Conservation Partner Profile: Sanjay Gubbi

Meet Sanjay Gubbi, an eminent conservationist and dear friend to Elephant Family.


Sanjay initially worked as a volunteer for wildlife conservation for nearly a decade before taking it up as a full-time profession in 1998. He started his full-time career with the Wildlife Conservation Society in India and then joined the Nature Conservation Foundation in 2011 where he now leads a team, working on large carnivore science and conservation, community-based conservation activities, conservation outreach and human-wildlife conflict in Karnataka. Currently, he is also a member of the Karnataka State Wildlife Board and other wildlife panels of Karnataka.

In recognition of his incredible work, in 2017 Sanjay was given with the Whitley Award, popularly called the Green Oscars which he received for his contribution towards the landscape-scale conservation of tigers and other wildlife.

Sanjay and Elephant Family

Elephant Family has forged a strong relationship with Sanjay Gubbi and the teams at NCF India, with whom Sanjay has been working to reduce forest communities’ reliance on wood to burn for fuel. In doing so, Sanjay’s work enabels the protection of larger mammals as the reduced pressure on forest resources allows wildlife habitat to remain intact, maintaining foodsources and homes for wildlife.

Some of his most notable work, along with his team, includes working with the government to expand protected areas in Karnataka that has helped protect several wildlife species and habitats. To date, supported by Elephant Family he has succeeded in adding nearly 745,000 acres of forested land to a network of protected areas. This expansion of protected areas in Karnataka has connected 23 protected areas and corridors in the Western Ghats. Last year the government of India approved expansion of the Cauvary Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats, an area of land added to the network of protected areas thanks to Sanjay’s work. This is a huge achievement for Indian conservation and we are thrilled to be supporting this important work of Sanjay’s and NCF’s.

Currently, Sanjay is conducting ongoing research into human-leopard conflict by studying population numbers, prey availability and the impact of human activity on leopard behaviour.

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