Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers

by Tigers4Ever
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Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Saving Bandhavgarh's Wild Tigers from Poachers
Tigress with 4 Tiny Cubs
Tigress with 4 Tiny Cubs

Wow, it is almost March already. 2019 is going quickly and so much has happened since our last project report it is difficult to know where to start.

Firstly, I would like to thank you all for your continued amazing support and donations, without which we would be unable to give wild tigers a wild future. I know that many of you will have made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, get fit, do dry January, do veganuary, etc., with possibly differing levels of success and stick-ability. Congratulations to all of you who have kept going.

Our New Year’s resolution is a bit perpetual: every year we say that we want to do more to give wild tigers a wild future, and every year we set out our plans. 2019 is no different. We want to increase our Anti-Poaching Patrols because the number of wild tigers we’re currently protecting has increased by 25% with the birth of 5 litters of new cubs. The patter of tiny paws in Bandhavgarh is certainly a welcome sight. It also increases the likelihood of human-animal conflict as the onset of the hot dry weather depletes natural water resources leading wildlife to enter the villages in search of water and food. We are delighted to say that our waterhole project is going really well to combat this by providing year-round water for 34 wild tigers (including cubs) and thousands of other animals which share the tigers’ forest home. Just this week, we received news from our team in India, that work to complete a second large waterhole to be served by the solar borehole pump we installed in December 2018 is nearing completion. This will ensure that at least 15 tigers will have access to water in an area completely ravaged by drought in the last 3 years. The primary waterhole at our latest site has a plentiful supply of water thank to the Tigers4Ever solar pump (in February 2018, the same area was dry which forced the Rajbehra family of tigers into the villages, as seen in the BBC wildlife documentary – Dynasties). You can find out more about our waterhole project here: https://goto.gg/34315 we will be producing an update report in the next few weeks once we have photos of the latest waterhole with water in it.

We also plan to combat the effects of climate change through a tree planting project which will also help to replenish lost tiger and wildlife habitat ravaged by years of illegal logging and wood-cutting. We will be working closely with the community on this initiative so that they will see just how long it takes for teak trees to grow and why constantly harvesting wood from the forest will bring the herbivores into their villages in search of food. At present, we are evaluating the benefits of seed planting versus the planting of saplings, and discussing the probable locations for the first plantings. Large areas of the forest have been destroyed by fires in the last three years and we would like to do something to replenish these areas too if funds permit. We hope to launch this project in time for the GlobalGiving Climate Fund Campaign in April.

Enough about our plans, for now though. I am sure that like us you will be delighted to hear that the gang of poachers who attacked and beat up our Senior Anti-Poaching Patroller, Ravi, have been caught, charged and are now behind bars. Knowing that these individuals are incarcerated in prison means that the tigers and their young cubs are safer too. It will soon be 17 months since the last tiger was poached in Bandhavgarh which together with our record of 44 months without a retaliatory poisoning is a great achievement on the part of our patrollers. We hope that we can raise sufficient funds to keep this exemplary record going.

As the drought season and peak poaching season approach, we fear that we will have to further reduce our patrolling to bring our costs down. I know that this will increase the risk of wild tigers being poached but we have little choice. In December 2017, we set a fundraising target of £8704 (US$ 11663) to cover the cost of our patrolling from 01 March 2018 – 28 February 2019 (inclusive), but we are still £1555 (US$2084) short of this target and our funding reserves have been depleted by under-pinning the cost of our Anti-Poaching Patrols in the last 3 months (as mentioned in the last newsletter). Our costs have also been impacted by exchange rate variability between the UK£ and the US$ (donations received) and the UK£ and the Indian Rupee (project costs). We launched our campaign to raise funds for our 2019 Anti-Poaching Patrolling (from 01 March 2019 – 29 February 2020, inclusive) three months early in 2018 (https://goto.gg/34704) to try to address the fundraising deficit, and keep our patrols protecting wild tigers. Funds raised for the 2019 project, however, are also well below our target with only sufficient funds to cover one month’s patrolling raised to date. In February 2019, we were forced to implement a 20% reduction in our patrolling, so that we could cover costs from the funds raised to date and our depleted reserves; now we must ask 62 of our supporters if they could donate £25 (US$34) each so we can continue our patrolling for the next two months. Please help if you can by donating at: https://goto.gg/28767 and help us to keep wild tigers safe.

