SUPPORTING VILLAGE WILDLIFE GUARDIANS
Tigerwatch’s village wildlife watchers are trained to investigate and record wildlife movements around the borders of Ranthambhore Tiger reserve. © Tigerwatch/TOFTigers
Help secure the long-term future of endangered species in the wild
Although tiger numbers were up in India’s last official Tiger Census, poaching and anthropogenic pressures from bordering communities remain very real threats to the long-term survival of numerous endangered species in the wild – including the tiger.
To address this at a local level where it counts, TOFTigers supported a growing network of Village Wildlife Guardians since its inception in 2014 with wildlife action charity Tigerwatch, alongside the Field Director and staff at Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve – with the support of TOFTigers member travel companies and individuals.
Part time, trained guardians (called VWV’s or volunteers ), chosen from villages prone to wildlife conflicts bordering Ranthambhore Reserve, an important tiger habitat, to keep their eyes and ears primed for wildlife and illegal activities in and around their homes and villages. This is providing a proactive deterrent for poachers, illegal wood choppers and the bushmeat trade, as well as valuable research on tiger and other wildlife movements to help avoid conflict with villagers and support conservation.
It’s a powerful protection force that is having an immediate and positive effect on the areas it covers.
Over the past four years, the results have been astonishing. Poachers caught red handed, animal movements monitored across huge areas of landscape, dens protected, wildlife preserved, illegal mining and wood chopping stopped and villagers now safer.
In fact it’s been such a success the Field Directors want far more guardians and the Park Department have now become the principle funders of the organisation.
Village Wildlife Guardians helped in a week long period to manage traffic in the area where a tigress with 2 cubs were stationed near a small town ©Tigerwatch