Wildlife Conservation Society , India
Shreya Mehta on August 20, 2018 in Animal Welfare
India is a home to almost 52 species of the total 226 carnivores on earth. Unfortunately, the human population growth and aspirations pose serious conservation challenges. Effective action to save wildlife and their dwellings is now, an urgent need.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a non-profit organisation that is engaged at various locations in the world, with the sole motive to conserve wildlife and their natural habitat. For more than a century, WCS has been working to protect and save various species of wildlife and their wild dwellings by infusing practices of science, conservation action and education.
They have developed some of the world’s earliest yet finest conservation programs in collaboration with various local, scientific, and government partners. Today WCS works in nearly 60 countries, to keep the greatest bio-diversities of the world, ecologically intact. They hope to conserve more than half of all animal and plant species of the world.
Their vision is to create a world where the wildlife exists in a healthier and greener habitat and is valued by the societies as being both integral and beneficial to their life. With their focus, passion and dedication, the staff of WCS strives to protect wildlife all across the globe.
Their India program began in 1986 with all their energy and effort, focused on the study of tiger and its bionetwork. It continues to be an integral part of the WCS in India and is the longest running study that covers the scientific study of tigers and their population in India.
In collaboration with various organisations and partners, WCS-India is engaged in saving species from extinction as per Indian laws. Latest techniques and technology are employed in the process like, photographic capture-recapture sampling, tiger and prey spatial occupancy modelling, line transect estimation and pattern matching and faecal DNA-based genetic identification.
Various models of conservation programs are run by WCS with the motive to preserve and protect the wildlife in India. Two very popular Site-based Conservation programs that the organisation has been successfully running in India are the ‘Vidharbha Project’ and the ‘Malenad-Mysore Tiger Landscape’ (MMTL). These are operational in locations that have been estimated as the most potential habitats for the tigers of the country.
Various endangered species like the ‘Asiatic Elephant’, ‘Lion-Tailed Macaque’, ‘Malabar Civet’ and the ‘Great Pied Hornbill’ that reside in the Western Ghats are now protected because of the efforts of the organisation. With the support from their partnering NGOs like the ‘Tiger Research and Conservation Trust’ (TRACT), Nagpur and ‘Wildlife Conservation Trust’, Mumbai, they have generated valuable scientific data.
The Government of India has made a wonderful provision to set up a well-funded voluntary resettlement package in India for households within protected areas who are willing to move out from conflict prone areas so as to accommodate the needs of both the wildlife and people living in its vicinity. These benefits include high quality agricultural land, medical care, access to good housing and schools.
WCS-India supports these voluntary settlements and makes sure that it is carried out rightfully, vigilantly and fairly across all its conservation sites. Nagarahole, Bhadra, Bandipur, Kudremukh, Anshi-Dandeli, Wayanad, Mudumalai and Tadoba are some of the locations where the organisation has assisted the government in successfully in implementing the same.
In order to involve more people in the process, various incentive-based voluntary programs are also conducted at regular intervals by the organisation in association with the support from various public and private enterprises. Since 2004, the organisation has also started conducting a world class Master’s Degree program in Wildlife Biology and Conservation in Bangalore. Scores of students from across the country have been trained so far.
WCS-India Program also supports and facilitates many PhD independently. In their sponsored PhD program, researchers study a broad array of species viz. tigers, elephants, hornbills, king cobras, gibbons and mountain ungulates. The focus of the effort is to establish a benchmark ecological data in specific conservation sites.
Considering the increase in the number of cases of illegal trade of animals, WCS-India recently signed an MoU with BSF on the 22nd June 2018 to contest the wildlife trafficking along India’s borders. In association with the BSF, they will strive to detect illegal trade of wildlife products and parts across transnational borders through inter-agency training and capacity building.
WCS-India continues to develop diverse methodologies to estimate the population of wildlife and other related ecological parameters in India as they believe that the statistics of species population and gross development plays a critical role in the implementation of various effective conservation measures. Many of the methods and study protocols developed by them are now widely used globally.
To read more about the inspirational work they are doing, visit Wildlife Conservation Society today!