Mapping of wetlands and associated fauna, flora and avi-fauna in West Bengal.
Three year project funded by Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt of India, to study the geographical feature, morphometric features, physio-chemical analysis, study of bio-diversity and socio-economic study of 16 selected wetlands of West Bengal. It resulted in 105 page study report and publication of Wetland and waterbirds of West Bengal.
Survey of flora and fauna of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in North Bengal. Sponsored by: Department of Forests, Government of West Bengal
The sanctuary, situated in Terai region of the Eastern Himalayas house 32 species of mammals, 253 species of birds, 29 species of butterflies and moths, 6 species of amphibians, 8 species of reptiles, 39 species of trees, 55 species of herbs, 54 species of shrubs, 22 species of climbers. It was a one year collaborative project on the study of the bio diversity of the sanctuary with the Wildlife Wing, Forest Department, Government of West Bengal followed by a book “MAHANANDA – Floral and faunal resources of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary”.
Tiger–human conflict in Sunderban is a burning issue. A study of one year on the same was done, assisted by International Development Agency (IDA)
The object was to find the probable reasons of tiger straying in the fringe villages of the Sunderban Tiger Reserve and suggest remedial measures to reduce the phenomenon which would ultimately reduce man-animal conflict.
The objective is to identify the nesting sites of the Olive Ridley Turtles along the coasts of West Bengal, study the nesting behaviour, assess the impact of mechanized trawling in deep sea and suggest measures. The results were submitted to the Forest & Fisheries departments in order to reduce the mortality of parents and their hatchlings. Initially funded by GOI- UNDP, co-ordinated by Wildlife Institute of India. But at present, the project is ongoing being self funded, and carried out in collaboration with Sunderban Tiger Reserve.
Himalayan Newt (Salamander) conservation in Namthing Pokhri. Funded by Public Affairs Department, USA.
Himalayan Newt (Salamander) is regarded as a living fossil which did not pass through any evolution since Jurassic Age. It is endemic and endangered in the Himalayan Terrains of West Bengal and Sikkim. Once abundant in Mirik Lake, Jor Pokhri and some other pockets, it has become highly endangered at present due to many human factors and loss of habitats. This has prompted us to protect the last viable population of Himalayan Newt in Namthing Pokhri of Darjeeling district, carry out captive breeding programme and form a local NGO in order to promote Eco tourism in restricted ways. The aim is to make a sustainable conservation work. The project was funded by Public Affairs Section, Embassy of USA.
Participated in the Vulture Study, organised by the State Forest Department.
Gyps bengalensis or Bengal Vulture is now on the verge of extinction. Wildlife Wing, Deptt of Forests, West Bengal with the help of NGO's are engaged on a survey to identify and locate the pockets of vulture population throughout West Bengal. NEWS actively participated in field studies, preparing materials providing resource persons in training field activists. Now, we are engaged in organizing a movement at Block level with Veterinary Officers against prescribing diclofenac for cattle treatment.
Carrying out the project of “Survey of status of Marsh Mongoose” which is highly endemic to the east Kolkata wetland, endorsed by the State Forest Department.
A major population of Herpestes palustris, commonly known as Marsh mongoose or Bengal mongoose, strictly endemic to South Bengal is restricted to East Kolkata Wetlands of West Bengal. It is a less known, data deficient species and is under continuous threat as East Kolkata Wetlands has gone through a massive degeneration, which is still continuing. The project aims to find the population status, extent of endemism, morphological and biological difference with Herpestes javanicus and to study the breeding behaviour and food habit.
Status survey of Clouded Leopard - Neofelis nebulosa (Griffith) and Hodgson's Flying Squirrel - Petaurista magnificus (Hodgson) in Neora valley national park of West Bengal.
A one year stydy funded by the department of forest, West Bengal, investigated and confirmed a small population of clouded leopard and a fair population of flying squirrel in the park. NVNP is a 88 sq. km. protected, forest, a region difficult to access with altitudinal variation from 183 mtr. to 3200 mtr. in the Himalayas.
A pilot survey to estimate the present trend of status of the critically endangered River Terrapin (Batagur baska) in Sunderban and adjacent areas.
The project has concluded that the species is almost absent in the area. In this regard it is important to mention that nearly the whole population of the species in India is found in Sunderban only.
Participated in “Identification of Important Bird Areas (IBA) organised by BNHS.
The society participated in the programme of Identification of Important Bird Areas in West Bengal along with other NGO's under IBCN.
Actively participated in Organising raids to prevent illegal animal trades.
The Society has been successful in turning persons previously engaged in illegal bird trading to act as informers about illegal trades and based on their information Wildlife Wing, Forest Department, West Bengal has conducted few successful raids from time to time. Birds have been confiscated which were kept illegally for trade.