Without the vital funds we now need, we will have no option other than to call time on our Anti-Poaching Patrol project which has been so successful since we started patrolling in July 2015 leading to an increase in wild tiger numbers from 55 (July 2015) to more than 100 (including cubs) by the end of January 2019. I hope that you will be able to help and we can continue to work together to keep wild tigers safe throughout 2019. Remember all donations can make a big difference to our wild tiger conservation efforts no matter how large or small (https://goto.gg/28767).

We still have a few 2019 Tigers4Ever calendars which are now half price at £5 plus P&P in our online shop: http://www.tigers4ever.org/onlineshop.html while stocks last. Remember that the tiger family featured in BBC “Tiger Dynasties” documentary appear in the months of April, August and November, and Solo (now a mother to four cubs of her own) was the February 2019 tiger of the month. All profits from calendar sales will be used to help us keep wild tigers safe.

Finally, I would like to thank you again on behalf of the wild tigers, which we are keeping safe; on behalf of the patrollers we are keeping in work (and their families who have food on the table). I would also like to thank you on behalf of the wider tiger community in Bandhavgarh, which benefits from providing food/uniforms/equipment for our patrols and from the safety/education advice given by Deepak, Prahlad, Vidya, Ravi and our patrolling team.

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Alpha male tiger in a rock pool waterhole
Alpha male tiger in a rock pool waterhole

First of all I would like to thank all of our supporters for their amazing help and donations throughout 2018, without which we would be unable to do what we do to give wild tigers a wild future. I should also like to take this opportunity to wish those of you who celebrate it a very happy Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous new year. I hope that we can continue to work together throughout 2019 to keep giving wild tigers the chance of a wild future.

This year has been a mixed year in wild tiger territory, with droughts between January and June leading to increased incidents of human-animal and tiger-tiger conflict. The monsoon season from July brought some flash floods from heavy rains in July followed by the driest September for more than 10 years. Although total rainfall in the 2018 monsoon was better than in the previous 3 years, there was still an overall deficit in the replenishment of natural water sources. Right now, and throughout 2018, we have been doing what we can to construct permanent wildlife waterholes to address this situation, you can discover more about this work here: https://goto.gg/34315. The final quarter of 2018 has also brought some ups and downs in the world of wild tiger conservation. In October, we marked the anniversary of the last tiger poaching case in Bandhavgarh with 365 days poaching free (this is now 14 months and 10 days or 436 days without poachers killing a wild tiger) and received the devastating news that China was lifting its 25 year ban on the use of tiger bone in traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) and the trade in tiger body parts. Following weeks of International outrage and uproar at this proposal, the Chinese government agreed to postpone lifting the ban at the end of November, so for now the expected increase in demand for wild tiger body parts and bones is on hold. We cannot assume that the threat has gone away, because the key word coming out of China is postpone, so we continue to be on high alert for increased poaching activity. The end of the year has brought some devastating news on a personal front for Tigers4Ever with one of our senior Anti-Poaching Patrollers attacked by a gang of poachers outside his home at the beginning of this month; he had finished work for Tigers4Ever and was returning home to his family when set upon by the poachers.

