THE FULL REPORT:
Conservation Officer: Ajay Poddar
Field Assistant: Kishor Dudhbarai
Highlights of the month:
- 1 check-dam constructed – 9 villagers participated
- 2 garbage management programs to mitigate human-wildlife conflict –62 villagers participated
- 2 foot patrols in buffer area – 19 local young villagers participated
- 3 environment education activities - 67 children participated
- 3 women’s SHG meetings were organised - 41 members attended
- 3 VEDC meetings- 50 members attended
- 2 PRT sensitisation meeting-10 team members attended
- 5 livestock management meetings- 96villagers attended
- Helped 2 villagers claim compensation for their cattle killed by carnivores
- Wildlife Week 2020 celebration
During October, we organised garbage management meetings and activities with villagers of Khutwanda. After the garbage collection, Conservation Officer Ajay Poddar gave a talk on cleanliness and precautions to be taken during the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. Programs were also organised to sanitise the area around villages, as garbage spillover and food leftovers lure wildlife into villages and cause human-wildlife conflict. We also collected over 12 kilograms of plastic litter through public participation (shramdaan). 72 children volunteered for the drives.
We have formed teams of local village young villagers who have been supporting Satpuda Foundation and Forest Department in nature conservation activities. In October, we organised joint foot patrols with them at Khutwanda forest beat along with Forest and Beat Guards.
During October, we organised students’ sensitisation through wildlife conservation awareness and environment education programs in Khutwanda, Mudholi and Bhamdeli villages. We engaged children in interactive nature game through which they learned about identification of wildlife and importance of their conservation. A nature and birdwatching trail was also organised. 67 local children participated in the activities.
Due to current lockdown situation, many forest dwelling communities are going through hardship. Members of women’s SHGs requested us to conduct livelihood awareness sessions. We organised programs on oyster mushroom cultivation and also discussed various potential small enterprises. Several SHG members agreed to take an online craft making course with the assistance of Satpuda Foundation.
In VEDC meetings we talked about how to prevent electrocution of wild animals. The meetings involved primary response teams (PRTs) and Forest Department staff. We also discussed the grazing issue and spoke about increased livestock killings by large carnivores. Some villagers have set up cattle sheds and are not allowing their cattle to graze in forest land in buffer. Types of grasses and fodder plantation were also discussed during the meetings.
We also discussed the rising number of free-ranging stray dogs in villages that often pose threat to small to medium-sized wild animals and also carry diseases with them. These dogs will be marked to be neutered by related departments/organisations.