State of the Planet

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Inside the Lives of Anti-Poaching Staff at an Indian Wildlife Sanctuary

Photo of Paro Natung with a camera in the field
Paro Natung. Photo: Chandan Patro

The Pakke Tiger Reserve is a protected area in the foothills of the Eastern Himalaya in Arunachal Pradesh, India. The area is known for its tigers, hornbills, and other threatened species. Nandini Velho, postdoctoral scientist at the Earth Institute, has written about a unique aspect of her research there in the October 2017 issue of Sanctuary Asia.

Velho, who studies the social and health effects of India’s protected areas, works closely with the Forest Department of Pakke. She supported the applications of local anti-poaching staff to the Green Hub fellowship program, which trains youth and community members in environmental photography and video documentary. Two of those staff members, Chandan Patro and Paro Natung, produced a documentary about the Pakke staff and their lives in the forest, with Velho as their field coordinator. The 17-minute documentary, available on Youtube, is called Protecting Paradise.

Velho writes of the experience, “They were able to obtain the first live video footage of a tiger in Pakke, the unique Ibisbill, multiple herbivores feeding at natural salt-licks during the day – all signs of Pakke’s recovery – and stories of their colleagues that are worth telling and sharing.”

Read the full article here.

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