Eastern Ghats Team

Imran Siddiqui
Programme Head

Imran Siddiqui joined WCS-India in 2013. He obtained his Masters in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from NCBS-WCS MSc Programme. He is currently serving as an external expert to guide Forest Departments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in tiger and prey monitoring. Imran is credited for the incorporation of 2000 sq km of critical forest habitat of Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary under the Project Tiger. Additionally, he was responsible for increasing the area of Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve to almost 6000 sq km from 3500 sq km previously. He has worked extensively in Central Indian Forests for over a decade, and his skills include large mammal surveys, statistical analyses and advanced GIS techniques. With extensive work experience, a deep understanding of the local setting, his existing connections and his technical training, Imran co-founded HyTiCoS in 2002 and leads a group of volunteers for wildlife conservation. He has also carried out various capacity building programmes for over 700 frontline staff and has designed short wildlife courses for the Forest Department. He works closely with local tribal communities who he believes are the most important stakeholders in any conservation scheme.


Benjamin Clement

He graduated in Zoology and Bio-Tech course from Loyola college, Chennai and went on to pursue his Masters in Forestry from Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. For his Masters dissertation he attempted to study the cases on man-animal conflict in the villages situated in Palamau Tiger Reserve and Betla National Park, Jharkhand. He has worked with elephants and sloth bears previously. From his few years of working in the conservation sector, Benjamin believes that inter-disciplinary approaches for conservation have far reaching impacts. Mindful nature education programmes are another key component he aspires to continue working on. He enjoys sports and music along with playing drums. 


Gajjala Bapu Reddy

Bapu Reddy is the Research Officer associated with WCS-India since 2015. Currently working on monitoring and estimating population density of tiger and prey species in the Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Telangana. He is also involved in conservation works with Telangana Forest Department like snares removal, encroachment lands identification and curbing other illegal activities happening in the area. He is very passionate in understanding the tiger movement and the challenges in their mobilization from Nagarjuna Sagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (Andhra Pradesh) to Amrabad Tiger Reserve (Telangana).


Harsha Vardhan

A Wildlife Biologist associated with WCS India since 2017. He obtained his Masters degree in Wildlife science from Amity Institute of Forestry & Wildlife and PG diploma (Wildlife conservation Action) from Bharathi Vidyapeeth University. Before joining us, he has interned with Wildlife institute of India in Uttarakhand, for a project focusing on Herpeto-fauna under NMSHE project. He also volunteers with a regional NGO - Hyderabad Tiger Conservation Society. He's currently carrying out Large mammal occupancy survey across forests of Telangana and Line Transects in Kawal Tiger reserve. His work also involves monitoring tiger dispersals,  assessing and mitigating threats in Kawal Landscape, alongside the forest department.


Komire Shankar

Komire Shankar is associated with WCS-India since 2013 and currently working as Research Officer for research and Conservation in Nagarjunasgar Srisailam Tiger Reserve, Andhra Pradesh. He did his Masters in Wildlife Biology from A.V.C. College, Bharathidasan University, Tamil Nadu. His work involves tiger and prey monitoring, maintaining tiger database, understanding tiger tenure dynamics and dispersal, maintaining individual tiger polygons or territories for better management. He supports the Forest department in writing reports, threat mitigation (reporting of snares and threats), conservation related activities like community engagement for village voluntary relocation in NSTR and Conducting capacity building programs to front line staff. He also helps in designing maps using GIS for camera-trap and other surveys in  AP and Telangana. He also part of AP and Telangana conservation team.



Kumaraswamy is associated with us since 2018. Currently he works as Community Relation Officer. He has done his Masters in Zoology from Kakatiya University. He works with the local communities for their development and is currently working on Gundala Tourism Project.


Mallesh Venuka

Mallesh hails from a remote tribal village in corridors of Kawal-Tadoba Tiger Reserve. He is one of the first few from his village to get a graduate degree. Joined as a field assistant in early 2018, he plays an important role in liasoning with frontline staff. He supports us in monitoring tiger dispersals, threat assessment, training forest staff, etc.


Nilanjan Basu

Nilanjan is a wildlife researcher working in the Eastern Ghats team as Conservation Scientist in 2022. Nilanjan has a Master’s Degree in Zoology from Bilaspur University, Chhattisgarh. After finishing his master’s degree, he joined Wildlife Institute of India in 2018 and worked there for more than four years. He has interest in working on tiger, co-predators and prey in the tiger bearing areas of the country. He has field experience in camera trapping, sign survey, line transect. He has experience in handling analytical software like “R”, “Distance”, “Qgis” etc.


Raj Kumar Kutikela

Raj Kumar joined as a field assistant in 2018, he quickly picked up computer skills and now works as an Admin & SMART assistant in Kawal landscape. He holds a diploma in paramedical and a B.A. degree. His work involved collecting and managing data, filing accounts, training team members in using SMART application, etc.


Ramindla Thirupathi

He is working with the tiger monitoring team in the Large Cell Occupancy survey. He has also participated in Community based Eco-tourism project around Kawal area.


Sai Kittu Gorka

Sai is working with us since 2018 in Kawal, he supported field work in occupancy surveys, prey estimation, camera trapping, De-snaring walks, etc. His work ensured compensation to many livestock owners who lost their cattle to Tigers. He’s also crucial in building relationships with local communities. Despite not having a higher education beyond 10th standard, his hardworking nature and leadership qualities makes him stand out. 


Shivaji Kutikela 

Born in a small hamlet bordering Kawal Tiger Reserve, Shivaji worked as a goat herder and a farmer before joining WCS-India as field assistant in 2012. Since then, his commitment to conservation, hard working nature, immense skills in tracking tigers, & in detecting wildlife crime, has been the backbone to our Tiger monitoring and threat assessment works in Kawal landscape. He now trains and leads a group of young field assistants. He also supports other teams in walking line transects, occupancy surveys, mitigating Human-Wildlife conflicts, etc.


Sridhar Dupadu

Sridhar is working with WCS-India since 2015, as a Research officer. He is currently involved in Tiger monitoring in GBM and corridors of NSTR Landscape. He is also supporting the anti-poaching activities and curbing actions in the GBM and NSTR corridors.


Tarun Singh

Tarun Singh is a Research Associate with WCS-India’s Eastern Ghats Programme. He plans and trains the field team in executing biodiversity surveys in the Ahobilam Corridor, a crucial passage for wildlife and a biodiversity hotspot. He hails from an interdisciplinary academic background and is a bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Noida. He has been working in the wildlife research and conservation field for over 10 years in the capacity of a Professional Researcher. He has been associated with institutions such as Bombay Natural History Society and Wildlife Institute of India in the past. Tarun’s core interest lies in field ecology and when he is not working he spends his time reading books on natural history and writing his observations in field journals. In future, He hopes to write a book and produce short films on nature conservation.


Venkatesh A

Venkatesh is a Junior Researcher, associated with WCS-India since 2016. He has completed M.Sc,(Zoology) and B.Ed, also enrolled for Ph.D in zoology from Osmania University, Hyderabad, currently involved in community engagement activities of Kawal tiger reserve. He also provides supports in monitoring of tiger and prey population and identification of encroachments areas in the Kawal Landscape.







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Contact Information
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