India is believed to harbour more than half of the world’s remaining wild tiger population despite its burgeoning human population that entails growing needs for large-scale developments as well as an immense anthropogenic pressure on already fragmented and isolated protected areas. In addition to the work conducted in the Terai which encompasses Northern India, ITHCP is supporting two projects in Central (Maharashtra) and Southern India (Karnataka).
In Central India the project is led by the Maharashtra Forest Department together with NGO partners such as Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT). Five of the six tiger reserves in eastern Maharashtra along with their forested interconnectivity are recognised as the Vidharba Tiger Conservation Landscape. The project aims to protect key corridors in between the different protected areas of the landscape through direct community-based interventions to reduce the human pressure, participatory mitigation measures for human-wildlife conflicts, enhancement of protection measures & awareness-raising of local communities towards habitat management and protection.
Karnataka state in Southern India is one of the important areas that holds the highest number of tigers within the country and has long-term prospects for its survival. The other project is being carried out in this landscape, the Western Ghats and is led by Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) in partnership with Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and others. The projects aims to assist in the recovery of the tiger, its prey and their habitat in the MM Hills – Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary landscape by undertaking direct community-based interventions; strengthening overall park management capability and helping foster local community support to conservation. By also working on speed-calming measures on highways, the project also aims to improve connectivity with neighbouring protected areas.