Thursday, December 26, 2019

Activity Update November 2019: Navegaon-Nagzira

Check dam built by our volunteers in the park

Night patrolling from Mangezari to Asalpani

Volunteers build a check dam in the park

 Volunteers on an anti-poaching patrol in jungle 

Waterhole in Comp. No. 109 being cleaned and de-silted by our volunteers

 Bolunda - Students of the village school on our nature trail 

Jindatola - Volunteers sanitise the area around a hand pump

Kurhadi - Students of village school prepare artificial nests
to be placed around the village

Pindkepar - plastic trash clean up drive

Mukund Dhurve – Assistant Conservation Officer

Highlights: SEE TABLE 1

  • Joined Forest Department staff on 4 foot patrols 
  • 3 voluntary work programs to clean area next to water holes
  • 5 voluntary work programs to clean area next to hand pumps
  • 5 anti-plastic programs 
  • Organised Birds’ Week celebration programs;  582 students present
  • 1 check dam built through voluntary work 
  • 2 young villagers sent for driving training 

Our team organised 3 programs on November 12, 14, and 20 to clean water holes in Compartment No. 109, 112 and 56. Unemployed young villagers from Mangezari participated in the programs, led by Mukund (See Table 1).

Our team organised 5 community assistance programs on November 1, 11, 13, 17 and 28 to clear areas around hand pumps at Chorkhamara, Jindatola, Thadezari, Sodlagondi and Pindkepar. 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 Compartments No. 109 and 56 and on paths linking Mangezari to Kodebarra and Mangezari to Asalpani. Besides our staff, volunteers from the 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 5 anti-plastic programs to clean polythene/plastic litter from villages. The programs were organised on November 1, 11, 13, 17 and 28 at Chorkhamara, Jindatola, Thadezari, Sodlagondi, and Pindkepar villages respectively. Mukund organised the programs which 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. 

On 26 November, we built a check dam in Compartment number 56 as part of our water conservation programs. Besides conserving water, the check dam will also provide drinking water for wildlife in the area. 

Education - SEE TABLE 2

There were 6 education programs in November.

From 5th November to 12th November, we celebrated “Pakshi Saptah” in memory of Shri Maruti Chitampalli and late Dr. Salim Ali’s birth anniversaries. We organised various programs during the week, including a demonstration on making artificial nests from used cardboard boxes, nature trails and presentations in classrooms. We gave information about both ornithologists to students and teachers.  

Employment Cell Training activities - SEE TABLE 3

During the month, we identified 2 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. 

Activity Update November 2019: Pench Maharashtra

Awleghat - Balkrishna conducts nature education programme
in the village school

Pipariya - Members of a women's SHG learn how to make paper bags

Ghoti - Villagers attend our workshop on mushroom farming

 Khapa - Check dam built by our volunteers

Kirangisarra- Dr. Khode treats villager at our free health camp

Sawara - Dilip briefs students on our nature trail

Suwardhara - Volunteers clear wild growth from the sides of the road
leading to the village

Wagholi - Sahdeo Tekam packs dried mushrooms for sale

Bandu Uikey – Assistant Conservation Officer
Dilip Lanjewar – Field Assistant
Balkrishna Bagmare – Field Assistant

Highlights - SEE TABLE 1
  • Organised 4 foot patrols jointly with Forest Department staff - 20 villagers participated
  • One check dam constructed near Khapa village - 15 villagers participated
  • Organised 17 classroom education programs - 448 students present
  • Organised 2 training programs on mushroom cultivation and making of paper bags - 53 women participated 
  • 25 students from Sawara village participated in nature trail
  • Organised one meeting with villagers at Ghatpendari on crop damage 
  • Organised 6 medical camps - 200 patients treated 


On 2 November, following reports of the presence near Ghatpendari of a large carnivore, possibly a tiger, Bandu motivated 3 local young villagers to patrol the area to keep track of the animal’s movements. During the patrol, the team assisted the Forest Department staff in checking for any illegal activity like logging, and placing of snares for poaching. They also looked out for any indirect signs like pug marks, scat or scratch marks made by tigers, leopards or sloth bears. The team also checked for signs of illegal grazing inside the forest. No illegal activity was detected during the patrol. The team encountered signs indicating the presence of ungulates like wild boar, sambar deer and axis deer.  Similar patrols were carried out along with Forest Department staff in Shiladevi, Khapa and Dhawlapur on November 10th, 14th and 17th respectively.

