Organisation’s aim: To conserve nature, especially endangered species and threatened habitats, in partnership with communities and governments. Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is committed to the protection of India’s wildlife. It achieves this by working in partnership with local communities and governments on a range of projects, from species rehabilitation to the prevention of the illegal wildlife trade.
Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) formed in 1998 in response to the declining state of the country’s wildlife and natural environment. The organisation started small, with only three members of staff. It has since grown substantially and now has over 150 staff that co-ordinate numerous projects across 16 locations.
Partnership with WLT
World Land Trust (WLT) received a proposal from WTI in 2003 asking to help fund their Wild Lands Elephant Corridors Programme. After a site visit to assess the feasibility of funding wildlife corridors in India, WLT became partners with WTI and funded the protection of the Siju-Rewak Corridor in Garo Hills, in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya. Since then, WLT has successfully raised funds for the protection of further wildlife corridors in India, to safeguard migratory routes for elephants and other wildlife. The aim is to reduce conflict between India’s wild animals and its people.
WLT also funds a Reforestation programme in the Garo Hills; this project uses enrichment planting and assisted natural regeneration to establish more trees in the area.
Following the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, WLT funded a feasibility study for coral restoration in India.
Other projects and activities
- A fast acting response unit, ‘Wild Aid’, reacting to events such as tsunamis and collisions between elephants and trains
- “Wild Rescue”, a unit which provides long term rescue and rehabilitation. Species helped include Asian Elephants, Tigers, One Horned Rhinos and Asiatic Black Bears.
- An ecological and research skill set “Wild Species”, which studies species and habitat recovery
- WTI tackles wildlife crime through PELT (Policy, Enforcement, Law and Training);
- WTI also runs community and education programmes to raise awareness of wildlife issues. It works with local people to develop sustainable and alternative livelihoods, helping them move away from those that have a negative impact on the environment.
Awards and Achievements
- In 2009, a Wildlife Trust of India film, A Shawl to Die for, won a prestigious Vatavaran Film Festival award for Technical Excellency in cinematography. The festival is for Indian and international films on the environment and wildlife; the film featured the fashion for Shahtoosh weaving in Kashmir and the plight of the Tibetan antelope, or Chiru, which is killed to extract the fibres for weaving. Shahtoosh is now formally banned in Jammu and Kashmir.
- WTI was instrumental in getting the Whale shark listed under appendix II of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and the species is now celebrated in a country where it was previously persecuted.
- WTI has mapped 101 elephant corridors across India, drawing up plans to secure them and four different models that can be used.
Deputy Director and Wild Lands Programme Officer: Dr Sandeep Tiwari