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Tell forest guard Asif you care, send a postcard today!

Asif Hussain Qureshi, Forest Guard, Kanha Tiger Reserve
“The forest is my temple, wild animals are my friends, protection is my aim, and Asif is my name!”
The silence in the forest of Kanha Tiger Reserve is suddenly punctuated by a loud high-pitched call of a bird. Asif, out on his morning patrol with his team, nonchalantly announces that it’s a Malabar pied hornbill. And sure enough, a hornbill spreads its wings and takes off from a nearby tree, soaring across the early morning skies. This is the call Asif Hussain Qureshi has woken up to every morning since he was a little boy, growing up in the forests of Central India.

Living his childhood dream

Born to a Forest range officer, Asif always knew he would follow in his fathers’ footsteps. He developed a deep connection with wildlife and nature at an early age, and followed his passion through by joining the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department as a forest guard in Kanha Tiger Reserve in 1999.He lives a disciplined life in the forest, waking up with the sun, and patrolling 10 to 15 km on foot every day with his team, looking for signs of wildlife movement and illegal activities. He loves the time he spends in the forest, and takes the challenges that come with the job in his stride. Being stationed in remote areas without mobile connectivity keeps him away from his family and friends most of the time, but his motivation to protect the tiger and learn what the forest has to offer keeps him going. In his career of 12 years, he has been part of more than 90 rescue and rehabilitation operations of wild animals, ranging from ungulates to tigers. He stays on top of his game by participating in wildlife and law enforcement training programmes and is well versed with the Wildlife Protection Act.His well connected informant network has helped in the seizure of three leopard skins in 2003.

A naturalist at heart

A forest can be a lonely place. So what does he do for entertainment? Says Asif, “When I get done with the days routine, I go to my favorite spot in the jungle which is perfect for bird watching. I spend my time listening to bird calls, and spotting different kind of birds to increase my knowledge. I can identify almost all bird species in Kanha, and around 20 butterflies.” He can also identify 60 speciesof plants, and 18 different types of grasses!

With a heavy heart, he admits the forests today are not safe for the wildlife. But he remains hopeful, that with the efforts of his team and forest guards around the country, they will be able to protect the wild animals he has grown up watching all his life.
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The rangers have limited access to the internet, so a postcard is preferred over an e-card. Thank you.

Buy or make a card and mail it to:

Asif Hussain Qureshi
c/o WWF-India
172 B, Lodhi Estate,
New Delhi- 110003