Mr. Jayant Kulkarni (Executive Director, Conservation)

Jayant Kulkarni has a B.Tech and an M.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT (Mumbai). Although an engineer by qualification, his passion has always been for wilderness and nature. To pursue his interest, he joined the Indian Forest Service (IFS) from Maharashtra cadre. He was trained in wildlife management at Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun and was awarded silver medal for his performance. Jayant served as an IFS officer in Maharashtra and was posted in Melghat Tiger Reserve. He resigned from IFS and to work for nature conservation from the NGO sector. Jayant’s main interest is participatory nature conservation. He is particularly interested in conservation of private forests and sustinable forest management as a conservation tool. Jayant is the Executive Director of Conservation Programs. He is a keen bird watcher and photographer. He loves to trek, be in the wild, and is a foodie at heart.

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Dr. Prachi Mehta (Executive  Director, Research)

Prachi Mehta has a Ph.D in Wildlife Biology from Wildlife Institute of  working as Executive Director, Research with WRCS. Prachi has been actively involved in wildlife and nature conservation since her college days. To pursue her interest further, she joined Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun. For her Ph.D. degree, she studied the impact of forestry practices on bird communities of Satpura Hills in Bori Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh, and Melghat Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra.  Prachi’s main interest is in ecological research on birds and large mammals. She is working actively on community-based mitigation of human elephant conflict. Her current passion is study of the critically endangered Forest Owlet and sympatric owls in Central India. Prachi enjoys bird-watching, trekking and photography.

Mr. Sunil Kale (Project Officer)

Sunil Kale has an MBA degree in Environmental Management and a bachelor’s degree in Zoology. He is working with WRCS as a project officer on Private Forests Conservation Project, since 2012. As a project office, he is implementing activities like eco-restoration of private forests, eco-friendly income-generating activities for the local community and incentive-based conservation agreements. He is a strong believer of the holistic approach for conservation along with community participation for long-term sustainability. His current interest is to enhance financial and leadership skills for developing innovative community projects to maximize conservation impact. Sunil is fond of biking, travelling, reading and cricket.

Mr. Ravi Bandekar (Project Officer)

Ravi Bandekar is a diploma holder in agriculture faculty and has substantial work experience with local communities in Davengere in Karnataka. Ravi has been working with students and farmers in villages in Karnataka teaching them about enhancing education skills and livelihood securities. He is skilled in establishing communication and network with people from all walks of life. Ravi is associated as a Project Officer and Researcher with WRCS's elephant project in North Kanara district. He is interested in conflict management and establishing novel ideas for elephant conservation.

Mr. Rakesh Kalva (Research Associate)

Rakesh is an alumnus of the Masters course in Wildlife Biology and Conservation conducted by WCS-India, NCBS, and TIFR. For his master’s dissertation, he looked at how large herbivore populations change with various conservation and ecological factors in Kawal Tiger Reserve, India. His immediate priority is the conservation of the Eastern Ghats landscape by combining applied research and a flagship species approach. He is presently working with WRCS in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, with a particular focus on elephants. Other than the Eastern Ghats, he has a fascination for the Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis) and hopes to study and understand various aspects of the species’ ecology. Apart for this he works with local animal welfare NGOs and helps in rescues and fostering of animals.


Mr. Shubham Giri (Research Biologist)

Shubham Giri is a science graduate from Amaravati and is an accomplished birder. Shubham Giri is working on the Owl Ecology Project at Melghat. Shubham has deep interest in ornithology and is quick in detecting them by sight and sound. Shubham Giri is a good photogapher too. Shubham Giri has recorded a few new distributional records for birds in and around Melghat.

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Mr. Sumedh Bobade (Research Biologist)

Sumedh Bobade is a post graduate in zoology. He is currently studying the ecology of owls in Melghat, with respect to partitioning for resources between owls. His area of interest is birds and mammals. He is keenly interested in bird photograhy. He is a good swimmer and also a good artist. 

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Mrs. Aboli Waikar (Programme Manager Community Initiatives)

Aboli has done B.E. Chemical Engineering from B.V.C.O.E. Pune and an M.Tech. in Chemical Engineering from I.I.T. Bombay. She is currently designing handicraft products for the Tribal and Village community at our project sites. She is also giving a helping hand to market these products and create a selling platform for our beautiful Tribal artifacts. She has 15+ years of industry experience and worked in various R&D functions at the interface of software and engineering. She wants to contribute back to society by engaging in volunteering work. Aboli is a nature lover and an avid traveler. She enjoys bird watching, trekking and singing.. 


Mr. Rajendra Dheple (Accountant)

Rajendra has a B.Com. degree and over 7 years of accounting experience in retail industry. Rajendra manages accounts department of WRCS. He is an excellent administrator and manages audits, purchases, payments and logistics. He has very good communication skills. He always supports in arranging exhibitions, stalls and managing the cash counter for our community initiative programs.

Mr. Amol Dheple (Office Assistant)

Amol is trained as architectural draftsman at ITI Aundh.  He is helping in office administration and managing the handicraft programme. He is an expert at managing the inventory of handicrafts. He expertly provides the finishing touch to handicrafts and manages the handicraft stalls at exhibitions.

Mr. Jabbar Chauhan (Field Assistant)

Jabbar is an accomplished tracker and an immense help on field and off-field. He lives at Awaliya and works with WRCS at the Forest Owlet study site at East Kalibhit in Madhya Pradesh.

Mr. Jitendra  Dhikar (Field Assistant)

Jitendra has been working with WRCS at Melghat since 2016. He is a versatile person and excels at field and camp management. Currently he is working on WRCS's conservation project. 


Mr. Balkrushna Bhomkar  (Field Assistant)

Bunty has been working with WRCS on the Koyna project since 2015. He is an expert at managing plantations. His hard work has helped to make a success of the Koyna plantations.


Mr. Sambhaji Chalke  (Field Assistant)

Sambhaji has been working with WRCS on the Koyna project since 2019. He is a graduate in Agricultural Science. He has experience in teaching and social work. He is interested in organic farming, and community development.