Category : News

6 days, 1 hour ago 0
Posted in: News, Press Releases

BENGALURU, 9 December 2017 –  Wildlife conservationists and partners associated with Bengaluru-based Wildlife Conservation Society-India have won various awards at the Sanctuary Wildlife Awards held in Mumbai yesterday, 8 December 2017. The awardees are Mr. Jayachandran S, Mr. Shashank Dalvi, Mr. Nikit Surve and Ms. Vaishali Rawat. The Sanctuary Wildlife Awards were constituted in 2000 by Sanctuary, to shine a spotlight on the unsung heroes who are defending wildernesses in the Indian subcontinent.

 

Mr. Jayachandran S was felicitated with the ‘Wildlife Service Award’ by Sanctuary Nature Foundation.

Mr. Jayachandran S, Wildlife Service Award : Ooty-based conservation activist and long-term conservation partner of Wildlife Conservation Society-India, Mr. Jayachandran S, has won the prestigious ‘Wildlife Service Award’ presented by the Sanctuary Nature Foundation on the 18th edition of the Sanctuary Wildlife Awards.

Over the past 30 years, Mr. Jayachandran S has been a key conservation leader in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and surrounding areas. In 1990, he started the Tamil Nadu Green Movement (TNGM) which has been actively assisting the forest department in law enforcement and advocacy. In 2010, based on Mr. Jayachandran’s intervention in his capacity as the Honorary Secretary of the Nilgiris Wildlife and Environment Association, the Chennai High Court issued a landmark judgement that evicted illegal tourism infrastructure at Sigur Elephant Corridor. Mr. Jayachandran S has been instrumental in stopping several road and tourism infrastructures in ecologically important forest areas including Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserves in Tamil Nadu, BiligiriRanganatha Temple Tiger Reserve in Karnataka. He has persistently worked with the Tamil Nadu Government and Forest Departments to consolidate key wildlife habitats in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Mr. Jayachandran is also assisting residents of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in availing fair relocation packages from the government.

 

Mr. Jayachandran S has assisted Tamil Nadu and Kerala Forest Departments in busting poaching rackets, including in the arrest of Kerala-based poachers linked to an international illegal ivory trader in 2015. Often facing great risk unflinchingly, he has assisted the forest departments in the southern States in apprehending hardened poachers and has made several seizures. Thanks to the initiatives of Mr. Jayachandran, many ex-poachers of Theni District are now transformed and are currently engaged in conservation activities in the Nilgiris.

 

On Mr. Jayachandran being conferred the award, Dr. K Ullas Karanth, Director for Science Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society said, “Mr. Jayachandran is a true conservation warrior. He has helped agencies catch poachers and at the same time convinced poachers to give up trade. He has fought court cases to prevent tourist resorts and industrial projects intruding into sensitive habitats of tigers and elephants. In retaliation, he has been harassed by commercial lobbies and complicit, corrupt officials. But he has fought on. This award is a long overdue recognition of his life-time work for wildlife and wild land conservation”.

 

 

Mr. Shashank Dalvi was felicitated with the ‘Wildlife Service Award’ by Sanctuary Nature Foundation.

Mr. Shashank Dalvi, Wildlife Service Award : For using his vast knowledge, commitment to science, and love for gruelling expeditions in pursuit of his long-term goal which is to pioneer a nation-wide conservation programme for birds outside Protected Areas.

 

 

Mr. Nikit Surve was felicitated with the ‘Young Naturalist Award’ by the Sanctuary Nature Foundation.

Mr. Nikit Surve, Young Naturalist Award : For working with dedication and passion on a complex and burning conservation issue – that of sharing space with our wild cat neighbours.

 

 

Ms. Vaishali Rawat was felicitated with the ‘Young Naturalist Award’ by Sanctuary Nature Foundation.

Ms. Vaishali Rawat, Young Naturalist Award : For striving to popularise conservation and create a groundswell of public support for the natural landscapes on which we all depend.

 


Wildlife Conservation Society India Program.

WCS India Program, based in Bengaluru, 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. WCS India Program is committed to saving wildlife and wild lands, nurturing and inspiring positive attitudes towards nature in people through its scientific and conservation endeavors.

 

Visit: wcsindia.org Follow us on Twitter: @WCSIndia | Facebook: @wcs.ind | Instagram: @wcsindia

1 week, 2 days ago 0
Posted in: News, Others, Vacancies

Wildlife Conservation Society India Program has volunteering opportunities for candidates with keen interest in wildlife research, data processing and data analysis.

