Category : News

1 week, 3 days ago 0
Posted in: Others

Bengaluru, 8th March 2018: The International Women’s Day was celebrated at our office and to mark the occasion our Country Director Ms. Prakriti Srivastava, IFS extended an invitation to Ms. Meenakshi Negi, IFS, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Karnataka to visit the WCS India Program office in Bengaluru. Ms. Negi graced the occasion and warmly greeted our entire lady staff. Ms. Negi also held programmatic discussions with our staff on various conservation and research matters.








1 week, 4 days ago 0
Posted in: Others

Bengaluru, 8th March 2018: The WCS India Program fraternity is pleased to send out a warm greeting to all of you on the occasion of International Women’s Day. At the same time we wish to greet our own female staff who are doing a tremendous job in steering the activities of the WCS India Program.

2 weeks, 2 days ago Comments Off on Tragic Demise of Mr. S Manikandan, IFS – Condolences
Posted in: News, Press Releases

Bengaluru, 3rd March, 2018: I, on behalf of Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program, condole the tragic demise of Mr. S Manikandan, Conservator of Forests, Nagarahole National Park, Karnataka.  Mr. S. Manikandan passed away in a shocking incident inside Nagarahole National Park when he was confronting and killed by a wild elephant while performing his duties in the D B Kuppe range.


Our deepest condolences are with the bereaved family and friends of Mr. Manikandan.  Forest department personnel often have to brave  difficult hardships while on duty, especially when they are posted in such sensitive areas. Sometimes, this may result in them suffering severe injuries due to unexpected interactions with wild animals, or in rare cases, result in the loss of human life and Mr. Manikandan’s demise is one such sad incident.  We are anguished to have lost a devoted forest officer.


We stand by the family and friends of Mr. Manikandan during these difficult times.


Prakriti Srivastava
Country Director – WCS India Program

2 weeks, 5 days ago Comments Off on Workshop on Countering Wildlife Trade by WCCB Inspectors
Posted in: Others

Bengaluru, 27th February 2018: An internal workshop on methods of countering trade in wildlife products was organized by the WCS-India Program at its Bengaluru office.  Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), New Delhi deputed two of its Inspectors, Mr R S Sharath and Mr Pradeep Kumar to conduct the workshop covering topics such as WCCB’s mandate and functions, role of enforcement agencies in tackling wildlife crime and intelligence gathering techniques towards busting illegal wildlife trade.  Extensive discussions were held during the course of this workshop.


3 weeks ago Comments Off on Additional Director of WCCB visits WCS India office
Posted in: Others

Bengaluru, 26th February: Ms. Tilotama Varma is an IPS Officer (1990 batch), currently working as the Additional Director, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. On an invitation by our Director Ms. Prakriti Srivastava, Ms. Varma visited WCS-India office in Bengaluru. Discussions were held on current conservation issues and various challenges confronting our wildlife and forest.

3 weeks, 6 days ago Comments Off on Birds and Beans: Study Shows Which Type of Coffee Plantations are Best for Bird Diversity
Posted in: Press Releases

Bengaluru, 19th February, 2018: It’s an age-old debate for coffee lovers. Which is better: Arabica beans with their sweeter, softer taste, or the bold, deep flavor of Robusta beans? A new study by Wildlife Conservation Society, Princeton University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison appearing in the journal Scientific Reports has taken the question to unlikely coffee aficionados: birds.

The researchers, led by WCS Associate Conservation Scientist Dr. Krithi Karanth, surveyed for bird diversity in coffee agroforests in India’s Western Ghats region. Previous research has demonstrated that shade-grown coffee (typically Arabica) can harbor substantial levels of biodiversity. But coffee production is globally shifting toward Robusta, which uses a more intensive full-sun agricultural system, which may pose deleterious impacts for forest wildlife.

What the researchers found was surprising: although Arabica avian assemblages were more species rich, Robusta nevertheless offered substantial biodiversity benefits, and supported higher densities of several sensitive avian populations such as frugivores. In addition, farmers use less pesticides in the more disease-resistant Robusta farmlands.

