Monday, February 17, 2020

Activity Update December 2019: Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve

Chiwanda - Villagers watch a film on wildlife conservation

Kanargaon- Students learn about wildlife through an interactive nature game

Kanargaon- Village eco-development commitee meeting
to discuss fodder plantation

Kondegaon - Members of women's self-help group attend
an awareness session on alternative livelihood options

Kondegaon - Students learn about floral diversity of the landscape
 during our nature trail

Mudholi - Local youths volunteer for our foot patrol 

Mudholi - Students collect 10 kilograms of plastic litter
 during our garbage management programme

Mudholi- Cattle owners who are willing to use cattle sheds
to reduce grazing pressure over forest

Mudholi- Students and teachers attend a classroom lecture
on wildlife conservation

Wadala- Members of village eco-development committee
and other villagers attend a meeting on human-wildlife conflict

Conservation Officer:  Ajay Poddar
Field Assistant:  Kishor Dudhbarai

Highlights of the month: SEE TABLE 1
  • 8 awareness programs on human-wildlife conflict - 155 villagers and students attended
  • 2 garbage management programs to prevent human-wildlife conflict –80 students participated
  • 1 foot patrol – 10 villagers participated
  • 3 Nature club activities - Nature and bird watching trails and drawing competition – 76 students participated
  • 8 Environment education programs - 228 students and 14 teachers attended
  • Oyster mushroom cultivation training- 10 young villagers participated
  • 5 women’s SHG meetings were organised - 74 members attended
  • 3 VEDC meetings were organised - 66 members attended
  • Free medical camps in 6 villages-  160 patients treated 

During December, we organised several meetings with villagers focusing on reducing human-wildlife conflict. We introduced them to recently released human-wildlife conflict resolution guidelines issued by the Maharashtra Forest Department.  In order to spread awareness, we spoke to the community members about potential threats and the danger of venturing into forest areas for fuel wood, mahua, tendu collection etc. As the Tadoba area has a good tiger breeding population and other large carnivores, many encounters turn fatal, often leading to retaliatory killing of wildlife by villagers. Resolving issues like garbage dumps around villages, cattle grazing, minor forest produce (MFP) collection and unemployment, help in reducing human-wildlife confrontation.  

We also focused on wildlife movement outside protected areas (PAs). Wild animals like blue bulls, spotted deer, sambar deer and wild boar also pose a threat to villagers by raiding crops, damaging property and sometimes attacking farmers. Farmers suffer losses in these depredations. Farmers were told to maximise the usage of solar-powered fencing around their farms to deter animals. Our team is preparing a list of farmers who are willing to set up solar-powered fencing around their farms.  155 villagers attended these meetings. 

We organised garbage management meetings and activities with villagers of Mudholi and Dewada. Programs were 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 10 kilograms of plastic litter through public participation (voluntary work). 80 students along with their teachers volunteered for these activities.
We organised a foot patrol involving local young villagers in an area prone to hunting, mainly of birds. Our team patrolled an area of 4 kilometers along with the local forest guard. 10 people participated in the patrol. 

Environment education - SEE TABLE 2

During December, we organised environment education programs in Chiwada, Kanhargaon, Junona, Dewada, Udiyatola, Adegaon and Bhamdeli villages. We  organised these programs with students and teachers in order to make them aware of the importance of biodiversity and conservation. We taught them about nature and wildlife’s value through wildlife films, documentaries, presentations and classroom lectures. 168 students and 14 teachers participated in the programs. 
Students of Nature clubs  ‘Ashwal’ and ‘Chimni’ from Adegaon and Kondegaon  participated in interactive nature games and bird watching trails. 76 students participated in these activities. 

Employment Cell - SEE TABLE 3

We organised 3 village eco-development committee (VEDC) meetings and 5 self-help group (SHG) meetings, focusing on alternative livelihoods which would reduce dependence on forests that leads to human-wildlife conflict and degradation of forests.  140 villagers attended these meetings. In the SHG meetings, we discussed several livelihood related issues. We also formed groups of interested members who are willing to be trained in making paper bags and in embroidery. 

In Chiwanda, we introduced the villagers to mushroom cultivation and finalised a location for cultivation.  10 interested local farmers attended the meeting. 

Mobile Health Unit - SEE TABLE 4
During December, we organised free medical camps in 6 villages - Adegaon, UdiyaTola, Junona, Dewada, Bhamdeli and Sitarampeth. 160 patients were treated in our camps. 

