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

Village Eco-Development is a flagship activity in PTR that incorporates multidisciplinary stakeholder strategies that are pivotal to the sustenance of our conservation-oriented protection.PTR’s northwest and south fringe within Kerala are heavily populated. Nearly 0.40 million people who live within the 2 km ambit of PTR depend on it directly or indirectly for fuelwood, thatching grass and other Non-Timber Forest produces (NTFPs). The main aim of Village Eco-Development is to support livelihood opportunities of Forest Dependent people through the mechanism of Participatory Forest Management (PFM), later known by the name Periyar Model, adopted in Tiger Reserves across India. The transformation of “Poachers to Protectors” is a milestone in the success stories of PTR., Conducting PRA, preparation, and implementation of micro plans, Pilgrim Management – Sabarimala and Mangaladevi are the major functional activities of Village Eco-development. Organic pepper and Honey collection and fishing are the value addition activities of PTR for mainstreaming and enhancing the livelihood of the tribal communities. PTR is at the forefront for adopting climate change mitigation measures by implementing Climate Resilient Farming strategies in 3.5 acres of tribal settlement - A project funded by DoECC for supporting livelihood and sustainable farming activities for long-term conservation. To date, 81 EDCs are functioning in PTR. There are 8 SAPP (Swamy Ayappan Poomkavana Punarudharana) EDCs functioning in the traditional trek route for a livelihood by indulging in pilgrimage season vending.

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) in 1989. Nature Education is an organized effort to teach the functions of the environment and the 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 one day, two day, and three-day Nature camps organised by the Kerala Forest Department free of cost, and paid nature camps are also offered. Nature Education Programs are mainly conducted for different target groups who are diverse ranging from primary school students to research scholars, NGOs, Media personnel, and Elected Members like Corporations/Municipal Councillors, District /Block Panchayat Members. Periyar extended awareness to different teachers, stakeholders, workers, special education institutions, old age homes through diverse programs Periyar Talks, Ecologue,Eco-teach and A Day at Periyar. We also have publications like the monthly Newsletter (Periyar Beats) and Nature Glide - Glimpses of Wild Periyar for disseminating information of monthly activities and about the flora and fauna of Periyar respectively. Outreach programs to various institutions and organisations and extending educational support to .forestry clubs of cubs of Periyar schools, Green Day Celebrations, Biodiversity Register for educational institutions are some of the extension activities of PTR.