We support and partner with grassroots NGOs to tackle region-specific conservation issues in a timely manner.

 

Halting the Hunting of Endangered Species

Catalysing Conservation -Halting the Hunting of Endangered Species - WCT

WCT partnered with NGOs in 2013 to halt the Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) massacre in Nagaland. Over 140,000 birds had been killed by villagers in less than a month.

A campaign, that was launched to sensitise the local communities and influence the state government to protect the falcons, has put an end to organised falcon hunting in 2013.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Habitat Restoration

Catalysing Conservation - Painted Stork - WCTFrom 2012 and 2016, WCT supported Lifeline for Nature, a local NGO, to restore Keoladeo Ghana National Park (popularly called the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary). An UNESCO World Heritage site, the wetland supports an incredible amount of biodiversity – over 365 bird, 375 plant and 50 fish species are found here in addition to several species of mammals, reptiles and invertebrates.

An invasive weed (Prosopis juliflora) had spread rapidly through the wetland, endangering the nesting sites of several migratory birds.

With WCT support, over 100 hectares of the wetland were restored, and phenomenally, the year 2016-17 recorded the highest bird population in the previous 25 years!

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Helping NGOs to Scale-up

Catalysing Conservation - Helping NGOs - WCT

By providing seed funding and technical support, WCT is able to build a strong on-ground presence and scale-up region-specific conservation and development work. WCT provides funding to over 60 grassroots NGOs.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Helping NGOs Reach Out to Students

Catalysing Conservation - Helping NGOs Reach out to Students - WCT

WCT supports NGOs working for children with learning difficulties. At WCT’s Anandgarh facility, set up by Aide et Action in Bhopal, students come in for personalised classes before regular school hours.

In Rajasthan, the WCT-supported Gramin Shiksha Kendra sends resource persons to schools around the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve to assist teachers in devising innovative ways of teaching.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Catalysing Release of Confiscated Turtles

Catalysing Conservation - Catalysing Release of Confiscated Turtles - WCT

WCT supported Mayur Kamath, the Honorary Wildlife Warden of Mumbai, in releasing turtles that were confiscated by the Maharashtra forest department in Sundarbans Tiger Reserve.

Of the 156 turtles, 126 were Black-spotted Pond Turtles (Geoclemys hamiltoni) (Vulnerable) and the remaining were Narrow-headed Turtles (Chitra indica) (Endangered).

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Donating a Rapid Response Unit to ECO-PRO

Catalysing Conservation - Donating a Rapid Response Unit to ECO-PRO - WCT

ECO-PRO, in close association with the Maharashtra Forest Department, conducts wildlife rescues and mitigates human-wildlife conflict around the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve.

The WCT-donated 4WD Rapid Response Unit has greatly enhanced ECO-PRO’s ability to rescue snakes, large carnivores and crocodiles among other wildlife.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Donating a Weather Station

WCT donated a ‘Davis Vantage Vue’ precision weather station to the Hypnale Research Station situated in Kuveshi, Karnataka. It is being used to monitor and analyse weather in the Castle Rock-Dudhsagar forest region and is available to both academic and conservation fraternity.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Grant for the Conservation of Fishing Cat

Catalysing Conservation - Grant for the Conservation of Fishing Cat - WCT

WCT awarded a grant to a wildlife biologist to help conserve the only tropical wetland cat species in South Asia – the Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) – in the Howrah district of West Bengal. Her award-winning efforts have helped safeguard marshlands and increase conservation awareness.

Her work encouraged four village governing bodies to ask the State Biodiversity Board to recognise their area as a Biodiversity Heritage Site.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Outreach Programme Organised by TREE

Catalysing Conservation - Outreach Programme Organised by TREE - WCT

WCT supported ‘The Planet and You’, an outreach programme conducted by the Trust for Environmental Education (TREE).

This conservation education programme targeted students from 21 schools in the districts of Virudhunagar, Tiruchirapalli and Pudukkottai in Tamil Nadu.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Supporting Animal Welfare Efforts

Catalysing Conservation - Supporting Animal Welfare Efforts - WCT

WCT has been consistently supporting the efforts of The Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA).

WCT also supported the Thane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Thane-SPCA) in setting up a bird rescue centre at the Karnala Bird Sanctuary in Maharashtra.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Student Conference on Conservation Science

Catalysing Conservation - Student Conference on Conservation Science - WCTWCT co-funded the Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) in Bengaluru from 2013 to 2016.