Activity Update December 2019: IUCN Project in the Pench-Bor Tiger Corridor

Students and teachers of Pench-Bor corridor villages at Ambakhori
during our nature camp 

Sillari - Students from Pench-Bor corridor villages on our nature trail

Sillari - Students from Pench-Bor corridor villages visit
Tiger Tale Interpretation Centre at Sillari, Pench Tiger Reserve

Telgaon - Invasive species of plants seen around the recharge lake
before our desilting work

 Telgaon - Members of Gram Panachayat participate in
planning the desilting work

Telgaon - Members of Gram Panchayat at the inauguration of desilting work

Telgaon - Recharge lake before the start of desilting work

Telgaon - Recharge lake after the completion of desilting work

Telgaon - Removal of invasive plant species
and preparing the land for plantation

Telgaon - Students of Narendra High School get ready for our nature camp 

Umari - Students and teachers of Sarvoday High School
leaving for our nature camp

Mandar Pingle – Conservation Officer
  • Silt removal and habitat restoration from lake in Telgaon village
  • 2-day residential nature education camp organised at Pench Tiger Reserve Maharashtra; 30 students and 6 teachers participated
As part of IUCN’s Tiger Corridor project, Satpuda Foundation undertook de-silting of a recharge lake in Telgaon village in Pench-Bor corridor. The recharge lake is spread over an area of 0.6 acre and invasive species like lantana camara had encroached upon the land surrounding the lake. The silt from the recharge lake was removed and the lake deepened. The invasive species have been uprooted and the land has been cleared for plantation work. The inauguration of the work was done by Mr Taywade, member of the Gram Sabha (village council). Other members and prominent villagers were present during the inaugural ceremony of the work. Sarpanch Mrs Chanda Gaydhane expressed her gratitude towards IUCN, and Maharashtra State Forest Department for funding, and Satpuda Foundation for undertaking this work as it will help solve water shortage issues for her village.
As part of the IUCN project, Satpuda Foundation organised a 2-day residential nature camp at Pench Tiger Reserve, Sillari on 27 and 28 December 2019. 30 students from Narendra High School (HS), Telgaon, and Sarvoday HS, Umari, along with 6 teachers participated in the camp. On day 1, the students learnt about the basics of tiger ecology at Tiger Tale Interpretation Centre. Later they learnt about the concepts of ecosystem, habitat, and the importance of insects, birds and animals in nature. The students also learned to spot and identify birds during the trail. Signs of the presence and movement of leopard, sloth bear and spotted deer were seen during nature trails organised by our team.

On the concluding day of the nature camp, the students went on a safari ride in the jungle and observed gaur, sambar deer, spotted deer, peafowl, Red-crested Pochards, Ruddy Shelducks, and Eurasian Wigeons. A visit to a medicinal plantation in Sillari was organised. Later in the afternoon, through nature games, students learnt the importance of conservation. During discussion sessions, students came to the conclusion that forests and biodiversity are absent near their villages and that they will make collective efforts to improve the situation and support the Forest Department in conservation initiatives. Teachers also expressed their willingness to support nature education programmes in their schools. 

Activity Update December 2019: Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve

Check dam built by students attending our nature camp

Our volunteers clean a waterhole in Compartment 56

Students learn about pug marks during our nature trail

 Students on our bird-watching trail 

Students perform a skit to promote awareness about conservation
among the villagers

Students set off on a jungle safari as part of the activities
during our nature camp

Waterhole in Compartment 56 being cleaned and repaired

Jindatola - Students and teachers at our nature camp 

Jindatola - Students learn to identify animals through nature games

Kodebarra - Students clear plastic litter from the village

odebarra - Volunteers clean the area around a hand pump
in a community assistance programme 


Mukund Dhurve – Assistant Conservation Officer

Highlights - SEE TABLE 1
  • Joined  Forest Department staff on foot patrols on 4 occasions
  • 1 voluntary work program to clean area next to water hole 
  • 6 voluntary work programs to clean area next to hand pumps
  • 6 anti-plastic programs 
  • Organised 2-day nature camp at Jindatola ;  35 students and 5 teachers present
  • 1 check dam built in Compartment no. 56
  • 3 young villagers identified for driving training program 

Our team organised a program on December 28 to clean and repair a waterhole in Compartment No. 56. 

We organised 6 community assistance programs on December 1, 3, 6, 13, 16 and 22 to clear areas around hand pumps at Chorkhamara, Bolunda, Thadezari, Pitezari, Umarzari and Kodebarra respectively. Unemployed young villagers from Mangezari participated in the programs, led by Mukund. 

