Munib Sajad Khanyari

University of Bristol

Growing up in the Himalayas of Kashmir, India, nature was always at my doorstep. Be it trekking with my father or walks across the ridgeline with my friends, the mountains always inspired me.

munibSubsequent stints in the metropolis of Mumbai and then Montreal only reinstated my passion to be amongst nature. It was in my teenage years, whilst exploring the remote mountain valleys of Kashmir, where I saw the importance of livestock to many local communities juxtaposed with their proximity to wildlife. This posed a dilemma: Is livestock presence ruining the paradise I call home? Thus, began an investigative journey that has taken me across the mountains and even the steppes of Central Asia for answers!

At a broad level I am intrigued to investigate factors that affect wild ungulate populations at a landscape level. Two instances in my life sparked this curiosity: Being in Kazakhstan to investigate the 2015 Saiga (Saiga tatarica) die off and witnessing a Blue Sheep (Pseudois nayaur) be killed by a Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) within an hour of us observation it rest in a cave in Ladakh, India.


My current research will look at methods to improve livestock health to support conservation of wild ungulates (and consequently their predators) in marginal rangeland ecosystems of Central Asia. I aim to work in tandem between mountain and steppe ecosystem to compare learnings and assess similarities across these two systems.

Read my dissertation here

My PhD is supervised by Dr. Eric Morgan and co-supervised by Prof. EJ Milner-Gulland and Dr. Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi . I am lucky to be receiving as a Zutshi-Smith Scholarship at University of Bristol. 


2017 – Present : PhD in Biological Sciences, University of Bristol.


2012 – 2015: BSc in Environmental Biology (Specialization: Wildlife Biology), McGill University, Canada.


  1. Communicating the science of studying snow leopard and their prey (National Geographic Collaboration Grant)
  2. Understanding effect of wild prey availability on livestock depredation by snow leopards. (British Ecological Society Grant)
  3. Assessing Health Impact of Livestock Grazing on Two Ungulate Species in Central Himalayas of India. (Ruffords Small Grant)
  4. Assessing Mammal Abundance in Dachigam National Park, Kashmir, India. (Ernie Black Award).


2014: Stuart Horne Scholar for Excellence in Academics (McGill University)

2014: Ernie Black Award for field work in Kashmir, India

2015: McBurney Award for field work in Panama

2015: Dean’s Honour list for academic excellence (McGill University)

2015-16: National Geographic Young Explorer for field work in Andaman, India

2016: Ruffords Small Grant for field work in Central Himalayas, India

2017: Ravishankaran Internship Abroad award for field work in Kyrgyzstan

2017: National Geographic Collaboration Grant for field work in Kyrgyzstan, India and Mongolia


Booth H, Arias M, Brittain S, Challender DWS, Khanyari M, Kuiper T, Li Y, Olmedo A, Oyanedel R, Pienkowski T and Milner-Gulland EJ (2021) “Saving Lives, Protecting Livelihoods, and Safeguarding Nature”: Risk-Based Wildlife Trade Policy for Sustainable Development Outcomes Post-COVID-19. Front. Ecol. Evol. 9:639216. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2021.639216

Khanyari, M. & Dallaire, A. (2015) Evaluación Ambiental de la Cueva de Chilibre Chilibrillo. McGill Branches, (6): 39-49

Khanyari, M., Geladi, I. & Ryan, R. (2017) Observation of multiple sarcoptic mange related deaths in Himalayan Serow, in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, India. IUCN CAPRINAE Newsletter, August 2017

Khanyari, M and Malgaonkar, A. (2017) Population Density Estimation of Mountain Ungulates and Snow Leopard from Upper Kinnaur. Report submitted to the Kinnaur Forest Department on 25th July 2017.


Guns, Hooves and Paws: Fate of Snow leopard and their Prey in Upper Kinnaur, India. Given during the annual meeting of Nature Conservation Foundation(Snow Leopard Trust’s India country partner) in September 2017.


Malgaonkar, A., Khanyari, M. & Suryawanshi, K. (2017) Can snow leopards persist in a multi-use landscape? (Poster presented at Student Conference on Conservation Sciences(SCCS)-Bengaluru 2017).


Nature Conservation Foundation’s High Altitude Program