Conservation of Satragachi Wetland and its water birds in collaboration with the Forest department
Santragachi Wetland in the Howrah district of West Bengal houses a number of migratory birds as also local birds and is a prominent place in bird map of WB .However the habitat was threatened due to unplanned growth of water hyacinth, encroachment of water area by local stall holders , pollution of water due to swewrage nearby etc. A detailed planned study was worked out by the Forest Deptartment with the help of NGO's. NEWS actively participated in the process. Clearing of water hyacinth was done, the process of construction of a low fencing started, awareness campaign among people around was done with the help of brochures, materials etc. After all these activities, this year Santragachhi wetland has registered more flocks of migratory bird.
| Community development & capacity building programme :
Developing Self-help groups in the Dulki Village of the Sunderbans to generate alternative and sustainable livelihood in order to reduce biotic interference on the forest and building capacity to engage them in conservation process..
A community development programme in the village of Dulki in the Sunderbans. It is a forest fringe village opposite Pirkhali block. The project involves formation of Self-help groups to encourage alternative income generation thereby reducing biotic interference and pressure on the forest. It is a collaborative project with Sunderban Tiger Reserve, funded by UNDP.
Organising Health camps in villages of the Sunderbans in collaboration with the Sunderban Project Tiger
Since 1998, the Society is organizing health camps in forest fringe villages of Kakmari, Parashmoni, Lahiripur, Dayapur, Dulki of Sunderban and distributing medicines free of cost, once in a month in two villages in a regular course, as these villages lack the minimal medical infra-structural facilities. Besides giving medical help, the purpose of the camp is to minimize the hostility of villagers towards NGO's & Forest Departmental staffs and gain their confidence and support, so that various conservation activities can be implemented involving them .
Saving the fragile embankment of Sunderban through Mangrove restoration
A total of 3500 km earthen, age old embankment along the fringe of 54 inhabited islands of Sunderban, protects the people and their land from entering of saline water everyday at two high tides. These embankments are under continuous threat of eroding by the rivers, stroms and surges. The project of mangrove retoration in two islands to save the fragile embankments was successfully done and is ongoing in some other islands too.
Distribution of necessary gears for the forest guards in West Bengal, Funded by WTI
The Society in collaboration with Wildlife Trust of India, distributed necessary gears like waterproof shoes, rain coats and anti-malarial tablets among Forest guards deployed all over Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary in Orissa and also helped the Department by providing them with type writer machines and bi-cycles.
Monitoring of project in Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary, Sponsored by WWF India.
The Society was entrusted with the job to assess the work done against the fund disbursed by World Wide Fund (WWF) India to Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary.
Flood Impact Assessment 2000
It was a one year collaborative project with KMDA funded by UNICEF. The aim of the project was to assess the after effect of flood and to suggest damage control measures.
Study of selected wetlands- Funded by International Development Agencies.
It was a one year IDA assisted project. The principal jobs were monitoring of water quality, study of waterfowls and transfer of technology of identification of waterfowls to 36 forest officials in different districts of West Bengal.
Identification of selected wetlands from the angle of bio-diversity in West Bengal, sponsored by Salim Ali Center for Ornithology (SACON).
The Society carried out a project for identifying different wetlands from an angle of bio-diversity. Aquatic animals,especially fish were collected, preserved and sent to SACON for identification and their importance in the wetland structure was determined .
Participated in Wetland conservation network, delegated by Department of Forest, west Bengal
It was a short term project where the Society was engaged in identifying important wetlands from the point of bio-diversity especially waterfowls .
| Awareness building programmes :
Seminars & Workshops :
Oxford Book Store Gallery, Kolkata - a photographic exhibition on wildlife was held in September 2005. On the last day there was a slide show on “Natural wonders of India” and “Birdlife around
Kolkata” followed by interactive programme with the school children where a Bird trapper made sounds of birds and was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience . It was also a chance to financially support the persons who were bird trappers once but now have been converted by us .
At Tamluk , organized by Tamluk Flower Organisation to mark “World Environment Day” in 2005.
Slide show and talk on nature and wildlife of
Slide show and talk on Africa and Alaska, by a member of NEWS, Mr. Ranajit
Screening of ‘Winged Migration', a film on bird migration in
Slide Show organized at St. Johns Ambulance Association, Shyambazar on “Indian Wildlife' and “Importance of Mangroves in
Participated in Paschim Banga Bigyan Mancha at Kalighat Byam Samiti on the Bio- diversity of the Sunderbans.
Kolkata Book Fair 2006, Stall No. 328. Our stall bore the theme of The Sunderbans .
Participated at the Fair of the Police Family Welfare Association, Stall No. 10
The stall at Kolkata Book Fair, 2006