Vidya Athreya

Vidya Athreya

Research Associate, Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - India program, Bangalore

Vidya is an ecologist working for the last 8 years on interactions between a large cat (the leopard) and humans when they share the same space. She is interested in understanding the drivers of man-animal conflict in the backdrop of the socio-cultural ethos in India which inspires tolerance for other life forms.

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More about Vidya

Vidya Athreya is an ecologist who has been working on the human leopard conflict issue since 2003. She has a Masters degree from University of Pondicherry and Iowa in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She is currently with Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - India program, Bangalore. She is recipient of the Kaplan Graduate award and has been extensively supported by grants from the Rufford Foundation U.K and the Royal Norwegian Embassy to India. Her work has been essentially to work with the local Forest Department officials so that human leopard conflict can be reduced, especially attacks on humans. She is also a member of the IUCN cat specialist group.

Her recent research work has led to a better understanding of leopard ecology when they live among humans in agricultural landscapes. She also is very interested in the interplay between socio-politics of conflict and the role of cultural tolerance towards wildlife in India. Her work also questions known paradigms of large cats living among humans and she believes that persistence of large carnivores has a lot to do with the acceptance of local people towards these species. She has written extensively on this issue and all the material is online at

10 Posts by Vidya:

Engagement with Media Change the Way Human-wildlife Interactions are Reported

A Cat Among the Dogs — Leopard Diet in a Human-dominated Landscape

Large Carnivores in Human Dominated Landscapes

Human — Leopard Conflict; Lessons from Junnar, Maharashtra

Living with Leopards Outside Protected Areas in India

The Leopards of Mumbai

Rusty-spotted Cat, Maharashtra

Leopard Trapped In Well, Maharashtra

Carnivores and People in India

Living with Leopards in Mumbai