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VKAP – Bandhavgarh TR, December 2013

To read the detailed report for this programme, click here.

The tiger is at the top of the food chain and hence is an indicator species. Through the tiger, nature ensures that there is a balance in the ecosystem. Therefore, the extinction of the tiger will result in the loss of lesser fauna and consequently the forests too. This can have dangerous environmental consequences for man. Therefore, saving the tiger means saving all the animals and other creatures that live within the tiger’s forests.

Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (BTR) covering an area of approximately 449 sq. situated between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges in the state of Madhya Pradesh in Central India is divided into core and buffer zones which apart from the diverse flora & fauna is also home to a multitude of villages and tribal communities.

Hence, we believe that to save the forests and the tigers, we must consider the interests of the people living within. They are as much the custodians of the forests as the rest of us and must be given an opportunity to appreciate and understand the forest and the issues associated with it better. Especially since it has been seen that in a lot of the cases, killing, trapping or even electrocution of wild animals (for bush meat, poaching for skin and bones, or even revenge killing in case of cattle lifting or crop raiding by the animals) is carried out with the help of these local communities living in and around the reserve.

Although this is the 5th leg of our awareness session with the students living in the buffer zone of the park, it still feels like we have much to learn from the students. Be it their belief about animals or their perception of the forest. Thus, to further understand these ideas and enhance their interest in the wilderness the children inherently possess, it is important to expose them to a world that they know probably exists but haven’t really explored.

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