Emergency Response

Rapid Action for India’s wildlife

With a human population approaching 1.25 billion, India and the wildlife inhabiting the country is increasingly under pressure by habitat fragmentation, human-wildlife conflict and poaching. Despite long-term, landscape conservation initiatives the scale and diversity of the country means that unique, emergency wildlife situations often arise and it is vital that endangered species are given the protection they need when and where it is needed most.

Thanks to DSWF’s funding for wildlife emergencies through the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) human-wildlife conflict can be rapidly dealt with and avoided. From providing early warning systems to prevent elephant deaths on India’s railways to buffalo insurance schemes to prevent revenge attacks on tigers and awareness campaigns for India’s beleaguered leopards DSWF support is helping to protect wildlife throughout the sub-continent.

DSWF has worked with the Wildlife Trust of India for over 15 years and responded to a variety of calls for help including:
• A successful investigation programme into the illegal ivory trade smuggling routes through Asian countries to their end markets
• Training and equipping all forest officers patrolling the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve
• Mitigating human-elephant conflict
• Providing an Animal Detection System to reduce the numbers of elephants hit by trains
• Reducing wildlife kills on the road
• Provision of biogas plants to reduce fuel wood use in key habitats
• Provision of anti-poaching boat patrols and equipping frontline forest staff

These projects address a wide range of conservation issues which are not always covered by regional conservation strategy plans, including species and habitat protection, conflict mitigation and management, wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife crime prevention and public awareness.

280 species specific and general projects have been implemented across 25 states and two Union territories in India in the last 14 years. These grants allow WTI to respond immediately to crises with little bureaucracy and no delay. The Rapid Action Project is proving to be an invaluable lifeline in the battle to protect India’s precious wildlife.

Header image: Aditya Joshi, WTI