This brutal attack on our patroller saw him beaten with sticks, punched and kicked, before the assailants absconded. Ravi (name changed for protection) was left covered in cuts and bruises with severe swelling around his head, face and eye. Ravi called out for help which came from his friends and family, he was taken to the local government hospital (some 60 miles away) for assessment and initial treatment, but the serious nature of the injuries to Ravi’s face and head meant that he required specialist tests, including a CT scan, which were unavailable at the local government hospital. When Ravi was able to travel he was taken to the specialist hospital in Jabalpur (some 300 miles away) where he could have appropriate tests and treatment. The CT scan revealed that Ravi has suffered fractures to his left eye socket, nose and skull. Two weeks on, Ravi is still in hospital and in a lot of pain, we do not know yet whether he will require surgery for his injuries, the swelling needs time to settle first to enable the doctors to assess whether the fractures will heel without surgical intervention. Meanwhile, Ravi is unable to return to work, he is keen to get back to his duties as a protector of wild tigers as soon as possible, and whilst he is in hospital he has additional expenses for medical costs and cannot support his family. Our Tigers4Ever team in India are helping where they can but there may come a point where we need to have a specific fundraiser to help Ravi’s family until he is able to work again. This incident served to remind us, if we had forgotten that Anti-Poaching Patrollers are brave men and women heroes who risk their lives every time they go into the forest to look for poachers and their snares or traps. We are further pressured because we have had to use reserves to cover the cost of our Anti-poaching patrols in November and December as we are £2077 (US$2768) short of our fundraising target for this year: https://goto.gg/28767. If we could ask each of you to remember the bravery of Ravi and our other patrollers if you are considering donating to charity this Christmas, as we could reach our target with 110 donations of US$25 (£20) each which would enable turn our focus to how our patrollers will be able to keep wild tigers safe throughout 2019.   

Remember, that in 2018, our Anti-Poaching Patrols have helped to keep Bandhavgarh free of poachers’ traps and snares; whilst wild tigers have died all around India and other tiger countries, which means that our efforts are giving wild tigers a wild future and we hope to continue this for many years to come. We cannot do this without the support of our followers so we’d ask you to spare a thought for wild tigers during the festive holiday season and whilst making your New Year Resolutions for 2019.

For those of you who saw the BBC wildlife programme “Dynasties” Episode 5 – “Tigers” focussed on one particular tiger family, from Bandhavgarh, the Rajbehra female and her cubs. I am delighted to say that these tigers are amongst the wild tigers to feature in our 2019 Tigers4Ever calendars which are available now in our online shop, while stocks last. The featured family appear in the months of April, August and November, whilst one of the other tigers shown: Solo is the tiger of the month for February2019. Please see our website for more details.

Finally, I would like to thank you again on behalf of the wild tigers, which we are keeping safe; on behalf of the patrollers we are keeping in work (and their families who have food on the table). I would also like to thank you on behalf of the wider tiger community in Bandhavgarh, which benefits from providing food/uniforms/equipment for our patrols and from the safety/education advice given by Deepak, Prahlad and our patrolling team. Happy holidays and best wishes for the festive season.

Poor Ravi, 3 days after attack by Poachers
Poor Ravi, 3 days after attack by Poachers

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Cubs Orphaned by poachers learning to play fight
Cubs Orphaned by poachers learning to play fight

Thanks to the amazing support we have received from you all during the first three quarters of 2018, we are coming to the end of the monsoon period which is peak tiger poaching season in India, with the relief that thanks to our doubling of Anti-Poaching Patrols we haven’t lost any tigers to poachers or poisoners this year. We were only able to double our Anti-Poaching Patrols during the monsoon period thanks to the donations we received in the first half of 2018. The risk of snares and traps is a constant threat which is even more difficult to detect during the periods of torrential rainfall, if patrolling is reduced there is a greater chance of traps and snares being missed.

