Tigers are a priority species for WCS-India. Our long-term goal for tiger conservation efforts is to support Government efforts to ensure that there are multiple thriving populations of tigers in India. We contribute to the conservation of tigers primarily through the wide variety of field activities we pursue in the Western and Eastern Ghats landscapes, as well as through policy efforts, voluntary relocation, carnivore conflict management, support to enforcement agencies, and capacity building.
India’s Royal Bengal Tiger in Nagarahole forest
The Western and Eastern Ghats are home to a robust tiger population. However, this tiger population is threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation, poaching of tigers as well as their prey, and from retaliatory killing of tigers due to conflict with humans. To contribute to the conservation of tigers, WCS-India undertakes the following activities: supports the government with tiger habitat consolidation; provides technical support on law enforcement actions that protect tigers, their prey, and their habitat; helps in capacity building for enforcement agencies; and supports the Government in monitoring tiger and prey populations using cutting-edge scientific techniques.
WCS-India’s scientists have been involved in developing reliable methods to monitor tiger and prey populations, and have used these to monitor their dynamics, starting in Nagarahole. In the past, we have helped in this exercise in Bhadra, Kudremukh, Bandipur, Wayanad.
We are also helping build the capacity of the Kerala Forest Department staff, other state forest departments, research institutions and civil society organizations to carry out assessments and monitoring of wildlife populations and distributions.
WCS-India researchers conducting preparatory work for line transect survey in Amrabad Tiger Reserve
WCS-India’s long-term database, derived mainly from our camera trap surveys, now includes nearly 1000 individual tigers. Using this database, we assist governments in the identification of individual tigers.
To support tiger conservation, WCS-India also pursues the following policy interventions:
Carnivore conflict management
As a member of the Human-Wildlife Conflict Committee of Andhra Pradesh, WCS-India collaborates with the Government in formulating state-level policies for conflict management.
A majestic Bengal tiger
Voluntary relocation is a government-funded program which supports families who want to voluntarily resettle outside Protected Areas. When implemented fairly and efficiently, it is a “Win-Win situation” and a potent tool for social upliftment of the marginalized forest-dwelling communities as well as aids in forest and wildlife recovery through creation of large inviolate spaces inside PAs.
A tiger in Nagarahole forest
We help in post-voluntary relocation support by aiding families in establishing livelihoods as well as providing skill-based training. Additionally, we provide access to quality medical help, sponsor higher education of many tribal students, empower these communities by supporting self-help groups. We also access other government schemes that will help in livelihood, education and other social security support.
Capacity building workshops
We partner with the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh forest departments and Telangana State Forest Academy to conduct regular training on ecological monitoring, including tiger and prey monitoring, and ecological methods.