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. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Activity Update October 2019: Navegaon-Nagzira

Our volunteers on patrol with Forest Department staff

Bolunda - School students spot birds on a nature trail 

Koilari - Our colleague Mukund Dhurve conducts
an environment education programme in the village school

 Kuradi - Face-painting competition organised during Wildlife Week 

Kuradi - Rangoli competition duringWildlife Week 

 Mangezari - Plastic litter collected by students in our anti-plastic programme 
Mangezari - Students collect plastic litter

Mangezari - Students of village school set out on a rally
during Wildlife Week

Sodlagondi -  Our volunteers clean the area
around a hand pump and soak pit

Wadegaon - Students take part
in a painting competition
during Wildlife Week


Mukund Dhurve – Assistant Conservation Officer


  • Joined Forest Department staff on foot patrols on 4 occasions
  • 5 voluntary work programs to clean area next to hand pumps
  • 5 anti-plastic programs 
  • Organised Wildlife Week celebrations -  896 students participated


Our team organised 5 community assistance programs on October 1, 5, 9, 11 and 13 to clear areas around hand pumps at Mangezari, Mendha, Sodlagondi, Thadezari and Balapur. 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 the 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 114 and on the paths linking Mangezari to Asalpani and Mangezari to Junewani. 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 5 anti-plastic programs to clean polythene/plastic litter from villages. The programs were organised on October 1, 5, 9, 11 and 13 at Mangezari, Mendha, Sodlagondi, Thadezari and Balapur villages respectively. Mukund organised the programs. They were attended by villagers including Village Eco-Development Committee (VEDC) members. The plastic litter has been kept in our Mangezari office and will be sent to Tiroda for recycling. 


There were 7 education programs in October.


During October, we arranged for 2 young villagers to attend a driving training program at Ashok Leyland Driving Training Centre, Chhindwara. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Activity Update October 2019: Tadoba

Kudesawli - Conservation officer Ajay talks about
human-animal conflict in tiger corridors

Ashtha -  Students participate in conservation awareness rally
on the inaugural day of Wildlife Week

Ashtha - Kishor speaks to young villagers
about alternative livelihood options

Dewada - Teacher and students spot an Oriental Honey Buzzard
during a nature trail.

Dewada- Conservation officer Ajay Poddar speaks to SHG
members and guides during an awareness session on livelihoods

Gunpur- Students and teachers attend a talk
on human-animal conflict in corridor villages

Junona - Members of women's SHG attend
an awareness session on alternative livelihood options

Katwal - Gram Panchayat members and participants
attend Wildlife Week closing ceremony

 Katwal - Students and teachers attend a talk
on why Wildlife Week is celebrated

Katwal- Students and teachers participate
in a garbage management programme

Katwal- Women participate in an origami making activity
during the Wildlife Week.

Khutwanda - Students participate in drawing competition
during Wildlife Week

Khutwanda, Wildlife Week 2019- Students pose with their drawings 

Khutwanda- Children participate in a cleanliness drive during Wildlife Week

Khutwanda- Villagers pose for a group picture after collecting plastic litter

 Kondegaon - Livestock owners attend a meeting on livestock management

Kudesawli - Students watch a film on wildlife conservation

Mudholi - Conservation awareness rally organised by us
during Wildlife Week 2019

Mudholi - Students take part in kabaddi tournament
organised by us during Wildlife Week 2019

Mudholi- VEDC and Gram Panchayat members
attend a meeting on livestock management

Panchgaon - Students and teachers watch a documentary
on human-animal conflict


Conservation Officer:  Ajay Poddar
Field Assistant:  Kishor Dudhbarai

Highlights of the month: See TABLE 1
  • 9 awareness programs on human-animal conflict - 380 villagers and students attended
  • 2 anti-plastic and cleanliness programs to prevent human-animal conflict - 92 villagers participated
  • 1 foot patrol - 7 young villagers participated 
  • 6 meetings on livestock management to reduce grazing pressure on forests - 115 cattle owners and farmers participated
  • 10 environment education programs - 574 students and 26 teachers attended
  • 4 Nature club activities - nature and birdwatching trail, interactive nature games - 101 students participated
  • Video and photography workshop by TATA TRUSTS - 7 young villagers participated 
  • 3 women’s SHG meetings were organised - 51 members attended
  • 3 VEDC meetings were organised - 50 members attended
  • Wildlife Week 2019 celebration-  650 students and villagers participated

During October, we organised several meetings with villagers focusing on reducing human-animal conflict. In order to spread awareness, we spoke to the community members about potential threats and the danger of venturing into forest areas for collection of fuel wood, mahua, tendu, etc. As the Tadoba landscape 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 helps in reducing man-animal confrontation.  

Wild herbivores like blue bulls, spotted deer, sambar deer and wild boar also pose threat to villagers by raiding crops, damaging property and sometimes attacking farmers. Farmers suffer hefty losses in these depredations. Farmers were told to maximise the usage of solar-powered fencing. Our team is preparing a list of farmers who are willing to set up solar-powered fencing around their farms. 380 villagers attended these meetings. 

