WWF-India supports frontline staff of Balaghat Forest Circle, Madhya Pradesh

Posted on
09 July 2014
The Balaghat Forest Circle occupies an area, almost thrice the size of the entire Kanha Tiger Reserve, and is spread across 4,997 sq. km within the Kanha-Pench corridor. The circle houses several major carnivore and prey species. Until recently, this area was completely undisturbed by human settlements or construction. However, recent development projects such as mining and infiltration by poachers have caused great concern for conservation of the area's rich biodiversity. These activities also threaten the area's role as a corridor.

In its effort to help conservation efforts in the region, WWF-India has been actively supporting the forest department through tiger monitoring, capacity building of frontline staff and through the provision of logistical and technical support such as forensic investigation and survival kits. Furthermore, WWF-India has also conducted training programmes for ground staff on wildlife monitoring, camera trapping and law enforcement, over the past few months.

Distribution of wildlife forensic investigation kits, tents, water bottles, water filters, digital cameras and searchlights was undertaken to strengthen protection in this forest division. A total of fifty ground personnel along with the Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF), Divisional Forest Officers, and Sub-Divisional Officers of both North and South Balaghat were in attendance at the distributary ceremony, many of whom expressed great appreciation for WWF-India’s support.

“We truly appreciate the kind of support WWF-India has been providing from time to time and also their tiger monitoring work in the Balaghat Forest Division” stated Mr. Pushkar Singh, CCF, Balaghat Forest Circle at the distribution ceremony for the South Balaghat Division.

Several regions of Balaghat fall within WWF’s tiger recovery site, including the ranges of Loghur and Balaghat of South BalaghatDivision, North and South Lamta of North BalaghatDivision. In the coming weeks, intensive camera trapping will be carried out, in partnership with the Forest Department, to help estimate large carnivore populations. Intensive training on camera trapping will be provided to over 120 staff members in all four ranges, along with cattle-kill monitoring techniques.

“We are optimistic about our plans to conduct intensive camera trapping in selected areas of Balaghat. This area holds great significance, given its richness, size and connectivity to nearby tiger source populations,” said Jyotirmay Jena, Senior Project Officer, Satpuda Maikal Landscape, and WWF-India, who is leading the monitoring efforts in Balaghat.

For further information:
Jyotirmay Jena
Senior Project Officer,
Tiger Monitoring
M: +91 7642260256
E: jjena@wwfindia.net


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