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. WCS is committed to this mission which it believes is essential to the integrity of life on earth. Wildlife Conservation Society has furthered its global mission in India since 1988, beginning with a detailed study of tiger ecology.
WCS – India
The WCS-India mission combines research on wildlife with conservation practices and national capacity-building through constructive collaborations with governmental and non-governmental partners. Combining extensive ecological surveys of wildlife that have yielded massive data, with conservation projects working to restore wildlife habitat, our work has helped consolidate wild spaces while also bringing hundreds of people into the mainstream to access a better quality of life. Our work has helped tiger recovery efforts in a big way. We have developed advanced statistical models for wildlife population assessments as also many wildlife study techniques that are now finding application globally.
The India program can be traced back to 1963, to the first-ever scientific study of wild tigers by Dr. George Schaller. Two decades later, WCS scientist Dr. Ullas Karanth initiated the first detailed ecological study of tigers in India employing radio telemetry at Nagarahole in Karnataka. This research project went on to become a successful country-wide effort to study and save India’s national animal.
What We Do
India ranks among the 17 mega-diverse nations of the world and is host to 52 of the 226 carnivores on earth. Lions, tigers, snow leopards, leopards, hyenas, dholes and three species of bears are some of these. 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. WCS – India addresses these challenges by employing research that informs conservation decisions, and works with local groups to enable interventions to reduce conflicts. We partner with India’s Central and State governments, local and international NGOs in the task of securing wildlife and wild places.