Dear Wildlife Conservation Society supporters,
Just wanted to share a bit of news: Wednesday, February 12 is GlobalGiving's first Bonus Day of the year! All donations will be matched by 30% beginning at 9 AM (EST) until funds run out. This means a donation of $100 will raise an additional $30 in matching funds, increasing the impact of your gift! We hope you will consider using this opportunity to support WCS’s efforts to secure important tiger and Asian elephant habitat in India.
Kudremukh National Park, in the heart of the Western Ghats of Karnataka, has one of the largest tracts of protected rain forests in India and harbors rare, endangered, and endemic wild flora and fauna, including tiger and lion-tailed macaque. Unfortunately, this protected forest is continuously threatened by the presence of over 1,300 families settled in remote and isolated hamlets; these families face constant conflict with wildlife, live in marooned conditions lacking even basic amenities, and are deprived of the benefits of government developmental programs with no hope for better livelihoods.
In an effort to address these problems, WCS first implemented the land purchase project in 2003 in the Bhagavathi settlement inside Kudremukh National Park, through which 8 families were successfully relocated with fair and just compensation. Since then, WCS has relocated over 55 families in Kudremukh under this model. The lands relinquished by these families are then merged with Kudremukh, thus giving them legal protection and rendering inviolate space for wildlife. In addition, WCS remains actively involved in providing effective and continued post-relocation support to the relocated families.
We are so proud to report that today, after a decade of continued efforts towards voluntary relocation driven by WCS and with support from the Government of India, more than 600 families living inside Kudremukh National Park have submitted applications seeking voluntary relocation. With your support, we can continue to assist families in moving outside key habitats and ensure that these areas are free of human-wildlife conflict and safe for tigers, elephants, and other species.
Top photo: Bhagavathi settlement, with numerous domestic livestock, before relocation efforts. Bottom photo: Bhagavathi after relocation - gaur (tiger prey) return to the area