Yadvendradev V. Jhala

Yadvendradev V. Jhala, PhD is a faculty member at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, Uttaranchal, India. He is also a research associate of the Genetics Program, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, USA. Currently, he is the IUCN Wolf Specialist for India.

Dr Jhala conducted various research projects in India. His studies on herbivore ecology were published on prestigious international journals (example, Jhala YV. Seasonal effects on the nutritional ecology of blackbuck Antelope cervicapra. J Appl Ecol 34: 1348-1358,1997). He also focused on predation of herbivores by wolves (example, Jhala YV. Predation on Blackbuck by Wolves in Velavadar National-Park, Gujarat, India. Conserv Biol 7: 874-881, 1993). Studies conducted by Dr Jhala addressed broad perspectives including ecological relationships between predators such as wolves and prey. He analyzed the relationship between wolves and humans and the real-world conservation biology of wolves in India (example, Jhala YV, Giles RH. The Status and Conservation of the Wolf in Gujarat and Rajasthan, India. Conserv Biol 5: 476-483, 1991).

Dr Jhala is a leading expert and influential thinker on aspects of human-wolf conflicts. His studies document cases of deadly wolf attacks towards young people in India. This severe form of conflict reached its peak in eastern Uttar-Pradesh in 1996 when a wolf was found to be responsible for attacks on 76 children (of which over 50 were fatal). Cases presented and analyzed by Dr Jhala are extreme examples of the challenges posed by predator conservation. His description of the socio-economic characteristics of affected human communities prompt considerations that often go beyond “traditional” conservation biology.