Bengaluru: On behalf of Wildlife Conservation Society – India Program, we are pleased to announce the transition of the WCS-India Program’s Country Director from Dr K Ullas Karanth to Ms. Prakriti Srivastava, Indian Forest Service.
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s India Program was founded by Dr K Ullas Karanth. For nearly 30 years, WCS – India Program mission has combined cutting-edge research on tigers and other wildlife, with national capacity building and effective site-based conservation through constructive collaborations with governmental and non-governmental partners. Uncompromisingly committed to wildlife conservation, WCS – India Program inspires and nurtures positive attitude towards nature in people through its scientific and conservation endeavors.
We are delighted to introduce Ms. Prakriti Srivastava as the next Director of WCS India. Ms. Srivastava has been with the Indian Forest Service for the past 27 years, while serving on the Kerala cadre as well as various capacities in the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. During this time Ms. Srivastava was renowned both for her unflinching support of wildlife and forest conservation, and for her ability, often at great personal cost, to catalyze a wide variety of tangible and profound conservation successes. Ms. Srivastava, along with her very committed team and with support from Forest Department and the Government, has many achievements including: catalyzing innumerable tough law enforcement actions against illegal encroachers, wildlife traffickers, timber smugglers and illicit timber factories in some of Kerala's most important landscapes for wildlife; working with key government colleagues to create four new national parks and to improve the protection status of many other forests; initiating in collaboration with local communities a highly successful Olive-Ridley Turtle conservation program; framing the Government of India’s highly pro-conservation policies for CITES, CMS and other Wildlife Conservation policies for the country including those for the National Board of Wildlife. We are excited to bring Ms. Srivastava’s skills and experience to lead WCS India.
After nearly 30 years of leading WCS-India, Dr. Karanth will be stepping down from the Country Director position, enabling him to focus on what got him into conservation to begin with, the science of wildlife. During his nearly 30 years leading WCS-India Dr. Karanth has had many achievements including: co-authoring scores of seminal scientific papers that hugely advanced the field of tiger and other wildlife population ecology and estimations; helping catalyze the government policy of voluntary resettlement in India that has led to dramatic reductions in threats to wildlife in protected areas in India as well as the improved livelihood opportunities for thousands of families; catalyzing the creation of a Master’s Degree Program in Wildlife Conservation and Biology whose 85+ alumni are now stalwarts of conservation and conservation science across India. Perhaps Dr. Karanth’s finest achievement was finding and supporting talented conservationists and conservation scientists who are now the key staff and partners of WCS India Program and who today are transforming conservation in much of India. We are greatly pleased that Dr. Karanth will remain with WCS for a while as he focuses on writing up scientific studies based on the years of data collected on wildlife in India and on representing WCS’s tiger conservation efforts globally. We are grateful to Dr. Karanth for his years leading WCS-India, and excited to work with him in his new capacity.
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Karanth and Ms. Srivastava into their new roles.