Introducing Guest Author Muhammad Awais

Muhammad Awais, a graduate student studying human-wildlife conflict in Pakistan. Image courtesy Muhammad Awais.
Muhammad Awais, a graduate student studying human-wildlife conflict in Pakistan. Image courtesy Muhammad Awais.

Previously I mentioned there was a new collaboration underway with someone who is currently researching an understudied population of leopards. That someone is Muhammad Awais, and he will be writing The Jaguar’s first guest post.

Muhammad is a graduate student from the Pir Mehr Ali Shah (PMAS)-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi in Pakistan. He is currently studying human-leopard and human-bear conflict in Pakistan, and his guest post will concern the former. Muhammad has kindly written an introductory post to provide a better sense of who he is and what he has done. 

I am Muhammad Awais, and I am currently a M. Phil student in the Department of Wildlife Management at the PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

I am interested in wildlife management: being particularly passionate about mitigating human-wildlife conflicts and management decisions in conservation. Currently my research focuses on the “Impact of climatic factors on human-common leopard conflict in Gallies Forest Division, District Abbottabad, Pakistan;” under the supervision of Dr. Tariq Mahmood (Assistant Professor). I am doing this in collaboration with the Abbottabad Wildlife Division, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife Department. This is currently headed by Divisional Forest Officer of Wildlife, Mr. Iftikhar-uz-Zamman.

Apart from this I am also voluntarily working on the “Distribution and status of Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) and human-bear conflict in District Mansehra, Pakistan,” with the Mansehra Wildlife Division, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife Department. Divisional Forest Officer of Wildlife, Mr. Muhammad Faique Khan, is the head of this department.

This rescued bear is certainly much happier now! by Shankar S. CC BY 2.0
This rescued bear is certainly much happier now! by Shankar S. CC BY 2.0

Being an active volunteer, I cover many cases of human bear conflict in District Mansehra. This was especially true in 2015, and it involves interviews with Asiatic black bear victims in the remote and lofty mountains of Mansehra district.

At the moment I am actively participating in awareness education campaigns run by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife Department related to human-carnivore conflicts in both Abbottabad and Mansehra districts. For this purpose I give lectures to school, college, and university students. I was also involved in campaigns to raise awareness among community representatives about the importance of wildlife, and how to adopt preventive strategies to mitigate human-carnivore conflict.

Muhammad at Ayubia National Park with university students. Image courtesy Muhammad Awais.
Muhammad at Ayubia National Park with university students. Image courtesy Muhammad Awais.

In addition to the above projects, I am also interested in protected areas management.

Before I moved to Rawalpindi, I received a bachelor of science (Hons) in zoology at Hazara University, Mansehra; where I did coursework and research work as well. My thesis focused on the “Breeding biology of the house crow.” I also work on the breeding biology of red-vented bulbuls, barn swallows, and black drongos in Mansehra district.

I am honored to be able to collaborate with Muhammad in this way. Please stop by next week for his guest post about human-leopard conflict in Pakistan.

Further Reading:

Awais, M. (2015, November 19). A bear for a human life: Who is the predator in Mansehra’s human-bear conflict. Dawn. Retrieved from http://www.dawn.com/news/1219413/a-bear-for-a-human-life-who-is-the-predator-in-mansehras-human-bear-conflict.

Muhammad’s Academia.edu page. Many of his papers are available here.

 

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