Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Wildlife Week 2013 for India’s Tigers

The Satpuda forests in Central India offer perhaps the best chance for India’s remaining wild tigers, representing the largest viable block of tiger habitat in the country. With this in mind, the Born Free Foundation initiated the Satpuda Landscape Tiger Programme (SLTP) in 2005, bringing together a network of Indian conservationists working in and around six Tiger Reserves across this vital habitat. Here, these conservation partners implement a variety of activities to protect tiger habitats, reduce tiger-human conflict, tackle wildlife crime, monitor tiger populations, raise awareness and improve the livelihoods of people living next to tigers.

Conservation themed lectures Pench Tiger Reserve © Satpuda Foundation

Between the 1st and 7th October, India celebrated its national Wildlife Week and key partner organisations in the SLTP took the opportunity to advance the message of tiger conservation. 

Nature awareness rally Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve © Satpuda Foundation
Rangoli competition Pench Tiger Reserve © Satpuda Foundation

Satpuda Foundation focussed on education activities involving thousands of tribal children living around Tadoba-Andhari, Kanha and Pench (Maharashtra) Tiger Reserves. At various villages, nature awareness rallies took place involving hundreds of school children chanting environment and wildlife related slogans. After the rallies children took part in lectures given by invited guests on the importance of wildlife conservation, nature trails and drawing and rangoli* making competitions. Films with a wildlife conservation message were shown and cleaning drives were also conducted, with scattered plastic and other rubbish cleared with the participation of the school children.

Recipients of wildlife conservation awards and dignatories © NCSA

Satpuda Foundation and Nature Conservation Society Amravati collaborated to organise a film festival which screened around 40 local and international new wildlife films, while providing the opportunity for a variety of many other activities. These included a wildlife photography exhibition, a photography workshop and conservation lectures, notably by Deepak Apte of the Bombay Natural History Society, another SLTP partner organisation. School children held a competition on environmental issues and a Green Conference was held for University students from 16 different institutions who presented around 150 research papers, with prizes awarded for best in each theme. A number of wildlife conservation awards were also given to honour individuals whose work in the field was judged to have had particular impact. 

Wildlife film viewing © NCSA
Wildlife photography workshop © NCSA

One of these individuals merits particular mention: a young lady who had left a lucrative career in advertising to work as a volunteer in Pench and Tadoba Tiger Reserves, helping to provide healthcare services, equipping young people with the skills necessary to gain employment and the means to sell their craft products and had also helped to establish a ‘village IT training centre’. Today she is a Trustee for Satpuda Foundation, continuing to help create an army of conservation practitioners and raise funds to deliver benefits to wildlife including tigers.

The response to all these Wildlife Week activities was overwhelmingly positive and SLTP’s partner organisations are confident that the information sharing, strengthening of resolve and sensitization which took place has helped to bring tiger conservation into the spotlight and prioritize the vital role people play in the future of tigers in the wild. 

Read more about the Satpuda Landscape Tiger Project


* decorative designs of sacred Hindu symbols made from rice, flour, sand or flower petals 

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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