Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Zoology Department
Research in conservation biology seeks practical solutions to environmental problems, combining many disciplines. Endangered wildlife, and particularly carnivores, face problems which derive from their rarity and threats of habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and diseases. I have led research on many aspects of carnivore ecology and conservation in Africa, South America and India.
The Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme (ethiopianwolf.org), established three decades ago, implements research relevant to the conservation of this endangered canid, only found in the Afroalpine ecosystem of Ethiopia, including ecology, behaviour, epidemiology, genetics, and physiology, with strong empirical bases from our long-term monitoring programme. An important body of research informed our emergency vaccination campaigns to control rabies and canine distemper outbreaks in Ethiopian wolves, fatal diseases transmitted by domestic dogs. We seek to expand this area of research by focusing on the interface between wolves, dogs, people and livestock (One Health approaches), and on the effectiveness of various interventions. We are also looking at conservation translocations to restore the wolves to suitable Afroalpine ranges.
Doctoral topics in Ethiopia might include dog population ecology, disease prevalence, contact risks, human dimensions, and involve behavioural observations, spatial modelling, modelling population dynamics, survey questionnaires, serological studies. A second area of interests concerns ecological, social and demographic considerations and stakeholders responses to future wolf translocation plans. A separate area of interest involves the ecology of social canids (grey wolves, African wild dogs, dholes, bush dogs, African wolves, feral dogs) and large felids (jaguars in Argentina, tigers in central India and lions in West, Central and Horn of Africa) and challenges brought about by human-wildlife conflict in anthropogenic landscapes. Potential research methodologies include radio-tracking of carnivores, prey-base and dietary studies, testing innovative surveying techniques (of particular interest are Saharan foxes and Amazonian canids), and human dimensions tools to assess human-wildlife conflict and test potential solutions.
Claudio Sillero is a Professor of Conservation Biology. He has a D.Phil (Oxford) and is an experienced D.Phil supervisor with many years teaching experience.
Associated Research Streams
behavioural ecology, wildlife diseases, species conservation, human-wildlife conflicts, carnivore surveying techniques
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Department of Zoology
The Recanati-Kaplan Centre