On 01 July 2018, our patrollers received our commendation for successively eliminating all instances of retaliatory poisoning of wild tigers for the third year in a row, in Bandhavgarh. This is really an achievement to be celebrated as prior to the establishment of the Tigers4Ever Anti-Poaching Patrols on 01 July 2015, retaliatory poisoning was the biggest threat which wild tigers faced in the Buffer Forests around Bandhavgarh. By completely eliminating the incidence of retaliatory poisoning incidents against tigers for the last 3 years and 3 months, we can rightly say that we are giving wild tigers a wild future. On 04 October 2018, it will be exactly one year since the last tiger was killed by poachers in Bandhavgarh, whilst this will be a great achievement on the part of our patrollers it is important to realise that when the last tigress was poached she left three orphaned cubs of just 6 months old, without the measures which were put in place to save these cubs, including a Tigers4Ever funded solar powered borehole pump to provide year round water in 2 manmade waterholes the poachers’ actions would have claimed the lives of FOUR tigers not one! So whilst we may rejoice that a year has elapsed since the last poaching incident it is tainted with sadness that these young cubs have grown up without their mother to teach them how to hunt, how to defend themselves, and how to find a territory which would be safe to call their own. The cubs have survived, but their future is by no means certain. Now our focus must be on building upon these successes to ensure that no more tigers perish at the hands of humans.

As we outlined in our last report, our patrolling has contributed to an overall 94% decline in poaching incidents since 2015, which when compared to the rest of India, where tiger poaching has been on the increase (120 reported cases of tiger poaching since 2015), it is an even more remarkable achievement. Just before the onset of the monsoon, two tigresses gave birth to three cubs each which will again increase the tiger numbers in Bandhavgarh. Tiger census results are due towards the end of this year and Madhya Pradesh is once again expected to regain its status as the tiger state, because so many tigers are surviving in Bandhavgarh. This, however, causes different issues as territorial space is at a premium and tiger-tiger conflict becomes a more frequent occurrence. We are currently looking at new projects which will help to restore depleted tiger habitat, including tree planting schemes and our waterhole project: https://goto.gg/34315, which we hope will stabilise prey numbers meaning thatsmaller territories may be adequate for young tigers searching for new territories to establish themselves in.

In the last report, we mentioned that two young tigers had been transferred to a tiger reserve in Odisha where tiger numbers were critically low; we are pleased to say that the tigers have now settled into their new territories and are hunting normally. They will continue to be monitored closely for up to year with the radio collars which were fitted on completion of the transfer, to ensure that they do not become persistent cattle hunters in the villages around the periphery of the Odisha forest.

In 2018, our Anti-Poaching Patrols have helped to keep Bandhavgarh free of poachers’ traps; and we hope we can continue this success throughout the remainder of the year, but we cannot do this without the funds to keep our patrols in the field. We need to raise £2527 (US$3350) to ensure that we don’t have to reduce our patrolling in the coming months, with every £20 (US$26) we raise ensuring that we can pay the wages of one patrolling team for a day. Please help if you can at: https://goto.gg/28767. We would like to increase our Quarter 4, 2018 by 20% compared to 2017 but this will only be possible if we can raisesufficient funds to cover the increased costs and keep the patrollers in the field for the remainder of 2018.

If you feel that you would like to make a difference for these precious wild tigers: £10/US$13 will provide 3 hot meals each for 2 patrollers whilst they are on duty, whilst £38/US$50 will help to provide transport and fuel to get a team of 6 Anti-Poaching Patrollers to their patrolling area for the day/night. All donations, however large or small, will help to keep these brave men and women protecting wild tigers from perishing at the hands of humans.

We still need £2527 (US$3350) to fund our Anti-Poaching Patrols for the rest of 2018. Each month of the year we need to raise £720/$980 (or £8640/$11400 total) to make keeping wild tigers safe possible. Please visit: https://goto.gg/28767 to help. Your donations help us to feed & pay the patrollers, they also help to provide a safe haven for our patrollers, transport, fuel, and any vital equipment which needs replacing. Transport and fuel are vital tools for our patrollers who need to cover 1598 square kilometres (993 square miles) of precious tiger habitat.

I would like to thank you on behalf of the wild tigers, which we are keeping safe; on behalf of the patrollers we are keeping in work (and their families who have food on the table). I would also like to thank you on behalf of the wider tiger community in Bandhavgarh, which benefits from providing food/uniforms/equipment for our patrols and from the safety/education advice given by Deepak, Prahlad and our patrolling team.

