Scientific contributions and learning experiences of citizen volunteers with a small cat project in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai, India

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Shomita Mukherjee
R. Nandini
P.V. Karunakaran
Nayan Khanolkar


We conducted a project on small wild cats in Sanjay Gandhi National Park near Mumbai during 2017–2019 with the participation of 35 citizen volunteers. Volunteers underwent a training period after which they collected scat samples, placed camera traps and participated in data analysis. Volunteers answered a questionnaire to gauge the impact the program had in furthering their interests and knowledge. Nineteen participants responded to the feedback survey. Most indicated an increase in their knowledge of wildlife research, conservation issues and small wild cats. We discuss the value of research projects where citizens can actively participate and learn semi-technical skills.

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