Wildlife Trust of India

Conserve nature, especially endangered species and threatened habitats, in partnership with communities and governments.
Mar 29, 2016

An update on the Anti Snare Walks

Wildlife Crime Prevention Training
Wildlife Crime Prevention Training

Since 2011, the WTI team conceptualized and pioneered Anti-Snare Walks (ASW)—A joint forest walks with the forest authorities to identify and remove snares in Bandipur, mostly along the vulnerable areas like the Park-boundaries. Initially, the team, with the help of local youths, assisted the Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) in removing snares. The GPS location of each snare was recorded, and has been plotted on a map. The Walks have proved to be a considerable success from the sheer number of snares identified and removed and from the overwhelming response the team and the activity got from the authorities, local organizations and communities, who themselves are conducting ASW’s in forest-fringe areas.

In 2015, WTI conducted ASW’s in Bandipur National Park, with support from Born Free Foundation. This year Team had covered eight sections and nineteen beats of six ranges from Bandipur which were Gundre, Hediyala, Moliyur, N.Begur, Nugu and Omkar Range. They have covered 189.207 kilometers by manual walk and removed 185 snares from the fringe area of Bandipur Tiger reserve.

In Nagarhole WTI had covered eleven sections and seventeen beats from five different ranges which are Aneechonkur Range, Hunsur, Kallahalla, Nagarhole   and Veeranahosahally Range. They have covered 207.022 kilometers by manual walk and removed 80 snares and 4 Evidence from the fringe area of Nagarhole Tiger reserve.

 

Capacity-building of the STPF:

 

Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has been doing Capacity Building Trainings for frontline staff in many states in India under WTI’s Wildlife Crime Prevention Training Programme. The aim of the training is to curb poaching and habitat degradation in the forests, intelligence and information sharing on wildlife law enforcement and legal issues to assist officials and to organize workshop/ meetings.

WTI conducted two days workshop for two fresh batch training of Crime Prevention Training for the frontline staff from 15th to 19th February 2016, and one additional day training in between only on CDR Analysis. This CDR Analysis was focus for the Rangers, Assistant Conservator of Forest and officials above this designation.

This entire program on the Wildlife Crime Prevention Training Programme was conducted by Wildlife Trust of India in collaboration with Forest department and Aircel.  Park Director Mr. H. C. Kantharaju was very happy about the training as this was the first ever training on CDR Analysis given to the forest officials.

There were around 25 selected forest officers who were selected from Nagarhole Tiger reserve, Biligiri, Bhadra Tiger reserve and from Madikeri forest Division. Mr.Manoj Dube who is currently based in Mumbai and is the specialist in handling CDR Analysis was called for this training in Nagarhole.  Park Director Mr. H.C. Kantharaju- the Conservator of Forest and the Inspector General of Southern Zone National Tiger Conservation Authority, Shri. P.S. Somasekhar also joined during the training at Nagarhole Range.   

Links:

Mar 29, 2016

An Awareness Campaign to ban ritual hunting in Adi Tribal Community - Arunachal Pradesh India

The awareness programme in the process
The awareness programme in the process

An awareness campaign on Preservation, Promotion and Protection of Biodiversity, Sensitisation of Adi Tribal Community to ban Ritual Hunting was organised jointly by Wildlife Trust of India and Adi Baane Kebang, East Siang District at Kiyit Village community hall under Mebo sub-division, East Siang.

Addressing the meeting, ABK, East Siang unit, General Secretary, Tajing Taki spoke on the aims and objectives of the meeting.

Resource person, Range Forest Officer, Mebo, Obang Tayeng highlighted the issue of the preservation of biodiversity and the implications of destruction of wildlife. Speaking in the meeting, Gaon Burah of Kiyit, Ruklik Pertin called upon all to uphold the resolutions adopted in true spirit.


The meeting adopted a complete ban on selling, using, possession and transportation of Air Guns and its pellets in Adi belt with imposition of heavy fines, to protect Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary by all the community members, adding limitations against destruction of Forest based produces like cane, bamboo and restriction of yearly Tree permit Quota system in Saw Mills by District Administration and Forest department.
The meeting also appealed the district administration for supporting the movement for eradication of Opium, Ganja and IMFL consumption.
All district and block executive members of ABK and ABK WW East Siang, Gaon Burahs, Panchayat Members and villagers attended the meeting.

It was further stressed to the district administration and forest department to book the hunters and illegal traders and punish them accordingly.
The people were motivated to save wildlife as these have an indispensable role in the ecosystems and community leaders were requested to come forward in this regard.