Number of positions available: 03

Location: Bengaluru

Requirements:

  1. Graduate degree in any discipline.
  2. Extremely meticulous and organized
  3. Basic working knowledge of Microsoft Office (particularly MS-Excel)
  4. Good interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team
  5. Passionate about wildlife

This position is largely office-based. Interested candidates are requested to send an email to <interns.wcsindia@gmail.com>, with the subject line “Application: Volunteers, Dec 2017”, stating interest in brief (100 words), along with their resume and other relevant information.

Scientists find sign-surveys can reliably assess distribution of wildlife
1 month, 2 weeks ago Comments Off on Scientists find sign-surveys can reliably assess distribution of wildlife
Posted in: News, Press Releases
  • Scat and track surveys of wildlife is reliable and cost-effective
  • Scientists studied sloth bears in Bhadra Tiger Reserve in Karnataka
  • First rigorous comparison of two different methods of monitoring distribution of wildlife (camera trap survey and sign survey)
  • Scientists say both sources of data produced nearly identical results

BENGALURU, 26 October 2017 – A new study from the Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program, the Centre for Wildlife Studies, and the University of Florida-Gainesville, shows that cost-effective “sign surveys” can be used to reliably monitor animal distributions in the wild.

 

The authors believe this finding has important implications for conservation as sign surveys offer a cheaper data source for occupancy models compared to direct detection methods.

 

Occupancy models are used to assess where species occur and why, and the status of rare and threatened wildlife to guide conservation interventions. To estimate detection probability, these models can use field data from direct sightings of animals or from camera trap photo “captures”. Such direct surveys, however, involve greater cost and effort. Wildlife scientists therefore often opt to employ surveys of animal signs such as scat or tracks which are more abundant and easier to find.

 

The study, which is based on data from a long term ecological study of tigers led by Wildlife Conservation Society scientist Dr. Ullas Karanth, provides the first rigorous comparison of two different methods (sign surveys and camera trap survey) to estimate proportion of habitat occupied by sloth bears in a 754 km2 area around Bhadra Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, India.

 

“The bears, which are solitary animals endemic to southern Asia, were chosen as a study species because they offer clear advantages in ensuring no false positive detections,” said Arjun Srivathsa, lead author of the paper. “Photo-captures of sloth bears from camera-trap surveys and indirect signs of the species are unmistakable.”

 

Occupancy estimated from sign surveys of fresh scat and tracks made by sloth bears along forest-trails were compared with camera trap captures of bears. Both sources of data produced nearly identical results. About 57% of the area was found to be occupied by sloth bears and this habitat choice was shown to be governed by forest cover and type and terrain ruggedness.

 

“This study demonstrates the importance of using rigorous statistical methods in surveys of rare and elusive species to optimize the quality of results as well as efficiently use substantial investments being made in such surveys now,” said Karanth, who co-authored the study.

 

“Substituting space for time: Empirical evaluation of spatial replications as a surrogate for temporal replication in occupancy modelling” appears in the current edition of the Journal of Applied Ecology.

 

Co-authors include: Arjun Srivastha of the Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program (WCS-India), The Centre for Wildlife Studies in Bengaluru, India (CWS), The School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida, Gainesville (SNRE),and The Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville (DWEC); Mahi Puri of WCS-India, CWS, and DWEC; N. Samba Kumar of WCS-India, and CWS; Devcharan Jathanna of WCS-India; and K. Ullas Karanth of WCS-India, CWS, WCS, and the National Center for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, India.

 

WCS’s collaboration on this initiative was made possible by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation.

 


 

Wildlife Conservation Society India Program.

WCS India Program, based in Bengaluru, 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. WCS India Program is committed to saving wildlife and wild lands, nurturing and inspiring positive attitudes towards nature in people through its scientific and conservation endeavors.

 

Visit: wcsindia.org Follow: @WCSIndia, @wcs.ind

Scientists find media sensitisation helps decrease sensationalism in reportage of human-wildlife conflict incidents
2 months ago Comments Off on Scientists find media sensitisation helps decrease sensationalism in reportage of human-wildlife conflict incidents
Posted in: News, Press Releases
  • Constructive dialogue with the media through workshops encouraged more balanced reporting of human-wildlife conflict issues
  • Workshops aimed to de-sensationalize coverage of negative interactions and provide more fact-based information to the public
  • New study highlights how proactive engagement with the media can lead to positive changes in how wildlife conservation issues are covered

 

BENGALURU, 12 OCTOBER 2017 – Mass media plays an important role in shaping perceptions of the public. It is an important conduit to influence people’s reactions to human-wildlife interactions. The area in and around Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai, India has been the site of periodic leopard attacks that has continually sparked a high level of media interest.

