2017 WCN Scholar: Rabin Kadariya

Rabin Kadariya started his career as a conservation officer in 2009 at the National Trust for Nature Conservation in Bardia National Park in Nepal—the park is a biodiversity hotspot and home to at least 53 mammals, including rhinoceros, wild elephants, Bengal tigers, and the Gangetic dolphin.

Under his leadership and in collaboration with park authorities and community leaders, Rabin helped create and implement many comprehensive conservation initiatives for tiger conservation in the park, such as anti-poaching and anti-gun campaigns. Together, he and his colleauges devised community-based programs in the park to reduce human-wildlife conflict, especially in remote areas where financial resources are low and human pressures high. They also designed low-cost predator proof corrals—livestock enclosures— for farmers who had lost their livestock previously to predation from carnivores like tigers and leopards. Thanks to these efforts, between 2009 and 2013, the tiger population in the park increased from 17 to 50 individuals.

In addition to threats from carnivores, the local community also faced threats from elephants in the form of injuries or death, crop depredation, and damages to homes and personal property. Rabin helped install 92 km (57 miles worth)  of electric fences to protect the farmers’ livelihood. Since the program began, there has been a significant reduction in elephant-related conflicts. They also introduced local farmers to alternative crops in lieu of the traditional crops—these alternatives are more profitable and less harmful to wildlife. After completing his PhD at the Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine at Hokkaido University in Japan, Rabin hopes to have a better understanding of genetic study—a modern, non-invasive method of conservation that would allow him to study wildlife and gather ample data about their biology. While he is currently studying the Asiatic black bear, he hopes to expand his knowledge and study to Asian elephants and tigers.

From wanting to create a community based crop compensation plan to a rapid response team in the Chitwan National Park for problematic, injured, or orphaned animals, there is much Rabin wants to achieve in the future, and we wish him the very best in his endeavors!