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Guidelines for Scientific Research in Protected Areas


  1. Preamble

Scientific Research in the Protected Areas (PA) notified under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 is vital for a better understanding of ecosystems, their functions, ecological status, treat perceptions of various species and their habitats. Information generated through scientific research in Protected Areas (PA) has immense value to field managers for selecting appropriate conservation and adaptive field management actions. Since Protected Areas (PA) also serve as ‘control sites’ or ‘Source Sites’ for comparing a large number of environmental and ecological parameters and processes vis-a-vis human influenced ecosystems, communities and individual species often called the ‘Sink Sites’ in the surrounding areas of the PAs all over the globe. To undertake basic as well as applied research on various aforesaid themes and issues by researchers, institutions and even under graduate/ post graduate students in Protected Areas needs to be encouraged. Failing which, the PAs will be in a disadvantageous side for not having required scientific information on conservation and management issues of the PAs which could influence its future management. In absence of required scientific information based on field studies, such areas will automatically remain poor in having the basic inventories on the biodiversity richness and threat perceptions of the PAs.
As per the guidelines of the National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016), research projects having the objectives of measuring biological diversity, monitoring the status of indicator/flagship/threatened species of flora and fauna, and their breeding biology, needs to be given priority while granting permission to conduct research and monitoring in a PA. In addition, applied research is also needed to help overcome specific management problems in Protected Areas. Multi-disciplinary integrated research encompassing of scientific and socio-economic aspects related to PA management equally needs to be encouraged.
Recognizing the significance of a well-conceived and problem-solving research/study in Protected Areas, adequate provisions for encouraging research work are available in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Section 28 and 35 (8)[grant of permit] of the Act provide authority to the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) to grant permission for required and priority research in Protected Areas [Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks]under the jurisdiction of the Chief Wildlife Warden.

2. Wildlife Research

Wildlife Research is defined as research conducted by qualified scientists, researchers including social scientists or by Scholars / Students / Assistants working under the supervision of Park Managers. Wildlife research may also be conducted by qualified wildlife/social scientists, enthusiasts, and Conservationists. [here in after referred as researcher/Institution in these guidelines.

3.  Duration of Research

Based on the anticipated period of study specified in such research proposals, wildlife research will be categorized as follows:-