The authors found a total of 79 forest dependent species living in the coffee plantations they surveyed, including three IUCN Red-Listed species: Alexandrine parakeet (Psittacula eupatria), grey-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus priocephalus) and the Nilgiri wood pigeon (Columba elphinstonii). Plantations can harbor a diversity of mammals, amphibians and tree species, too.

The study has important implications as coffee production is an increasingly important driver of landscape transformation, and shifts between different coffee bean species are a major dimension of agroforestry trends. The authors say that coffee certification efforts should prioritize maintaining native canopy shade trees to ensure that coffee landscapes can continue providing biodiversity benefits.

Said Dr. Karanth “Coffee farms already play a complementary role to protected areas in a country like India where less than four percent of land is formally protected. Therefore, building partnerships with largely private individual and corporate land holders will provide much needed safe-passage and additional habitats for birds and other species.” Dr. Karanth co-founded a coffee company, Wild Kaapi, which sources wildlife friendly Indian coffee.

Indian robusta has relatively high “cup scores” (i.e. flavour ratings) by coffee experts, is disease-resistant, and commands a price premium.

Said lead author Charlotte Chang, who analysed the data while a graduate student at Princeton University and is now a postdoctoral researcher at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): “An encouraging result of the study is that coffee production in the Western Ghats, a global biodiversity hotspot, can be a win-win for birds and farmers.”

Funding for this project was provided by US NSF Grant Number 1265223, Oracle, the US NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide with USAID program.

1 month ago Comments Off on Transition of WCS India Program Country Director from Dr Ullas Karanth to Ms Prakriti Srivastava, IFS
Posted in: Press Releases

Bengaluru, 14th February, 2018: On behalf of Wildlife Conservation Society – India Program, we are pleased to announce the transition of the WCS-India Program’s Country Director from Dr. Ullas Karanth to Ms. Prakriti Srivastava, Indian Forest Service.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s India Program was founded by Dr K Ullas Karanth. For nearly 30 years, 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.

We are delighted to introduce Ms. Prakriti Srivastava as the next Director of WCS India. Ms. Srivastava has been with the Indian Forest Service for the past 27 years, while serving on the Kerala cadre as well as various capacities in the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. During this time Ms. Srivastava was renowned both for her unflinching support of wildlife and forest conservation, and for her ability, often at great personal cost, to catalyze a wide variety of tangible and profound conservation successes. Ms. Srivastava, along with her very committed team and with support from Forest Department and the Government, has many achievements including: catalyzing innumerable tough law enforcement actions against illegal encroachers, wildlife traffickers, timber smugglers and illicit timber factories in some of Kerala's most important landscapes for wildlife; working with key government colleagues to create four new national parks and to improve the protection status of many other forests; initiating in collaboration with local communities a highly successful Olive-Ridley Turtle conservation program; framing the Government of India’s highly pro-conservation policies for CITES, CMS and other Wildlife Conservation policies for the country including those for the National Board of Wildlife. We are excited to bring Ms. Srivastava’s skills and experience to lead WCS India.

After nearly 30 years of leading WCS-India, Dr. Karanth will be stepping down from the Country Director position, enabling him to focus on what got him into conservation to begin with, the science of wildlife. During his nearly 30 years leading WCS-India Dr. Karanth has had many achievements including: co-authoring scores of seminal scientific papers that hugely advanced the field of tiger and other wildlife population ecology and estimations; helping catalyze the government policy of voluntary resettlement in India that has led to dramatic reductions in threats to wildlife in protected areas in India as well as the improved livelihood opportunities for thousands of families; catalyzing the creation of a Master’s Degree Program in Wildlife Conservation and Biology whose 85+ alumni are now stalwarts of conservation and conservation science across India. Perhaps Dr. Karanth’s finest achievement was finding and supporting talented conservationists and conservation scientists who are now the key staff and partners of WCS India Program and who today are transforming conservation in much of India. We are greatly pleased that Dr. Karanth will remain with WCS for a while as he focuses on writing up scientific studies based on the years of data collected on wildlife in India and on representing WCS’s tiger conservation efforts globally. We are grateful to Dr. Karanth for his years leading WCS-India, and excited to work with him in his new capacity.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Karanth and Ms. Srivastava into their new roles.

