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Keywords:

  • biodiversity;
  • conservation;
  • India;
  • poaching;
  • stakeholders;
  • sustainable use;
  • wildlife policy;
  • wildlife trade

Abstract

We investigated perceptions of wildlife policy and issues through questionnaires (n = 148) administered to policy makers, conservation scientists, individuals representing non-government organizations (NGOs), and field officials, who implemented government policies and enforced laws. We found significant differences among attitudes of stakeholders identifying major threats to wildlife, the use of science, the role of poaching in conservation, and the composition of species illegally traded. Policy makers and field officials differed in their views with NGOs and scientists on community response to wildlife policies and the varying threat perceptions to different species due to poaching and illegal trade. We noted ambiguity among stakeholders about sustainable use principles in India. Policies must be more effective in conservation and the process of making policy must be broad-based and participatory if wildlife conservation is to advance on the subcontinent. © 2011 The Wildlife Society.