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Tigers4Ever Project News and Update from Bandhavgarh19-Aug-2015

Published for:Tigers4Ever

Over the last few weeks, Tigers4Ever representatives have been in India checking progress with our conservation efforts, meeting local suppliers, people from the villages on the periphery of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, and local education providers. Our representatives have also met with the Field Director, some of his Sub-Divisional Officers, members of the Rapid Response Animal Rescue Team and a Wildlife Rescue Expert and Training Provider: Mr. Manish Kulshrestha. Just before our arrival in India, a local villager had been killed by a wild boar. There wasn?t the furore which is usually seen when a predator has killed and the death seemed to have been strangely accepted as one of those things which happens! Our minds reflected back to a few months earlier when the death of a school teacher had caused mob-like rioting by the villagers who destroyed the homes and property of the forest guards along with vehicles and a school. The same villagers demanded that the guilty tiger (or in this case two young sub-adult males) were immediately captured and sent to Bhopal zoo. Thankfully, the Field Director is conservation minded and whilst he agreed to capture the two tigers concerned, he arranged to transfer them to a holding enclosure pending relocation to another tiger reserve. No such demands have been made in respect of the guilty wild boar. Man-animal conflict is a major issue which threatens long-term wild tiger survival and Tigers4Ever continues to work hard with the people in these tiger communities to reduce incidents and provide a safer future for all concerned. 24 May 2015 Tigers4Ever representatives met with Mr. Mahesh Jangam at the Bandhavgarh School of Art to discuss progress with the existing Tigers4Ever Scholarships and some interesting new proposals to expand the scheme to provide artwork in the community and a formal qualification in the future. Details of these proposals will be discussed at the next Trustee Board Meeting and subject to board approval, will be released in due course. In the meantime, Tigers4Ever is delighted to confirm that Praveen Chaturvedi, Nitin Berman and Akash Upadhyay will continue with their existing Scholarships at the Bandhavgarh School of Art during 2015-2016. Tigers4Ever representatives were saddened to learn about the death of the father of one of our Scholarship students, Praveen Chaturvedi, during their visit to the Bandhavgarh School of Art. Our thoughts are with Praveen and his family at this sad time. During the meeting Tigers4Ever officials discussed the possibility of expanding the Scholarships to include a formal qualification so as to enhance future employability of current and future students. The opportunity to expand the studentships to include ?Artwork in the Community? projects which will help to spread the message about the plight of the tiger and its forest home to areas in the community where global communications such as radio, television and other aspects of the media either haven?t reached or haven?t got their message across. These proposals will be discussed in more detail at the next Tigers4Ever Trustee board meeting and a strategy to take the projects forward will be determined. As with all our wild tiger conservation projects, our objectives are limited by the funds we can raise to fulfil them. If you want to help with funding current or future scholarships for young people living with wild tigers please donate at and put Scholarships in the comments box. If you live in the UK and would like to donate a regular amount by standing order please email us at and we will send you a mandate/details to enable you to set up a regular payment through your online banking/bank account. If you are a UK taxpayer and would like to Gift Aid your donations please tell us by email or on the PayPal/Everyclick donation. Your donation is worth 25% more to Tigers4Ever with Gift Aid and it?s at no extra cost to you. Tigers4Ever needs all the help it can find at this difficult time for wild tigers and to expand the existing scholarships to provide a future formal qualification. Please help if you can. 27 May 2015 Tigers4Ever representatives commissioned 100 Permethrin treated mosquito nets to be hand-made and treated by local workers creating employment for people living with wild tigers. The representatives of Tigers4Ever also had a very productive meeting with Mr. Murli Krishnan, Field Director, Bandhavgarh National Park at which items to be donated to poaching patrollers protecting wild tigers were discussed alongside opportunities for future tiger conservation projects. Tigers4Ever agreed to donate 100 First Aid Kits, 100 hand-made Permethrin-Treated Mosquito Nets, 8 bicycles, 48 Petzl Tikka plus high quality Head-Torches and 288 AAA heavy duty batteries, and 3 Snake Capture and Rescue Kits for use by the forest patrollers on 04 June 2015 when Mr. Murli Krishnan and his deputies would visit the Ecology Training Centre in Bandhavgarh to receive the donations from Tigers4Ever Representatives. Tigers4Ever also agreed to donate 400 education packs and ecology books to children living in the villages on the periphery of wild tiger territory where man-tiger conflict was a frequent occurrence. Tigers4Ever also agreed to continue with the three Scholarships at the