Sep 24, 2020

Uniforms Provided

Wild Tiger in Dry Riverbed
Wild Tiger in Dry Riverbed

Over the last six months we’ve asked for your help as COVID-19 has gripped the tiger community, the wild tigers which we fight hard to protect and almost every corner of the globe. We have been at crisis point since 25 March 2020, when, like many other small charities globally, we faced increased demand for help when we least expected to. Throughout this period, you support has been amazing, thank you.

One of the most surprising things was the toll taken on our patrollers uniforms’ as the threat of poaching increased to unprecedented levels and our anti-poaching patrols responded by working longer hours and extra shifts. Suddenly, 12 new uniforms were needed urgently at a time when we were already diverting every available penny into increasing the patrolling to keep wild tigers safe. So we asked for your help, and thankfully you responded in the most amazing way by helping us to fully fund the project and get the new uniforms made and delivered to those in desperate need. Thank you.

By funding this micro-project you helped us to create work in a rural community where 85% of employment ended as COVID19 struck. We asked local suppliers to make the cloth for the new uniforms; local dressmakers to cut the cloth and hand-make the uniforms plus embroidered patches for the shirt sleeves. This project also created work for the local courier who collected the cloth to deliver to the dressmakers and collected the finished uniforms to deliver to our patrollers. Your help has truly made a difference to the wider tiger community and helped our efforts to keep wild tigers safe.

Thanks to your amazing support in helping to provide the new uniforms, we were able to continue with double our standard anti-poaching patrols throughout July, August and September, and as a result keep wild tigers out of poachers’ traps and snares. None of us really knows just how long the devastating impact of COVID19 will persist, but what we do know is that without your continued amazing support the lives of wild tigers would be at risk.

We’re now turning our attentions back to keeping our patrols protecting wild tigers during the remainder of the monsoon peak poaching season and beyond, as we will need to keep increased patrolling going for as long as the risk of poaching is high:https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/saving-bandhavgarhs-wild-tigers/.

Tigers4Ever Patrollers in New Uniforms
Tigers4Ever Patrollers in New Uniforms
New Tigers4Ever Patrolling Uniform
New Tigers4Ever Patrolling Uniform

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Sep 10, 2020

More than just Water

Tigress and Cub at Tigers4Ever Waterhole
Tigress and Cub at Tigers4Ever Waterhole

Three months has seemingly flown by, for the team in the UK at least. Like the rest of the world our biggest daily challenge is the ever advancing impact of COVID19. We feel well practiced now in that we’ve had six months to adapt but we know that it’s not the same everywhere and we’re mindful of this as we write. I think it is fair to say that 2020 has presented some of the biggest challenges that most of us will face in our lifetimes and it’s not over yet.

Since our last project newsletter we’ve had the driest July on record in Bandhavgarh, followed by the wettest August for 40 years, who knows what September will bring? Right now we are working in collaboration with some geologists who are monitoring the patterns of surface water from the monsoon rains to see how much flood water is simply lost to run away and whether in future some of this lost water can be recycled to improve underground water sources. We can’t just tap into all the underground water in the National Park to sustain year round water for wildlife without thinking how it can be replenished as monsoonal rains become more erratic year on year. If we want wild tigers to have year-round water in 100 years we need to capture and recycle as much rainwater as possible as it falls. We have already started this process by lining new waterholes with loam soil which improves the water holding and retention capacity of the waterholes in the hottest dry weather of the summers; and by ensuring that soak away systems return any overflow water around the waterholes to the underground water-streams and wells. In future we will look to installing recharge pits alongside future waterholes where it can be demonstrated that excess floodwaters from the monsoon rainfall will be able to recharge underground water sources from which we will pump water to the surface throughout the rest of the year. This is quite an exciting development for sustainable water for the future of Bandhavgarh’s tigers and we hope to be in a position to tell you and show you more about this in our next report.

Thanks to your amazing support over the last three months our micro-project for the drinking water tanks was fully funded and we managed to provide four water tanks so that patrollers in remote locations have safe access to clean drinking water. We have also managed to raise another US$173 towards our next permanent wildlife waterhole project, which, given the challenges everyone is facing right now, is amazing too. Whilst our focus has been on keeping wild tigers out of poachers’ snares and traps during the peak poaching season, which isn’t over yet, we haven’t forgotten our promise to build the next permanent wildlife waterhole, nor the tigers which it will benefit. As the monsoon rains will draw to a close in just a few weeks’ time, we are now thinking about getting our waterhole plans back on track, we’ve almost covered the cost of drilling a new bore-well for the pump, lining pipes for the well and labour costs, and if we can raise another £1000 (US$1330) in the next month we hope to be able to work with a potential corporate partner to build the next permanent wildlife waterhole in late October/early November, subject of course to any COVID19 restrictions which may impact our timetable. Nonetheless we’d like to be in a position to commence work in late October if it is logistically possible.   

We don’t want COVID19 to destroy the progress we have made in wild tiger conservation over the last 10 years and we want to ensure that our efforts to give wild tigers a wild future can keep gaining momentum. In spite of the challenges we have all faced over the last six months, your collective spirit and generosity has been truly inspiring. Your donations and continued support over this time has strengthened our hope that when we pull through this pandemic, wild tigers will still thrive in the jungles of Bandhavgarh, and we will be able to carry on giving them a wild future. So on behalf of those tigers, we’d like to thank you for not forgetting that without your help we wouldn’t be able to keep them safe.

