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Jessica Hiscox

2016: Ms Jessica Hiscox, University of Cambridge, Rutherford Foundation PhD scholarship for research entitled: “The impact of poverty focused initiatives on wildlife perception and human-wildlife conflict”

Conservation and poverty reduction are linked issues; each has the potential to aid or inhibit the other. However, more studies are needed in order to better understand the impacts of integrating both poverty and conservation goals and also to guide future projects and policies.

One area of potential integration between community and conservation work is in regards to wildlife perception and human-wildlife conflict. How people perceive and conflict with the wildlife around them are two areas that have potential to significantly impact both community and conservation work, yet most studies on wildlife perception and human-wildlife conflict keep the impacts of conservation and poverty reduction separate.

In this project, Ms Hiscox aims to use a series of projects run by Fauna and Flora International (FFI) in the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia as case studies to look at the perception of, and conflict with, wild animals by the local people following increasing populations of wild animals such as crocodiles and elephants. She will also research how perceptions and conflicts are influenced by poverty interventions like increased food availability, and how changes to perception and conflicts affect the conservation efforts of the elephants and crocodiles.

It is hoped that these studies will provide additional evidence needed to guide future projects as to the consequences and benefits of an integrated approach between poverty reduction and conservation goals in regards to wildlife perception and human wildlife conflict.