Community-Managed Research and Conservation
People who live near vulnerable species' habitats are the true custodians of their ecosystems. They know the land and have depended on it for generations. Many locals value the health of their environment but never knew they could pursue conservation as a livelihood means. FCC's programs teach and empower adults and children to study, protect, and take pride in their backyard wildlife and ecosystems.
Discovery and Monitoring
Through the support and involvement of local community members in field surveys, we discovered and documented the presence of fishing cats outside protected areas in the Krishna River Delta in 2014. We have since expanded our search and mapped the presence of fishing cats in eight "islands" of unprotected mangrove areas in coastal South India. Our community team members, youth trainees, and volunteers continue sign surveys for fishing cats and set up wildlife cameras. These surveys and photos help monitor the presence of fishing cats and other species that live in mangroves so that we can better understand the threats to their survival in these areas and in other unprotected wetlands.
Training Future Conservationists
We have trained and involved over 20 local people and youth in tracking fishing cats, operating wildlife research equipment including cameras and GPS units, and reporting fishing cat-related evidence from mangroves and wetlands outside protected areas.
A few of our trainee achievements include Ramesh, who after learning field research techniques with the FCC during 2014 went on to work for the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department. In 2016, Moshi, a tribal who put his traditional hunting knowledge to use with our conservation efforts. And recently, Pandu, our Field Assistant who assisted us for nearly three years received a job offer from the Forest Department.
Local & Global Awareness
We expanded our education programs to local schools in villages near mangroves along the coastline. To date, we have educated over 500 school children and local people in at least 20 villages near unprotected/undesignated mangrove areas in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
We reach out to thousands of people online through our conservation messaging and involve people from the local, regional, and global scales in our conservation programs and activities.
If you are interested in helping out or becoming a volunteer with us, you can get in touch with us directly!
We've involved the community in installing a total of 12 awareness sign boards in the local language, Telugu. These sign boards talk about the importance of fishing cats, mangroves, and their importance to the survival of coastal communities.
In 2016 we deployed our first survey boat, which will be used for research, surveys, and monitoring efforts for fishing cats, sympatric species, and their mangrove habitat in the Krishna River Delta.
We are currently in the process of constructing our first Conservation Education Center (CEC) near the Oleru village.
Alternative Livelihood Project
The 'Mangrove Crabs' project's focus is currently on small, unprotected mangrove patches outside protected areas in coastal South India. We are in the process of testing box-based crab harvest with local people from three villages, Bendamurlanka (BEN), Samanthakuru (SAM), and Gachakayala Pora (GAC) in the Godavari River Delta of Andhra Pradesh, India. So far, we have deployed 20 crab boxes in unprotected mangrove areas, and are monitoring the growth of two crab species - Scylla serrata and Scylla olivacea in these boxes. We hope to encourage at least three people, one from each village, to help scale up our pilot crab-harvest by deploying 160-180 more crab boxes in total by the end of 2018 and market the harvest crabs.
Open Access Databases
From the get-go, we have focused on being an open-access science-based conservation organization. We like that Google has mapping platforms that can be used to create maps, share location-based data, and help with sharing knowledge globally. Updated in real time by our researchers, community field conservationists, and volunteers.
Below you'll find a map showcasing evidence of fishing cat occurrence and conservation efforts in mangroves and wetlands outside protected areas in coastal South India.
Below you'll find a map showcasing the real-time events for our Conservation Education project around the world.