 

In a new study, scientists have found that proactive engagement of expert biologists and the forest department with the media has positively influenced the way local media reported human-leopard interactions, leading to informed reportage rather than mere sensationalism.

 

The study, recently published in the Journal of Urban Ecology, is authored by a team of researchers and managers from the Center of Leadership in Global Sustainability, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Virginia (Ryan Hathaway, Ana-Elisa Bryant, and Megan Draheim), the Wildlife Conservation Society – India (Prerna Vinod and Vidya Athreya), in collaboration with the Maharashtra Forest Department (Sunil Limaye).

Media reportage of human-wildlife incidents can affect the way communities deal with the human-wildlife interface and subsequently impact people’s lives and livelihoods” says co-author Dr. Vidya Athreya, Senior Conservation Biologist at Wildlife Conservation Society-India, who was also a resource person for the media workshops.

Starting in 2011, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park Administration, Mumbai proactively engaged with the media in collaboration with expert biologists, citizen groups and press clubs to hold a series of workshops for local reporters as part of an initiative aimed at resolving human-leopard conflicts. The workshops informed the media on basic ecological and sociological characteristics of the nature of human-leopard interactions in Mumbai.

 

To evaluate whether the media sensitisation workshops had any effect on the quality of reportage, in the period following the workshops, scientists pored through news headlines, identifying the tone, content, and characterizations of leopards and human-leopard interactions in the Mumbai area.

 

Interestingly, reporting of attacks increased after the workshops were started; even though, there were fewer leopard attacks on people. Media coverage was less sensational, and instead of passing blame, realistic solutions were presented. Reportage provided more detail on the setting and context of leopard attacks. There was a decrease in leopards being portrayed as the aggressor, rather, the welfare of leopards was considered more often.

 

Headlines increasingly portrayed leopards to be behaving either naturally or having been victims of either human aggression or circumstance and more emphasis was placed on how humans can prevent attacks.

“Encouraging fact-based reporting in regards to wildlife issues is vital, especially in situations where emotions could run high, which is common with large predators” adds Dr. Athreya.

The scientists used Qualitative Content Analysis to analyse headlines to assess the impact of media workshops on the reporting of human-leopard interactions in Mumbai. Analyzing headlines is faster and cheaper than reviewing entire articles, and allows for a smaller team of conservationists to understand the effects of media across a large region.

 

The scientists recommend that scientific knowledge on the ecology of leopards as well as traditional knowledge systems needs to be obtained and communicated to media and other stakeholders in an inclusive and transparent fashion that it decreases fear of the animal and instead increases an understanding of the issue.

 

The study highlights how proactive engagement with the media, even over contentious issues, can lead to changes in how wildlife conservation issues are covered, thereby reducing conflict. This in turn can aid in the conservation of the species and, in this case, even the welfare of people.

 

The full article can be accessed here: https://academic.oup.com/jue/article/doi/10.1093/jue/jux009/4431017/From-fear-to-understanding-changes-in-media?guestAccessKey=bad7c596-9a1b-419d-ae4d-25db097bc1a5

 


Wildlife Conservation Society India Program.

WCS India Program, based in Bengaluru, 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. WCS India Program is committed to saving wildlife and wild lands, nurturing and inspiring positive attitudes towards nature in people through its scientific and conservation endeavors.

Visit: wcsindia.org Follow: @WCSIndia, @wcs.ind

2 months, 1 week ago Comments Off on Registrations open:WCS INDIA-NCBS MSc program in Wildlife Biology and Conservation 2018-2020

The National Centre for Biological Sciences in collaboration with Wildlife Conservation Society-India is offering a 2 years fully funded Post-Graduate course in Wildlife Biology and Conservation.

REGISTRATIONS FOR ADMISSIONS IN THE UPCOMING BATCH (2018-2020) IS NOW
OPEN.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

INDIAN APPLICANTS:
Indian applicants with a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline (including those in the final year of graduation) with a minimum of 60% marks in the core subjects are eligible to apply.

LINK FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION: https://www.ncbs.res.in/academic/admissions

LAST DATE OF APPLICATION: Thursday, OCTOBER 12, 2017

NATIONAL ENTRANCE TEST: Sunday, DECEMBER 10, 2017

 

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS:
Applicants from Central, South and Southeast Asia with similar qualifications are also eligible to apply. Interested candidates may write to mscwildlife@ncbs.res.in for details about the application package.