On 27th November, Bandu and Dilip encouraged 15 villagers from Khapa to construct a check dam near the village to provide water for wildlife during the summer season. 
On November 15th, following requests from farmers of Ghatpendari, Bandu assisted 20 farmers including the Sarpanch and Police Patil, in filing for compensation for their crops damaged by wild herbivores. While assisting the villagers, Bandu also explained to the farmers the various steps they could take to check crop raiding by wildlife. Speedy settlement of compensation claims helps improve the farmers’ morale and reduces the likelihood that they will seek revenge against wildlife for the crop damage.

Nature and bird watching trail

On 5 November, Dilip took 25 school students from Sawara village on a nature trail in the forested area adjoining the village. While on the trail, Dilip provided information on various plant and tree species. The students identified trees such as teak, palash, mahua, neem, banyan, fig and salai. Dilip explained that the trees not only provide people with many medicines and fruit but also support numerous animal, bird and insect species. Dilip helped students identify hoof marks of herbivores like wild boars and sambar deer. During the trail, the students also observed many birds like Rufous Treepie, oriole, Coppersmith Barbet, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon and Indian Grey Hornbill. Dilip helped the students observe the differences in the shapes of beaks, feet and wings of the birds. 

Classroom education - SEE TABLE 2

In November, we organised 17 classroom awareness sessions.  448 students of Zilla Parishad Primary (ZPPS) and Zilla Parishad Upper Primary (ZPUPS) schools were present. Dilip and Balkrishna spoke to the students about various issues related to wildlife, soil and water and biodiversity conservation.  

Mobile Health Unit - SEE TABLE 3

There were 6 medical camps in November in which 200 patients were treated. 

Employment cell - SEE TABLE 1

On November 24th, we organised a workshop to train members of a women’s SHG of Pipariya village to make paper bags out of used paper. 13 members attended the workshop. 
On November 30th, we organised a workshop jointly with Forest Department to promote and encourage villagers to cultivate mushrooms.  40 members of women’s SHGs and Forest Department officials attended the workshop. 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Activity Update November 2019: Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve

Ashtha - Meeting with Village Eco-Development Committee
to discuss livestock management and crop raiding by wildlife

Ashtha - Students participate in our anti-plastic and cleanliness drive 

 Bhamdeli - Elderly patients being treated at our  free medical camp

Karanji - School students and staff watch a film on wildlife conservation

Katwal - Mr. Abhimanyu from Sky Mushrooms, Nagpur,
making a presentation on mushroom farming

Katwal - Villagers being trained in mushroom farming

Khutwanda - Conservation officer Ajay conducts a survey
on human-animal conflict and crop damage
during our free medical camp

Khutwanda - Our team discusses ways to mitigate
human-animal conflict with villagers

Kudesawli - Students explain climate issues through
their drawing
Moharli - Young students of the village school on a rally to
spread awareness about conservation

Sitarampeth - Members of women's SHG are briefed
about alternative livelihood options

Wamanpalli - Students learn about wildlife through a nature game

Conservation Officer:  Ajay Poddar
Field Assistant:  Kishor Dudhbarai

Highlights of the month: SEE TABLE 1
  • 8 awareness programs on human-animal conflict attended by 349 villagers and students 
  • 1 wildlife conservation awareness rally with 90 students 
  • 2 garbage management programs to prevent human- animal conflict – 65 students participated
  • Nature club activities - nature and bird watching trail and drawing competition – 45 students participated
  • 10 environment education programs with 662 students and 30 teachers 
  • Oyster mushroom cultivation training workshop - 20 young villagers participated
  • 3 women’s SHG meetings were organised - 45 members attended
  • 8 VEDC meetings were organised - 144 members attended
  • Medical camps in 6 villages with 378 patients treated 

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

We also focused on wildlife movement outside protected areas (PAs). Wild herbivores like blue bulls, spotted deer, sambar deer and wild boar also pose a threat to villagers by raiding farms, damaging the crops and sometimes attacking farmers. Farmers suffer losses in these depredations. Farmers were told to maximise the usage of solar-powered fencing to try and deter wild animals from their farms. Our team is preparing a list of farmers who are willing to set up solar-powered fencing around their farms. 394 villagers attended these meetings. 

We organised garbage management meetings and activities with villagers of Khutwanda and Kondegaon. Programs were organised in order to sanitise the area around the villages, as garbage spillover and food leftovers lure wildlife into villages and cause human-animal conflict. We collected over 5 kilograms of plastic litter through public participation. 65 villagers including members of the VEDC (Village Eco-Development Committee), and children participated in these activities.

