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Feb-Mar 2022 and Apr-May 2022 |
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Expansion of railway line threatens Sanjay-Dubri Tiger Reserve
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Leading NGOs and conservationists have objected to the expansion (doubling) and electrification of Katni-Singrauli railway line that passes through Sanjay-Dubri Tiger Reserve (SDTR). An urgent appeal letter has been sent to the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to protect SDTR by realigning the railway line and bypassing this important tiger reserve to ensure the ecological and conservation integrity of this landscape.


The copies of this letter were sent to the Minister of Railways, other senior officials of the MoEFCC and Madhya Pradesh Forest Department. The letter has been signed by organisations such as Bombay Natural History Society, Satpuda Foundation, The Corbett Foundation, Conservation Action Trust, Sanctuary Nature Foundation, Tiger Research and Conservation Trust, BAAVAN and Nature Conservation Society Amravati and by renowned wildlife conservationists such as Dr. M. K. Ranjitsinh, Dr. A.J.T. Johnsingh, Dr. Raghu Chundawat, Dr. Asad Rahmani, Dr. Divyabhanusinh Chavda, among others.


The moderate amount of rail traffic on this existing route has already claimed the life of a tigress nursing her cubs at SDTR in April 2022 due to an accident while crossing the rail tracks. The orphaned cubs of this tigress now face an uncertain future due to this unfortunate incident. There are 38 documented deaths (and many unrecorded) of wild animals along this route during 2010-2020.  Between January to December 2020, the presence of tigers and leopards has been recorded 315 times in Dubri and Bastua ranges of SDTR. The presence of tigers and elephants have been documented on both sides of the existing track in the corridor indicating a crossing over of the tracks by India’s National Animal and National Heritage Animal, respectively. Therefore, the plan to double and electrify this existing railway line will result in an increase in speed and frequency of the trains and is likely to prove even more detrimental to the wild animals of this landscape. This will also require the cutting of 14,187 trees along this stretch and can cause a permanent barrier for the wild animals.


To know more about this issue and the letter, please click here.

Do read an article about Bandhavgarh-Sanjay-Dubri Landscape authored by Dr. A.J.T. Johnsingh, Dr. Sharad Kumar and Kedar Gore in Jul-Sep 2020 issue of Hornbill at this link.
Lesser Florican death due to power line collision
The Corbett Foundation assisted the Wildlife Division, Sasan-Gir, Gujarat Forest Department, for a satellite tagging of Lesser Florican Sypheotides indicus, a Critically Endangered bustard species. In Sept 2020, a male and a female florican were fitted with solar-powered satellite tags. This was the first-ever tagging of a female lesser florican. A scientific paper has been published of this research that has highlighted the threat of power line collision in the case of lesser florican too. The tagged female, unfortunately, collided with a 33kv power line in Maharashtra on her return migratory journey from Telangana. 
Read the scientific paper in the JBNHS.
TCF opposes the move to restart international ivory trade
The Corbett Foundation was among the 50-odd organisations from across the globe to strongly oppose attempts to restart the international ivory trade ahead of the 19th meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP19) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in November 2022. This advocacy campaign is being led by Environmental Investigation Agency (#EIA) based in the USA.
Read the statement here.
NPCI-funded Integrated Rural Development Project in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra
Self Help Group members displaying food products made
Summer camp conducted for school children
Piggy banks created by children out of waste plastic water bottles
The Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP), funded by the National Payments Corporation of India (#NPCI) and implemented by The Corbett Foundation in Amboli region, taluka Sawantwadi, district Sindhudurg of Maharashtra has completed one year in March 2022. The IRDP addresses the issues of natural resource management and conservation, livelihoods, education, water, awareness and conservation education 15 villages in and around Amboli-Dodamarg Conservation Reserve, a Protected Area in the Western Ghats, declared under India’s Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 with a long-term vision of the Central and the State governments to secure tiger corridors between Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.
The IRDP, which has been a pioneering effort of this scale in this area, has benefitted over 8,000 individuals directly and indirectly in FY 2021-22, and will have a long-term positive impact in all the villages, wildlife and forest. The work has been effectively implemented by TCF’s team on the ground and their efforts are commendable. The regular interaction with the NPCI CSR team helped steer the project and overcome the challenges. 
Installation of solar-powered street lights, stop dam, rejuvenation of village ponds, distribution of energy-efficient cookstoves, solar-powered fencing and high-beam flashlights to prevent crop-raiding by wild animals, open well fencing, livestock vaccination, livelihood skills training and market linkages (coir products, local food products, poultry farming, vermicomposting), school infrastructure strengthening, remedial coaching for students, conservation awareness and sensitisation, and capacity building of frontline forest department personnel are some of the activities implemented. The project will continue till March 2024 and TCF and NPCI will strive to identify and address issues at the grassroots level with active local community involvement. 

