Craft of Conservation: First Workshop at Melghat
Since 2003, we have been working on tiger conservation in Melghat landscape. Some of our major initiatives for tiger conservation in Melghat include six years of line transect monitoring programs for estimating herbivore population, estimation of tiger population through camera-traps, imparting environment education in tribal schools in Melghat, and reducing biotic pressures on tiger habitat by providing alternative lifestyle solutions. Recently, we have also started an intensive ecological study on the Forest Owlet in Melghat landscape. In all our programs, local communities are our major stakeholders. They participate in our project activities and we enhance their skills in earning livelihood through handicraft training. We conducted our first workshop in simmering heat of April 2018 for the women of Chourakund, Kund, Khamda and Kinikheda. The training was conducted by Mamata Abhyankar, Sudhir Deshpande, Shubham Badratiya, Nikhil Jambhale, Jayant Kulkarni and Prachi Mehta. It was rewarding to see that after several days of grueling training, the women were keen to learn more and were smiling away happily with their newly acquired skill. We are also happy to acquire our new conservation partners in these villages. Currently, we are training the groups in making bamboo products, cloth bags, key chains, and cloth pouches on owl and tiger theme. Do watch out for more products from Melghat soon. This initiative is a part of the project “Integrated Habitat Conservation and Eco-development in Vidarbha Tiger Landscape” supported by IUCN and Maharashtra Forest Department.