For more information, log onto:

https://www.ncbs.res.in/academic/admissions
OR
https://www.ncbs.res.in/mscprogram/admission

For enquiries, please write to: mscwildlife@ncbs.res.in

3 months, 1 week ago Comments Off on Wildlife Conservation Society India Program Vacancy: Accountant
Posted in: News, Others, Vacancies

WCS India Program is looking for an able Accountant based in Bengaluru, to handle its daily accounting responsibilities.

Available position: 2

Qualification: B.Com/ BBM

Responsibility: Manage daily accounting activities under the guidance of Finance Manager

Location: Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, Kodigehalli, Bengaluru – 560097

Requirements:

1. Core competence in accountancy, with 0.6 – 1 year of work experience 

2. Proficiency in TALLY and MS OFFICE

3. Ability to handle day-to-day accounting activities

4. A team player that positively contributes to workplace culture

5. Good communication and inter-personal skills, with proficiency in English. 

Interested candidates should send an email, with their resume, to mrunmayee.cws@gmail.com with the subject line Accountant – September 2017.

NOTE: Remuneration will commensurate with qualification and experience. 
5 months, 2 weeks ago Comments Off on Study Calls for Urgent Need for Improved Human-Wildlife Conflict Management Across India
Posted in: News, Press Releases
  • Up to 32 Wildlife Species Damaging Life and Property
  • Human-Wildlife Conflict Endangers Both Human Livelihoods and Wildlife Survival Globally

 

BENGALURU 28 JUNE 2017 — There is an urgent need to strengthen human-wildlife conflict management across India, as up to 32 wildlife species are damaging life and property in this nation of 1 billion people, according to a recent study published in the July 2017 edition of Human Dimensions of Wildlife.

The researchers are calling for the identification of effective prevention techniques, strengthening existing compensation schemes, and an open inclusive dialogue between local communities, governments, and conservationists.

The authors of the study, “History, Location, and Species Matter: Insights for Human–Wildlife Conflict Mitigation,” are Dr. Krithi Karanth, conservation scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society and Sahila Kudalkar, research associate with the Centre for Wildlife Studies.

The study examined the patterns of human-wildlife conflict and mitigation use by 5,196 families from 2011 to 2014 from 2855 villages neighboring 11 wildlife reserves across western, central, and southern India. The study was designed to help inform better policies to mitigate human-wildlife conflict.

Some of the results of the research included:

Of the more than 5,000 households surveyed around 11 reserves in India, crops were lost by 71% of households, livestock by 17%, and human injury and death were reported by 3% of households.

Rural families use up to 12 different mitigation techniques to protect their crops, livestock and property. Night-time watch, scare devices, and fencing are the most common mitigation techniques used by rural families in the periphery of reserves.

Families near reserves in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh were most likely to use mitigation. In recent years, these states have recorded high levels of damage by wildlife, and are among states that provide the highest compensation payments across India. In contrast, families in Rajasthan were least likely to protect crops and property.

Across wildlife reserves, people reported average crop losses amounting to INR 12,559 (US$194) , and INR 2883 (US$44)of livestock losses annually. Such losses constitute a significant chunk of India’s rural economy, where the majority of the population earns less than INR 5000 (US$77) per month.

Said Dr. Karanth: “Resolving human-wildlife conflict requires revisiting the goals of conservation policies and investments by people and organizations. This is especially true with respect to effort and money deployed associated with mitigation and protection. People may be better served by deploying early warning, compensation and insurance programs rather than by focusing heavily on mitigation.”

Said Sahila Kudalkar, “Combined with high poverty, and low awareness regarding government compensation, such families may be most vulnerable to impacts of wildlife damage upon their livelihoods.”

The study was supported by DST Ramanujan Fellowship, National Geographic Society, National Science Foundation, and Rufford Foundation.

 


Wildlife Conservation Society India Program.

WCS India Program, based in Bengaluru, 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. WCS India Program is committed to saving wildlife and wild lands, nurturing and inspiring positive attitudes towards nature in people through its scientific and conservation endeavors.

Visit: wcsindia.org Follow: @WCSIndia, @wcs.ind

5 months, 4 weeks ago Comments Off on WCS India Program: Openings for Research Assistant
Posted in: News, Others, Vacancies

WCS India Program is hiring interns under a project on the conservation of endangered lion-tailed macaques in the Western Ghats.