SCCS is India’s premier conservation conference where students, researchers, scientists, and experts from across the country share their work and debate on important conservation issues.

Several workshops are conducted during the conference to provide conservation insights to the participants.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Reducing Firewood Collection in Bandipur

Catalysing Conservation - Reducing Firewood Collection - Bandipur - WCT

Around 200 villages, harbouring 35,000 families, surround the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka. Estimates suggest that a whopping 350 tons of firewood was being collected by villagers on a daily basis. Namma Sangha has been working to reduce their dependence on the forest, and has provided LPG connections to around 30,000 families.

WCT has donated two vehicles to Namma Sangha to ensure efficient distribution of LPG cylinders.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Himalayan Homestay Programme

Catalysing Conservation - Himalayan Homestay Programme - WCT

WCT has provided financial support to the Himalayan Homestay programme run by the Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust in Ladakh.

This programme aims to provide alternate livelihood options to villagers who face livestock depredation by snow leopards.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Homestays at Kaas

Catalysing Conservation - Homestays at Kaas - WCT

Kaas plateau, located in the northern Western Ghats, is famous for its mass flowering in the months of August and September.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists and nature lovers visit the area during these months to enjoy this spectacle.

WCT has supported the state government initiative of establishing homestays in local villages to ensure that the villagers benefit from tourism and in return act as guardians of the plateau.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Electrifying Remote Villages with Solar Power

Catalysing Conservation - Electrifying Remote Villages with Solar Power - WCT

WCT has supported a project targeted at providing solar micro-grids to Khamda, Kinnikheda, Khokmar, Raksha and Kund—five extremely remote villages with no electricity in the buffer zone of the Melghat Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra.

With help from Bank of America, WCT electrified a total of 237 household connections amounting to 51.7 KV.

This programme will go a long way in empowering the villagers and reducing their dependence on the forest. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Firearms Training for Frontline Forest Staff

Catalysing Conservation - Firearms Training for Frontline Forest Staff - WCT

WCT has been funding workshops on arms use and maintenance at the Pakke Tiger Reserve since 2015.

The Pakke forest department organises the workshop with the help of army personnel from 11 Garhwal Rifles for the frontline forest staff of the Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh, the Nameri Tiger Reserve, Assam, and a few other protected areas.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

TERI Fellowships

Catalysing Conservation - TERI Fellowships – WCT

The TERI University is India’s leading institution in the field of sustainable development.

WCT has provided funds to the university to support fellowships for Masters students pursuing research in the fields of Biodiversity Conservation, Climate Change, and Conservation of Water Resources.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

University Tie-ups

Catalysing Conservation - University Tie-ups - WCT

WCT has collaborated with the Mumbai School of Economics and Public Policy and the Department of Applied Psychology, University of Mumbai, to gain technical inputs and guidance for our Conservation Behavior division.

Several Masters students are being guided by WCT staff for their dissertations.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Mentoring Masters Students

Catalysing Conservation - Mentoring Masters Students - WCT

WCT conducts both theory and practical sessions on Wildlife Population Estimation for the Masters programme in Biodiversity, Wildlife Conservation and Management at the Bhavan’s College, Andheri, Mumbai.

The field sessions for the students are conducted at the Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Endowment Fund for Masters Programme

Catalysing Conservation - Endowment Fund for Masters Programme - WCT

WCT provides an endowment fund for the Masters Programme in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru.

Fifteen students graduate from here every two years. The conservation output of the alumni is evident from nearly 150 scientific papers and several prestigious awards.

Also, several alumni are involved in on-ground conservation of highly-endangered species and ecosystems. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Grant For Genetic Research at NCBS

Catalysing Conservation - Grant For Genetic Research at NCBS - WCT

Genetic monitoring using microsatellite markers is helping us understand the demographic and evolutionary changes occurring in wild populations.

Recent studies have opened up avenues in terms of the best available marker set for a given species.

WCT has provided a grant to the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) to identify Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers suitable for identification of individual tigers from fecal samples. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Ex Gratia Support for Families of Forest Staff

Catalysing Conservation - Ex Gratia Support for Families of Forest Staff - WCT

As a token of solidarity, WCT provides financial aid to the families of frontline forest staff suffering from chronic illnesses or injuries while performing their duty.

