Posted by: Bittu Sahgal on

A very solid conservationist, Nirmal Kulkarni has just been re-apointed to Goa's Wildlife Board. He and other fighting for Goa's wildlife have consistently been saying that the most difficult task before us all is to fight the mining lobby and curb the enthusiasm of those seeking to destroy wetlands and coasts for one commercial reason or another. Today NDTV will report a report by one of it's crack reporters, Ketki Angre, on the "Tigers of Goa" at noon, 3 p.m and 4 p.m. Hopefully this will open the eyes of those who suggested either that this wildlife arena was "not a priority" or "that tigers do not even exist in Goa."

Fortunately for India, Goa, Chickmagalur, Amravati and other such smaller centres have some of India's most tightly-knit wildlife defence units. In the larger metropolises too we have very able defenders, but they often work in isolation, sometimes at cross-purposes and, all too often these days, we seem unequal to the task of shackling the dismal ones effectively.

I have just returned from Chickmagalur where a group called"The Wildcats"... led by Girish and Sreedev have been able to effectively weld planters, teachers, students, forest staff, journalists and even some business people in joint purpose to defend the Bhadra Tiger Reserve. I would go so far as to say that groups that are single-mindedly focused on one area, one task, are likely to lead India's floundering wildlife conservation movement in the difficult years ahead, because they not only lead by example, but are proving to be the cement between the "better known" conservation groups and individuals, including some such as I, whose entire life's purpose has been defined by working for wildlife.

Large cities, or smaller ones we all have our work cut out for us and hopefully 2012 will gift conservationists, scientists and naturalists that most powerful weapon -- unity.

More power to Nirmal Kulkarni, Kishor Rithe, Biswajit Mohanty, Joydip Kundu and other working quietly for our wildlife. The Sanctuary team looks forward to the pleasure of working with all of you to on protect the Goa-Karnataka-Maharashtra landscape, the Bhadra-Kudremukh landscape (where the crystal-pure Bhadra river, which I photographed day before yesterday, originates) ), the Melght-Kanha landscape, the coasts of Orissa, the Sundarbans and all other such biodiverse wildernesses.