Raptor Research & Conservation Foundation
Within a short period of its formation in 2012 RRCF awarded its first grant to a MSc. researcher who was trained in the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. Her study related to anthropogenic disturbances to diurnal raptors in Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand.
RRCF was also a partner organisation involved in stopping the mass hunting of the migratory Amur Falcons in their stopover site in India’s north-eastern State of Nagaland. Up to 1,20,000 Amur Falcons were massacred and there was intense trade of ‘meat’ within the neighbouring States. RRCF supported a small NGO who played a vital role in starting ‘Eco-Clubs’ for village children and rallying of community elders, fishermen, traditional hunters, the Church with missives to the State Government administration and forest departments. Today, as is well known all over the world bird community, killing has virtually stopped and is heralded as a conservation success. RRCF strives to maintain is support in order to bring about a change in attitude of the local people, many who now consider these beautiful small falcons as visitors to their land.
We have an enthusiastic bunch of researchers and student volunteers under Nishant Kumar (PhD. student at Oxford University) working on the ubitiquous Black Kite and its migratory race linneatusin the capital city Delhi from 2013. We are also supporting Dr. Prachi Mehta, an owl researcher who is carrying out her second 4-year study on the IUCN-listed, endangered Forest Owlet in Maharashtra.
Projects funded by RRCF
Black Kite Study: 2013..on-going.
- “Movement Ecology of Black-eared Kites Milvus migrans lineatus during Migration and the Non-breeding Period in the Indian Subcontinent: implications for Conservation” – Research objectives (1)define their migration routes (2) determine their (breeding) natal populations (3) detect potential hotspots of concentration during migration (4) assess their migration parameters (phenology, speed, duration of migration episodes (5) examine the factors that may affect such parameters, including (a) variables that characterise the individual migrant (e.g. its sex, age, breeding status, health or body condition) and (b) external biotic and abiotic variables such as wind conditions, availability of uplift from thermals or from mountain ridge-drafts, or habitat (6) test the implications of variations among individuals in migratory performance for their subsequent survival (7) study the movement behaviour and spatial displacements of the marked individuals during all the months of residence in India during the non-breeding period (e.g. rate of movement among different rubbish dumps or different towns, larger scale movements to track rain fronts and grasshopper explosions as accomplished in Africa.
- “Behavioural Ecology of Black Kite Milvus migrans Subsisting on Urban Resources in Delhi”. This study is in continuation of (3) below.
- “Resource Selection of Black Kites Milvus migrans” awarded to Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. Researcher: Nishant Kumar, MSc. Read more…
- A Study of Resource Selection by Black Kites in Urban Landscape of National Capital Region, India by Mr. Nishant Kumar, MSc. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. STATUS: Project completed. Read project summary.
- “Breeding Success of Forest Owlet in Melghat Forests, Maharashtra.” Principal Investigator: Dr. Prachi Mehta. Duration 4 years. RRCF will be supporting another long-term study on the Forest Owlet in Central India. This project titled “A Study of Ecological Correlates that Influence Habitat Use, Reproductive Success and Nest-Site Selection by the Forest Owlet in Melghat Landscape, Maharashtra.” is being initiated by the Wildlife Research and Conservation Society (WRCS), Pune in the buffer area of Melghat Forests. Executive Summary…
- A Study of Ecology, Distribution and Demography of the Critically Endangered Forest OwletHeteroglaux blewitti in Burhanpur and Khandwa Forest Divisions, Madhya Pradesh” awarded to Wildlife Research and Conservation Society, Pune. Principal Investigator: Dr. Prachi Mehta. Read more… To protect owl nests and their habitats, WRCS have formed owl protection committees comprising of local farmers at the project site in Madhya Pradesh. Prachi is also training women in making handicraft items based on themes about owls. The handicrafts are sold and the proceeds are returned to the committees as an incentive to protect owls. This initiative will help in creating a positive image of owls in people’s mind, and in weaning them away from their superstitious beliefs about these marvellous birds.
- Conservation Strategies for Securing Endangered White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis and Long-billed Vulture Gyps indicus species in the Tamil Nadu part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve awarded to Dr. Balasundaram Ramakrishnan. Duration of Project is 2 years. Dr. Ramakrishnan will focus on securing the country’s southernmost vulture populations both at the regional and landscape levels, and of course, assessing the sale and usage of diclofenac in the fringe areas of vulture habitats.
- Amur Falcon Conservation Programme 2015-2016 & 2014-2015: We continue to support Nagaland Wildlife Biodiversity & Conservation Trust, Nagaland with the various activities including enforcement of hunting ban through high-level support, local community outreach and education through Eco-Clubs & Under-The-Canopy workshops along with adopting a small eco-tourism model. Watch the film on this website. Amy, the Marathon Bird. Read more…
- ‘’Conservation of the Andaman Serpent-eagle Spilornis elgini in the Andaman Islands: Phase – I’’: Awarded to Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Coimbatore. Principal Investigator: Dr. Shirish S. Manchi. Executive Summary…
- Amur Falcon Conservation Project, Nagaland by Nagaland Wildlife & Biodiversity Conservation Trust (NWBCT). STATUS: Project completed. Read project summary
- Survey & Ecology of Owls & Owlets at Melghat Tiger Reserve and it’s Adjoining Area, Maharashtra by Dr. Jayant Wadatkar, Wildlife Environment & Conservation Society (WECS), Amravati, Maharashtra. STATUS: Project completed.
- Influence of Habitat Structure & Anthropogenic Disturbance on Diurnal Raptor Community in Rajaji National Park, Dehradun by Ms. Monika Kaushik, MSc. STATUS: Project completed. Poster released at WII Wildlife Research Seminar & Alumni Meet, Dehradun 21 August 2014.