The project involves questionnaire-based and field-based surveys in multiple sites across Kerala and Karnataka. Selected candidates will be required to travel extensively, interact with local communities and conduct questionnaire and field-based surveys as per a pre-determined scientific protocol.

Essential qualification : We are looking for candidates who have prior field experience with wildlife research or conservation. They should be fluent in speaking Malayalam and/or Kannada. Knowledge of MS Excel, and ability to drive a vehicle, or ride a motorcycle with valid driver’s licence, is desirable. Candidates with good inter-personal skills and can commit for a minimum period of two-months are encouraged to apply.

The position is open with immediate effect. Renumeration will be decided based on candidate qualification and experience. Accommodation and food expenses in the field will be covered by the project.

To apply, please send an email to <interns.wcsindia@gmail.com> with the subject line ‘Application: Research Assistant, June2016 ‘, stating interest in brief (100 words), along with your most recent resume and other relevant information.

6 months ago Comments Off on Conservation Story Telling Internship
Posted in: News, Others

Are you a story teller? Do you like to write, take pictures or make short films?

If so we have 6-12 month paid internships at the Centre for Wildlife Studies to work with National Geographic Explorer and WCS Conservation Scientist Dr. Krithi Karanth.
To apply please write to krithi.karanth@wcsindia.org with a one page note detailing your interest and experience in writing-photography-film making.
Please attach relevant materials showcasing a few writing samples, pictures or videos by you.
If you are fluent in any Indian language please indicate this with your application.
Time-stamps provide valuable information to study tigers, say scientists
6 months, 3 weeks ago Comments Off on Time-stamps provide valuable information to study tigers, say scientists
Posted in: News, Press Releases

MEDIA CONTACT:

Dr. Ullas Karanth

Email: <ukaranth@gmail.com>

Phone: 080-2211 8976

  • For the first time, scientists incorporate time of photo-capture to estimate abundance and spatial distribution of tigers

  • Traditionally time-data is discarded during analysis despite availability of the information in camera-trap data

  • New methodology of analysis represents data closer to reality that provides a chance to learn more about the behaviour and movement of tigers

BENGALURU 22 May 2017 70 percent of wild tigers are concentrated in less than 6 percent of remaining habitats worldwide. Science-based management is critical for tiger conservation. Spatial capture-recapture (SCR) model analysis is often used to estimate tiger abundance. However, scientists Dr. Robert Dorazio and Dr. Ullas Karanth find that the methodology makes inefficient use of potentially important information in the data – this is despite availability of the information when using camera-traps.

Dates and times of animal detections are fundamental considerations to designing and implementing a conservation strategy.

A new study led by Dr. Robert Dorazio of the United States Geological Survey, and co-authored by Wildlife Conservation Society Director for Science in Asia Dr. Ullas Karanth exploits all information provided by the SCR data obtained using continuous-time recorders i.e. camera-traps.

The scientists illustrated this continuous-time SCR model by analysing spatial and temporal patterns evident in the camera-trap detections of tigers living in and around Nagarahole Tiger Reserve in Karnataka.

They have developed a model to estimate the spatial distribution and abundance of animals making full use of location of photo-capture data and time of photo-capture data – which is a significant advance from traditional SCR analysis which uses only location of photo-capture data. This new method represents data closer to reality.

Dr. Robert Dorazio says, “Modeling photo-capture times of tigers and other large carnivores uses all of the information in the data and gives us a chance to learn more about the behaviors and movements of these animals— information that is crucial to their conservation.”

A short video features Dr. Ullas Karanth discussing how this study might change that thinking and benefit scientists.

Says Dr. Karanth: “We are now able to exactly incorporate the time of capture into the data analysis. This gives us more power to mimic nature in the sense of how tigers actually get ‘trapped’ in cameras, and how their movement, behavior, and space-use relate to time. This is a significant advance.”

The study by Dr. Dorazio and Dr. Karanth “A hierarchical model for estimating the spatial distribution and abundance of animals detected by continuous-time recorders” was published in the current issue of the international journal PLOS ONE. The full paper is accessible here.

This research was supported by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, the Government of India, and the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center—Gainesville, Florida.


Wildlife Conservation Society India Program.

WCS India Program, based in Bengaluru, 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. WCS India Program is committed to saving wildlife and wild lands, nurturing and inspiring positive attitudes towards nature in people through its scientific and conservation endeavors.

Visit: wcsindia.org Follow: @WCSIndia, @wcs.ind