Wildlife Trust of India

Conserve nature, especially endangered species and threatened habitats, in partnership with communities and governments.
Dec 2, 2016

MVS- Similipal Tiger Reserve

MVS unit is commissioned in places where either (or all) of these following wildlife emergencies are reported: (i) high incidents of human-wildlife conflict, (ii) frequent wildlife displacements due to man-made and natural calamities, and (iii) reports of wildlife health issues like epidemics due to infectious and non-infectious diseases. The unit is manned by a veterinarian and animal keeper, both trained in their respective fields of expertise. The MVS vehicle is equipped with all the tools essential for realizing its objectives of that is centred around the following six areas of reliefs:

a)    Swiftly respond to wildlife emergencies due to natural and man-made calamities: Floods, cyclones, landslides and poisoning are some of the calamities that affect wildlife on a regular basis. Emergency relief to wildlife in distress during such disasters in the form treatment, stabilization and accommodation is one of the primary objectives of the MVS units

b)   Rehabilitation of wild animals, including orphans, displaced due to various reasons: The unit through its associated rescue centre aims to admit, hand-raise and finally rehabilitate orphaned wildlife back to the wild

c)    Assist the Forest Department in conflict animal management:Conflict with leopards, elephants, and bears are on the increase and WTI’s MVS vets are frequently called upon to address conflict animal management issues

d)    Veterinary care of the captive elephants, especially that of the Forest Department: MVS vet routinely provides treatment and conducts regular health check-ups on elephants that are used as working animals by the forest department for patrolling and tourism purposes.

e)    Disease investigations during sporadic deaths and epidemics: Investigating the cause of deaths and prevalence of diseases in wildlife is essential for prevention and control disease transmission. MVS veterinarians attend to postmortems of wildlife that die in the wild to determine the cause of death and if needed implement appropriate and suitable control measures.

f)     Protecting wildlife from infectious diseases of livestock through immunization: Thousands of livestock living around the protected areas in India pose a great threat to wild animals that regularly share a common interface. The MVS units organize regular immunization camps for livestock in the villages to protect wildlife against diseases.

 

The Similipal TR authorities informed WTI that they have been attending to cases of wildlife emergencies for almost two years now through their local infrastructure. The Field Director in 2014 indicated that they had attended to 66 cases since 2011

The main objective of the MVS unit is to return every displaced animal to the wild while following the IUCN guidelines on translocation and placement of confiscated animals. The unit will be served by a small field station that will have basic facilities to accommodate temporarily displaced animals till their release. Non-releasable animals will be sent to zoos for lifetime care and breeding. The unit by its presence in the area will also help to create awareness drives amongst the local villagers on how to deal with and respond to different conflict scenarios.

 

The MVS Similipal Unit attended to a total of 17 cases of wildlife displacements in the reporting period (April – September 2016). These include 8 cases of mammals (7 species), 2 cases of birds (2 species) and 7 cases of reptiles (5 species).

Conflict with leopards, elephants, and bears are on the rise and the MVS vets are frequently called upon to address conflict animal management issues.

The MVS veterinarian was instrumental in assisting in the care and providing treatment to the orphaned elephant calf, Bablu (20 months) that was rescued in December 2014 and is in captivity under the Similipal Forest Department. 

Dec 2, 2016

Amur Falcon Conservation Project

Amur Falcon Pro
Amur Falcon Pro

The state of Nagaland lies in the extreme northeast of India. Falling in the Indo-Malayan Region, it is also part of a global biodiversity ‘hotspot’ and the Eastern Himalayan endemic bird area, indicative of the region’s rich biological wealth. The state especially boasts of potential habitats for some of the globally threatened avian species such as Blyth’s tragopan, brown hornbill etc.

Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) a small raptor of the falcon family, for many decades has been known to congregate in Nagaland for a short period from mid-October to mid-November each year. The state acts as a stop-over site during their annual migration from breeding grounds in Russia, China and Mongolia, to wintering areas in Southern Africa. Doyang reservoir in Wokha district of Nagaland gained prominence as these raptors congregate in huge numbers here.

However, being a protected species under Convention of Migratory Species (CMS), these falcons were being hunted and killed by the local tribals for local consumption and commercial sale every day. This resulted in the massacre of approximate 120,000 birds every year (as reported). The birds were trapped by the hunters in mist fishing nets lined up near the reservoir and were collected early in the morning.

Years down the line, the situation at Doyang has seen a remarkable change of events for the better. With active support from all stakeholders the reservoir is now one of the safest places in India for the visiting raptors and has recently being pushed as a ‚UNESCO Site'. The birds which used to be ‚one’s for the cooking pot' are now the ‘Pride of Nagaland’. Though community restrictions in the villages are in place to prevent hunting, needless to say the three years ‘zero mortality’ success needs to sustain itself so as to have a long term impact which can’t be achieved until the community perceive the long term benefits of protecting the falcons.
Last year, WTI’s team comprising of social scientists undertook need assessment surveys among all stakeholders.

The Amur falcon protection squad have played a pivotal role in protecting the migratory falcons in Doyang and ensured ‘zero mortality’ for three years straight. A need was felt to equip the squad with a motor boat that will assist them in patrolling even the remotest roosting sites.

This project will no lonegr be running on Global Giving. Thank you!

boat for patrolling
boat for patrolling
Protection Squad
Protection Squad
Sep 29, 2016

Advanced Training Workshop-Similipal Tiger Reserve

Photo 2
Photo 2

Similipal Tiger Reserve, September 23, 2016: Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), working in partnership with the Forests & Environment Department, Government of Odisha, has this morning commenced a three-day intensive training workshop on rescue and rehabilitation of displaced wildlife at Ramtirtha, Jashipur, near Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR).

 

This circle-level advanced training is a culmination of a series of workshops conducted since 2015 at various divisions of STR at the behest of the Regional Chief Conservator of Forests (RCCF) cum Field Director of STR, Mr Harish Kumar Bisht, IFS. The initial workshops were held at Baripada (core), as well as the Rairangpur, Karanjia and Balasore (wildlife) divisions with the objective of identifying and constituting circle-level teams of five Forest Department personnel in each division. These candidates having been identified, this advanced training will now focus on equipping, sensitising and further enhancing their ability to handle emergencies related to displaced wildlife.

 

The workshop was inaugurated by Mr Bisht (RCCF-cum-Field Director, STR), Dr JD Pati, IFS (Divisional Forest Officer, Rairangpur), Mr AK Biswal (Assistant Conservator of Forests, Baripada STR), Dr KK Mondal (Honorary Wildlife Warden), Major Das (a retired army officer) and representatives from WTI. “The vision of this training is to address wildlife emergencies promptly, effectively, safely and systematically”, Mr Bisht told the participants; “in times to come incidences of human-wildlife conflict are bound to rise, making such trainings invaluable.” Major Das compared the Forest Department’s frontline field staff with army soldiers, encouraging them to develop a similar outlook towards forest protection as a soldier has towards protecting the country.

The workshop will provide mainly hands-on training for the most part over the coming sessions, with some theoretical sessions on the foundations and protocols of wildlife rescue, rehabilitation, ethics and documentation. Today, Dr Khanin Changmai, Veterinary Surgeon with WTI’s Mobile Veterinary Service (MVS) unit at STR, provided a demonstration and training on using immobilisation equipment, which included shooting practice for the trainees. Other practical sessions will include technical rope rescue training on land and water bodies, mock drills on emergencies involving elephants, leopards, bears and tigers, and human-snake conflict mitigation.

Picture 1
Picture 1
 
   

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