We also supplement the state forest department’s efforts by providing ex gratia financial support to the family of deceased forest staff.

Additionally, we also support the treatment of the staff of other conservation NGOs. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Ecological Assessment of Erstwhile Closed Areas

Catalysing Conservation - Ecological Assessment of Erstwhile Closed Areas - WCT

Rajasthan had designated a unique category of Protected Area called Closed Area (CA). These wildlife rich areas enjoyed protection under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972; however, an amendment to this Act has resulted in the loss of their legal status, thus degrading many CAs.

WCT supported the Rajasthan Forest Department in understanding the ecological status and relevance of CAs so that efforts can be made to convert critical CAs into Community Reserves.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Spreading Awareness among Local Communities

Catalysing Conservation - Spreading Awareness among Local Communities - WCT

WCT continues to support NGOs working at the grassroots level to spread awareness among people living in remote forested areas regarding the positive spin-off of tiger and forest conservation on their well-being, using slide shows, exhibitions and street plays. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Electrifying Schools in the Buffer Zone of Kanha Tiger Reserve using Solar Energy

Catalysing Conservation - Electrifying Schools in the Buffer Zone of Kanha Tiger Reserve using Solar Energy - WCT

WCT installed 19 solar power systems benefitting 38 buildings including schools, hostels and anganwadis in extremely remote villages in the buffer zone of Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh.

These schools and their hostels either had no electricity or inadequate, erratic supply.

We hope that the drastic improvement in the living conditions of the students would rub off on their grades. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Assisting the Government in Voluntary Resettlement Programmes

Catalysing Conservation - Assisting the Government in Voluntary Resettlement Programmes - WCT

WCT supports the voluntary resettlement programme of the government for creating inviolate spaces for wildlife.

WCT has provided facilities such as hand pumps for drinking water, borewells for irrigation, medical camps, toilets, and community halls in villages that have voluntarily relocated out of the core areas of tiger reserves including Tadoba-Andhari, Nagarahole, Sahyadri, Melghat and Ranthambhore. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Facilitating Participation of Veterinary Doctors in International Training Programmes

Catalysing Conservation - Facilitating Participation of Veterinary Doctors in International Training Programmes - WCT

WCT supports the participation of veterinary doctors working with the forest department and even Deputy Conservators from tiger reserves in the course on ‘Chemical and Physical Restraint of Wild Animals’ conducted by the Zimbabwe Veterinary Association Wildlife Group at the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in Zimbabwe, Africa. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

You Are The Wild

Catalysing Conservation - You Are The Wild - WCT

WCT in its quest to spread conservation awareness created a two-minute video titled “You Are The Wild.” Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen lent her voice to the video that aimed at bringing out the link between forests and humans.

The video was aired in several hundred theatres across India just before movie screenings. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Save Our Tigers Campaign

Catalysing Conservation - Save Our Tigers Campaign - WCT

WCT partnered with NDTV and Aircel on the ‘Save our Tigers’ campaign in 2010, 2012 and 2014. In the first two seasons, the campaign involved 12-hour telethons on NDTV 24×7, which had a viewership of over 100 million across 70 countries.

From the funds raised through the telethons, WCT designed and deployed 43 Rapid Response Units (RRUs) in 34 tiger reserves in 2010, and equipped over 650 protection huts in tiger reserves across India in 2012. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Workshop on the Ecology of the Endangered South Asian River Dolphin

Catalysing Conservation - Workshop on the Ecology of the Endangered South Asian River Dolphin - WCT

WCT co-funded a workshop on monitoring and studying the ecology of the endangered South Asian River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica) in Kahalgaon, Bihar.

The workshop focused on statistically robust methods for estimating dolphin populations; the hydrological and eomorphological dynamics of riverine habitats; the acoustic behaviour and sensory ecology of the dolphin; and the social, cultural, political, and economic factors affecting dolphin conservation. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Facilitating Reintroduction of Gharial in Harike-Beas River System

Catalysing Conservation - Facilitating Reintroduction of Gharial in Harike-Beas River System - WCT

The Government of Punjab wants to reintroduce Gharial in the Harike-Beas river system. WCT’s wildlife veterinarian partnered with the TSA-India team that conducted a capacity building workshop and inspected potential release sites for their suitability.

