WCS Global Mission
The Wildlife Conservation Society is committed to saving wildlife and wild places worldwide. It does so through science, conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together, these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on earth. Wildlife Conservation Society has furthered its global mission in India since 1988 through activities of its staff and partners.
WCS – India Program
Wildlife Conservation Society – India Program describes the work of several partner institutions engaged in saving wildlife and wild lands in full compliance with all Indian laws.
Its roots go back to 1963, to the first-ever scientific study of wild tigers by Dr. George Schaller. Following his footsteps, a quarter century later, WCS scientist Dr. Ullas Karanth initiated the first detailed ecological study of tigers in India employing radio telemetry at Nagarahole, Karnataka. This single research project in Nagarahole has today grown into a successful country wide effort to understand and save India’s national animal.
WCS – India Program mission has combined cutting-edge research on tigers and other wildlife, with national capacity building and effective site-based conservation through constructive collaborations with governmental and non-governmental partners. Uncompromisingly committed to wildlife conservation, WCS – India Program inspires and nurtures positive attitude towards nature in people through its scientific and conservation endeavors.
What We Do
India’s unique bio-geography and long evolutionary history rank it among 17 mega-diverse nations of the world. Of the 226 carnivores on earth, 52 species – ranging from lions, tigers, snow leopards, leopards, hyenas and three species of bears occur in India. India has a rich vertebrate fauna that is a spectacular combination of Indo-Malayan, Afro-tropical and Palearctic elements. There are over 600 nature reserves in the country, which cover about five per cent of the land. However, human population growth and increasing consumption and aspirations pose serious conservation challenges. Effective action to save wildlife and wild places is now an urgent need. WCS – India Program addresses these challenges uniquely. It dedicates and helps in application of its significant scientific skills and intellectual authority to the task of recovering wildlife and wild lands. More than 50 staff scientists, conservationists and their associates have their boots on the ground, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
We support a multi-pronged conservation strategy that includes cutting-edge wildlife research, context specific conservation models and passionate local interventions. We combine long term collaborations with local communities to resolve conflicts and reduce their impacts on wildlife, with careful policy interventions. We support and build national conservation capacity at all spatial and social scales. We work with partners who include India’s Central and State governments, local and international NGOs, media, social leaders and passionate community conservation leaders who are deeply rooted in local societies that live in proximity to wildlife.