Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Learn how to be a "Wildlife Conservation Trainer" - NCSA/SF course for young nature lovers

Nature Conservation Society Amravati and Satpuda Foundation have launched a joint programme for young conservationists to become professional "Wildlife Conservation Trainers." Interested young nature lovers would be given an opportunity to learn training techniques under experts like Kishor Rithe, Prof. Nishikant Kale, Prof. Prakash Laddha and Dr. G.N. Vankhede. Specialised training would be given while conducting different training programmes for CBSE school students in Melghat. Young nature lovers can apply for this programme.

If selected, you would be provided an opportunity to participate in the training programme. You will get a certificate of completion at the end of the programme. If the person undergoes at least 4 such training programmes, we will assess them and award them the certificate as a "Wildlife Conservation Trainer". We will also provide these qualified trainers an opportunity to work with NCSA and SF in arranging several training programmes for us in the Satpuda Landscape for which they will also receive honorarium along with travel and other expenses.

Topics covered in the training course:

1) How to conduct a nature study camp
2) How to guide nature walks - exlaining bio-diversity importance properly.
3) How to conduct different nature games
4) Ample knowledge about hard-core conservation issues through lectures of experts
5) How to conduct different field assignments (on conservation and livelihood issues)
6) Time management and activity management
7) Jungle ethics, discipline required for sustainable living
8) Ways of giving back something to the earth

You should have completed your graduation (in any branch) but MUST have a passion to become a wildlife conservation trainer.

The training fees:
The training fees for trainees would be only Rs.500 per course. This includes mainly their food expenses. They need to bear their own travel and other expenses. Free accommodation and training material.

Dates for course:
Apply for February and March training programmes as follows -

1 Feb-6 Feb 2010
15 Feb-20 Feb 2010
22 Feb to 27 Feb 2010
12 March to 16 March 2010

Selection: The applicants should contact - Rajashree Khalap (rajashree.khalap@gmail.com), Manish Sawankar (manish.sawankar@gmail.com) and Dinesh Kothari (dineshkothari1@gmail.com) and submit their applications. We encourage electronic communication only. The applicants would be informed about their selection in six working days from the date of their application.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wildlifers can participate in wildlife estimation exercise, Melghat Tiger Reserve

Melghat Tiger Reserve is presently busy in planning their wildlife (carnivore and herbivore) estimation exercise by the line transect method. The Field Director has decided to take the help of serious wildlifers. Those interested in participating in the exercise should enroll their names with Mr. Vishal Bansod (09422916150) before 20th January 2010. You need to fill up their form and submit it to Vishal. The scrutiny committee will soon inform you about your selection on 21st January.

The estimation exercise will take place from 27th January '10 to 2nd February '10 .You need to be physically fit as there is a lot of walking involved, and you will also have to follow all the rules and regulations of MTR.

Winter Nature Study Camp at Melghat - extreme cold didn't bother these enthusiastic youngsters!

NCSA's beautiful Community Resource Centre (CRC) at Melghat is the hub of many exciting activities - it's a biological research station, a meeting place for villagers and government officials, the venue for many skill-building workshops, an organic vegetable farm - and last but not least, it's where bands of enthusiastic school kids come for regular nature study camps.

A report by our Conservation Officer/Education Officer (and Sanctuary Young Naturalist Award winner) Vishal Bansod, on the Nature Study Camp, December 25-28, 2009:

Above: Some of the participants at the Camp

Above: Nature Study Camp group, December 2009

Above: Trekking

Above: The kids with Forest Protection Camp staff, Matakol

Above: At a tribal village

Below: Nature game

“What do you mean by Nature? Conservation? This is the place where you can actually understand these complex terms and issues,” said one of the participants of the Nature Study Camp organized by NCSA during 25-28 December, '09 at our Muthawa Community Resource Centre.

42 kids from Shri Ramkrishna Krida Vidhalaya, Rajeshvari Vidhya Mandir, Golden Kids English High School and School of Scholars participated in this four day Nature Study Camp along with four teachers.

After reaching to the campsite a well-planned programme was conducted right from the initial ice-breaking to the evaluation of the camp. On the first day Vishal Bansod gave an introductory talk to the kids about the area i.e. Melghat Tiger Reserve. During the evening the kids toured the Community Resource Centre (CRC) where they got information about organic farming, bio- diesel and its significance, the plant nursery and its working, water conservation, waste water treatment and other topics. Mr.Kishor Rithe made this visit more meaningful by making it easy for the kids to understand the importance and working of the CRC.

The first day started early in morning with a nature walk. We divided the children into three different groups and visited Thadada Area, Matakol Forest Protection Camp and Junada waterhole. This was a great experience for the kids because many of them for the first time entered a forest on foot. The kids got the opportunity to see many species of birds, plants and butterflies along with mammal pugmarks, a machan, waterholes etc. Afterwards the kids took part in a lively discussion on what they had learned during the walk.

We held some brainstorming sessions conducted by NCSA President Prof. Nishikant Kale and Mr. Prakash Laddha on eco-friendly festivals, Reuse-Reduce-Recycle, climate change and other topics. All the topics were explained with the help of different interactive nature games. These games played a vital role in giving the children important information informally, and many solutions came out during discussions.

On the last day Mr. Kishor Rithe delivered a lecture on “Importance of the forest and its relation with human beings.” During the afternoon session the kids visited the tribal villages Kotha and Bori. During this visit they came across many issues like livelihood, health and education. We held a separate discussion on this topic and the kids realized that not a single piece of forest can be protected without the help of local people living there. To evaluate the Camp we had organized a nature quiz. All three groups did well in this nature quiz but the Dolar group did exceptionally well and win the game.

Mr. Atul Tikhe, Amit Wadatkar, Adwait Keole, Neharu Yeole, Gajanan Shanware, Maroti Alokar and Sachin Ingole took painstaking efforts to make this camp possible.

Vishal Bansod
Conservation Officer & Education Officer

Friday, January 15, 2010

December '09 Activity Report

Lots of community conservation activities as always in our project areas. Here are some snaps sent by our VP Giri Venkatesan:

Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve:

Above: Kalapani waterhole before "shramdaan" (voluntary work)...

Above: ...and after

Above: Cleaning approach road to Moharli Gate of plastic litter

Above: Wildlife film screening at Mudholi

Pench National Park

Above: Field Assistant Dilip Lanjewar talks to school children at Zinzeria (Pench Maharashtra)

Above: Sawra villagers learn the art of selling T-shirts (Pench, Maharashtra)

Above, below: School kids learn about nature and wildlife - Turia (Pench, Madhya Pradesh)

Above, below: Building stop dam at Sawra (Pench, Maharashtra)

Below: The result of their labours - the check dam! These little dams are very important because they create water bodies which act as drinking spots for animals (wild and domestic). They also help recharge the water table.

Above: Villagers help build a stop dam at Khamrith (Pench, Madhya Pradesh)

Above: Creating a waterhole near Ghatpendari (Pench, Maharashtra)
Below: The waterhole

Kanha National Park

Above: Awareness programme for school children

Above: Workshop on functioning of village development committee, Chapri

Above: Anti-plastic campaign at Batwar

Above: Making a check dam at Sautiya

Above: Check dam at Patpara