Tiger expert to speak at Duke

Oct. 15, 2013 @ 11:31 AM

Conservation scientist and author Ullas Karanth will present a free talk, “Recovering Nature in Emerging India: The Tiger as a Case Study,” on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Duke University. 

The talk, which is open to the public, takes place at 6 p.m. in Love Auditorium in the Levine Science Research Center (LSRC) on Duke’s West Campus. Overflow seating, with live video, will be in LSRC room A158. 

Karanth will be delivering the Ferguson Family Distinguished Lectureship in the Environment and Society, sponsored by Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. 

Karanth has worked for more than 27 years to save India’s endangered Bengal tigers from extinction. He has been honored by the Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund and the president of India, among others, for his work.

In his talk at Duke, he will explain that though India covers nearly 1.3 million square miles, there are only about 115,000 square miles of forest left where tigers can thrive and breed. In most of this territory, local tiger populations have declined sharply -- or disappeared entirely -- because of habitat degradation, poaching, overhunting of deer and other prey, and development activities like mines, dams and roads. It is Karanth’s belief that if Indian tigers are to survive, wildlife reserves in these forests must be more rigorously protected. 

A public reception precedes the talk at 5:15 in the Hall of Science, adjacent to Love Auditorium.

Karanth is the Wildlife Conservation Society’s director of science for Asia and founding director of India’s Centre for Wildlife Studies. He is the author of more than 100 scientific papers and seven books, including “The Way of the Tiger” andA View from the Machan.” He was elected a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 2008. 

The Ferguson Family Distinguished Lectureship was established in 2009 by the Nicholas School’s Dean’s Office to bring to Duke thought-leaders to speak on pressing social and environmental issues. Past speakers have included human rights activist John Prendergast, former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and former Vice President Al Gore Jr.

To learn more, go to nicholas.duke.edu/fergusonlecture.