Nov 14, 2020

Equipping Forest Guards to protect Wildlife

Dear Patron,

Hope you have been keeping well.

With this email, we are sharing with you the updates for our project titled “Equip forest guards to protect wildlife in India”. Thank you so much for believing in our work and also for your generous donation to the project.

Braving the inclement weather, and risking their lives while facing well-armed wildlife criminals, India’s forest guards are on a constant vigilance to protect our natural heritage. Wildlife Trust of India’s ‘Guardians of the Wild’ program endeavours to empower the forest staff by supplementing their requirement of necessary field gears and field kits. Every year, this support equips the frontline forest staff and helps them in patrolling difficult terrains and braving the harsh weather conditions.

With the winter season approaching, our team has received requests for winter field gear – winter jackets, sleeping mats, solar lamps and water filters - from the Forest Departments across India. We are working on processing these requests and very soon the winter gear will be with the frontline forest staff.

We will be soon sharing the updates on the project with you in the next report. Till then, stay safe and take care.

Warm regards,

Team WTI

Nov 14, 2020

Saving India's Tigers

Dear Patron,

Hope you have been keeping well.

With this email, we are sharing with you the updates for our project titled “Vanishing stripes: save the Bengal tiger”. Thank you so much for believing in our work and also for your generous donation to the project.

The tiger population in India continues to face serious threat because of rampant poaching, rapid habitat loss, increasing human-big cat conflict, and illegal trade among other causes. It is important to be on a constant vigilance to address each of these issues and dissuade attempts to kill this iconic species.

One of the major causes of tiger deaths in the country is poaching. A common modus operandi adopted by the local hunters is to use snares that are designed to trap big cats, such as tigers resulting in a very painful death. The snares can be made of metallic wires, nylon cords, shoe-laces or even different species of climbing plants and vines called lianas. The foot and neck snares can trap a wide range of wild animals such as rabbits, bear, pangolins, deer, tigers etc.

Wildlife Trust of India has been conducting anti-snare walks in and around the Tiger Reserves and other protected areas across the country in collaboration with the forest department and local communities. Trainings on these anti-snare walks for the frontline forest staff are also imparted regularly by our teams.

Over the years and through continuous interventions, the number of snares found in the Protected Areas have considerably reduced. Our teams are on a constant vigilance to prevent and discourage the setting up of the snares and regularly monitor the protected areas and also the surrounding agricultural fields where local farmers are also using snares.

In the reporting period, anti-snare walks were conducted in 5 Tiger Reserves and 155 snares were removed. 25 snares were found and removed from Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka; 26 snares from Nagarhole Tiger Reserve in Karnataka; 58 snares from BRT Tiger Reserve in Karnataka; 11 snares from Pilibhit Tiger reserve in Uttar Pradesh; and 35 snares in Sohagi Barwa Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh.

These interventions are made possible because of your generous support, for which we are very grateful. We will soon get back to you with similar updates.

Till then, stay healthy and take care.

Warm Regards,

Team WTI

Oct 29, 2020

Communication to avoid human-elephant conflict

House damaged by elephants
House damaged by elephants

Dear Patron,

Today's updates for the project are from the tea gardens of Chenga and Panighatta regions in the Northern West Bengal. 

Around the tea gardens in the above mentioned regions, the human-elephant conflict instances were on the rise - the elephants were reportedly damaging houses and other infrastructure. Through WTI's intervention, our Rapid Action Project (RAP) proponent from the region, Mr Avijan Saha, identified certain factors which were responsible for this unrest.     

There were several unused or non-functional plantations near human settlements in which the unkempt tea bushes and invasive weeds had grown quite dense. This encouraged the elephant herds to come and take shelter within these plantations and near the human settlements resulting in frequent conflict instances. 

Mr. Saha engaged a small conservation group comprising science students and community youth as well as the gram panchayat in an initiative to de-weed and clear the bushes. 

Further, the movement of elephants through tea-bushes is mostly silent and does not alert the local communities about elephant presence. To address this, the team helped in installing bamboo fences around the settlements in the landscape. The bamboo barricade would serve as an early warning system if the elephants do try venturing in.

These interventions have significantly brought down conflict in the last couple of months as the elephants continue to move across and do not halt near the settlements any longer. Mr. Saha and his team continue to sensitise these communities.

That's all for today's updates. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generous support and for believing in our project. Thank you for being a part of our team as we look forward to continue the good work. 

Regards

Team WTI  

Overgrowth of tea bushes and weeds
Overgrowth of tea bushes and weeds
Setting up of bamboo baricades
Setting up of bamboo baricades
Vegetation cleared by the Gram Panchayat and team
Vegetation cleared by the Gram Panchayat and team
 
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