The following laws are being imposed in by the ABK in the Adi belt:

a) Hunting and fishing by way of blasting, poison, electric current are completely banned. A fine of Rs. 25, 000/- will be imposed.

 b) Blocking the stream/river by using bull dozer is completely banned. A fine of Rs. 25, 000/- will be imposed.

c) Any person hunting without the knowledge of village community will be imposed a fine Rs. 25,000/-

d) Any person from outside the village who has encroached for hunting and fishing will be imposed fine of Rs. 25,000/-

No animal hunting by gun or air gun. Restrictions on Traditional Hunting

a) Individual, group or sub-group hunting is totally banned

b) No selling and purchasing of hunted animals and birds in Adi belt.

c) Any one found breaking rules will be imposed a fine Rs. 25,000/- or punishment as per forest/Administrative law.

River/Stream (Water body Hunting)

a) Traditional way of trapping through bamboo sticks, basket netting or other form of fishing is allowed 2-3 times a year during festivals. Not open for all but area owners only.

b) Activities like blasting, using electric current, poison, diverting stream or river are totally banned.

c) Fine of Rs. 25,000/- will be imposed and the administration will take action as per law.

Section X Clause 3 of Sub-Clause (c) has also empowered village authorities to check and make strict vigil in their own village

 Nine such awareness campaigns have been conducted by  WTI and ABK unit across the district.

Links:

Mar 22, 2016

WTI acheived Zero Mortality of Amur Falcons for past three years in Nagaland (India)

WTI formed protection squad at Amur Roosting Site
WTI formed protection squad at Amur Roosting Site

 

The Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) is a small raptor belonging to the falcon family. It breeds in south eastern Siberia and northern China and migrates in large numbers over India-Arabian Sea to southern Africa. In India they pass through north-eastern India, particularly Nagaland, on their way to Arabian Sea islands. Amur Falcons are protected under Wildlife Protection Act (1972), it is also listed in Appendix II of CITES.  India is also a signatory to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) for the protection of migratory species which pass through the country. 

Every year, the falcons migrate in large numbers from Eastern Russia and Northern China to Nagaland during October and stay on till December, as a part of their 22,000 km long annual migration to Southern Africa. In Nagaland, most of the birds visit the Doyang Reservoir; additionally they have been spotted in smaller numbers from other districts of Nagaland - Peren, Longleng; Senapati district of Manipur and Umrangso in Assam. In Doyang area they visit and roost mainly in Pangti, Asha and Sungro villages of Wokha district.

In Nagaland, traditionally, hunters would kill this species to provide for food and to sell in local markets. Thus, large numbers of Amur falcon were killed each year. Being a protected species under various National and International laws such killing of the species had to be addressed and the need of the day was to protect these falcons whilst they were migrating through the country. Our strategy was to reduce and finally totally stop Amur falcon killing through community participation and alternative green livelihood options. The birds were also traded live along with their meat. In 2012, lakhs of birds were illegally killed in three villages of Wokha district alone, causing widespread alarm all over the world regarding endangerment of the species and the blatant violation of national and international laws.

The major site of hunting was the Doyang hydro-electric project reservoir in Wokha district, which hosts the raptors in tens of thousands and is believed to be the single largest aggregation of Amur falcons recorded in India. The seasonal mass slaughter of the birds involved people living in about 30 villages, predominantly belonging to a Naga ethnic group, a Scheduled Tribe (ST) whose main livelihood comes from jhum farming and fishing. The hunters would hoist their fishing nets high above the ground, close to the trees where the birds roosted; the birds entangled in the nets, and would then be collected by the hunters, who sold them dead or alive, to fetch amounts lucrative enough for the village youth to stray into the wrong side of the law.

In the month of November 2015, the Union Minister of Forests, Environment and Climate Change visited the roosting site of Amur falcons in the district of Wokha, Nagaland. Representatives from the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) interacted with the minister and briefed him about the conservation action plan carried out by WTI for last three years to conserve the falcons in the region.

Actions taken-

  1. Sociological Surveys and Micro-Plan prepared

A socio-economic survey of Pangti, Ashaa and Sungro villages was conducted. This survey identified the requirements of the three villages and Micro-Plans were prepared for the three villages based on them. These micro –plans are currently being discussed with the PI of ‘Communities for Conservation’ department to finalize them. Based on these micro-plans, alternative livelihood/enhancement of livelihood schemes will be planned and implemented in the three villages.

2. Constitution of 3 Amur protection groups/squads in Pangti, Ashaa & Sungro villages

As in 2012-13, a protection squad was again formed at the three villages in 2014 - 15. This protection squad patrolled the area for any possible killing of Amur falcons. The protection squads were given wages for two months which also contributed in their livelihood for the above mentioned months.

3.  Torches, T-Shirts, Caps, Shoes etc were provided to the Amur falcon protection squads to aid them in their patrolling duties.

 

 We hope that these activities will ensure the sustained conservation of Amur falcons in Nagaland in the years to come.

Links:

 
   

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