networks where sites for survival and reproduction of tigers are complemented by opportunities for dispersal and colonization. On the ground, expanding protection to areas with a potential for tiger recovery still remains the means of operationalizing the landscape approach. Yet, while the gazetting of protected areas is necessary to enable this, it is not sufficient. It is essential to benchmark and monitor the process by which establishment of protected areas must necessarily be followed by management changes that enable a recovery of tigers, their prey and their habitats. In this paper, we report a case study from the Cauvery and Malai Mahadeshwara Hills Wildlife Sanctuaries of southern India, where we document the infrastructural and institutional changes that ensued after an unprecedented expansion of protected areas in this landscape. Further, we establish ecological benchmarks of the abundance and distribution of tigers, the relative abundance of their prey, and the status of their habitats, against which the recovery of tigers in this area of vast conservation potential may be assessed over time.

  • Report
    2016
    Safely handling situations when leopards enter human dense areas - English version
    September 2016
    Download

    PDF, 21.9 MB

    This manual covers key measures to be taken by various agencies in handling situations when leopards venture into human dense areas. It provides practical information to handle leopard situations when they enter cities, towns, villages, when leopards fall into dry or wells with water, or when they are found caught in snares. 

    The manual also provides information on the equipment that's required to be kept by the forest department and other agencies in areas where there are repeated instances of leopards entering human dense areas. It provides information on Karnataka government procedures in providing ex-gratia, documenting leopard presence in an area, and outreach activities that could be undertaken in high interface areas.

    This manual is also available in Kannada.

  • Journal Article
    2016
    Providing more protected space for tigers Panthera tigris: a landscape conservation approach in the Western Ghats, southern India
    Sanjay Gubbi, Kaushik Mukherjee, M. H. Swaminath, H C Poornesha
    Oryx 50(2): 336–343
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    PDF, 284 KB

    Conservation of large carnivores is challenging as they face various threats, including habitat loss and fragmentation. One of the current challenges to tiger Panthera tigris conservation in India is the conversion of habitat to uses that are incompatible with conservation of the species. Bringing more tiger habitat within a protected area system and in the process creating a network of connected protected areas will deliver dual benefits of wildlife conservation and protection of watersheds. Focusing on the southern Indian state of Karnataka, which holds one of the largest contiguous tiger populations, we attempted to address this challenge using a conservation planning technique that considers ecological, social and political factors. This approach yielded several conservation successes, including an expansion of the protected area network by 2,385 sq km, connection of 23 protected areas, and the creation of three complexes of protected areas, increasing the protected area network in Karnataka from 3.8 to 5.2% of the state’s land area. This represents the largest expansion of protected areas in India since the1970s. Such productive partnerships between government officials and conservationists highlight the importance of complementary roles in conservation planning and implementation.

  • Book
    2016
    ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ವನ್ಯಜೀವಿ ಜಾಲದ ಗಣಿ ಚಾಮರಾಜನಗರ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆ (A handbook on wildlife of Chamarajanagar district  specifically on MM Hills and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuaries - in Kannada)
    Sanjay Gubbi, Girish Babu
    September 2016
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    PDF, 19.7 MB

