Encouraged by the awareness and learning imbibed during nature education programs, students and young community members living around Pench Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra) have been reporting wildlife sightings to Saptuda Foundation and the forest department to prevent conflict.
A good example of this was a recent incident wherein a Rat snake was rescued from a house in Pipariya village in Pench. The information about the snake was provided to the Satpuda Foundation team by Ganesh Chincholkar, a class 3rd school student and a regular participant in their education programs.
Bandu Uikey, field team member from the Satpuda Foundation mentions: “During the monsoon season this year, due to the awareness disseminated by our team about snakes, we got a lot of calls from students and village residents whenever snakes were sighted near villages. Hence, we could respond promptly, rescue many snakes, and prevent any untoward incident. This is very positive and a result of the nature education programs that we conduct.”
Long term positive outcomes of these awareness programs have also been observed, as they have helped help garner support from the local community for conservation actions.
Mukesh Sontakke, a youngster from Pipariya village in which the Foundation conducts its program, now works as a seasonal forest labourer with the Paoni Unified Control range of the buffer area of Pench Tiger Reserve Maharashtra. He assists forest department staff in protection measures, human-wildlife conflict management, and wildlife monitoring.
Many youngsters, including Mukesh, from buffer area villages, who have previously participated in Satpuda Foundation’s education and awareness programs, are now employed as forest laborers and members of primary response teams dedicated to wildlife protection.
Congratulations to the field teams who tirelessly conduct these programmes in challenging conditions and a big thank you to the local community for their support!