Volunteering Opportunities at Melghat Tiger Reserve

Volunteering Opportunities at Melghat Tiger Reserve

Wildlife Research and Conservation Society(WRCS), Pune  has two programs going on in Melghat Tiger Reserve. One is the volunteer patrolling program and the other is a newly introduced program of Sign Survey. Indian Wildlife Club is promoting both the programs and both have the same Application form. 

Forest Patrolling at Melghat Tiger Reserve 
Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR) is located in Amravati District of Maharashtra and is an important protected area for tiger conservation. The field staff of the tiger reserve patrols the forests regularly for protection of wildlife. Considering the vast area to be patrolled additional manpower from civil society will help to strengthen protection and enhance the status of wildlife in MTR. With this objective (WRCS is implementing a pilot program for volunteer participation in patrolling activities in MTR in collaboration with the tiger reserve authorities for protection of wildlife and forests. This is a call to invite volunteers to participate in this program. Participation in the program will give volunteers an opportunity to witness the forests and wildlife at close quarters and contribute to wildlife conservation. Batches are sent every Sunday, it's a one week volunteer program, you are welcome to stay for more than one week. 

This project is open to Indian Nationals only. 

Sign Survey
Wildlife Research and Conservation Society is carrying out a sign survey for wildlife signs (such as tiger and leopard pug marks, scats and hoof marks and droppings of herbivores) in buffer areas around Melghat Tiger Reserve in January and February 2014. Volunteers are invited to help in carrying out the survey. Simple local food would be provided to the participants for the duration of the survey. 
This program will be carried out  in Akot, Dhulghat and Dharni ranges, just outside the Tiger Reserve in East Melghat and West Melghat Forest Divisions. Participants are expected to devote a minimum of 5-7 days for this project. There are no specific dates of participation. Volunteers can participate as per their convenience. Food and stay facilities are provided, volunteers will stay in teams of two in the quarters of the forest staff. 
As a part of the activity, volunteers are required to go out on trails and record various wildlife signs such as pugmarks, scat, calls etc. Data sheets and other necessary equipment such as GPS would be provided. The work will be schedule from morning to evening. Volunteers are required to be fit and capable of working under tough conditions.
Female volunteers are welcome to participate, provided they are accompanied by a known male volunteer. This is solely for the safety reason of the participant.  On reaching the Forest division the participant is expected to sign an Indemnity letter. Also note that it is mandatory for the participant to carry an identity proof and a passport size photograph and produce it on reaching Melghat.

Photo: Amit Thomas
You need to make the application from Indian Wildlife Club  on the following page

Apart from the documentation fee of Rs 200 to be paid at the time of application, there are no other fees. After we receive your application You will get information on how to reach and things to carry. Please make travel arrangements only after receiving confirmation from WRCS.   

You can bring photography equipment provided it is within limits. As you may know the main purpose of the program is forest patrolling. Photography should not interfere with this. You should not make frequent stops during patrolling for photography.
If you have applied for the Sign Survey program please keep photography equipment to a minimum because it is a more intensive program.

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