Set up in 1998, Tiger Watch is a non-governmental organization with the core objective of protecting wildlife in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan. Tiger Watch was developed at a time when the loss of Tiger habitat was at its peak and Tiger numbers were dwindling due to aggressive poaching. Surrounded by humans, the Ranthambhore Reserve is under much anthropogenic pressure, so to protect the wildlife, Tiger Watch operate on the front lines of many battles taking place to ensure the protection of the entire landscape.
Tiger Watch has re-defined wildlife conservation in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve through using a more holistic approach to conservation; employing methods from education through to strategic partnerships with local communities.
Areas they operate across:
- Education. Educating locals such as the Mogya hunting tribe aims to bring the next generation into the mainstream, weaning them off poaching and aiming to disrupt conventional ways of living in the long term.
- Partnerships. Tiger Watch recognised that 50% of the tigers are outside of the reserve so partnered with the Rajasthan Forest Department to set up the Village Wildlife Volunteer Program. Under the Volunteer Program villagers located on the periphery of the Ranthambhore Reserve who are skilled in tracking and identifying wildlife relay critical intelligence regarding wildlife monitoring and anti-poaching to Tiger Watch using smartphones.
- Data and Insight. Tiger Watch leverage data and insight to drive anti-poaching initiatives. Following the third tiger crisis in the 2000’s, Tiger Watch provided key intelligence that allowed the state police to arrest numerous poaching gangs.
- Research. Aligned with the commitment to protect the entire landscape, Tiger Watch conducts research that explores biodiversity and projects on foxes, wolves, reptiles, local flora and wildlife corridors of the neighbouring districts. The outcome from these projects has secured the protection of not only the Ranthambhore National Park but of its neighbouring areas too.
- Awareness. Tiger Watch runs a series of programs with the aim of creating more awareness around the natural heritage of the reserve and the challenges that plague the landscape. These awareness programs engage with school groups to ensure the next generation is made aware of the importance of protecting the Ranthambhore National Park.
This broad and holistic approach has proved effective and seen the tiger population rebound from 18 in 2005 to more than 60 today. Tiger Watch applies its expertise to offer innovative and practical solutions faced by an ever-changing ecosystem and continues to break new horizons in the world of conservation.
Deeba is a proud contributor to the work of Tiger Watch and directly donates to the MEP (Mogya Educational Program) through our Tiger Collection. Under the MEP program Tiger Watch is forging change from the ground up with currently 43 children from traditional hunting tribes receiving a formal education and bringing them into the mainstream so they don't turn to poaching like generations before.