We organised garbage management programs with villagers of Khutwanda and Katwal. Programs were organised to sanitise the area around villages, as garbage spillover and food leftovers lure wildlife into villages and cause human-animal conflict. We also collected over 5 kilograms of plastic litter through public participation (voluntary work projects). 92 villagers including members of Village Eco-Development Committees (VEDCs) and children volunteered for these activities.
Post monsoon, we also organised a foot patrol involving selected local young villagers in the Tadoba buffer zone, in an area where there have been incidents of hunting, mainly of birds. We patrolled an area of 4 kilometers with the local forest guard. 7 people joined the patrol.

We organised 6 meetings with cattle owners and farmers on livestock management. Attendees were informed about stall feeding, cattle sheds and fodder units through success stories from the villages in the Nagpur and Wardha districts. Post monsoon, a fodder plantation drive will take place with the help of Forest Department near Mudholi village. 115 cattle owners and farmers, including the village Sarpanch, attended the meetings.


During October, we organised environment education programs in Sitarampeth, Bhamdeli, Mudholi, Kondegaon, Kanargaon, Gunpur, Kudesawli, Wamanpalli, Pachgaon, Khutwanda and Katwal 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 the value of wildlife through films, documentaries, presentations and classroom lectures. 574 students and 26 teachers participated in the programs. 

Students of Nature clubs ‘Ashwal,' ‘RanGawa,' ‘Cheetal’ and ‘Wagh’ from Kanargaon, Kondegaon, Dewada and Khutwanda villages participated in interactive nature education games and learnt about rainwater harvesting, the biodiversity of Tadoba National Park and conservation. 101 children participated in the activities. 


We organised 3 Village Eco-Development Committee (VEDC) meetings and 3 Self-Help Group (SHG) meetings, focusing on alternative livelihoods. New livelihoods will reduce their dependence on forests that leads to human-animal conflict and degradation of wildlife habitat. 101 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 embroidery. Training will be provided to these members in order to improve their earnings and reduce their dependence on forests. Some members requested us to arrange a workshop on mehendi art making.   51 members attended these meetings.  

In the VEDC meetings, we discussed plantation to be done in the buffer, collection and distribution of saplings from the Forest Department. We also focused on increasing the use of solar-powered fencing in farm lands to prevent conflict with wildlife and to reduce the incidence of wild animals being electrocuted by electrified fencing. We discussed and explained short- and long-term benefits of fodder plantation. We also discussed human-animal confrontation in and around Moharli, and how to prevent this by adopting cattle sheds and stall-feeding for cattle, which sometimes fall prey to carnivores in the area. 67 villagers attended these meetings. 

We assisted a team supported by TATA Trusts, who provided training on video and photography to young villagers from the Moharli buffer. 7 young villagers were selected for this training and more will be added after the completion of training of the first batch. The workshop was organised at Agarzari nature camping site. 


Day 1: Conservation Awareness Rally

On the inaugural day for Wildlife Week 2019, we organised a wildlife conservation awareness rally. Students from Zilla Parishad School, Mudholi and Ashtha participated in the programs along with their teachers. Forest Department officials, local law enforcement officials and the Sarpanch also participated in the rally organised from Moharli gate. Over 300 students participated in the 2 programs.   

Day 2: Wildlife origami making competition and lecture on wildlife conservation

On October 2, we organised a wildlife origami making competition for members of women’s Self-Help Groups from buffer zone villages. 17 members from different Self-Help Groups participated in the competition and created interesting artworks. It was the first such program organised for SHGs in villages in the area. 

We also organised a lecture on wildlife conservation for Zilla Parishad school teachers and students of Katwal. 90 students attended. 

Days 3 & 4: 'Catch the tail' Kabaddi tournament

On October 3 and 4, we organised a Kabaddi tournament titled ‘Catch the tail’ in Mudholi. 5 teams with 7 players each participated in the tournament.  We organise sports events for local children in order to build competitiveness and resilience from their childhood.

Day 5: Voluntary work project - Plastic clean-up drive

On October 5, we organised anti-plastic and cleanliness drives in Katwal village followed by the construction of a check dam through a voluntary work project. More than 65 villagers including children participated in the activity. 

Day 6: Essay-writing and drawing contest on environmental issues and wildlife

On October 6, we organised a drawing and essay writing competition for students of Zilla Parishad School, Khutwanda.  The competition was themed on wildlife and environmental issues. 28 students participated in the competition.  

Day 7: Prize distribution and closing ceremony

On October 7, we organised the prize distribution and closing ceremony of Wildlife Week 2019.  Mr. Kaji (Secy. Gram Panchayat) was invited as chief guest and other people who attended included the Sarpanch, Mrs. Ashatai of Katwal village, and VEDC and Gram Panchayat members.  

Mr. Kaji addressed the participants and spoke about the importance of protecting biodiversity. Our Conservation Officer Ajay Poddar also addressed the attendees on wildlife conservation involving local communities, and thanked them for their participation.