It is already September and since our last report so many things have happened but not all good.

The Risks to wild Tigers escalated as the COVID19 Lockdown began

  • Human-Tiger conflict has increased with another tiger attack on a man in the last week, thankfully he survived and is out of hospital now;
  • Wild elephants have decimated several paddy fields ruining the rice crops of multiple villagers which will leave them with both food and income shortages in the coming months;
  • Human encroachment continues to increase as precious forest resources are plundered to keep food on the table for families who haven’t had paid employment since 25 March 2020; and
  • Wild tigers are susceptible to COVID19 infection transmitted by humans.

But it’s not all bad news for wild tigers

On a positive note, there have been some successes too:

  • We managed to raise £130 (US$173) towards our next waterhole construction, due to fantastic support from you all during, which means that we’ve raised £4122 (US$5482) of our £10560 (US$13250) target to date;
  • We haven’t lost any wild tigers to poachers (for 47 months) or retaliatory poisonings (for 5 years and 3 months);
  • The tiger cubs we told you about last time are doing well so we still need to protect nine more tigers now;
  • We’ve also provided safe drinking water tanks at four remote patrolling camps so that patrollers don’t have to fill their drinking water bottles at the same waterholes used by tigers and other wild animals, thanks to your help. (See also: https://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/water-for-bandhavgarhs-tiger-protectors/ for more details);
  • We still plan to put the next permanent waterhole for wild tigers in a critical dry location as soon as we have sufficient funds and the lockdown restrictions are lifted in India;
  • Our patrols are essential workers and continue to protect wild tigers.

How you can help                   

We don’t know for certain how long this crisis will last, but what we do know is that we need to quadruple our efforts to keep wild tigers safe. It is normal to double our efforts throughout the peak poaching season, but we could be facing another six months of the same difficult conditions we’ve set out in this project report. So the best way to help us keep wild tigers safe is to fund our projects today, because tomorrow might be too late.

Next week (14 – 18 September, 2020), you can also support our GlobalGiving Little by Little matched funding campaign. All week, any donations up to $50 (£38) will be matched by 50% bonus funds, at no extra cost to you. Participate in our GlobalGiving campaign here https://goto.gg/34315, and remember that all new monthly donations will receive a 100% bonus match on month four too.

Here are some of the ways your money helps us to save wild tigers:

- £20 ($26) will help to drill 2 metres (6.5 feet) of bore-well to access underground water;

- £75 ($95) can pay a team of workers to prepare a site for a new waterhole for wild tigers;

- £380 ($475) will fund 6% of a solar system to bring underground water to the surface.

Every donation, no matter how large or small, helps us increase and protect the tiger population. Thank you on behalf of the wild tigers, which you are helping us to keep safe; and on behalf of the wider tiger community in Bandhavgarh, which benefits from providing equipment and labour for our waterhole projects; we couldn’t do this without you. Thanks to you, the tigers can live peacefully and those who live beside them can protect their livelihoods.

Any and all donations are welcome https://goto.gg/34315.

If you can’t afford to donate perhaps you could become a become a Tigers4Ever fundraiser, here: https://www.globalgiving.org/dy/v2/fundraisers/start/?fundraiser.projids=34315 and ask your friends, colleagues and family to donate to your fundraiser to help us keep wild tigers safe.

Links:

Aug 11, 2020

It's Safe to Drink

Delivery of Drinking Water Tanks
Delivery of Drinking Water Tanks

A little over three months ago we asked for your help as COVID-19 gripped the tiger community and the wild tigers which we fight hard to protect. We were at crisis point, when we discovered that patrollers who keep the wild tigers safe from poachers’ traps and snares were risking their own lives daily as they were forced to get drinking water from the wildlife waterholes used by tigers! Why was this happening, you might ask? The problem had been caused by wild elephants which had entered four of the remote patrol camps and destroyed the water tanks where safe drinking water was usually stored. Bandhavgarh didn’t have wild elephants until just over two years ago, but mining activity in the forests of Chhattisgarh in the neighbouring state had disturbed the elephants causing them to migrate on mass to Bandhavgarh. The herd seems to have adopted Bandhavgarh as its new home, but as anyone who has encountered wild elephants will tell you, when they are foraging they will stop for nothing and will bulldoze down anything in their path; including the patrol camps and peoples’ homes in the surrounding villages.

If we could raise $400 (£320) we could replace the water tanks, destroyed by the rampaging elephants, at the 4 remote patrolling camps. We also needed to ensure that the new water tanks could be elephant-proofed to prevent the same thing happening again.

Thanks to your amazing support, we’ve provided 4 new water tanks for the remote patrolling camps and these have been buried in the camp grounds (as opposed to being mounted on machans like their predecessors) or surrounded by cages to prevent them being destroyed by elephants. Your amazing support also means that the patrollers’ families can sleep a little easier now that their loved ones don’t need to get their drinking water from the same waterholes as tigers, leopards, bears and countless other wild animals.

We’re now turning our attentions back to keeping our patrols protecting wild tigers during the monsoon peak poaching season and providing 12 new uniforms for those which have worn out after 4 years intensive wear and tear:https://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/uniforms-for-patrollers/.

Unloading the water tanks
Unloading the water tanks
Water tanks ready for installation
Water tanks ready for installation
Water Tank Protected from Elephants
Water Tank Protected from Elephants

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