Previous research has explored Soligas’ dependency on NTFP and the resulting consequences for sustainable resource use and conservation: ATREE studied the density and diversity of NTFPs, regeneration patterns, impact of harvest of NTFPs, and socio-economic issues concerning the Soligas’ use of NTFPs. Local communities were involved in the biodiversity conservation and non-timber forest products through participatory resource monitoring. ATREE, in collaboration with Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra (VGKK), is also looking at alternative livelihoods such as agro forestry.

Work on Lantana

Invasive species have been recognised as a major threat to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Invasive species, such as Lantana camara, have been a focus of ATREE's research in BRT for more than a decade. Long-term monitoring of study plots in BRT provide important insights into the patterns of spread of lantana, pinpoint sites that are vulnerable to invasion by lantana, and examine how native biodiversity is affected by lantana invasion. Research to understand the processes that enhance lantana's invasive capabilities are also underway. Research on processes such as soil seed bank ecology, and lantana-frugivore interactions have vital management implications and could help us pin down the actual mechanisms of lantana success. Lastly, in partnership with the Karnataka Forest Department, ATREE researchers are examining native-species restoration options for regeneration in areas where lantana has been experimentally removed.


Ecotourism has emerged in recent years as a promising tool of conservation and development. ATREE is looking at its utilization and implementation as such a tool in the BRT wildlife sanctuary. The various stakeholders in this process include the forest department, which is promoting ecotourism as an alternative livelihood option to counter historic people-park conflicts, the Jungle Lodge Resorts, which is a government undertaking, tourism employees, the local community, the tourists and CBOs and NGOs. ATREE’s study scrutinizes the construction and perception of this phenomenon, the meaning and importance attached to it by these different stakeholders, and the corresponding benefits accruing to each.

Mapping sacred natural sites (SNS) in BRT

ATREE mapped sacred natural sites in BRT wildlife sanctuary to understand the historical and cultural ecologies of the Soligas who have inhabited the landscape for centuries. The process, while documenting and archiving a vast resource of places and stories, also provided a critical understanding of the ways Soligas interacted with the landscape. ATREE used formal cartographic instruments such as GIS-enabled devices, to locate places and names that Soligas identified with in mainstream maps. ATREE has developed maps - Kannada, English - presenting the Soliga narrative in consultation with Soligas. These are available as posters for wider dissemination. This is the first effort by Soligas to re-engage with the landscape after their displacement and curtailment of rights since the establishment of the protected area. They perceive the map as a reassertion of their rights within the landscape. The RFRA recognizes such evidences and also provides space for asserting such rights.