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  • Writer's pictureSophie Baumgartner

Manuel, Sophie and Sam visit Project India.

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

As mentioned in our last post, we (Sophie, Manuel and little Sam) visited our project in Shergaon, India 3 weeks ago on behalf of 'Felis'. Gaon' means 'village' and 'Sher' 'tiger', but it is also the name of the inhabitants of Shergaon, called 'Sherdukpen'. Shergaon is the beautiful Arunachal Pradesh in north-eastern India.

We stayed there for about a week and were warmly welcomed. Within one week we were able to meet many people and spend time with them, but we also had time to get to know the project site better.

We were able to meet and spend time with people from our project partner the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the excellent organisation of our trip. We are very happy about this cooperation and were absolutely impressed by the expertise and experience of our project partner. Special thanks to Vivek, Amrit, Sunil, Priyanka and Aftab.

Through our visit we were able to get to know our other local partner: Garung Thuk. Garung Thuk has been active in Shergaon for over 10 years and means 'our village'. They are committed to Shergaon and its inhabitants and also to conservation. Garung Thuk has already achieved many impressive successes and now wants to protect the project area of about 40 square kilometer. For what reason? We were very touched by the words of the chairman of 'Garung Thuk', Ledo Thungon: Because it's not about them or their village, but about all of humanity. They want to protect this region for humanity.

The project region very is a beautiful primary forest in the Himalaya region. It is terribly dense and very difficult to access. It will be hard work for the young local researchers but we are convinced that the results will be exciting. During our visit, our 30 camera traps finally arrived and we were able to set them up and do some initial training.

We were also lucky enough to attend two days of the Rhododendron Festival and got the opportunity to introduce 'Felis' and the potential wild cats of Shergaon. During this time we were again able to learn a lot about the rich culture of the Sherdukpen.

We could talk for a long time about Shergaon and its people, who deeply touched us. They are a proud, warm-hearted and honest people and have our fullest respect and trust. We are proud to be able to support this project.

In a first step, a camera trap study will be carried out to see what is living in the project region and in a second step it will be analysed how much of it. In addition, interviews will be conducted to find out the attitudes of the population. We are already very excited about the first results.


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