The genus Poecilotheria of the tarantula family Theraphosidae has 14 species in the world and seven of these are endemic to India. All species are threatened by illegal harvesting of adult tarantulas for the pet trade and habitat loss. There is currently a lack of information on the extent of these threats and their impacts to the overall population. To fill this gap and address the illegal harvesting of tarantulas for the pet trade in Tamil Nadu, this two-year grant will support: interviews with local community members in 52 villages in Tamil Nadu to assess the existing trade and ongoing threats to tarantulas in the Western Ghats; assessment of the habitat quality and rate of species decline; development of a conservation education program for select local communities (approximately 10,000 people) living in the Western Ghats to create awareness about the importance of tarantulas and the need for conservation; establishment of a diverse network, including universities and local communities, to secure engagement on tarantula conservation at multiple levels in India; and development of a short video on the threats facing tarantulas and importance of protecting these species.