Bandhavgarh School of Art for the foreseeable future. During the meeting with Mr. Krishnan, Tigers4Ever representatives took the opportunity to discuss new projects which Tigers4Ever was keen to be involved with which would have an ongoing and lasting effect on future wild tiger conservation. These projects included the proposal to construct a wildlife waterhole in the Panpatha region of Bandhavgarh National Park which would provide a year round water supply for wildlife and as such seek to reduce the incidents of prey wandering into villages in search of water and predators following in search of an easy meal. Two potential sites for the waterhole had previously been identified by Tigers4Ever representatives during a previous visit to Bandhavgarh. Mr Krishnan advised that he had received funding from the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department which would facilitate the provision of small waterholes sourced by solar-powered bore-hole pumps in the areas identified, which now fell within the core area on the National Park. Mr. Krishnan suggested that Tigers4Ever may wish to contribute to the provision of a solar-powered bore-hole pump for one of these waterholes at a cost of Rs.250,000 (UK£2710; US$4310) or alternatively consider constructing a larger waterhole with solar-powered bore-hole pump in the new zone 5 of Bandhavgarh National Park (the Kithauli-Panpatha Buffer zone). The provision of a larger wildlife waterhole of around 25 metres by 25 metres with solar-powered borehole pump and dam stoppers would cost in the region of Rs.1,000,000 (UK£11000; US$17500). Tigers4Ever agreed to have a look at potential sites within the Kithauli-Panpatha Buffer zone and to discuss both options with its Board of Trustees, as with either option this would be a major project targeted fundraising initiatives would be required to cover the project costs. Mr. Krishnan also discussed a plan to re-introduce a silk worm moth to the buffer forests of Bandhavgarh National Park which would facilitate much needed income for local villagers and reduce the dependency on forest clearing for agricultural purposes. Mr. Krishnan agreed to provide further details of this project with set up costs around Rs.50000 (UK£550; US$870) per unit to Tigers4Ever for discussion at its next Trustee Board Meeting. The appearance of wire snare traps in the buffer zone of the forest has become an increasing problem in recent months, as highlighted by the recent death of a young male tiger on the farmland of the Deputy Speaker of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly. Mr Krishnan confirmed that funding from the Forest Department only covers staffing and patrolling the core area of the national park and its boundaries with the buffer zone. As such, the removal of snares in the buffer zone is a real problem and their presence is an even bigger problem for the wildlife unfortunate enough to wander into them whilst searching for food where they know no boundaries. Tigers4Ever agreed to investigate this matter further including obtaining costings for discussion at the next Trustee Board Meeting. Finally, Mr. Krishnan asked for assistance equipping the Rapid Response Rescue Team and other Forest Officials with kit to safely capture and rescue animals which enter the villages or become trapped in wells. He had recently attended a demonstration of Rescue and Capture kit and would arrange for the trainer to come to Bandhavgarh to demonstrate his equipment to Tigers4Ever on 04 June 2015. Mr. Krishnan confirmed that equipment like head-torches, bicycles, mosquito nets, sturdy shoes, first aid kits, etc. were always needed and welcome but these larger projects were more difficult to fund and Tigers4Ever?s help with them would be very much appreciated. In addition to equipment for wild animal capture and rescue, the forest patrollers have expressed a need for stronger sturdy shoes to protect them whilst on patrol. Tigers4Ever has contacted local suppliers to obtain details and pricing for suitable shoes of this type. 30 May 2015 Tigers4Ever representatives had the opportunity to meet three officials from the Rapid Response Wildlife Rescue team. We discussed their work and how they helped to supplement poaching patrols in their vehicles when rescue operations weren?t needed. We also discussed the situation with Bamera?s injured paw which had taken a long time to heal and had resulted in him guarding a much reduced territory in recent months. A new injury meant that he was avoiding conflict with other tigers and resorting to poaching cattle and buffalo on a regular basis. Tigers4Ever officials asked the Rapid Response team if they would get involved in a situation like Bamera?s and they said that if Bamera needed veterinary help then it could be provided. Tigers4Ever asked the officials about a sloth bear which had been injured during their last visit to India: The Rapid Response team had rescued an adult sloth bear which had fallen from a tree and broken its back. They had been able to get the bear to a vet who had operated and saved the bear?s life, although the sloth bear can never return to its former home in the Bandhavgarh forest it now has a life in the safety of a wildlife sanctuary and is mobile. Tigers4Ever thanked the Rapid Response Wildlife Rescue team for their time and insight into their work and looked forward to meeting them again in the future. 