The day-long workshop at the Chhatbir zoo was aimed at improving Gharial husbandry and imparting technical training for the phase-wise reintroduction programme. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Nisarg Anubhav Programme for Tribal Children

Catalysing Conservation - Nisarg Anubhav Programme for Tribal Children - WCT

WCT joined hands with the Maharashtra Forest Department to provide hands-on nature education to students from schools situated in the buffer zone and corridors of the Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra.

Over 400 students learned about the benefits of forests, importance of conservation, and the causes of human-animal conflict. The students also went on guided safaris to get a first-hand experience of wildlife.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Tiger Tech – New Age Solutions for Co-existence

Catalysing Conservation - Tiger Tech – New Age Solutions for Co-existence - WCT

WCT President was appointed on the jury to assess the innovation and efficacy of conservation-oriented projects prepared by teams, which comprised engineering students, NGOs and the general public.

‘Tiger Tech 2018’ was organised by the Melghat Tiger Reserve to channelise the youth’s passion for conservation to seek technological solutions to problems faced by forests and wildlife.

Over 85 projects from the field of architecture, computer science and engineering were submitted from across India. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Equipping Conservation NGOs – Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra

Catalysing Conservation - Equipping Conservation NGOs - Sahyadri Nisarg Mitra - WCT

In December 2016, WCT donated a Force Gurkha 4WD vehicle to Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, a Chiplun-based NGO, for conducting field surveys, studying the behavioural ecology and abundance of the highly endangered Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), assisting in the vulture monitoring programme across Raigad district, and promoting the citizen science project ‘E-mammal’, which seeks to involve school children in studying and collecting vital data on mammals in their neighbourhood.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Equipping Conservation NGOs – Nature Conservation Society (Melghat)

Catalysing Conservation - Equipping Conservation NGOs – Nature Conservation Society (Melghat) - WCT

WCT supported Nature Conservation Society, an NGO working in Melghat Tiger Reserve, by equipping its newly constructed research cottages and dormitory at the community centre for tribals.

The research cottages and dormitory were equipped with solar roof-top systems and solar water heating systems. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

School for Aquatic Wildlife Biology and Conservation

Catalysing Conservation - School for Aquatic Wildlife Biology and Conservation - WCT

WCT supported the “School for Aquatic Wildlife Biology and Conservation”—a course offered by the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), India, in collaboration with the Madhya Pradesh Biodiversity Board at the National Chambal Sanctuary.

The week-long course exposed ecologists, conservationists, veterinarians, students and forest officials to the ecology, research, husbandry practices, and conservation strategies employed when working in an aquatic environment. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Equipping Conservation NGOs – Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (AARS)

Catalysing Conservation - Equipping Conservation NGOs – Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (AARS) - WCT

WCT donated a 4WD Mahindra Thar vehicle to AARS to facilitate timely rescue of the King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), among other wild animals, thereby helping in reducing the ever-increasing human-wildlife conflict.

ARRS has been running a successful King Cobra conservation and rescue programme for several years. However, in the absence of a 4WD vehicle, the staff was forced to rescue snakes on motocycles, exposing themselves to life-threatening situations.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Conservation Photography Exhibition

Catalysing Conservation - Conservation Photography Exhibition - WCT

WCT co-sponsored a photography exhibition by seasoned conservation photographer Aditya ‘Dicky’ Singh in New Delhi in February 2018.

The aim of the exhibition was to create awareness about tigers and other wildlife issues; and profits from the sale of prints were to be used for conservation projects around the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Supporting Budding Conservation Biologists

Catalysing Conservation - Supporting Budding Conservation Biologists - WCT

WCT regularly assists research students with financial or time constraints by lending equipment on returnable basis, so that they can carry out field work within a stipulated time frame without compromising on quality.

The structure of MSc programmes puts tremendous pressure on students if they are unable to secure adequate funding on time. WCT assists such students so that they are able to do justice to the project they envisioned. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Protecting Pakke Tiger Reserve

Catalysing Conservation - Protecting Pakke Tiger Reserve - WCT

WCT has been strengthening the protection efforts at Pakke Tiger Reserve, Arunachal Pradesh, by providing rations for forest guards and watchers.

In January 2017, WCT co-funded the three-day Pakke-Paga Festival, which was jointly organised by the forest department and local communities, to popularise the role of communities in conservation.

Visitors were urged to adopt a hornbill nest with minimum annual contribution of INR 5,000/-. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

 

 

Header image © Shashank Dalvi