WCS-India has been working with the Maharashtra Forest Department to ease the conflict situation between leopards and humans in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Mumbai. The team works in landscapes as varied as the tea estates of West Bengal to the hills of Himachal and rural landscapes of Uttarakhand. The common observation has been the need to involve the locals in conservation efforts. Towards this, the team has been using traditional and scientific inputs to alleviate fear among the locals and make a case for the co-existence of man and animal. Monitoring the leopard population and tracking the animal has helped give useful insights into its behaviour.
WCS-India is also actively working in the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape in Assam with its mix of forest land and tea gardens, where elephants abound. We are studying ways to mitigate conflict through habitat connectivity and by tracking individual elephants to identify problem ones. Building a database of their population, conducting surveys among human populations are some other activities undertaken.