Mapping of Poaching communities, understanding customs and providing livelihood to buy conservation support

Mapping of Poaching communities, understanding customs and providing livelihood to buy conservation support

Project background

Species of focus: 



Sheopur Territorial forests and Kuno Palpur WLS, Madhya Pradesh, Western India Tiger landscape.

GPS coordinates: 

Latitude: 26.105310000000
Longitude: 77.101580000000

Summary description: 

The project is working specifically with people from the Mogiya caste, a caste that is involved in hunting and collection of ethnobotanical plants from forest areas. The Mogiya community have traditionally depended on the forest for their food requirements including hunting small game like rabbits or birds. They also undertake some agriculture. This community has a rich knowledge of wildlife, traditional medicines from forests and animal behaviour and they have been frequently approached by villagers living nearby forests for retaliatory killing of tiger, leopard and ungulates, and by traffickers for demand of skins and bones and other derivatives. As earnings in the villages are low, people are often attracted to poaching of wildlife and its trade.

This project intends to map all the poaching communities in the landscape and work with them to support alternative livelihoods through vocational trainings. Presently, the project is helping to provide water resources (since water scarcity is high in the area) and solar based lighting systems, as well as working with the government to ensure that all the villagers have a recognised identity including voting ID cards and ration cards. For young children, the project is supporting admissions to school.

Land management type: 

State managed land outside protected area

Product(s) in trade: 

Types of poachers: 

Individuals from local community
Gangs from local community
Gangs from outside
Project implementation

Is the project implemented by an external party? 


Implementing organisation: 

WWF India

Name of funding organisation(s): 

Not specified.

Community organisation(s) involved: 

Targeted villages located in a corridor connecting two tiger population areas.

Was the project established specifically to engage communities in combatting IWT? 


Year the IWT project or component started 


Project status is currently: 

Community engagement

Approach taken to community engagement and its rationale: 

Community members are provided with livelihood alternatives in lieu of wildlife use


Not specified.


Skills development and new livelihood options, infrastructure development (water facilities, solar lights), and government recognition (eg voter ID cards).

The community engagement project is: 

Part of a wider effort to combat wildlife crime in the area

Details of wider response: 

The project is part of an overall landscape based conservation program.

What has been the impact on poaching/IWT? 

Don’t know/Case study/project has not assessed impact on poaching

What has been the impact on wildlife populations? 

Not known/not documented
Lessons learned about engaging communities

What worked about the community engagement approach and why? 

Not specified.

What did not work and why? 

Not specified.

Further comments or additional information about community engagement 

As a non government agency, WWF India have limitations on what they can provide. Support and recognition from the government is important for success.

WWF India have in-depth knowledge regarding the villages involved in poaching, but as yet, do not have a tracking and monitoring system to manage this knowledge.

Case study information is up to date as of: 

Bibliographic information

Main source(s) of information: 

Interview or unpublished information provided by project implementer/researcher

Contributor(s)/Interviewee(s)/Document title: 

Sunny Shah

Relationship to project: 

Project implementer

Date of contribution/interview/document: 

April, 2016
Case study entry information

This case study entry compiled by: 

Sunny Shah

Date of case study entry: 

Monday, 19 September, 2016