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Our Patrols discover a raging forest fire at night
Our Patrols discover a raging forest fire at night

Thanks to the amazing support we have received from you all during the first two quarters of 2018, we are entering the monsoon season (peak tiger poaching season in India) with confidence that we can double our Anti-Poaching Patrols to try to mitigate the increased risk of snares & traps being missed. Since 01 July 2015, Tigers4Ever patrollers have patrolled the Buffer Forests around Bandhavgarh helping to completely eliminate the incidence of retaliatory poisoning incidents against tigers in each of 3 years. In the same 3 year period only 3 tigers wandered into snare traps laid by poachers, 1 tigress was rescued from such a snare & taken to Bhopal where she recovered from her injuries, the others sadly died.

Our patrolling has contributed to a 94% decline in poaching incidents. When this is compared to the rest of India, where tiger poaching has been on the increase since 2014 (120 reported cases of tiger poaching since 2015), it is a remarkable achievement. We are delighted by this progress. In fact, tiger numbers have increased in Bandhavgarh so territorial space is at a premium leading to fears of tiger-tiger conflict. This has recently been addressed with the transfer 2 young tigers to a tiger reserve in Odisha where tiger numbers are critically low; here they will have space to establish their own territories without coming into conflict with humans. So far in 2018, our Anti-Poaching Patrols have helped to keep Bandhavgarh free of poachers’ traps; we hope we can continue this success throughout the remainder of the year.

In our last report, we mentioned how the duties of our Anti-Poaching Patrollers had expanded beyond searching for poachers' snares & traps, together with their vital role in communicating the threat of extinction which wild tigers face to include the quenching of forest fires. The severe drought has now persisted for over four months with a delay in the onset of the 2018 monsoon rains compounding the problem. The ever increasing daily temperatures have increased the severity of the forest fires with the worst decimating prime tiger habitat over a fifteen mile stretch. In May 2018, we received sad news that one of the Forest Department guards who regularly accompanied our patrols had died from a heart-attack whilst fighting one of the forest fires. Tigers4Ever Anti-Poaching Patrols continue to help with the early identification of forest fires & helping forest department officials to quench them. The prolonged drought season has increased the risk of human-animal conflict as rivers, streams & lakes have run dry resulting in prey animals entering villages in search of water & predators following in search of food. Tigers are notorious for livestock rustlers in the hot, dry season, so we have increased our efforts to keep prey & predators out of the villages to prevent retaliatory poisonings or revenge snaring of tigers.

We also told you how Tigers4Ever had help to address the water shortage by constructing two permanent wildlife waterholes which are provide year-round water for 12+ tigers & countless other wildlife. We are now planning to raise funds to construct more of these waterholes in the coming year (hopefully). You can see details of this project at: https://goto.gg/34315 where we hope to further reduce the risk of human-animal conflict from straying wildlife.

With the birth of nine tiny cubs & many others under 1 year old currently in Bandhavgarh, our patrollers need to be extra vigilant during peak poaching season. The monsoon season brings a peak in tiger & leopard poaching activity, as heavy rainfall washes away the tell-tale signs of human tracks. For this reason we try to double our patrols throughout July, August & September (in 2017 we were only able to increase our patrolling by 50% due to a lack of funding & a tigress was poached leaving 3 orphaned cubs). This year, we have doubled our patrols in July, & hope to raise sufficient funds to sustain the increase throughout August & September. If you would like to help, £10/$13 will provide 3 hot meals each for 2 patrollers whilst they are on duty protecting wild tigers, whilst £20/$26 will help to pay a team of 6 Anti-Poaching Patrollers for a day: https://goto.gg/28767. All donations, however large or small, help to keep these brave men & women protecting wild tigers during the day & night. Our patrollers must be extra careful during the torrential monsoon rains when the tell-tale signs of a tiger’s presence are also washed away. Thankfully, Langhur monkeys perched high in the trees provide an early warning system of a predator’s approach with their varying alarm calls. We provide our patrollers with head-torches so they can keep their h&s free whilst conducting foot patrols & strong canes to ensure that they don’t become the unintended victim of a snare. In June 2018, Tigers4Ever also funded a new search light for mounting on the patrol vehicle which enables checks to be made over greater distances at night before dismounting the vehicle.