Water had spilled over while people drew from the hand pumps and had stagnated, leading to proliferation of mosquitoes and insects. Our teams cleared the area, removing scum and organic growth and dug canals to drain away the water.

Our team joined the Forest Department in day and night patrols in Compartment No. 110, 109, 110 and on the path linking Mangezari to Jindatola. Besides our staff, volunteers from a youth club at Mangezari also joined in the patrols. The youth club was set up with our assistance and is mentored by our Conservation Officer Mukund Dhurve.

During the month, our team organised 6 anti-plastic programs to clean polythene/plastic litter from villages. The programs were organised on December 1, 3, 6, 13, 16 and 22 at Chorkhamara, Bolunda, Thadezari, Pitezari, Umarzari and Kodebarra villages respectively. Mukund organised the programs. They were attended by villagers and village eco-development committee (VEDC) members. The plastic litter has been kept in our Mangezari office and will be sent to Tiroda for recycling. 

Education - SEE TABLE 2

There were 6 education programs in December.

On December 20 and 21, we organised a 2-day nature camp at Jindatola. During the camp, we organised bird-watching and nature trails, a wildlife safari, construction of a check dam, an anti-plastic program, a nature game and a skit based on a conservation theme. This camp was organised for 35 students and 5 teachers. Range Forest Officer Shri Akare attended the camp. 

On December 28, we cleaned and repaired a waterhole in Compartment No. 56. 

Employment Cell Training activities - SEE TABLE 3

During this month, we identified 3 young villagers to attend a driving training program at Ashok Leyland Driving Training Centre, Chhindwara. The expenses for the month-long training program will be borne by the Forest Department.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Activity Update December 2019: Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra

Ambazari beat - Volunteers patrol the jungle 

Ghatpendari - Our colleague Bandu assists villagers
in applying for compensation for crop damaged by wildlife

Ghatpendari - Our colleague Bandu inspects crop damage
caused by wild animals
Kirangi Sarra - Women attend awareness meeting on Self-Help Groups

Sawara - Students learn about local plants on our nature trail 

Shiladevi - Check dam built by our volunteers
Shiladevi - Villagers build a check dam 

Shiladevi - Our cattle vaccination drive

 Sillari - Villagers who attended our workshop on Primary Response Teams

Suwardhara - Students of village school set off on our nature trail 
Usaripar - Women villagers attend our meeting
to promote awareness about SHGs
Wanera - Our colleague Balkrishna conducts
an environment education programme in the village school

Sawara - a nature game to explain conservation concepts

Bandu Uikey – Assistant Conservation Officer
Dilip Lanjewar – Field Assistant
Balkrishna Bagmare – Field Assistant
  • Organised training workshop for ‘Primary Response Team’ to reduce and prevent human-wildlife conflict; 32 young villagers participated
  • 3 foot patrols in forest organised; 15 villagers participated
  • 1 check dam constructed and 1 check dam repaired; 27 villagers volunteered to help
  • Assisted  Forest Department in organising one-day nature camp; 78 students participated
  • Assisted Forest Department and Animal Husbandry Department staff in cattle vaccination program; 225 cattle vaccinated
  • Organised 16 classroom nature education programs; 443 students attended 
  • Helped 8 young villagers get jobs
  • One women’s self help group (SHG) of 12 members  formed in Shiladevi
  • Treated 208 patients in free health camps in 6 villages
  • Assisted 2 villagers to apply for compensation for crop damage by wild animals; provided information regarding compensation scheme to villagers

Activity - SEE TABLE 1

On 14 December, Balkrishna Bagmare led 5 villagers of Suwardhara on a forest foot patrol. Forest guard Mr Sunil Waghmare along with forest labourer Mr Duryodhan Dhurve joined the team. During the patrol, the team searched for signs of the presence and movement of wild animals like tiger, leopard, sloth bear and herbivores, in the forest area adjoining the village. Human-wildlife conflict can be prevented by alerting the villagers beforehand when there are signs of the presence of wild animals. The patrolling team also looked out for signs of illegal activities like encroachments on forest lands, tree felling and grazing. However no signs of any illegal activities were recorded. 