TCF expresses its gratitude to NPCI for this much-needed support for holistic sustainable development in the region.
The Winds of Change in Tamenglong, Manipur
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The Corbett Foundation and IndiGo Reach joined hands two years ago to make a difference in the Tamenglong district of Manipur. 


A part of the global Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot, Tamenglong, one of the most remote and hilly districts of Manipur, is blessed with extraordinary biodiversity that can boast of several threatened species such as red vanda ( Ranenthera imschootiana), Blyth’s tragopan ( Tragopan blythii), Mrs. Hume’s pheasant ( Syrmaticus humiae), white-winged duck ( Asarcornis scutulata), great hornbill ( Buceros bicornis), rufous-necked hornbill ( Aceros nipalensis), clouded leopard ( Neofelis nebulosa), Chinese pangolin ( Manis pentadactyla), Cherrapunji or strange-tailed keelback ( Hebius xenura) and the Tamenglong horned frog ( Xenophrys numhbumaeng). Much of the forests here remain unexplored with species unknown to science yet to be documented and signify the immense potential of Tamenglong Hills to grab the limelight as other biodiversity-rich areas of the northeast India. 


'Safeguarding Biodiversity in Tamenglong, Manipur' is a 2-year project being implemnented in around 15 villages and reaching out to the local community and involving them in conservation of the biodiversity and forest around. Restoration of abandoned jhum fields, providing energy-efficient ecostoves, promoting sustainable livelihoods such as bee-keeping, nature-guiding and creating eco-huts to promote nature-based tourism, conservation awareness and capacity building of frontline forest department personnel have been conducted successfully. 


TCF is grateful to IndiGo Reach for its trust, support and collaboration.

Bajaj Saksham Programme - a lifeline for communities in Corbett landscape

To the forest-dependent communities of the Corbett landscape, the Bajaj Saksham Programme supported by Bajaj Auto Ltd. is a boon. This programme reaches over 25,000 patients in 120+ villages annually through its primary healthcare treatment, health awareness, special medical camps and on-the-spot diagnostic tests.  


TCF is grateful to Bajaj Auto Ltd. for the funding and the consistent support since 2016-17.

Tiger Habitat Project in Bandhavgarh
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Exodus Travels Foundation, UK, has been consistently supporting The Corbett Foundation take up projects to support the overall tiger conservation efforts in the landscape; the latest initiatve being the 'Tiger Habitat Project' where 280 energy-efficient cookstoves have been provided to Kaluabah, Mardari, Gadawah and Gohadi villages to reduce their fuel wood requirement. The second phase of this project involves modifying wood-based cattle sheds (~150 units) to chain-linked fences. This has a huge potential to prevent cutting of mature trees from the forest by villagers. Both these activities will reduce the dependency of villagers on forests and the tiger habitat.


Read here to know more about this project


TCF is grateful to Exodus Travel Foundation for the funding and the consistent support.

Healthy Forest, Healthy People
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PwC India Foundation supported The Corbett Foundation in providing around 900 energy-efficient cookstoves to 872 households in 15 villages and 27 forest department camps in Kanha Tiger Reserve. Thirty community cookstoves were also provided to schools and anganwadis where mid-day meals are cooked for the school children.


Wood is still the major source of fuel in many forest areas, thus creating a huge dependency on forests that not only results in degradation of the habitat but also increases the chances of human-wildlife conflict. Energy-efficient cookstoves reduce the fuelwood usage and also emit less smoke, thus having a dual advantage of being healthy for the people and healthier for the forest.


Around 16 hectares of degraded forest patches have also been taken up for restoration in the buffer zone of Kanha Tiger Reserve. After clearing the lantana and other invasive weeds, around 11,000 saplings of local forest trees and bamboo have been planted, and are being protected, nurtured and maintained under this project with active involvement of the local community youth and other villagers.


TCF is grateful to PwC India Foundation for the support towards this project and to Kanha Tiger Reserve for providing land for restoration.

Livestock vaccination - an important intervention

The Corbett Foundation runs a veterinary programme in Kutch, Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Kaziranga covering vaccination, treatment and breed improvement of cattle. Vaccination is a regular intervention in Kanha Tiger Reserve and Kaziranga Tiger Reserve in collaboration with the respective forest departments. The cattle are vaccinated against highly infectious diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease (#FMD), Hemorrhagic Septicemia (#HS) and Black Quarter (#BQ). The immunisation drive prevents likely transmission of these diseases between domestic and wild herbivores. Our veterinary programme reaches out to around 200,000 domestic animals annually.


TCF is grateful to Bombay Gow Rakshak Trust for the funding and the consistent support since 2005-06.

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Dr. AJT Johnsingh and Dr. Asad R. Rahmani

The Corbett Foundation is a charitable trust registered under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882. It is also registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 1976 under registration number 231650853 and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs for CSR under registration number CSR00000183. The donations to The Corbett Foundation are tax exempt u/s 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The Corbett Foundation is accredited by Credibility Alliance under the Desirable Norms prescribed for Good Governance of Voluntary Organisations. 
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