A snare set up by hunters in Dampa region
The updates for this project are from Mizoram, a state in Northeast India.
During the reporting period, Mr. Laleng Mawia sought our support for a wonderful initiative. He wanted to sensitise the local community around ‘Dampa Tiger Reserve’ in Mizoram about the regions’ unique biodiversity so as to minimize the hunting of threatened and endemic species.
The region which Mr. Mawai proposed to cover through his project comprised of some of the remotest villages with tiny populations. They are relatively undisturbed habitats and their proximity to ‘Dampa Tiger Reserve’ makes them suitable for several endemic and endangered species such as leaf monkeys, hoolock gibbons, golden cats, marbled cats, Chinese pangolins, etc.
Mr. Mawia has been working with the Forest Department of ‘Dampa Tiger Reserve’ as a ‘Wildlife Guard’ since 2013. Over the years, he has actively participated in wildlife population estimation and anti-poaching initiatives in the region. He belongs to a nearby village ‘Dilzawl’. Being a local, he has witnessed the hunting of several threatened species – pangolin, sun bear, leafy monkey, marbled cats, hornbills, turtles etc. – by communities from his village and those of the nearby villages.
He decided to develop a biodiversity inventory for the fringe-villages surrounding ‘Dampa Tiger Reserve’. He planned to engage the locals in the activity so as to apprise them of the species diversity of the region and their ecological significance. In coordination with the Village Council, he also wanted to understand the belief system, especially of the youth, and explore the possibility of a change in mindsets. Through regular meetings with the community, he wanted to mobilise ‘informer groups’ to keep a check on the hunting status. These activities, he believed, could reinstate the fading traditional practices among the hunting community such as avoiding hunting during the breeding season or avoiding hunting females with off-springs etc.
With an elaborate plan in place and a firm understanding of the community to which he belonged, Mr. Mawai approached Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) for camera traps which he planned to install in different regions to monitor the biodiversity and gather hunting evidences. We helped him with procuring the camera traps as required and set the project rolling. So far, Mr. Mawai’s initiatives have drawn positive support from the Forest Department, members of the Village Council and also the community members. We are confident that his initiatives would result in sensitized communities supporting sustainable practices in the region.
Thank you so much for supporting our project and such wonderful initiatives. With your support, we hope to continue the good work. We will keep sending similar updates to you. Until then, stay safe and take care.