What is Episode 48 all about?
Take a moment to think of an iconic species found in India. What was the first animal that came to mind? I’m sure some of you saw an image of Asian elephants, or spotted deer, maybe even sloth bear. But, if I had to guess, I’m sure the majority of you immediately thought of the most iconic species of all: the tiger.
Between the Doubling Tigers initiative, awareness campaigns, the absolutely crazy Tiger King Netflix show, and this podcast, quite frankly, I’d bet that you have a pretty good grasp on tiger conservation issues. But what about India’s big cat that used to live across Africa and Asia? Were you even aware that another big cat, the second largest in the world, is residing in India’s wilderness? It’s okay if you didn’t, because today we are going to learn all about this very rare large carnivore: Asiatic lions.
In this episode, I’m chatting with Stotra Chakrabarti, PhD, Assistant Professor at Macalester College in Minnesota, USA. Stotra’s curiosity for the natural world began early in his childhood. Stotra grew up in the Indian foothills of the Himalayas and spent his days watching elephants and leopards, and bringing home any injured animal he found, much to his mother’s dismay. His interest in wildlife ecology and conservation biology was cemented during a very immersive and rigorous master’s training at the Wildlife Institute of India, which he continued onto a PhD by studying the behavior of one of the rarest lions of the world – Asiatic lions. I learned so much in this episode. Stotra shares everything with us: Asian lions’ history, their rebound from 50 individuals to an estimated 700, the current political stalemate the lions are in, and the big cat that might potentially claim the lions’ new protected area. And no, it’s not the tiger. If set in motion, this cat would come from many, many miles away.
Alright, everyone. Here is my conversation with Stotra.
Listen to this episode.
Watch this episode on YouTube.
Links & Resources
Roars Howls Trumpets: https://stotrachakrabarti.wixsite.com/roars-howls-trumpets
Stotra’s Research: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Stotra-Chakrabarti
Stotra’s Profile: https://www.macalester.edu/biology/facultystaff/stotra-chakrabarti/
Department of Biology: https://www.macalester.edu/biology/
Locations Mentioned in the Episode
Gir National Park: https://www.girnationalpark.in/
You can reach Stotra by emailing him: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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