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WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH: Krithi Karanth

BP World Bureau | Mar 22 2020
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Krithi Karanth: Working For Conservation Of Wildlife 

"My father is a wildlife scientist and conservationist, and he would take me along with him to the forests. I loved it, but I also saw the ugly side of conservation battles." -Krithi Karanth.

Krithi Karanth is a leading wildlife conservation scientist in India. Her passion and persistence towards the conservation of natural life and resources inspired her to work for the conservation of the environment. Krithi Karan received major accolades from both national and international platforms for her work. She established herself as an important name in her sphere. 

Early Life And Education

Krithi Karanth was born in Mangalore, Karnataka to Pratibha and Ullas Karanth. Her father K Ullas Karanth is a known Tiger Biologist and conservationist. She was exposed to the nature conservation process very early in her childhood. She spent most of her childhood travelling with her father and watching animals. Initially, she did not want to pursue a career in this field after seeing all the difficulties her father faced in terms of conserving the environment. 

After a poacher was nabbed, a mob attacked her father's lab and in her own words, if he was there, they would have killed him too.

But, that was not what was written in her destiny. She did her B.S and B.A degrees from the University of Florida (2001) in Environmental Science and Geography. 

She also did a PhD from Duke (2008), an M.E.Sc from Yale (2003). During her research, she realised that this was her calling. 

Environmental Conservation

For two decades, Dr Karanth dedicated her life and time to conduct macro-level studies assessing patterns of species distributions and extinctions happening in the environment and its connections with human activities like wildlife tourism, voluntary resettlement, land-use, and human interactions with wildlife.

Her first project was the study of the voluntary resettlement of people and the livelihood concerns in Bhadra, Karnataka, in 2002.

Based on her research, she wrote and published 100+ scientific articles. She was part of the journals Conservation Biology, Conservation Letters and Frontiers in Ecology and Environment editorial board. 

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Currently, she is working on a project called 'Wildseve' which has helped over 7000 families get benefits by filing wildlife-compensation claims.

She mentored over 100 scientists from India, Australia, the UK, and the US. She inspired them to strive for the betterment of nature and wildlife conservation by studying and understanding the human activities that affect.

In her research and conservation projects, she engaged as many as 700 citizens with her talks about nature conservation. Her work is well-received and covered by major international news platforms like Al Jazeera, BBC, Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic, NPR, New York Times, GQ India, Harper's Bazaar, Mongabay, Monocle, Scientific America, and Time Magazine.

International media companies CBC and PBS released documentaries featuring her work and she was featured in 3 award-winning BBC Series - 'The Hunt', 'Big Cats' and 'Dynasties.'

Achievements

National Geographic Society regarded her 10,000th grantee and 2012's Emerging Explorer of that year. The World Economic Forum named her Young Global Leader. Apart from that, she received over 40 awards and accolades for her work like the University of Florida named her Outstanding Young Alumnus, Vogue Women of the Year INK Fellow, India's Power Women by Femina in 2012, Women of the Year by Elle India in 2013, etc. The Seattle Zoo conferred her with the Conservation Leadership Award for her passion and work. 

The most notable achievement she has had is the WINGS Women of Discovery Award for Conservation which she received in 2019. 

Krithi got other awards like GQ Man of the Year- Environmental Hero and the Rolex Award for Enterprise for her research.

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