    ಈ ಕಿರುಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆಯಲ್ಲಿ, ಕೈ ಬರಹದ ಚಿತ್ರಗಳೊಂದಿಗೆ, ಚಾಮರಾಜನಗರ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆಯ ವನ್ಯಜೀವಿಗಳ ಕಿರುನೋಟವನ್ನು ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಹಾಗೂ ಈ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆಯ ಕಾಡಿನಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಕೆಲವು ಅಪೂರ್ವ ವನ್ಯಜೀವಿಗಳ ವಿವರಗಳನ್ನು ಸಹ ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಚಾಮರಾಜನಗರ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಕಾವೇರಿ ಮತ್ತು ಮಲೈ ಮಹದೇಶ್ವರ ವನ್ಯಜೀವಿಧಾಮಗಳ ಪ್ರಾಮುಖ್ಯತೆಯನ್ನು ತಿಳಿಸಿ ಈ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳು ಹುಲಿಯಂತಹ ಪ್ರಮುಖ ವನ್ಯಜೀವಿಯ ಜೊತೆಗೆ ಇನ್ನೂ ಅನೇಕ ವನ್ಯಜೀವಿಗಳ ಸಂಖ್ಯೆ ಅಭಿವೃದ್ದಿ ಹೊಂದುವ ಸಾಧ್ಯತೆಯನ್ನು ವಿವರಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಒಂದು ಕಾಡಿನಿಂದ ಇನ್ನೊಂದು ಕಾಡಿಗೆ ಸಂಪರ್ಕ ಕಲ್ಪಿಸುವ ವನ್ಯಜೀವಿ ಪಥಗಳ ಅವಶ್ಯಕತೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅವುಗಳನ್ನು ಸಂರಕ್ಷಿಸುವ ಅಗತ್ಯತೆಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ನಿದರ್ಶನಗಳ ಮೂಲಕ ತಿಳಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಈ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆಯ ಕಾಡುಗಳು ಅನೇಕ ಜನ ಸಮುದಾಯಗಳ ವಾಸಸ್ಥಾನಗಳಾಗಿದ್ದು, ಈ ಸಮುದಾಯಗಳ ಕಾಡಿನ ಮೇಲಿನ ಅವಲಂಬನೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಕೂಡ ಈ ಕಿರುಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ವಿವರಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಈ ಕಾಡುಗಳು ಅನೇಕ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳಿಗೆ ನೀರಿನ ಮೂಲವಾಗಿದ್ದು, ಇದು ಈ ಕಾಡುಗಳ ಮೌಲ್ಯವನ್ನು ತಿಳಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಕೊನೆಗೆ ಈ ಕಾಡುಗಳಿಗೆ ಮತ್ತು ವನ್ಯಜೀವಿಗಳಿಗಿರುವ ಮುಖ್ಯ ಕುತ್ತುಗಳನ್ನು ಈ ಕಿರುಹೊತ್ತಿಗೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ವಿವರಿಸಲಾಗಿದೆ.

  • Report
    2016
    ಚಿರತೆಗಳು ಜನ ನಿಬಿಡ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರವೇಶಿಸಿದ ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶಗಳನ್ನು ಸುರಕ್ಷಿತವಾಗಿ ನಿಭಾಯಿಸುವ ವಿಧಾನಗಳು (Safely handling situations when leopards enter human dense areas - Kannada version)
    October 2016

    ಚಿರತೆಯು ಜನ ನಿಬಿಡ ಪ್ರದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದಾಗಿನ ಸಂದರ್ಭಗಳನ್ನು ನಿಭಾಯಿಸುವಲ್ಲಿ ವಿವಿಧ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳು ಕೈಗೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಾದ ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಕ್ರಮಗಳನ್ನು ಈ ಕೈಪಿಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಚಿರತೆ ಪಟ್ಟಣ, ಗ್ರಾಮದಂತಹ ವಸತಿ ಪ್ರದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದಾಗ, ಚಿರತೆಯು ನೀರಿರುವ ಅಥವಾ ನೀರಿಲ್ಲದ ಬಾವಿಗೆ ಬಿದ್ದಾಗ ಮತ್ತು ಚಿರತೆಯು ಉರುಳಿಗೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿಕೊಂಡ ಸಂದರ್ಭಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರಾಯೋಗಿಕವಾಗಿ ನಿಭಾಯಿಸುವ ಬಗೆಗಿನ ಮಾಹಿತಿಯನ್ನು ಇದರಲ್ಲಿ ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ.