Similar foot patrols were organised by Balkrishna with 5 villagers of Shiladevi on December 15 and by Dilip Lanjewar on 22 December with 5 villagers from Khapa. No illegal activities were reported during either of these patrols.
On 26 December, a Primary Response Team (PRT) workshop was organised at Amaltas Complex in Sillari. Satpuda Foundation organised the workshop jointly with the Maharashtra Forest Department. 32 young villagers from Sawara, Usripar, Ghoti, Kadbikheda and Khapa villages of Pauni Unified Control Range (UFC) (buffer area) of Pench Tiger Reserve participated in the workshop. The workshop aimed to teach the villagers ways to prevent and reduce human-wildlife conflict. The trainers and trainees discussed the concept of ‘co-existence’ with wildlife. Issues such as crop damage, cattle kill or attacks on humans by wild animals and ways to prevent such incidents were discussed. Information on the Government’s compensation scheme for such losses was given to the attendees. The members of the primary response teams have volunteered to assist Forest Department staff in preventing and reducing human-wildlife conflict. The teams will participate in regular forest patrols around their villages and create awareness about these issues amongst their fellow villagers. During the workshop, Mr Pratik Modwan, Range Forest Officer – Pauni UFC range along with Satpuda Foundation’s Conservation Officers Mandar Pingle and Bandu Uikey and field assistant Dilip Lanjewar guided the young villagers through audio-visual presentations and interactive discussions.

On 5 December, Dilip Lanjewar organised a voluntary work program to repair a check dam on a stream in Shivkund near Wagholi village. 15 volunteers from Wagholi village took part in the voluntary work program and assisted in removing waste accumulated near the check dam and rearranged the sand bags used earlier for construction of the dam. Some of the sand bags were dislodged during the monsoon rains, damaging the dam. By repairing and cleaning the area around the check dam, the flow of water in the stream was arrested once more. This check dam will prove beneficial for both farmers and wild animals.

On 24 December, Balkrishna Bagmare along with 12 volunteers from Shiladevi constructed a check dam on a stream located in the fields, 500 meters away from the village. Sand-filled gunny bags, boulders and rocks were used to construct the dam. Thanks to this check dam, water will be available for farmers up to February. Earlier, the water availability was up to mid-January.

On 13 December, a cattle vaccination program was organised by Animal Husbandry Department and Maharashtra Forest Department. Bandu Uikey assisted in the program by encouraging villagers to get their cattle vaccinated. By vaccinating the cattle, spread of diseases from domestic animals to wildlife can be prevented as domestic animals often stray into the forest in search of fodder. Bandu encouraged 70 villagers to vaccinate 150 cows from the village.

Similarly, Balkrishna encouraged 25 villagers from Shiladevi village to vaccinate 75 cattle.

On 19 December, Balkrishna took  78 students of Zilla Parishad schools of Suwardhara, Shiladevi, Ambazari and Saleghat on nature trails. A one-day nature camp was organised by Maharashtra Forest Department for which Satpuda Foundation provided the trainers. Balkrishna taught students the ecological importance of birds, insects and animals. Students spotted numerous birds, spiders and saw signs of wildlife during the nature trails.

On 21 December, Dilip Lanjewar took 20 students of Zilla Parishad school of Sawara village on a nature trail. During the trail, Dilip taught the students to observe birds found in the forest area near their village. Dilip explained that birds are indicators of health of ecosystem. 

Classroom education - SEE TABLE 2

In December 2019, Satpuda Foundation staff organised 16 classroom programs to sensitise students on wildlife conservation and environment protection issues.  443 students were present during these sessions. 

Employment, Placements and Trainings - SEE TABLE 3

In December, our staff assisted 8 young villagers to get jobs. 
Balkrishna organised a meeting of women from Shiladevi on 1 December and assisted 12 women to form an SHG called Parivartan Mahila Bachat Gat. Mrs Indravati Acchelal Naikam was elected as president of the group. Balkrishna assisted the group to open a bank account and register itself with Panchayat Samiti, Parseoni taluka.

On 12 December, Dilip Lanjewar organised a meeting of 30 women from Usripar village to explain benefits of self help groups. Dilip explained that by forming SHGs, the members can improve their economic condition, support each other in times of emergency and raise issues pertaining to women during village meetings. He also gave information regarding various schemes being implemented by government agencies for women’s self help groups. Range Forest Officer, Pauni UFC range Mr Modwan was also present during the meeting. He provided information regarding benefits that can be availed of by the women’s self help groups through 'Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Jan Van Yojna' being implemented by the Maharashtra State Forest Department.

A similar meeting was organised by Dilip in Kirangi Sarra village, attended by 18 women.

Mobile Health Unit - SEE TABLE 4

There were 6 medical camps held in December in which 208 patients were treated.