India's amazing biodiversity has long faced threats from poachers using simple yet horribly effective hunting devices-traps & snares. A simple instrument consisting of an anchored wire with a sliding noose, a snare is camouflaged with vegetation and set up on animal trails. The noose slips across the animal's body part and tightens, eventually causing gangrene. This project aims to eradicate the menace of snares and traps from the forests so that wild animals can walk the jungle trails safely.
Protected areas have a buffer zone around it intended to be an area defining the boundaries of human habitation. This area has frequent wild animal movement and poachers lay wire snares along animal trails. It is a confirmed fact that Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka has lost 3 tigers, 2 leopards and 1 elephant to snares in the last 2 years and this in just one of India's 100+ protected areas. The snaring of deer and other small animals cannot be quantified as most cases are never reported.
This project has the twin goals of removing existing snares and dissuading further snaring through regular desnaring walks and an active intelligence network to zero in on individual poachers. The team walks an 8 km route following animal trails scanning them for signs of snares. Snares & traps located are tagged with the geolocation before handing over to the State Forest Dept. Plotting the geolocation points on a map helps to identify snaring hotspots and appropriate followup is then initiated
In the long term, the antisnare project hopes to see the buffer areas of forests free of snares and traps and have snare combing walks become a part of the forest department's regular patrolling duty. But until then this project will strive on towards its vision of snare-free forests for animals. Recently, UNESCO voted the Western Ghats into the list of World Heritage Sites and the anti snare project is crucial for the safety of wildlife in this and other protected areas in India.
This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).
WTIs anti-snare work in Bandipur covered by NDTV