‘Living with Big Cats’

Our Human and Big Cat Coexistence Strategies Platform

 The important tiger landscape consisting of Bardiya and Banke National Parks (Nepal) as well as Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary (India) faces many challenges.  WildTiger works alongside partners in developing and implementing coexistence strategies.

1 October 2021 – Please read below to understand how our coexistence strategies have evolved including in response to a high level of human – wildlife conflict. As this site transitions we’ll bring more information on our increased emphasis on alternative livelihoods so as to reduce forest use (risk aversion) as well as news on an exciting new partnership in our education program. 

 WildTiger in conjunction with the Community Based Anti-Poaching Unit (CBAPU) is distributes education/awareness information to schools and community groups in the highly affected areas.  Guidelines are tailored according to the situation in different areas with information based around a model with the front page as below:

Important information at this link:

Why Big Cats are Important

In the image above Sushila hands out guidelines in coordination with school principals in highly affected areas.

In the image above Nirajan Chhetri, our Community Conservation Officer, presents educational support funds to a family which has suffered loss because of a tiger attack.  Nirajan, who is kindly sponsored by the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund (KACF), works under the guidance of Ujalo Nepal in this particular project. which is also supported by KACF.

WildTiger works closely with the National Trust for Nature Conservation – Bardiya Conservation Project (NTNC – BCP) regarding the monitoring of big cat activity particularly in areas close to human settlements.   The Living with Big Cats Team as part of and in collaboration with the Community Based Based Anti-Poaching Unit (CBAPU) continues to communicate guidelines to key areas where conflict between humans and big cats (leopards and tigers) occurs. These guidelines are available in Nepali and English languages with a Tharu equivalent in development. Go to the HOME page for updates.

Another evolving project which has attracted a lot of attention is the Living with Big Cats wildlife kid’s classes which are spread across several villages in our coexistence developing model area in the vicinity of Bardiya National Park, west Nepal. The program has been in development since an early concept phase called Living with Leopards in 2017. Wildlife education classes have been held in several villages in the Bardiya district as well as workshops and visits to the national park.  We thank Shelly Voight of Australia for the kind supply of masks which are very popular with the children particularly in dance and drama.  For 2021, with consideration given to the current pandemic covid-19, we have settled on a structure which you can read about below:

 

Ashish Bashyal, the head of Biodiversity Conservancy Nepal and a frequent visitor to Bardiya for conservation field work involving different species is now in charge of facilitating online classes.  We take this opportunity to thank Frencg charity, Nepally Dream, for their sponsorship of wifi at a main teaching location and of a mobile router which is a great tool giving us flexibility under covid conditions.  As the program develops updates can be seen at the Living with Big Cats Facebook page HERE.

Nature guides Sushila and Manju Mahatara  have been taking classes and workshops since the inception of LBC and in line with our transition leading up to the Year of the Tiger 2022 we look forward to announcing details of our newly formed collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute (Nepal) as LBC morphs with their Roots and Shoots Program.

Understanding the importance of wildlife and coexistence has been the major philosophy behind the program. WildTiger appreciates the specific and ongoing support of YETI (Youth Education and Training Initiatives), a New Zealand organization as we evolve the program into an assignment based platform as well as initiating a partnership with Books for Asia meaning more reading resources available in local dialects, especially Tharu language.

Art classes have been popular with the kids as a learning tool.

Jungle visits and cultural dances have also been part of the learning.

Here long time Bardiya visitor and WildTiger supporter Bernd Hirthe from Germany shows some children a wildlife card he developed…

…and Katy, a whale conservationist from the US, gives the kids a whole new perspective of conservation away from the jungle.

Below is an example of how the children not only learn about wildlife and coexistence but how they communicate the message to the community and beyond:

This drama was a WildTiger initiative as part of Living with Big Cats. Our thanks to Living with Big Cats supporters including YETI Nepal Trust (New Zealand), Katie Adamson Conservation Fund (KACF) and Nepally Dream as well as individual supporters, Our thanks also to collaborators including Bardiya National Park (BNP), National Trust for Nature Conservation – Bardiya Conservation Project (NTNC – BCP), Biodiversity Conservation Nepal, Community Based Anti-Poaching Unit (CBAPU Bardiya), Samsara Safari, Riverside Resort, Babai Resort. This drama was written and performed to be used a conservation tool to promote human and wildlife coexistence under the developing model of Living with Big Cats.

Once again we’d like to extend our thanks to the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund for their superb support in another program, the furthering of education for children who have lost parents in conflict with wildlife.  The program is a collaboration of KACF, Ujalo Nepal, Bardiya National Park, National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and WildTiger.

WildTiger works closely with the National Trust for Nature Conservation – Bardiya Conservation Project (NTNC – BCP) regarding the monitoring of big cat activity particularly in areas close to human settlements.  Umesh Paudel (above) of NTNC – Bardiya Conservation Project has been working alongside WildTiger in building all aspects of LBC and we look forward to continued collaboration and development in education and awareness with a new emphasis on technology tools to aid learning.  The wildlife monitoring aspect of our work will be described in LeopardEye from this point.

LeopardEye is best described as an interface for human and wildlife activity and technology. Protection of forest areas in conjunction with local organizations and authorities is a WildTiger priority. WildTiger coordinator Jack Kinross (above) works closely with the National Trust for Nature Conservation and other agencies in Asia with supply and training using state of the art equipment.