Periyar Tiger Reserve (Wings)

Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) is one of the well known Tiger Reserves in India and the pride of Kerala.GFF-World Bank aided 'India Eco -development Project' (IEDP) was implemented in Periyar Tiger Reserve during 1996-2004 and 78 Eco-development Committees (EDCs) have been formed during and after this period. The basic objective of the project was to reduce the impact of local people on forests by providing alternate and substainable employment and to involve them in forest protection activities. The innovative governance framework developed under this project, that integrated the concerns of natural resource conservation along with the welfare of local communities, is widely known as 'Periyar model of conservation' and has been recognized by Food and Agricultural Organization as an Exemplary Forest Management Practice in the world during 2004.

Ecology and Conservation Biology Wing

The Ecology and Conservation biology wing is under the PTCF. The wing is mainly support for the management interventional ecological studies in PTR. The tiger monitoring is done with help of conservation biologist, ecologist and tiger monitoring assistants with support from Tiger monitoring team. The team is headed by Assistant Field Director and reports to Deputy Director. The ecological studies that are required for management recommendations are undertaken by the wing. Pilgrim management, Resource utilization, population status of various species, invasive species management, bird monitoring and other consultancy work outside the PA. The GIS cell is full equipped with software and helps the Park in the context of mapping and interpretation. The GIS cell is with a GIS specialist who generates maps and information that are highly vital for the decision making and management of the Park in various aspects.

Eco Development Wing

Eco development is an approach to development through rational use of natural resources by means of appropriate technology and system of production which take into account and provide for the conservation of nature. PTR’s northwest and south fringe within Kerala is heavily populated. Nearly 0.40 million people live within 2 km ambit of PTR and depend on it directly or indirectly for fuel wood, thatching grass and other Non-Timber Forest produces (NTFPs). Estimates suggest some 20 to 30 thousand people in immediate vicinity are substantially dependent on PTR for their livelihoods. This includes some 4000 tribals belonging to Mannans, Paliyans, Uralis, Malmpandarams and Malaryans who have distinct eco-cultural association with forests of Periyar. A highlight was the constitution of EDCs and their categorisation on the basis of occupational patterns, geographic settings and dependency levels. The EDCs were put in four categories i.e., Neighborhood, User Group, Pilgrim Management and Professional Group EDCs. Neighborhood EDCs are at village level and cover all families in an identified area. Their micro plans focused on support to agriculture and economic upliftment. User group EDCs comprised members heavily dependent on PA resources. The focus here was on reduction of negative impacts of people on PA by strengthening their livelihoods. The members of such EDCs linked themselves around a particular PA resource and they did not necessarily belong to one settlement. Pilgrim management EDCs were formed with an aim of reducing associated problems with Sabarimala pilgrimage. Professional group EDCs were constituted for the promoting livelihoods with long¬ term positive interaction and support in PA Management activities like protection, eco-tourism etc. The membership is based on the level of interaction and knowledge about the PA in the past. So far 78 EDCs have been constituted and have made remarkable headway covering some 6000 families in the vicinity of PTR.
  • Mainstreaming tribal communities to support livelihood opportunities
  • Transformation of “Poachers to Protectors”
  • Conducting PRA, preparation and implementation of micro plans
  • Pilgrim Management – Sabarimala and Mangaladevi .
  • Climate Resilient Farming - A project funded by MoEE&CC
  • Supporting livelihood and sustainable utilization of resources for EDCs

Community Based Eco Tourism Wing

Periyar Tiger Reserve is one among the most famous Protected Area not only in India but in the world and is located in the High Ranges. With an extent of 925 sq. km, the Periyar Tiger Reserve forms the largest and oldest wildlife sanctuaries of Kerala. It is situated in Idukki and Pathanamthitta and Kottayam districts. The park has exclusive tourist zone for nature education and interpretation for visitor. Nearly six – seven lakhs tourists visit the park annually. People oriented and park centered community based ecotourism is the hallmark of Periyar Tiger Reserve. These programmes are conducted by local people responsible for the surveillance of the vulnerable parts of the reserve. By taking tourists along, they will also be involved in the conservation of the forests of Periyar and some valuable revenue is generated for community welfare. People who once made a living by illegal operations in the forests have since become forest protectors and earn their livelihood through these programmes. Hence, as a visitor, when people join us in any of these programmes, they are directly contributing towards forest conservation and community welfare. Community-based and protection-oriented ecotourism programmes (CBET) were initiated in PTR during the IEDP. These programmes were developed to ensure livelihood security and to reduce negative dependency on forests. Three basic tenets of Conservation, Community and Tourism co-exist in these programmes and are found to be sustainable. The objectives of CBET programmes are to:
  • Enhance Reserve Protection
  • Help local people to earn subsistence & supplementary livelihood
  • Enhance visitor satisfaction
  • Disseminate conservation values

Nature Education Wing

Nature Education and Awareness programs started in Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) since 1989. Nature Education is an organized effort to teach the functions of environment and necessity of managing human behavior for a sustainable environment. Nature Education is a highly responsible job being taken up by Periyar Tiger Conservation Foundation since its formation. Nature Education Wing acts as a coordinating mechanism for the Education and Awareness activities in PTR. We have paid nature camps and also camps offered free of cost. Nature Education Programs are mainly conducted for different target groups who are diverse ranging from primary school students to research scholars.