Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Friday, March 24, 2023

ZSI and IUCN collaborating for tiger conservation project in Nandhaur WLS












DEHRADUN: After collaborating on a project aimed at conservation of lions in Gir in Gujarat, the Zoological Society of London (ZSI) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in their 2nd joint project in the country, are supporting a tiger conservation project in the Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary (NWLS) in Kumaon. 




The project which has a total estimated funding of 6 million euros (Rs 45cr) will be undertaken with the assistance of the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India and the Uttarakhand forest department and involve measures such as tiger protection, monitoring, habitat improvement and capacity building. 




As per last year's population estimation of tigers in NWLS, this area of 270 sq km was found to be having around 25 tigers. The tiger numbers have risen significantly after it was declared WLS in 2012. It is also part of the Terai Arc lanscpae, the world's densest tiger area which extends from Himachal Pardesh to Nepal. 




Chief wildlife warden DVS Khati told TOI, "ZSI and IUCN held a meeting with WII and state forest department in London recently on this matter. ZSI and IUCN which are already working on tiger conservation in Nepal were keen to take up Nandhaur too which shares the Terai landscape with Nepal border." 




He further added, "Tiger conservation in this eastern side of the state was largely ignored. Nandhaur which has shown significant presence of tigers was neither included under project tiger nor the proposal of National Tiger Conservation Authority to declare it as tiger reserve has been approved by the state government for last two years. So support of international agencies such as ZSI and IUCN for tiger conservation in this wildlife sanctuary is a big positive development in this regard". 




Director, NWLS Chander Shekhar Sanwal said, "Nandhaur is a rich wildlife area replete with several rare species of flora and fauna such as 60 ft Simal trees and Trogan birds. . It also has healthy elephant population and is part of Shivalik elephant reserve. But we are severely lacking manpower and other wherewithal to ensure protection of all the wildlife species as well as management of the park. Hopefully it is through tiger conservation project, we would be able to fill up all these gaps and serve the purpose of enhanced protection measures for tigers as well as all other species in the sanctuary as well." 




The role of WII is going to be quite important as well. GS Rawat, dean of WII said, "WII would help in management of habitat, tiger monitoring and wildlife health. In this, we would train the forest staff and officials in conducting tiger monitoring on their own in future. Earlier our researcher would take care of monitoring but now we are looking at strengthening the capacity building in the forest and wildlife to build this institution for long time for wildlife health, and veterinarian in treating wildlife ailments. 








Source: The Times of India