Tiger Defenders: Poonam And Harshawardhan Dhanwatey Tadoba Tiger Reserve
Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve
Poonam and Harshawardhan Dhanwatey are among the Tadoba Tiger Reserve’s most dedicated defenders. They turned a seven acre failed farm into a forest that now partially supports two tiger families with cubs, plus wild dogs, leopards, wild pigs, and birds of every description. An interior designer, Poonam quit her profession to pursue her passion for the tiger fulltime. She and her husband have spent over a decade conducting intensive fieldwork in protected and unprotected forest areas in central India. Their mission is straightforward: “We want to give expanding wildlife numbers safe sanctuary outside the tiger reserve, because it is here that poachers are most active and where man-animal conflict is most acute. This we intend to do by creating livelihoods that are based on the restoration of biodiversity.” Their field experience equips them to strategise and implement tiger conservation action plans, which they do in concert with the Maharashtra Forest Department.
Your Tiger Defenders are making a difference
To address critical problems and find long-term solutions, this husband and wife team founded Tiger Research and Conservation Trust (TRACT), a non-government, non-profit organisation dedicated to tiger protection. Through TRACT, they have helped mitigate human-wildlife conflicts and aid with the voluntary relocation of villagers away from critical tiger habitats. Poonam, and Harsh make a very good team. She helps train forest field staff and prepares village youth to take on vital wildlife protection jobs. Harsh puts his conflict resolution skills to work to improve people-park relationships, and works with the forest staff to hone their foot-patrolling, anti-poaching skills. He also imparts training for the monitoring of wildlife using GPS and camera traps. They believe that such skills are vital for park managers and staff and that in combination with heightened community awareness, these steps will help us win the long-term battle to save the tiger and its habitat.
Help Your Tiger Defenders
You can make direct donations to TRACT. Your donation will help to buy field gear for patrolling field personnel, contribute to their salaries, and provide other support.
For more information visit: http://www.tractindia.org/donations.html; http://www.tractindia.org/contact.html
Source: Sanctuary Asia.