1 month, 2 weeks ago Comments Off on Conservation Storytelling Internship
Posted in: Others

Are you a storyteller, or a science communicator? Do you like to write, take pictures or make short films about nature and wildlife?
If so we have 6 months paid internships at the Wildlife Conservation Society – India Program to work as part of the media and outreach team. This is a full time position based in Bangalore. The stipend will depend on your past experience. Suitable candidates will be asked to join at the earliest.

To apply please write to with a one-page note detailing your interest and experience in nature/conservation writing/photography/filmmaking.
Please attach
1) A cover letter indicating your interest in this position and past experience
2) Relevant materials showcasing a few writing samples, pictures or videos by you
3) Your CV
If you are fluent in any Indian language please indicate this with your application

1 month, 2 weeks ago Comments Off on Statement by Country Director of WCS India regarding FIR wrongly filed against Karnataka Forest Officers
Posted in: Press Releases

BENGALURU, 30 January 2018: On behalf of the Wildlife Conservation Society – India, I would like to issue a statement regarding the recent FIR filed against three forest officers of the Karnataka Forest Department, Kodagu district. We understand that the FIR has been registered against the three forest officers in a case where a person was killed by a wild elephant due to a serious conflict situation.  We wish to express our deepest sympathies to the bereaved family.

We are aware of the difficulties that forest officers face while dealing with such conflict situations. In many cases, officers and forest staff put their lives at risk while trying to get an escalating situation under control.  We are dismayed to note that in this case, an FIR has been filed against the jurisdictional forest officers, holding them responsible for the unfortunate demise of the victim. Elephants are wide-ranging species and hence require large spaces of forest land to move and survive.  Unfortunately, in Kodagu, elephant habitats are highly fragmented resulting in frequent conflict situations that sometimes lead to human mortality. In this context, it can be extremely demoralising for the Forest Department staff if legal action is taken against them while they are doing their duty. It is deeply demotivating to see FIRs being filed against forest officers holding them responsible for ill-fated situations that are not entirely under their control.

We wish to express solidarity with the forest officers against whom the FIR has been erroneously filed. We strongly urge the Government of Karnataka to immediately withdraw the said FIR and drop all further proceedings against the officers. Further, we look up to the Karnataka Government to ensure that the morale of forest officers is kept high so that they may discharge their duties efficiently.  In future, such situations can be avoided only if the conflict is scientifically monitored and effectively mitigated. We urge the Government of Karnataka to take steps to address the same.

Country Director
Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program



2 months ago Comments Off on Volunteer with WCS India
Posted in: News
Wildlife Conservation Society-India program (WCS) and Center for Wildlife Studies (CWS) are looking for volunteers to participate in a conservation project on large mammals in Nagaland, Northeast India. Volunteers have an exciting opportunity to be a part of a team that is conducting ecological and social surveys across the state. Volunteers will be part of the team, camp in remote villages in Nagaland, and conduct ecological surveys for mammals, focussing on ungulates.
We are particularly looking for volunteers who are dedicated to conservation, do not mind hardships related to camping out in the field, have prior experience in conducting ecological surveys and identifying signs of wildlife species, and are good team-players. We particularly welcome volunteers from Nagaland or other parts of Northeast India who are looking for an opportunity to get more involved in conservation in the region.
We expect volunteers to come for a minimum period of two weeks. Field-related expenses (food and stay) will be taken care of. Volunteers are expected to bear the cost of travelling to and from Dimapur, Nagaland. Travel costs within Nagaland will be taken care of. Preference will be given to candidates who can commit themselves for a longer duration, and who have prior field experience.
Interested candidates may express their interest to, with the Subject line ‘Interest in Volunteering opportunity in Nagaland’. Please be sure to include prior experience in conducting ecological surveys, a short paragraph on why this opportunity is of interest, and an indication of the time period(s) over which you can volunteer.