Last Wilderness Foundation in collaboration with the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve management conducted a one-day workshop on 12th February, 2016 on understanding human-wildlife conflict and exploring the methods to be brought into force during a conflict situation. The workshop was conducted in the presence of the Field Director, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Shri. K. Raman and was attended by the Ranger Tala, Ranger Dhamokhar, Ranger Manpur and Ranger Panpatha along with the S.D.O. Shri Tripathi, Police personnel and the members of the Gram Suraksha Samiti.
The programme was initiated by the Field Director, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Shri. K. Raman followed by the Chief Administrative officer, Last Wilderness Foundation, Vidya Venkatesh who delivered a presentation on human-wildlife conflict and the roles of the Forest Department and the Police during an emergency situation. The presentation also highlighted importance of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, an overview of the incidents of conflict at Bandhavgarh TR (old and new cases were discussed), compensation and procedures. This entire conversation lead to a discussion on how to reduce human-wildlife conflict in and around Bandhavgarh TR and the necessary steps that need to be taken to ensure safety of the animal and people who surround the spot of incident during an emergency situation.
The Field Director then regaled the participants with the story of a villager in Khitauli village whose family had taken the right steps while a tiger had entered their backyard which had helped avert a potential conflict scenario.
He urged the Gram Suraksha Samiti members to spread the message in their respective villages:
1) Not to attempt to save the livestock in the event that it has been attacked by a big cat.
2) Use their own positions to influence villagers to avoid moving around alone or in the dark close to forested areas.
The workshop was concluded with the SDOP Umariya, Shri P.S. Balre and SDO Bandhavgarh TR, Shri. Shukla sharing their experiences from the field and how they have best countered conflict situations. Lastly, the Field Director urged the participants to spread the word of the steps to be taken in their respective villages in order to enjoy a secure and plausible model of co-existence.