To chat about Greater One Horned Rhinos, Gangetic River Dolphins, and Tiger Reserves, today we’re sitting down with Harshini Jhala, wildlife conservationist and PhD student at the University of Minnesota. Harshini’s love of nature and wildlife was nurtured early in life by her father, as he himself is a very accomplished carnivore scientist at The Wildlife Institute of India. Harshini saw her first Greater-One Horned rhino at the age of 14 in Sauraha, just outside of Chitwan National Park in Nepal, and she knew she wanted to contribute to conserving the species when it came time to go to college. For her Master’s, she published an influential paper on the feasibility of reintroducing rhinos and water buffaloes to areas of their historic range in India, and from that moment on she was hooked on merging conservation science and policy working to save India’s wildlife. After her Master’s, she had a stint working on a project studying Gangetic river dolphins, and now is working on her PhD to answer a very important question – does relocating people out of tiger reserves actually work for biodiversity, and if so, on what scale? We chat about so much – rhinos, crazy adapted dolphins, and the always taboo topic, conservation ethics.
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