Dev Prakash Bankhwal
Mr. Dev Prakash Bankhwal, IFS (Retd.), who was till January 2019, the PCCF (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden, Assam, joined WCS-India to lead our program on Counter Wildlife Trafficking (CWT) in North-East India.
Mr. Bankhwal is an Indian Forest Service officer from the 1985 batch of Assam cadre, and has held many important posts in State Government and Central Government. He is known for his honesty and commitment. After getting his diploma in wildlife management from Wildlife Institute of India, he began his career as DFO, Mangaldoi Wildlife Division in Assam followed by posting in the National Zoological Park, New Delhi as the Joint Director. He has a very good experience of working in a research organisation. He served in Forest Research Institute, Dehradun for four years, where he was involved in research, extension and training works under various externally aided projects. Back in the State Government, he served in the Research Wing. As a Circle Conservator of Forests in Western Assam, he used to look after forest and wildlife management both. He served the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India, New Delhi for five years as Director. There, he worked for two years in a national level project funded by the world bank. Prior to being appointed as PCCF (Wildlife) & Chief Wildlife Warden, he also officiated as the Inspector General (Forest) with the National Tiger Conservation Authority for a period of five and half years. In the NTCA, he visited the forests of north-eastern States extensively and gained insight into the challenges in management in these States. He helped many tiger reserves of north-eastern States in writing of management plans. A post-graduate in Physics, Mr. Bankhwal also holds post-graduate diploma in public policy and management from M.D.I., Gurgaon.
N K Vasu
Mr. N. K. Vasu joined Wildlife Conservation Society - India to lead the Great Indian Bustard program that was initiated in 2019. He is an acclaimed forester who retired from the Indian Forest Service (IFS) as part of the 1985 batch of officers. His illustrious career includes notable positions as the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) and Head of Forest Force, Assam till his retirement in 2018. Formerly, he served as the Director of Rain Forest Research Institute (Jorhat) and Arid Forest Research Institute (Jodhpur), and as Scientist-F at Wildlife Institute of India (Dehradun). During his tenure as Chief Conservator of Forests and Director of Kaziranga National Park from 2012 to 2014, he was instrumental in preparing and implementing Management Plans for the Kaziranga World Heritage Site. Further, his approach to park management based on collaborative work between local NGOs and the Forest Department led to vibrant habitat conservation and wildlife population recoveries in Kaziranga. As a native of Rajasthan, he has deep cultural connections with the local communities of the Thar landscape, and has extensive field knowledge of the region, which is the primary habitat of Great Indian Bustards. His vital support for WCS-India will drive community-led in situ conservation of bustards.