Executive Director Dr. Teri Allendorf has been working in Nepal throughout January. In this short video, she describes the headway we’re making on several projects there.
Tracking Tigers with Biologist Sam Helle
Dr. Allendorf and our partner Sam Helle visited the field sites where Sam plans to work in the vicinity of Butwal, a large metropolitan area between two large national parks. Teri and Sam met with community forest commitees and walked through community forests, looking for signs of tiger such as scat and tracks on both the east side and west side.
There have been tiger sightings in the area, so we think there’s a “tiger bottleneck” in Butwal as tigers try to travel between the two large protected areas, Bardia National Park and Chitwan National Park. We’re trying to help Sam determine whether or not tigers can currently cross this human-inhabited area.
Exploring new partnerships
Dr. Allendorf also visited the Lumbini Crane Sanctuary in Lumbini, Nepal. This protected wetland area was one of her study sites for her PhD 27 years ago. The George Archibald Wetland there was named after the co-founder of the International Crane Foundation by the sanctuary’s founder, Rajendra Suwal.
After the meeting at the crane sanctuary, Dr. Teri Allendorf met with the leaders of the nearby girls school, Karuna Women’s Institute, to discuss the possibility of doing a camera trapping training for the girls this March so they can get involved in monitoring local wildlife. Teri also met with a women’s group in Lumbini who make and sell baskets to visitors. Lumbini welcomes many visitors each year because Buddhists recognize it as being the birthplace of the Buddha.
shadowing a partner’s inclusivity work
Dr. Allendorf then attended our partner Community Conservation Nepal‘s focus group interviews of women, indigenous and marginalized groups in the buffer zone of Chitwan National Park. CCN is currently working on a project on representation and inclusion in the buffer zone’s conservation work.
heading to the eastern corridor
Next, Dr. Allendorf is travelling east to visit the Jhapa district. We have been working with community forest groups in the area for several years, and recently have added a specific focus on pangolin conservation. With our local partners, we conduct trainings on technology such as camera traps and GPS so that the community forest groups can begin to monitor the wildlife in their forests.
Dr. Allendorf will be meeting with the community groups that have been trained so far. She wants to gather their input and find out if there are any improvements we can make to the trainings going forward.
Our larger vision for the Eastern Terai landscape to create a community-managed corridor of safe habitat for large mammals and other wildlife, which will allow them to travel back and forth between large protected areas. This corridor would help many animals, to thrive and increase their populations, including large iconic species like tigers and elephants.