The donations we received during the second quarter of 2018 were sufficient to keep our patrols protecting wild tigers for 50% of a month; fortunately we had raised sufficient funds earlier in the year to keep our patrolling going for longer. Your donations also help us to pay our patrols, to provide transport to get them to & from their patrol beat & enable us to give them 3 nutritious hot meals per day whilst they are on duty. Your donations also help us to provide a safe haven for our patrollers to return to in the event that alarm calls from the jungle indicate that a tiger or leopard is approaching. Transport & fuel are vital tools for our patrollers who need to cover 1598 square kilometres (993 square miles) of precious tiger habitat.

We still need £2917 ($4150) to fund our Anti-Poaching Patrols for the rest of 2018. If we can raise these funds we will be able to maintain double patrolling during peak poaching season & can increase our Autumn patrolling by 20% (compared to Autumn 2017), but this is subject to raising sufficient funds to cover the increased costs. Tigers4Ever needs to raise £720/$980 per month (or £8640/$11400 total) to make this possible & keep patrolling at optimum levels during peak poaching season & for the rest of 2018. Please visit: https://goto.gg/28767 to help. The £330/$470, which you helped us to raise with your kind donations in the second quarter of 2018, together with funds raised earlier in the year, has kept our patrols protecting wild tigers for the moment & we hope that Global Tiger Day on 29 July 2018 will inspire more people to help. Your donations will not only help to feed & pay the patrollers, they also help to provide transport, fuel, & any vital equipment which needs to be replaced.

I would like to thank you on behalf of the wild tigers, which we are keeping safe; on behalf of the patrollers we are keeping in work (& their families who have food on the table); & on behalf of the wider tiger community in Bandhavgarh, which benefits from providing food & equipment for our patrols & from the safety & education advice given by Deepak, Prahlad & our patrolling team.

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Anti-Poaching Patrols Protect wild Tiger families
Anti-Poaching Patrols Protect wild Tiger families

Thanks to the amazing support we have received from you all during the first quarter of 2018, we can approach the monsoon season (peak tiger poaching season in India) with confidence that our Anti-Poaching Patrols can continue their magnificent work ensuring that wild tigers are safe from poachers’ snares. So far, our Anti-Poaching Patrols have helped to keep Bandhavgarh free of poachers’ traps throughout 2018 and we hope to continue this success throughout the remainder of the year.

We mentioned in February how our Anti-Poaching Patrollers do much more than just search for poachers' snares and traps, with their vital role in communicating the threat of extinction which wild tigers face and the subsequent consequences for the human population. For the last month, our patrollers’ duties have expanded further with the onset of severe drought (following poor rains in the 2017 monsoon period) and ever increasing daily temperatures, the risk of forest fires is now high. Tigers4Ever Anti-Poaching Patrols help with the early identification of forest fires and triggers which may cause them; they also help forest department officials to quench such fires when they discover them saving the lives of many animals including tigers and their cubs in the process. The drought season also increases the risk of human-animal conflict as rivers, streams and lakes run dry causing prey animals to enter villages in search of water and predators to follow in search of food. Wild tigers are notorious for taking livestock at this time of year, so it is paramount to maximise efforts to keep both prey and predators out of the villages to prevent retaliatory poisonings or revenge snaring of the tigers. In the last month, Tigers4Ever has been helping to address the water shortage by constructing two permanent wildlife waterholes which will provide year-round water for 12+ tigers and countless other wildlife; thus reducing the risk of human-animal conflict from straying wildlife. These waterholes are sourced by underground water using solar-powered borehole pumps to bring fresh water to the surface. In the monsoon period, the solar pumps will be less active due to gloomy conditions but heavy rainfall will ensure that water levels are maintained. Later this year, we will launch a new campaign to raise funds for further waterholes in Bandhavgarh; the two which we have developed recently are in the driest area of wild tiger territory where the natural water sources had already run dry.

