Wildlife Trust of India

Conserve nature, especially endangered species and threatened habitats, in partnership with communities and governments.
Jan 9, 2017

Help Save Elephants of India- January

A herd of wild elephants in Dhenkanal
A herd of wild elephants in Dhenkanal

Elephants migrate from one forest to another in their established routes. However, due to rapid urbanization and development, these routes are facing a high level of degradation and fragmentation which inturn leading to many instances of negative interaction between elephants and humans. Dhenkanal district in Odisha holds a good population of elephants. Recently, few worrying cases came into media limelight, where locals in retaliation against the crop raiding elephants surrounded elephant herds in the fast flowing water of the Brahmani River. In response, WTI field team conducted several meetings and discussion with the locals. Their concerns were noticed and they were made aware about the importance of elephants in the landscape. Ten response teams have been formulated (based in all conflict sites across Dhenkanal) who will assist FD staff for Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) mitigation. These teams are constantly monitoring the area, acting as informers for the Forest Dept. and are also involved in sensitizing their fellow villagers towards elephant conservation.

In a recent case, one of the village response teams witnessed a herd of 20 elephant near Kumushi village of Odisha, The herd was protecting a pregnant elephant that was about to deliver thus, was not moving from the area. For over 10 hours the team kept a constant vigil on the herd to protect them from any anthropogenic threat.   After the calf was born the elephants moved to a nearby hill. The team followed (through a safe distance) the herd and accorded adequate protection for three continuous days, till they moved in dense forest. Forest officials acknowledged and praised the members of the response team for this conservation effort. 

Jan 9, 2017

Protect Tigers in India- January

Field Team locating strayed Tiger
Field Team locating strayed Tiger

Large carnivores are facing a massive decline in their population, which is a global conservation concern. Among large carnivores, tigers especially are continually threatened by number of threats. India, which holds the 70% of the world's tiger population face a challenging task in protecting the species. The tiger population here is confined to small and isolated forests where stochastic events and continuing human impacts had an adverse impact leading it to extinction.

WTI has been a pioneer in addressing the conservation threats to tiger population in India. A number of enforcement initiatives have been taken up by the team in support of the state forest departments to address the rising demand for tiger skin and bones. WTI was the first organization to identify snares as a serious threat to the survival of wildlife, especially tigers, in the Protected Areas of India. Snares made up of loop (noose) of cordage are placed by hunters and poachers, camouflaged with vegetation across an animal trail or other place where an animal is likely to walk through. The big carnivores get trapped in these wires and get entangled.  They are usually placed by local hunters & poachers to illegally collect body parts of big cats and farmers to avoid conflicts with them. In Bandipur TR, WTI in collaboration with Karnataka FD officials conducted many anti snare walks in and around the PA, where the team unearthed more than 1000 deadly snares from an area of over 2200 sq km. Recently, based on local intelligence the team recovered around 56 snares from Kenchanakere, Hunsur district  and Chamundi hills, Karnataka.

In the state of West Bengal, Sundarban TR is a world heritage site. Tigers here notoriously termed as “Maneater” often come in conflict with humans. Apart from livestock depredation, tigers often attack human inside forests when engaged in activities like fishing, fuelwood collection. However, there has been a recent trend of tigers coming inside village and killing humans especially in the winter months. Through your support WTI have conducted sensitization programs in few high conflict villages engaging all stakeholders. We also formulated rapid response teams by involving the youth of the villages whose primary responsibility will be to assist the FD officials in driving the tiger away from human habitation and keeping the crowd in control, to prevent any retaliation. This response team was recently equipped with high powered lights and blow horns to sound an alert in case a tiger is sighted in the village. The field team have also planned to use barriers (through nylon nets) around the village vicinity. In one instance the rapid response team provided local intel to the FD staff in capturing a strayed tiger. Based on the local intel from this team, the FD staff set the trap leading to its successful capture. The FD is planning to release the tiger back into the wild.

Equipping the Team
Equipping the Team
Jan 3, 2017

Tiger in Sundarbans

Awareness among villagers
Awareness among villagers

Sundarban holds a huge population of endangered and highly threatened species including the only population of tigers in a coastal mangrove habitat. As per the last census conducted in 2014, this landscape holds approx 76 individuals of Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris). Historically, known for their man-eating behaviour, the conflict with humans is always at its peak. The estimates of human kills range from 50 to 250 people per year, mostly honey collectors, fishermen, crab collectors, & even Forest frontline staff.  Although awareness initiatives have succeeded in sensitizing and reducing the entry into the forest which has led to the reduction of conflicts in the villages, however remote villages are still facing the issue Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) initiated a rapid project aimed at curbing the immediate threats in these conflict prone villages.

In the recent few years, villages under the Gurguria Bhubaneswari Gram Panchayat have witnessed a rise in tiger encounters inside villages, especially in winter months. There has also been a considerable rise in human mauling, mortality and livestock depredation cases in these villages. To address this, the project undertook sensitization programs to aware villagers about do’s and don’ts during conflict scenario. The project team engaged with concerned stakeholders like the village heads, fishermen and farmers clubs, fishermen groups, Block development officers, forest departments etc and sensitize the youth to form ten rapid response conflict mitigation groups in Purba Gurguria, Bhubaneshwari, Deulbari, Madhya Gurguria and Maipith  These teams currently are assisting the forest dept. in mitigating the human tiger conflict.  Recently, a tiger was reported from Kultali village which is adjacent to our targeted village. The local response teams helped forest forest department in tracking the stray tiger and located it at Kishorimohonpur. The team also helped in crowd management during the tiger capture and transport operation. The tiger was successfully captured by the Forest dept and will soon be released back to the wild.

Through this project, teams comprising of local youths and village heads (from the Panchayats) have been formed in the targeted villages. It is been suggested by the villagers that ‘Shanks’ (shell used in worship) will be blown during the conflict to raise alarms for tiger presence in and near vicinity of the area.  The response team were helpful in curbing the issue of conflict at ground level.

WTI was the first organization to identify snares as a serious threat to the survival of wildlife, especially tigers, in the Protected Areas of South India. The snares made of galvanized steel wires or improvised motor-vehicle-clutch wires, capable of entangling big herbivores and carnivores. Local hunters and poachers use snares, as they are the cheapest, simplest and most effective way of trapping animals. Snares are placed usually in strategic areas like the Park-boundaries and agricultural fringes. Once get caught, the big cats could face a slow and painful death. With your support, WTI have undertaken many anti snare walks in Bandipur TR covering an area of about 2285kms and removed 1161 snares till date in assistance with Forest Dept.  Forest departments from adjoining forest divisions after witnessing the success are requesting our team to replicate the anti snare initiatives in their respective areas as well. The walks as well as the increased monitoring by STPF and WTI team allows for encouragement of interaction between the Forest Department Staff, Anti Snare Walk (ASW) Team and locals. These interactions are hoped to bring about an increased awareness in local inhabitants and also assist the Forest Department in the assimilation of data and information related to human wildlife conflict as well as any illegal wildlife related activity.

Also, WTI has been actively involved in the wildlife trade control of tiger. A tiger skin and other wildlife products were recovered and four persons arrested during an operation by the Manas Tiger Protection authority in October. The training WTI imparted to forest staff in Manas- including procedures for search and seizure, interrogation techniques, and the preparation of evidentiary documents helped here.

Tiger on roof
Tiger on roof
 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $12
    give
  • $20
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $80
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $12
    each month
    give
  • $20
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $80
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.