    ಚಿರತೆಗಳು ಜನ ನಿಬಿಡ ಪ್ರದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಬರುವ ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶಗಳನ್ನು ಆಗಾಗ್ಗೆ ಎದುರಿಸುವ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಅರಣ್ಯ ಇಲಾಖೆ ಮತ್ತು ವಿವಿಧ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳು ಇಟ್ಟುಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕಾದ ಉಪಕರಣಗಳ ಮಾಹಿತಿಯನ್ನು ಸಹ ಕೈಪಿಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ. ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸರ್ಕಾರದಿಂದ ವನ್ಯಜೀವಿ ಹಾವಳಿಗೆ ಪರಿಹಾರ ನೀಡುವ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ, ಒಂದು ಪ್ರದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಚಿರತೆಯ ಇರುವಿಕೆಯನ್ನು ಧೃಡಪಡಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಬಗ್ಗೆ, ಅಧಿಕ ಸಂಘರ್ಷ ಇರುವ ಪ್ರದೇಶಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಅರಿವು ಮೂಡಿಸುವ ಚಟುವಟಿಕೆಗಳನ್ನು ಹಮ್ಮಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಸಹ ಮಾಹಿತಿಯನ್ನು ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದೆ.

  • Book Chapter
    2015
    Finding the middle road: Grounded approaches to mitigate highway impacts in tiger reserves
    Handbook of Road Ecology, Editors : Rodney van der Ree, Daniel J. Smith and Clara Grilo. Publishers : John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Download

    PDF, 266 KB

  • Report
    2015
    Tigers of Malai Mahadeshwara and Cauvery Landscape
    November 2015
    Download

    PDF, 5.13 MB

    Report on tiger numbers in the dry forests in the confluence of Western and Eastern Ghats in southern India

  • Poster
    2015
    Poster depicting dog and leopard pugmarks designed to help reduce anxiety and tensions - English version
    March 2015
    Download

    JPG, 611 KB

    On many instances dog pugmarks are mistaken as leopard tracks and there is pressure exerted on the forest department to capture leopards from the area. This has led to unnecessary anxiety in communities, tensions between communities and forest department, and possibly capture of leopards with no reason. Hence, a poster that would differentiate tracks between dogs and leopards were designed to help in awareness activities.

  • Poster
    2015
    Poster depicting dog and leopard pugmarks designed to help reduce anxiety and tensions - Kannada version
    March 2015
    Download

    JPG, 560 KB

    On many instances dog pugmarks are mistaken as leopard tracks and there is pressure exerted on the forest department to capture leopards from the area. This has led to unnecessary anxiety in communities, tensions between communities and forest department, and possibly capture of leopards with no reason. Hence, a poster that would differentiate tracks between dogs and leopards were designed to help in awareness activities.

  • Journal Article
    2015
    Distribution, relative abundance, and conservation status of Asian elephants in Karnataka, southern India
    M D Madhusudan, Narayan Sharma, R Raghunath, N Baskaran, C M Bipin, Sanjay Gubbi, A J T Johnsingh, Jayanta Kulkarni, H N Kumara, Prachi Mehta, Rajeev Pillay, R Sukumar
    Biological Conservation 187:34-40
    Download

    PDF, 1.57 MB

    Karnataka state in southern India supports a globally significant—and the country’s largest—population of the Asian elephant Elephas maximus. A reliable map of Asian elephant distribution and measures of spatial variation in their abundance, both vital needs for conservation and management action, are unavailable not only in Karnataka, but across its global range. Here, we use various data gathered between 2000 and 2015 to map the distribution of elephants in Karnataka at the scale of the smallest forest management unit, the ‘beat’, while also presenting data on elephant dung density for a subset of ‘elephant beats.’ Elephants occurred in 972 out of 2855 forest beats of Karnataka. Sixty percent of these 972 beats—and 55% of the forest habitat—lay outside notified protected areas (PAs), and included lands designated for agricultural production and human dwelling. While median elephant dung density inside protected areas was nearly thrice as much as outside, elephants routinely occurred in or used habitats outside PAs where human density, land fraction under cultivation, and the interface between human-dominated areas and forests were greater. Based on our data, it is clear that India’s framework for elephant conservation— which legally protects the species wherever it occurs, but protects only some of its habitats—while being appropriate in furthering their conservation within PAs, seriously falters in situations where elephants reside in and/or seasonally use areas outside PAs. Attempts to further elephant conservation in production and dwelling areas have extracted high costs in human, elephant, material and monetary terms in Karnataka. In such settings, conservation planning exercises are necessary to determine where the needs of elephants—or humans—must take priority over the other, and to achieve that in a manner that is based not only on reliable scientific data but also on a process of public reasoning.

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