Environment Education - SEE TABLE 2

During  November, we organised environment education programs in Chiwanda, Karanji, Kondegaon, Kanargaon, Gunpur, Kudesawli, Wamanpalli, Pachgaon, Khutwanda and Katwal villages. We  organised these programs with students and teachers 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. 662 students and 30 teachers participated in the programs.

Students of Nature clubs ‘Wagh,’‘Bibbat’ and ‘Ashwal’ from Moharli, Kudesawli and Kondegaon participated in a wildlife conervation awareness rally, drawing and essay writing competition and a nature trail. 120 students participated in these activities. 

Employment Cell - SEE TABLE 3

We organised 8 Village Eco-Development Committee (VEDC) meetings and 3 Self-Help Group (SHG) meetings focusing on alternative livelihoods which would reduce dependence on forests. Forest dependence leads to human-animal conflict and degradation of wild habitat.  209 villagers attended these meetings. In the SHG meetings, we discussed several livelihood related issues. We formed groups of members who are willing to be trained in making paper bags and in embroidery. 

As there is increasing tourism in buffer zone of Tadoba, some villagers requested us to organise a workshop to train women as nature guides. We shared success stories of women guides trained by us in Priyadarshini Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh. 45 members attended these meetings.  

In the VEDC meetings, we discussed human-animal conflict and wildlife conservation guidelines outside protected areas (PAs). We also focused on increasing usage of solar-powered fencing in farm lands to prevent conflict with wildlife, and to reduce the incidence of wild animals being killed by electrified fencing. We also discussed and explained short- and long-term benefits of fodder plantation. We discussed the rise in human-animal confrontation in and around Moharli and how to prevent this by adopting cattle sheds and stall feeding for cattle, to prevent straying of the animals into forests and falling prey to carnivores around the area. 144 villagers attended these meetings. 

Following a request from villagers, we organised a workshop on mushroom cultivation for residents of Katwal. We had earlier trained villagers in Pench to cultivate and market mushrooms, and their success has drawn villagers from Tadoba to emulate them. Mr. Abhimanyu of Sky Mushrooms, Nagpur visited Katwal and spoke to the candidates about mushroom cultivation and marketing etc. 20 interested candidates attended the workshop. Some of them also prepared a first batch of mushroom spawn for cultivation. They are cultivating oyster mushrooms as the local climate is suitable for it. 

Mobile Health Unit - SEE TABLE 4

During November, we organised free medical camps in 6 villages - Moharli, Bhamdeli, Sitarampeth, Kondegaon, Khutwanda and Katwal.  378 patients were treated in these camps. 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Activity Update October 2019: Pench-Bor Wildlife Corridor

Add captionKalmeshwar - Workshop for Forest Department staff
on human-animal conflict mitigation

Malegaon - Mandar briefs villagers on how to avoid conflict with wildlife

Telgaon - Film show on birds in Narendra High School

Telgaon - Lohgad and Telgaon SHG members are briefed
 on livelihood options

Telgaon - Students participate in essay and drawing competitions
during Wildlife Week

Telgaon-  Mandar briefs youths on alternative livelihood options

Umari - Mandar briefs women's SHG members about mushroom cultivation

 Umari - Members of Durga SHG start the process of mushroom cultivation

Umari - Mushroom cultivation unit set up by Durga SHG


Mandar Pingle – Conservation Officer
  • Wildlife Week celebrated by 286 students of Pench-Bor corridor
  • Organised workshop for Forest Department staff on tackling human-animal conflict  
  • Organised training and set up 2 mushroom cultivation units in Umari - 20 villagers participated
  • Organised meetings of women’s Self-Help Groups (SHGs) on alternative livelihood options 
  • Organised meeting of village young villagers in Telgaon on alternative livelihood options -  attended  by 27 young villagers 
  • Meeting of farmers on human-animal conflict prevention organised - attended by 110 farmers
Satpuda Foundation celebrated Wildlife Week 2019 along with students of Telgaon, Lohgad and Umari villages. Drawing, painting and essay competitions were arranged for the students of Narendra High school in Telgaon on 5 October, Narendra High School in Lohgad on 6 October and Sarvoday High School in Umari on 7 October. 286 students took part in these competitions. The students of class 8 and class 9 wrote essays on topics such as 'If I became a forest officer,’and ‘Wildlife: Our friend or foe.’ Students of classes 5 to 7 participated in drawing and essay competitions and made illustrations to showcase floral and faunal biodiversity.  

