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Meet Mahi Puri

Mahi Puri is a Ph.D. student focusing her research on prioritizing and identifying opportunities for carnivore conservation in human-dominated landscapes in India. She cares deeply about wildlife conservation as she has been working on these issues for the last 13 years. She was awarded the 2020 Murray F. Buell Award, for her work, “The balancing act: Maintaining leopard-wild prey equilibrium could offer economic benefits to people in a shared forest landscape of central India.”

Photo courtesy of Ankur Singh Chauhan

Mahi’s findings demonstrate that adequate forest cover and wild prey abundance allow leopards to persist in shared, human-modified landscapes. If there is a loss of leopard or wild prey populations, it could result in a concomitant increase in crop loss to wild herbivores or livestock depredation by leopards which will lead to financial losses to local residents. 

The Buell award is given annually for the most outstanding oral presentation by a student at the ESA Annual Meeting.

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