Tools for Undergraduate Research in Environmental Science and Field Biology:
(Note: Though still works-in-progress, Units I, II and III all contain content. Unit IV will become available sometime in the future!)

I. Scientific Inquiry: How to identify a research topic, question and hypothesis

II. Fundamentals of Field Sampling: How to design a field study

III. Graphing and Statistics: How to interpret your data using MS Excel

IV. Communicating Your Results: Tips for writing effective papers and making clear presentations

  maps of region where we lived

This blog was active from July, 2013 through January, 2014.

January 21, from Pokhara, Nepal:
Wildlife Encounters II

After visiting the Corbett Tiger Reserve in December (more on that in an upcoming post), we learned about an even more dramatic wildlife encounter - "man-eating" tigers.

At our hotel, we met and had breakfast with Sid Marsh, an author from New Zealand researching an upcoming book on tigers. According to Sid, there was a “man-eating” tiger (sorry, that’s what the locals call them) in Corbett as recently as 2010 and 2011. This tiger killed several people from villages located outside the park along the entrance road that we had just driven along before our conversation with Sid. Apparently the tiger also took livestock such as cows and buffalo from along the road, and even killed and dragged away a water buffalo from the courtyard of a tourist hotel.

Understandably, the local villagers were quite upset. And what likely made the situation even more difficult is the fact that most of these local villagers near the park can’t afford to visit the park and many don’t make much money from the park’s existence.

Clearly it was in the best interest of all concerned to find and eliminate the offending tiger. According to Sid, the situation was very tense because it’s pretty easy to kill tigers by poisoning carcasses of cows or buffalo and the villagers were getting ready to take matters into their own hands. Poisoning of tigers at the reserve would not only harm one of the healthier populations in India of this threatened species, it would also result in a major economic loss for local conservation efforts and for the guides and others who work at Corbett (the main form of revenue is from tourists who go there to try to see tigers). Clearly, keeping peace between wildlife and humans in this situation is critical for both species.

Fortunately, the situation was resolved when a hunter (sanctioned by the Corbett Tiger Reserve) killed the offending tiger . . . well, fortunate for the local people and the population of tigers in the reserve, even if not so fortunate for the “man-eater.” In fact, killing this tiger was understandably controversial and upset many. Scroll to the bottom of the first article listed below to see a comment in response to the killing of the tiger.

And, the encounters may continue. In searching for information on the 2010/2011 tiger, I discovered a very recent article (second below) citing the return of another "man-eater" to Corbett.

Brief newspaper articles about "man-eaters" at Corbett:

Killing of "Man-eater"

Return of "Man-eater"

No shortage of challenges related to wildlife encounters in India!

P.S. Here's a recent editorial from the New York Times about the possible conservation benefits of limited hunting of rhinos:

Hunting Rhinos

This site created and maintained by
Dr. Rhine Singleton
Associate Professor of Biology & Environmental Science
Franklin Pierce University, Rindge, NH 03461
You can contact me at: singler at franklinpierce dot edu