history of Wildlife Conservation Society research in India began in the
1960's - with the first-ever scientific study of wild tigers in central
India by George Schaller. Henceforth, following a break of two decades,
Ullas Karanth accelerated the present WCS-India program as a single tiger
research project at Nagarhole in the year 1986. Ever since, WCS-India has
developed into a comprehensive collection of activities that revolve around
major global conservation strategies of WCS - scientific research, national
capacity building, site-based conservation and developing new models of
wildlife conservation. Acting synchronously, all these initiatives have
contributed significantly to wildlife conservation in India and rest of the
world during the last three decades.
Wildlife Conservation Society India Program
India is a mega-diversity country that is distinctly rich in vertebrate
fauna. This is a result of its distinct biosphere, and, evolutionary and
social histories it has faunal elements from the Indo-Malayan, Afro-tropical
and palearctic regions. India boasts of about 500 species of mammal, 2000
types of Bird and at least 30,000 kinds of insects, providing an unmatched
range and diversity.
India has an age old culture that considers
human as a part of nature rather than as its masters; that displays a higher
degree of equitableness for other life forms in contrast to any other part
of the world. Partly as a result - and partly due to India's colonial past -
several excellently protected nature reserves have been sanctioned during
the last three decades. These now cover about 4% of the land area. However,
there are threatening challenges to 'saving wildlife' in India - a billion
strong human population largely dependent on land-based occupations; high
degree of reliance on biomass for fuel, energy and structural materials;
excessive livestock densities - all now supplemented by a modern consumerist
economy growing at 6% a year; rapidly changing cultures and attitudes
towards wildlife. However, the major social and ecological revolution that
we are now seeing in rest of the tropical world had existed in India over a
1000 years ago.
In this context, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), India program
concentrates on charming endangered megafauna in protected reserves (the
last wild places) - as the most befitting social tactic for saving the
ecosystem. During its 13 years of development, WCS-India program has
flourished from a single research project to embrace all the major
strategies now pursued by WCS globally - Research; Capacity Building; Policy
Interventions and Site-based conservation.
In The Conservation Program
Centre for Wildlife Studies
Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) is a non-profit scientific research
organisation and carries out the long-term core research projects of WCS
India Program. CWS works in development of rigorous methods to monitor
wildlife populations and also conducts training for field biologists, forest
department staff and NGO volunteers in monitoring wildlife populations.
CWS collaborates with Forest Departments of the respective states where
research and conservation projects are carried out. In addition it also
closely work with Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) and the Project
Wildlife First is a proactive conservation movement with it's own unique
approach to wildlife issues. Mr.K.M.Chinnappa serves as its president;
Dr.K.Ullas Karanth of WCS is the scientific advisor. A group of volunteers
from different walks of life constitute Wildlife First team. Wildlife First
was the nodal NGO and co-ordinated the Karnataka Tiger Conservation Project
Kuduremukh Wildlife Foundation
Kuduremukh Wildlife Foundation focuses its work on conserving the unique
Kuduremukh National Park. It works on conservation, monitoring, conservation
education and community interfacing at Kuduremukh National Park.
Bhadra Wildlife Conservation Trust
Bhadra Wildlife Conservation Trust is dedicated to saving the Bhadra Tiger
Reserve, it is one of our local conservation NGO's. Nature Conservation
Guild based at Chickmagalur concentrates their conservation monitoring,
conservation education and community interfacing at Bhadra Tiger Reserve.
Nature Conservation Foundation
Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) is a non-profit organization devoted
to research and action for conservation of wildlife and natural ecosystems.
WCS has partnered with NCF on research projects of human impacts on wildlife
and habitats. Studies on the impact of livestock grazing, human hunters have
been conducted with NCF's partnership.
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) works
towards advancing protection of the environment and conservation of
National Park Conservation Education Project
Nagarahole Wildlife Conservation Education Project (NAWICOED) is the
education project of WCS, India Program started in the year 1994 works at
educating students, rural youth, teachers and others around Nagarahole
Conservation of Wildlife and Heritage of Kodagu
Conservation of Wildlife and Heritage of Kodagu (CWK) has played a
catalytic role in motivating the tribal people in Nagarahole to accept the
resettlement package offered by the Government. It has also monitored that
the promised infrastructure package has been delivered to the tribals.
Tiger Research and Conservation Trust
Tiger Research and Conservation Trust (TRACT) intends to build a long-term
intensive field conservation program in prime wildlife habitats in
Maharashtra. It aims to conserve tigers and their prey base through
community awareness programs, facilitating voluntary resettlement and
support to forest department.