Mapping of poaching communities, understanding customs and providing livelihood to buy conservation support

Published May 2019

Tiger in India

The project was implemented by WWF India to work specifically with people from the Mogiya caste, who are involved in hunting and collection of ethnobotanical plants from forest areas. The Mogiya community have traditionally depended on the forest for their food requirements and have a rich knowledge of wildlife, traditional medicines from the forest and animal behaviour. As a result they have been frequently approached by villagers living in nearby forests for their assistance in retaliatory killings of tiger, leopard and ungulates, and by traffickers for the demand of skins and bones and other derivatives. As earnings in the villages are low, people are often attracted to poaching of wildlife and its trade.

The aim of the project is to map all the poaching communities in the landscape and work with them to support alternative livelihoods through vocational training. So far, the project has helped to provide water resources (since water scarcity is high in the area) and solar based lighting systems, as well as work with the government to ensure that all the villagers have a recognised identity including voting ID cards and ration cards. For young children, the project supports admissions to school.

Lead

WWF India

Location

The project targets villages located in a corridor connecting two tiger population areas, Sheopur Territorial forests and Kuno Palpur wildlife sanctuary, in Madhya Pradesh.

The poaching and wildlife trade problem

Species affected Indian Pangolin Manis crassicaudata , Leopard Panthera pardus , Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus , Tiger Panthera tigris

Products in trade

Bones, Live animals, Meat, Scales, Skin and Teeth for national and international trade

Overview of the problem

Poaching is carried out by a number of different groups including: individuals from local communities, gangs from local communities and gangs from outside the area.

The strategy

Increasing livelihoods that are not related to wildlife

(Non-wildlife-based) enterprise development/support
Provision of community-level benefits
Further detail

The project aims to provide community members with livelihood alternatives in lieu of wildlife use. This includes skills development as well as community infrastructure development (water facilities, solar lights), and government recognition (e.g. voter ID cards).

What doesn’t work and why

As an NGO, WWF India has limitations on what they can provide, meaning support and recognition from the government is therefore important for success.

Although WWF India have in-depth knowledge regarding the villages involved in poaching, they do not have a tracking and monitoring system in place to manage this knowledge.

Organisers, donors and partners

For further information contact (peoplenotpoaching@gmail.com).