ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Can a Tiger Change Its Stripes? The Politics of Conservation as Translated in Mudumalai

The notification of Mudumalai Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu as a tiger reserve in 2007 has resulted in a contested politics between activists, non-governmental organisations and conservationists with regard to the future of protected area management. This paper presents an account of how these actors positioned themselves around not only the creation of the tiger reserve, but also the proposed elephant corridor and the Forest Rights Act of 2006. It suggests that due process of law has not been followed adequately and that sufficient scientific evidence has not been presented in the public domain as required. The Forest Rights Act is seen to offer an opportunity to democratise the management of natural resources with all its social and ecological complexities and provide the necessary checks and balances to bring about conservation based strongly on scientific evidence.

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