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Understanding and Supporting Human-Wildlife Coexistence in Agricultural Systems: Collaboration Across Continents and Cultures

Tarleton State University’s Department of Wildlife and Natural Resources researchers Drs. T. Wayne Schwertner and Heather Mathewson, along with our partners at Texas A&M AgriLife, have been awarded a grant to study ways to minimize human-wildlife conflict in Botswana. We will be working with Cheetah Conservation Botswana looking at the use of a conservation performance payment program to foster coexistence between human communities and wild carnivores including lions, leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs. Our research will include tracking wild carnivores (African lions, leopard, cheetahs, wild dogs, and spotted hyenas) and livestock to better understand their interactions, identifying wildlife corridors between existing wildlife reserves, and assisting community and government leaders in determining grazing zones.

Undergraduate Programs

As part of the program, selected Tarleton undergraduates will be participating in a combined research and internship project. The research aspect will consist of two field seasons (approximately 9 months total) in Botswana, conducting research under the guidance of program faculty as well as PhD and MS students. Undergraduates will also participate in a three-month internship experience in the United States, working with USDA-Wildlife Services on human-wildlife conflict issues. Current undergraduates are encouraged to apply for the program.