03 June 2015 336 Education packs and ecology books were distributed to children in the villages of Majhkheta (140 Education packs and ecology books), Damna (60 Education Packs and ecology books), Devri (80 Education packs and ecology books) and Barkhera (56 Education packs and ecology books) by Tigers4Ever representatives. 04 June 2015 A further 64 Education packs and ecology books were distributed amongst the children of the forest guards who risk their lives protecting the wild tigers of Bandhavgarh, by Tigers4Ever representatives. 04 June 2015 An extremely positive meeting was held between the Tigers4Ever team & the representatives of the Field Director, Mr. Murli Krishnan, of Bandhavgarh National Park today, during which Tigers4Ever made donations of equipment for tiger poaching patrols. The Sub-Divisional Officers Mr. Sharm and Mr. Joshi, were delighted to receive the equipment, for distribution amongst the field staff, on behalf of Mr. Murli Krishnan (who had be called away due to a tiger poaching incident in the buffer zone). The donated equipment included: 48 Petzl Tikka Plus II head-torches with batteries and 144 spare batteries; 100 First Aid Kits, 100 Permethrin-Treated Mosquito Nets; 8 bicycles and 3 snake capture and Rescue kits. Mr Krishnan had already reiterated the importance of such equipment as the peak poaching season approaches, acknowledging the increased difficulties his patrollers have during the wet season. Mr Krishnan and his Deputies also took time out to thank Tigers4Ever, and the people whose donations had made this work possible, for their help and assistance in wild tiger protection. Tigers4Ever promised to keep up its fundraising efforts in order to keep providing more vital equipment for tiger poaching patrols. Mr Krishnan and his deputies also thanked Tigers4Ever for its efforts in the local community which included the provision of 400 education packs and ecology books to the children of villages surrounding the tiger reserve, the provision of three annual scholarships for students at the Bandhavgarh School of Art, and supporting local employment through sourcing goods to be donated like the hand-made mosquito nets locally. Tigers4Ever officials were also invited to attend a training demonstration by Wildlife and Snake Rescue Expert Mr. Manish Kulshrestha. During the training session Mr. Kulshrestha demonstrated the use of his specialist rescue kit which facilitated the safe rescue and capture of many wild animals including leopards, bears and tigers which wander into difficulties in human communities or fall into wells. Mr. Kulshrestha also demonstrated the use of the snake capture and rescue kits (3 of which were donated to the forest patrols by Tigers4Ever) showing how snakes could be caught without risk of harm to the patroller or the snake. The training session was an interactive session and members of the Rapid Response Wildlife Rescue team and forest officials were invited to try out the equipment for themselves. Tigers4Ever is aware that a further 9 snake capture and rescue kits together with other wildlife rescue equipment are needed urgently by the forest patrols. Tigers4Ever officials have invited Mr. Krishnan to prioritise his rescue equipment needs as a full kit will cost around Rs.250000 (UK£2750, US$4400). Tigers4Ever officials promised to raise the equipment needs at the next Trustee Board meeting and to try to raise sufficient funds to supply the necessary equipment alongside other Charitable disbursements and projects. Tigers4Ever thanked Mr. Manish Kulshrestha for his informative training session and for the time spent afterwards discussing the range of equipment which could be supplied. 04 June 2015 Tigers4Ever officials were saddened to learn of a poaching incident in the Dhor Khoh area of the Kithauli buffer zone. The tiger a five year old unknown male had been trapped in a wire snare trap and perished. The Field Director, Mr. Murli Krishnan was called away to the incident and was therefore unable to accept tigers4Ever?s equipment donations. Wire snare traps are an increasing problem in the buffer forests and Tigers4Ever would like to initiate a project for their removal if sufficient funding can be raised. The many projects which Tigers4Ever has been asked to consider going forward will mean that Fundraising initiatives will need to raise more than four times the sum raised (£5162) in 2014-2015 to cover disbursements of £5366. The hard work starts now to try to raise the £20000 plus which will be needed to fund all of the new initiatives. If you can help please donate now at all donations however large or small really do make a big difference in wild tiger conservation. Remember you can also help raise funds when you search online by using instead of your usual search engine, and it is free to use. Residents in the UK can also donate by Text* e.g. to donate £10 just text TIGE44 £10 to 70070. You?ll receive a thank you text with a link to gift aid your donation. *Texts are free and your donation amount will be deducted from your mobile phone credit or added to your monthly phone bill. Tigers4Ever will receive 100% of your donation. You must be 16 or over-please ask the bill payer's permission. For full terms and conditions please visit: Thank you for all your support over the last year, without your efforts our wild tiger conservation projects would be impossible. Tigers4Ever

Author: Corinne Taylor-Smith

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