WWF-India’s work for tiger
Research and monitoring
WWF India, in partnership with the National Tiger Conservation Authority and state forest departments, conducts camera-trapping exercises and line-transect monitoring in all its tiger landscapes to monitor tigers, co-predators and prey base. It was the key NGO partner of the Government of India in conducting the most comprehensive tiger estimation exercise as part of the 2018 All India Tiger Estimation, which revealed a mean tiger population estimate of 2,967.
Research and monitoring activities are crucial in tiger conservation because it helps understand the movement of tigers within and outside Protected Areas, thereby proving the importance of wildlife corridors and potential tiger habitats outside the core areas.
Mitigating human-tiger conflict in select areas within landscapesWWF India works closely with local communities living around tiger habitats to mitigate human-tiger conflict issues. It provides immediate financial support as interim relief to victims in case of cattle loss. This temporary relief helps appease sudden anger and curbs retaliatory killing of tigers by the local communities who have suffered losses. Long-term human-wildlife conflict management measures have also been implemented. These include setting up trenches around agricultural fields to reduce crop damage by wild herbivores and installing solar lights in the periphery of villages in Sundarbans to deter tigers from moving into human settlements and avoiding chances of encounters.
Working with local communities in critical habitats and corridorsWWF India involves the local communities living close to tiger reserves in its overall tiger conservation strategy by promoting sustainable livelihoods, reducing forest dependence and strengthening local support for conservation. Villagers are introduced to alternate livelihood options such as the production of jute and paper bags, vermicomposting, carpet weaving, mushroom and honey cultivation, and animal husbandry, which augment their income. To reduce their fuel wood consumption, smokeless stoves (chulhas) are provided to villagers, and they are encouraged to use biogas and bio-briquettes. Regular awareness programmes are conducted for school students and villagers to promote involvement in conservation activities. They are also made aware of different government programmes for livelihood development. WWF India is also working towards building community institutions that support conservation.
Environment education and awareness
WWF India regularly conducts environment education activities with local communities, stakeholders and the broader civil society to make them aware of the critical conservation issues and the steps they can take to help. These awareness programmes target children and teachers in schools around tiger reserves and urban cities.
Awareness programmes are also organised for various responsible stakeholders in tourism, encouraging them to follow and promote environmentally friendly practices around wildlife habitats. Local communities are engaged in programmes that discourage the hunting of wild animals.
Policy and advocacy
Environment education activities are supplemented with policy and advocacy work to promote long-term change by implementing and adopting appropriate procedures by the state and central government. In India, the implementation of CA|TS was initiated by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, in collaboration with the intergovernmental agency, Global Tiger Forum (GTF) and WWF India in the year 2015.
Its launch across selected conservation sites outside Tiger Reserves, i.e. the critical Forest Divisions and Protected Areas (other than tiger reserves), with a view that these areas could first be scaled up to the management level of Tiger Reserves (TRs).
In India, CA|TS assessments have been done across tiger sites in Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Till date, 44 tiger bearing sites outside TRs have been registered for CA|TS: Uttarakhand (UK): 10; Madhya Pradesh (MP): 24; Chhattisgarh (CG): 4; Maharashtra (MH): 2; West Bengal (WB): 1; Uttar Pradesh (UP): 3. Among these, three sites have been CA|TS accredited before 2021, these are - Uttarakhand: (Lansdowne and Ramnagar Forest Divisions) and West Bengal: (24 South Parganas Forest Division).
Support through TRAFFIC India
TRAFFIC is a joint programme of WWF and IUCN. In India, it operates as a division of WWF India, intending to monitor and investigate the wildlife trade and provide information to stakeholders as a basis for effective conservation policies. It conducts regular capacity-building programmes to improve the understanding of wildlife laws and their implications for an array of enforcement agencies such as forest departments, police, customs, and paramilitary forces. Sensitisation programmes on wildlife are also conducted for the judiciary across the country to improve their awareness of wildlife laws.
In 2010, at the Tiger Summit held in St Petersburg, Russia, tiger range countries committed to an ambitious and visionary species conservation goal: TX2 – to double wild tiger numbers by 2022, the next year of the tiger.
India is playing an important role in the TX2 goal by protecting its tigers and sharing its expertise and knowledge on tiger conservation with other tiger range countries so that their tiger numbers can be increased. WWF-India is an essential part of this process through its tiger conservation work.
- The Terai Arc Landscape
- The Sundarbans Landscape
- The Satpuda-Maikal Landscape
- The Brahmaputra Landscape
- The Western Ghats-Nilgiris Landscape