Our patrollers have also been actively involved in monitoring the camera traps which have been set in the buffer forests around Bandhavgarh for the 2018 Tiger Census. Miscreants are known to damage or steal these camera traps to avoid their illicit activities being recorded, so regular checks that the cameras are in place and working play a vital role in tiger protection, especially as around two thirds of Bandhavgarh’s wild tiger population frequent the buffer forests. A missing or damaged camera trap can also provide a clue to the possibility of poachers’ snares or traps in the vicinity so it is fundamental that patrollers take extra care when walking their beats to ensure that they don’t become the unintended victim of a snare.

March 2018 brought the first of the forest fires in the Ranchha area of the Bandhavgarh buffer, home to a wide variety of wildlife including a tigress with three young cubs. Thanks to the quick response of our Patrolling Supervisor, Prahlad, and his team the risk of wildlife deaths in the fire was dramatically reduced as they fought to first control and then quench the fire thus protecting the precious forest.

Just £20/$26 helps us to pay a team of 6 Anti-Poaching Patrollers to protect wild tigers for a day. Our patrollers, risk their own lives during the day or night as they search for snares, traps or other signs of poaching activity. Frequently, snares are tethered to an open electricity source which would mean instant electrocution for any animal or person who touched or walked into it. The head-torches we provide for our patrollers enable them keep their hands free to use canes to check dense undergrowth safely without fear of losing a limb or their lives; and enable them to work safely when setting firebreaks for controlling/quenching forest fires. The donations we received during the first quarter of 2018 will enable us to pay our patrols, to provide transport to get them to and from their patrol beat and will enable us to give them 3 nutritious hot meals per day whilst they are on duty during the current quarter. Your donations also help us to provide a safe haven for our patrollers to return to in the event that alarm calls from the jungle indicate that a dangerous predator is approaching. Transport and fuel are vital tools for our patrollers who need to cover 1598 square kilometres (993 square miles) of precious tiger habitat.

We are £3169 ($4500) short of our target to maitain our Anti-Poaching Patrols for the remainder of 2018. We hope that we won’t be forced into a 20% reduction in our patrolling this year due to a lack of funding, (as was the case in Autumn 2017 when a wild tigress was electrocuted by a tethered snare within 4 weeks of the reduction). We aim to increase our patrolling by 140% during the 2018 monsoon peak poaching season, but this is dependent upon ensuring that we can raise sufficient funds to cover the sustained increased costs. If we can reach our target of raising £720/$980 per month (or £8640/$11400 total) then we will be able to keep the patrolling at optimum levels during peak poaching season and for the rest of 2018 (https://goto.gg/28767). The £1381/$1947, which you have helped us to raise with your kind donations in the first quarter of 2018, together with funds raised in December 2017, will help us to keep our patrols protecting wild tigers throughout the second quarter of 2018 and into the early part of the monsoon. It will help to provide transport, fuel, food and any vital equipment which needs to be replaced during the same period.

I would like to thank you on behalf of the wild tigers, which we are keeping safe; on behalf of the patrollers we are keeping in work (and their families who will also have food on the table); and on behalf of the wider tiger community in Bandhavgarh, which benefits from providing food and equipment for our patrols and from the safety/education advice given by Deepak, Prahlad and our patrolling team.

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Tigers4Ever

Location: Warrington - United Kingdom
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Twitter: @Tigers4Ever2010
Project Leader:
Corinne Taylor-Smith
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Warrington, Cheshire United Kingdom
$47,704 raised of $70,500 goal
 
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