Preventing wildlife hunting around Dampa Tiger Reserve
By Monica Verma - Project Leader
Camera trap images of the biodiveristy in Dampa
Hope you are doing well.
With this email, we are sharing with you the updates for the project “Stop the hunting of wildlife in India”. Thank you so much for your generous contribution to this project and for believing in our work. We are so glad to have you as a part of our team.
Today’s updates are a follow-up on the support we provided to one of our local partners working with the Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram. He proposed to sensitise the local community around the Tiger Reserve (TR) about the region’s unique biodiversity to minimise the hunting of threatened and endemic species in the region. Being a local himself, our project partner was well aware of the hunting practices of the local community residing in the region. And to curtail this practice, he planned to develop a biodiversity inventory of the area surrounding the TR, while engaging the local community in the process. Through this exercise, he was confident that the hunting community could be made aware of the species diversity of the region and their ecological significance. He also planned to mobilise ‘informer groups’ to keep a check on any hunting activities in the region.
We had provided camera traps to our local partner to monitor the region’s biodiversity and gather hunting evidences.
Due to the COVID-induced nationwide lockdown, he could not implement his plan for the initial few months. However, the project activities resumed eventually and we have received some fresh updates on the project activities undertaken.
Mammalian diversity for the region was determined through a questionnaire survey, transect survey, and camera trap images.
A short film was made to highlight the importance of forest resources and the dependence of the local community on these resources. Also, the impact due to unsustainable practices adopted by the community were highlighted. The film covered different aspects such as livelihood, hunting, and impact of shifting cultivation etc.
Sensitization programmes for local community were conducted with a prominent local association and other influential persons of the village. A team comprising local youths (#10) was formed to keep a check on the hunting activities and to inform the forest department of the same.
With these efforts, so far no major hunting activities were reported. All the entry points to the villages are being guarded by the forest guards and members of the Association, with regular patrolling at night.
Besides, the hunting data obtained from the range officer, Teirei range, also suggests that the hunting trend in and around Dampa TR is on a declining trajectory. The numbers of illegal hunting equipment (such as non-licensed guns and traps/snares) seized from the local hunters were comparatively lesser than past two years.
All this was made possible due to your generous support, for which we are so grateful. That’s all for today’s updates. We will soon be back with more information on this and similar projects. Till then, take care.
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