Friday, May 29, 2015

Activity Update March 2015: Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve

Mukund Dhurve         - Conservation Officer
Jivraj Salam                 -   Field assistant
Salimkumar Dhurve    - Field assistant

·      3 water conservation activities – programmes to clean water holes in compartments  no. 112, 109, 110
·      Assisted in fighting fire in forest on one occasion
·      Joined Forest Department staff on 4 patrols
·      2 community assistance voluntary work project – programme to clean area next to hand pump at Asalpani & Jambrapani
·      1 anti-plastic programme at Mangezari
·      Organized 3 education programmes in which 473 students participated
·      Organized 6 film shows on wildlife and nature conservation which were attended by 1190 Students and Teachers  
·      Organized 4 medical camps at which 87 patients got free treatment


Our team organized 2 community assistance programmes on March 9 and 13 to clear the area around hand pumps at Asalpani and Jambrapani respectively. Unemployed youths from Mangezari participated in the programmes which were led by Mukund and Salimkumar.

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 a canal to drain away the water.

Mangezari - volunteers clear area around a hand pump

Our team joined the Forest Department in day and night patrols on the road from Mangezari to Kodebarra, Mangezari to Jindatola and Mangezari to Govindtola on March 5, 6, 7 and 8. Patrolling was intensified in the area after a leopard was spotted on March 5 as officials wanted to monitor the movement of the leopard and ensure that it was safe from poachers.

The area is known to attract poachers as power cables are strung on poles erected by the side of the road. In the past, there have been instances of poaching on this road when poachers used hooks and wires to draw power from the cables and killed animals by electrocution. Sometimes, wires are drawn several hundred meters into the jungle from the cables. At least one gaur and one leopard have been killed over the past year, using this method. 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 Mukund Dhurve.

Day patrol in the buffer zone

On March 5, 12 and 13, we organized day patrols during which our team cleaned waterholes in Kalagota, Compartment no. 112 and 109 respectively. The water bodies were clogged with organic litter and dust. Our team removed the litter and desilted the water bodies. Photo below.

On March 20, a tourist returning from a wildlife safari informed Salimkumar that he had seen smoke in the forest. (Our office is right on the main road and is visible to anyone who comes to Mangezari from the entry gate to the Tiger Reserve).  Salimkumar gathered 4 volunteers from a youth club that we helped set up and that we mentor. This team then set off to fight the fire which was in the jungle in the buffer area around 1 km from Mangezari entry gate. After dousing the fire, our team informed the officials from the Forest Department, who were not present at the time the fire had broken out. Photo below.

On March 12, Mukund, Salimkumar and Jivraj and 3 students from Zilla Parishad Primary School, Chorkamara, conducted an anti-plastic programme in which they collected plastic and polythene litter from the school campus and Gram Panchayat campus. The plastic litter has been kept in our Mangezari office and will be sent to Tiroda for recycling.

The Government of Maharashtra has issued the buffer zone notification for the Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve. Following this, doubts have sprung up in the minds of villagers as to how they will be affected by the notification. Due to the doubts, some villagers are opposing the notification. To clear these doubts and misgivings, we organized a total of 4 awareness programmes during March in 4 villages – Jambrapani, Bhajepar, Sodlagondi and Umarzari.

Palewada: Mukund Dhurve explains to villagers the impact of buffer zone

Mangezari: Forest Department officials speak to villagers 
about eco-development of their village


There were 3 environment education programmes in schools during March.

The programmes focused on the effects of forest fires and what should be done to fight fires.

Bhajepar - Mukund Dhurve speaks to students about nature and wildlife

Education van

There were 6 film shows on nature and wildlife conservation in March.

Photos below:


There were 4 health camps in March.

Dr Vurade examines a patient at our free camp at Bagadhband

Free health camp at Asalpani