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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 India 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 Manager)

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. 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. Azim Mujawar (Project Manager)

Azim Mujawar has a master’s degree in Zoology from University of Pune. Wildlife and nature have fascinated him since he was a child;hence he chose to become a wildlife biologist. Most of his work was on tigers and large mammals while he was engaged with Wildlife Institute of India, Sahyadri Tiger Conservation Foundation of Kolhapur Wildlife Division. He has also worked with IIFM Bhopal and BVIEER Pune. His interest lies in studying large mammals and their conservation through habitat restoration programs. Presently he is engaged with WRCS in Elephant Project as a Project Manager. He loves to travel and enjoys spending time in wilderness.


Mr. Ameya Deshpande (Research Biologist)

Ameya is  an avid bird watcher and enjoy exploring various habitats to look for birds, to learn more about them and to document them in their natural habitat. Although, he is  graduated in Commerce, his passion for wildlife led him to pursue a career in wildlife studies immediately after graduation. He has been involved in a number of research projects as a field expert, conducting extensive field surveys to contribute data to the better understanding of the natural world. To gain a deeper understanding of wildlife ecology, He has pursued a postgraduate degree in Environmental Science at MIT-WPU, Pune. He is now working as Research Biologist and is working on Ujjani wetland project.


Mr. Hrishikesh Karandikar (Research Officer)

Hrishikesh has completed his Master's in Ecology from Pondicherry University and BSc in Zoology from Modern College, Shivajinagar, Pune. He has been an avid bird watcher since he was 14 and has always been fascinated by nature. During his graduation, he took several professional certificate courses in Ornithology, Entomology, Herpetology, and Limnology to engage his curiosity. His love for travelling and wildlife took him into the wildlife tourism industry, where he worked as a Naturalist in different wildlife tourism companies. For his MSc dissertation, he used bird communities and birds as bio-indicators to assess the ecological status of mixed-native and monoculture plantations. Recently he worked as a Research Assistant to study pastoralists and their dependence on Savannas and pastoralist-wolf interactions. He is interested mainly in socio-ecological systems, ornithology, restoration biology and myrmecology. He loves taking photos of birds and insects and documenting his own-field experiences in his free time.

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Mr. Shrihari Hegde (Project Officer)

Shrihari Hegde completed a Master's in Environmental Science from Mangalore University, India. He is native to the North Kanara district of Karnataka. He had worked on honeybees and Biodiversity of western ghats and west coast regains for his master thesis. He also has some experience working in QGIS software and statistical analysis. Being a keen nature enthusiast, he loves to work in the North Kanara landscape on elephants.


 Ms. Sonal Pawar (Communication Officer)

Sonal Pawar holds a Master's degree in Biodiversity from MES Abasaheb Garware College-Pune and BSC in Microbiology from Modern College, Ganeshkhind, Pune. She is an avid bird watcher and loves to spend time in nature.  For her Master's dissertation she was exploring the Microbial diversity of floral nectar using different medias While completing her Master's  she had Volunteered for several wildlife survey in India,  Gaur tracking surveys held by the Maharashtra Forest Department and Butterfly survey held by Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary Goa. She has interned with Zoological Survey of India,(ZSI) Western Region Center, where she was working on taxonomic identification of different taxa's, preservation techniques and morphometery of Amphibians. She had also interned with IISER, Tirupati on the project “Modified Landscapes in Tropical Mountains and Their Regenerative Role for Native Biodiversity” in the Sholas and high altitude grasslands of The Nilgiris.


Mr. Ajinkya Bagal (Project Officer)

Ajinkya Bagal has Master's degree in Wildlife Conservation Action from Pune. . He has worked on Gaur in Western ghats in Kolhapur district for his masters dissertation. He  has done internship in Wildlife Trust of India on the project of Greater Manas recovery program in Assam. He has  also worked upon some software such as Arc GIS, Q GIS, PRESENCE, MS Office, and Statistical analysis. He loves to explore new places and likes to travel. He works with local NGO's for animal resue operation. He has a keen interest in Ecology


Mr. Prajwal Kumar (Project Officer)

Prajwal Kumar, BS, is a passionate wildlife enthusiast and postgraduate in wildlife and management from Kuvempu University. Hailing from an agricultural background, he is closely associated with cultivation and conservation management. He has worked on herbivore distribution in the Kali Tiger Reserve for his master's dissertation. He has done several internships related to elephant and leopard segregation and LTI plots. Beyond his academic pursuits, he finds joy in exploring new destinations and engaging in snake rescue and herping operations. He also devotes time to educating and inspiring schoolchildren about the importance of conservation, sharing his knowledge, and igniting a passion for wildlife in the next generation of enthusiasts.


Mr. Chaitanya bhargava (Project Officer)

Chaitanya is a master student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of Helsinki, Finland, and he did his Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College, Pune in Environmental Science. His fascination with nature, like most people started with a love of photography, fascinated by the rich flora and fauna of the country, He have been documenting nuances of birds, animals and their behavior through his lens since his school days. During his bachelor's thesis he studied the effect of urbanization on changing the bird community composition, and for my master's thesis, I studied the feeding preference of north-European avian frugivores for the fruits of native and nonnative plants occurring in Helsinki. Currently, He is working  on Forest Owlet conservation project.


Mr. Shivaprasad Hegde  (Project Officer)

Shivaprasad holds Master's degree in Environmental Science  from Kuvempu University, Karnataka. For his Master's thesis he had worked on honeybees specifically on Apis cerana indica. He is a professional bee keeper of Apis cerana indica and Meliponini. Being a keen nature enthusiast, he is passionate about bees and  loves to work with bees. Currently, he is working on Elephant project in North Kanara




Mr. Nikhil Narendra Pandhare  (Project Officer)

Nikhil is a passionate wildlife enthusiast. He holds a Master's Degree in Botany with the specialization of cell and molecular biology and Plant biotechnology from Hislop college Nagpur. He has excellent plant identification skills. He is interested in plant anatomy and plant physiology. Currently he is working on our Koyna plantation project. He loves playing football.



Mr. Rajendra Dheple (Accountant)
Rajendra has a B.Com. degree and over 10 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. He is a big cricket fan and a foodie on a diet!


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. Ashok Bethekar (Project Assistant)
Ashok is working on Owl Ecology Project in Melghat Tiger Reserve. He has been trained in assist in Owl Project and working with WRCS from longtime. He manages field work and helps in locating and monitoring owl nest.


Mr. Ram L. Kasdekar (Project Assistant)
Ram is working in Melghat Tiger Reserve on Owl Ecology. He has been trained in assist in Owl Project and working with WRCS from longtime. He manages field work and  helps in locating and monitoring owl nest.

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. 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.

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Ms. Manisha Peter  (Administrative Officer)

Manisha Peter has completed her B. Com from C. D. Jain College of Commerce, Shrirampur from Pune University. She has five years of experience in the sales department. She looks after all the administrative work. She enjoys travelling and making crafts from waste products . 

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