About 25 years ago the Dang forest was a home to many wild
animals, both herbivores and carnivores. Most of them have vanished today. A
few leopards still roam in the forest, but unavailability of herbivores for
food, forces them to attack domestic cattle and sometimes human in the forest.
Incidents of man- animal conflicts are increasing. In last two years alone 12
villagers have been killed by leopards.
To help solve
these problems, Nature Club Surat together with the Maharaja of Vansada - Shri Digvirendrasinhji
Solanki and the Gujarat Forest Department planned to
start a deer breeding project. Nature Club Surat and the forest department-
Govt. of Gujarat signed an MOU to launch this unique project in the Vansada National Park with a goal to rehabilitate deers in the wild.
This Deer Breeding Centre will help to restock deers in the forest, it will make
the forest lively. Their absence disrupts the food chain and promotes conflict
between man and the big cats.
To establish deers in the forest.
To increase the aesthetic value of the jungle.
To establish the normal and previously existing
food chain and help to increase the big cat population.
Preparing the jungle for the possible
reintroduction of tigers to the forest of Gujarat. ( Tigers were found in South
Gujarat just 30 years back)
To reduce man- leopard conflict and save human
It was necessary that the breeding site should be in a
remote area with conditions similar to the condition where they would be later
on sat free. It should also be free from human/tourists interference. Luckily,
Nature Club Surat already had such a place in the middle of Vansada
National Park, thanks to club members Jawahar Patel,
Anil Sorathia and Snehal
Patel for getting this place.
Based on the
study of the local biodiversity and past history it was decided to include Sambhar , Barking Deer, Spotted Deer and the four horned
antelope in the breeding project because these herbivorous species had
previously inhabited this area.
Building the actual Breeding Centre:
predator proof breeding facility was designed. Large enclosures were fabricated
and installed. The whole area was fenced. 24 hours water facility was ensured
by storage tank and drinking water tanks etc. Raised platforms for feeding were
constructed. A project Manager, Technical Consultant, Research fellow and on
site staff like guards, animal care takers, cleaners, visiting veterinary
doctor were appointed.
We plan to equip the centre with non- conventional,
renewable electric sources like solar electrification and Wind Power. A vehicle
for survey of the area, transportation of animals, procurement of the food and
medicine is also needed, In the near future we intent
to build an administrative unit, veterinary dispensary/ hospital and also basic
accommodation facilities for which funds are awaited.
We have been able to
get valuable help both in cash and kind from many quarters. The project would
not have been conceived without constant encouragement and guidance of the Maharaja
of Vansada Shri Digvirendrasinhji Solanki. Dr. Raju Vyas, ex-superintendent of
Baroda Zoo who has gone out of his way to help us providing
expert guidance right from the planning stage. Support and
cooperation of the forest department of Gujarat, especially PCCF- Shri Pradeep Khanna
for his encouragement and permission to start this project, the GEER Foundation
for agreeing to give 2 pairs of Spotted Deer. We extend our thanks to
Dr. Praful Mehta Surat Zoo
in charge, for giving 2 pairs of Spotted Deer and our Chairman Mr. Rajan Shah who has generously donated for this project.
The project is a
great challenge. It is the first instance of such a project being carried
out by any NGO in India. Availability of experts, dedicated
volunteers, well trained staff and cooperation of the forest department is the
major factors responsible to make this project a success.
Though the project had been
approved and is supported by the Gujarat State Forest Department, it is not
funded by any government agency so far. The estimated cost of the breeding
centre alone is about 18 lacs . Adding the expenses of
the transportation of animals, salaries of the staff, office expenses, expenses
of educational material, awareness programme, food water facilities, medicines
and other maintenance, the total estimated expenditure of the project for the
first three years is about 40 lac rupees.
Financial Support is Required
What you can do to help us
Donate generously to make the project a success.
Help organize Drawing Competition in school, for generating funds for this project
Adopt deer. Adoption cost per deer, per year 10,000/- , per pair 20,000/-, per deer family 25,000/-, Become a
Help us cerate awareness about the subject.