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. After a few years of service, he resigned from IFS and returned to working actively in nature conservation, a field close to his heart. Jayant’s main interest is in nature conservation that can be linked to people’s participation. Jayant is the Executive Director of Conservation Programs. Jayant is an excellent bird watcher and photographer. He loves to trek, be in the wild, and is a foodie at heart.
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 and worked on her Ph.D in wildlife biology. For the Ph.D degree, she examined the impact of forestry practices on bird communities of Satpura Hills in Bori Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh and Melghat Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. For her Ph.D work, she was awarded Salim Ali Award for best work in Ornithology at WII. Prachi’s main interest is in ecological research focusing on birds and large mammals. Prachi enjoys bird-watching, trekking and photography. Her current passion is study of the critically endangered Forest Owlet.
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 affectionate of biking, travelling, reading and cricket.
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. 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.