Tiger Conservation Project, Kanha, India

AAa2I_C_2 422In October 2013, Marie spent her holidays on a tiger conservation project based in and around Kanha National Park, which is said to be Rudyard Kipling’s inspiration for The Jungle Book.  The project is led by Dr Latika Nath Rana, one of the pioneers in tiger conservation research with a PhD from Oxford University. It demonstrates how tourism, conservation and community development can go hand in hand, playing a positive role in saving the critically endangered tiger and protecting fragile ecosystems.  For two weeks, Marie learnt about conservation research through daily presentations by Dr Rana and documentaries; as well as practicing conservation research methods such as plant and animal species identification, pug mark collection and camera trapping, mentored by naturalists Anant Erikson and Gucci.  With the lodge immersed in the buffer zone surrounding the national park, it meant that all of the sounds of the jungle could be heard but not always seen.  While the movement of the ever present leopard could be heard through the sounds of the chital deer and monkeys, it was not caught by the camera trap until early this year when another group was lucky to have snapped the elusive stunner on the lodge grounds.

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The group also spent some afternoons at the local school leading group activities aiming to teach the children about conservation of the environment and the animals within it.  Poaching of tigers remains lucrative and with farmers protecting their stock, tiger numbers continue to decline despite careful efforts of rangers and authorities.  The group also painted a large mural on one of the class room walls with the help of a local artist to depict the beauty and value of the jungle’s animals.  The group were also privileged to spend time with a local group who make sustainable energy fuel briquettes with cow dung and with the local Indigenous tribe – dancing and enjoying the colourful attire and personalities.

India school

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For more information visit: http://www.singinawa.in/responsible%20tourisam.html