On 11 October, Satpuda Foundation organised a meeting on alternative livelihood options for members of women’s Self-Help Groups (SHGs) from Telgaon and Lohgad villages. 42 women belonging to 19 SHGs attended the meeting. During the meeting, the women were provided information on setting up of food processing micro-enterprises. The Extension Officer for the Maharashtra Rural Self-Employment Scheme (MSRLM) for Kalmeshwar Panchayat Samiti provided information on training that can be given to the women. He also gave information on government subsidies and insurance schemes for SHGs.

On 28 October, Satpuda Foundation organised a training program on oyster mushroom cultivation in Umari village. 13 women of Durga Mahila Bachat Gat and 5 farmers from Telgaon attended the program. Mandar Pingle provided training on oyster mushroom cultivation and assisted the members of Durga Mahila Bachat Gat in setting up a unit with a production capacity of 50kg. Mandar also provided training on processing, packaging and marketing of fresh and dry oyster mushrooms. 

On 17 October, Mandar assisted Dnyaneshwar Sarve, a youth from Umari village, in setting up an oyster mushroom cultivation unit in a shed in his farm. 

On 18 October, a meeting was arranged for unemployed young villagers from Telgaon. During the meeting, Mandar provided information on existing job openings at Amazon Pvt. Ltd in Butibori, Nagpur. Mandar also provided information on job openings for security guards in the Pune and Nashik regions. The villagers were also informed about various skill development training programs being conducted by the Rural Self Employment Training Institute (RSETI) and Maharashtra Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (MCED) in Nagpur. Information on these job openings were also provided to young villagers from Lohgad, Umari, Bidgaon and Temburdoh later in October.

On 18 October, an audio-visual presentation was arranged for students of Narendra High school in Telgaon. During the session, students were taught about birds found near their village. Mandar explained the ecological importance of the birds and the need to protect birds. The students also participated in a quiz on birds. Later Forest Guard Mr. Raut interacted with the students and explained to them the role of the Forest Department in wildlife protection and urged them to assist Forest Department staff in conservation initiatives.

On 18th October, Satpuda Foundation organised a meeting for farmers from Telgaon to provide information regarding compensation schemes for crop depredation by wild animals. Farmers reported that crop depredation due to wild boar and blue bulls is a matter of concern for farmers in the region. Mandar provided information on the compensation scheme being implemented by the Maharashtra State Forest Department. Information on the documents required and the format for compensation claim application was explained to the farmers in detail during the meeting. Mandar also informed the villagers that they should strictly avoid resorting to illegal activities like electrocution, poisoning etc. to curb crop depredation. Contact details of the concerned Forest Department staff were also provided to the villagers.

On 24 October, a workshop on prevention and mitigation of human-animal conflict in Pench-Bor tiger corridor was organised for the staff of Kalmeshwar Territorial Forest range by Maharashtra State Forest Department and Satpuda Foundation. The workshop was organised keeping in mind the increasing human-animal conflict cases due to tigers and leopards in the region. During the training, the Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Mr. Prajyot Palave and Range Forest Officer (RFO) Mrs. Archana Naukarkar briefed the staff on conflict cases in the range. Mandar gave training to the staff on creating awareness and outreach amongst villagers on human-animal conflict. Issues relating to crop-damage, cattle kill compensation and speedy compensation to prevent revenge killings of wildlife were discussed. The staff was also given instruction to organise regular patrols to detect signs of electrocution, poisoning, open wells etc. within their jurisdiction.  

On 30th October, Mandar received information from Mrs. Nirmala Srirame, Anganwadi caretaker of the village that a tiger had been sighted in a farm near Gondikhapa village. Mandar, along with Forest Department’s Round Officer Mr. Sarode, Forest Guard Mr. Rewatkar and 2 labourers employed by the Forest Department visited Gondikhapa to confirm the location of the tiger. The team patrolled the nearby forest area to check for any signs such as pugmarks or scat of the tiger. However, no signs were found. Earlier on October 28, a cattle kill made by tiger was reported in Malegaon village near Gondikhapa. Villagers from Malegaon had also reported sighting the tiger in their farms on October 29. Later on October 31, a meeting with villagers of Malegaon and Chandikapur villages was organised in order to prevent any conflict. During the meeting, Mandar along with Mr. Rewatkar advised the villagers of the necessary steps to safeguard themselves and their cattle. Information on cattle kill compensation was also provided to the villagers. Primary Response Teams (PRTs) comprising of 5 volunteers each from these two villages have also been formed to assist Forest Department staff in case a conflict situation arises.