Wildlife Conservation

National Research Foundation Nepal is a non-profitable organisation committed to effective action for the protection of Nepal’s natural heritage. Our principal objectives include managing or preventing wildlife crises and mitigating threats to individual wild animals, their populations and habitats through holistic strategies and practical interventions.

Our mission

 To conserve wildlife and its habitat and to work for the welfare of individual wild animals, in partnership with communities and governments’

Our vision

A secure natural heritage of Nepal.

Our achievements

    Within just over a decade, NRFN has secured numerous victories and milestones for wildlife in Nepal including:

1.    securing habitats and establishing contiguous forests;

2.    changing public perceptions and attitude through effective campaigning;

3.    promoting individual animal welfare in conservation and pioneering systematic wildlife rehabilitation techniques;

4.    countering wildlife offences through undercover operations and legal assistance;

5.    training and equipping frontline forest staff and helping build their morale;

6.    carrying out field research to identify threats, develop and implement conservation strategies for lesser studied animals and ignored habitats;

7.    advocacy for proactive reforms to create an atmosphere conducive to conservation;

8.    promoting alternative livelihoods to minimise human dependence on forests resources and a lot more.

Our priorities: The Big Ideas

i. Species recovery: Recover populations of selected threatened species where NRFN can make the most difference, using improved techniques, intensive management, conservation breeding, reintroduction and restocking.

ii.Rescue and rehabilitation: Increase welfare of individual displaced animals while enhancing conservation and pioneering science based rehabilitation, conflict mitigation and wildlife health.

iii.Enforcement and Law: Reduce wildlife crime by strengthening frontline field staff, practical trade control, championing legal defense using existing laws and by providing alternatives to wildlife products and livelihoods.

iv.Securing habitats: Secure critical habitats outside the traditional PA system, especially linkages, wetlands, grasslands, BCPP (Biodiversity Conservation Prioritisation Project), important bird areas and sacred groves, thereby increasing the effective protected area of Nepal by 1%.

v.Wild Aid: Provide short term focused aid both monetary and technical, to assist in emergencies and in emerging conservation issues, to provide rapid aid to animals in distress, to initiate pilot projects or innovative ideas to help conservation and to focus public attention on conservation emergencies.

vi.Communities for conservation: Reduce the dependence of local communities on wildlife and their habitats through alternative green livelihood.

Our priority landscapes

NRFN currently focuses its resources on five priority landscapes – northeast Nepal, western Himalayas, terai, southern Ghats system, central Nepal. These landscapes notwithstanding, we have and will continue to provide aid and assistance to wildlife in need in any part of Nepal, either through direct intervention or by supporting initiatives of like-minded individuals or institutions.

Our Projects are administratively classified as ‘Depth’ or ‘Breadth’ projects:

NRFN currently runs six Depth Projects that holistically address multiple conservation hurdles specific to an area through a multi-pronged approach. These projects, most often than not incorporate more than one of NRFN’s Big Ideas into their goals and generally last multiple years.The Breadth Projects are those that address specific conservation issues that may not be limited in time and space in the country. These projects most often than not address only one of NRFN’s priorities. These include capacity building of frontline staff, prevention of wild animal (particularly elephant) death due to train hits, Rapid Action Project aid to grassroots NGOs and individuals among others.

Our Team

What began as a three-member team in a small room in Kathmandu in 2011, is today a family of about 150 professionals from diverse backgrounds conservation biologists, scientists, sociologists, wildlife veterinarians, managers, lawyers, finance experts and communication specialists but committed to the common cause of wildlife. They are based in any of the 15 field stations in remote parts of the country and a central coordinating office in the national capital region.

An eight-member Executive Management Team comprising experienced conservationists, scientists, managers and bureaucrats provide a visionary leadership to the vibrant and enthusiastic NRFN team.

The Board of Trustees of NRFN comprises nine stalwarts who bring together a collective experience of at least 150 years in the field of conservation, education and management.

Our Strengths

Quick Action to ensure swift and timely assistance to wildlife in the hour and place of need Private sector work ethics and an NGO heart, working with private sector deadlines, management principles, periodic reviews driven by passion for wildlife and nature Building Alliances to function through partnerships and coalitions to extend geographical oversight, expertise, skills and global networking. Utilizing funds efficiently ensuring that 80% of all specified wildlife donations are spent on the field Using manpower and skills optimally ensuring a broad-viewed approach to conservation

Wildlife conservation, on the other hand, does not concern itself with the welfare of domestic animals or even, in general, with the welfare of individuals of wild species.  The species as a whole is considered more important than individual animals. A conservationist will accept that it may sometimes be necessary to deliberately kill individuals of a species for the sake of the conservation of the species as a whole; such as culling (killing) of a certain number of individuals of a particular species periodically to ensure that the population of the species does not exceed the carrying capacity of its available habitat (thus putting the habitat and all its wildlife in danger).  Another example may be the extermination of non-native species that have been introduced into a country and have proliferated there, posing a danger to native wildlife.  Such killing, even when done humanely and on the basis of scientific studies, is generally anathema to those who work in the field of animal welfare.

The difference in perception between an animal welfare advocate and a wildlife conservationist may manifest itself in many ways. Here’s a hypothetical example:

• An animal welfare activist or animal lover visiting a wildlife sanctuary may see a wounded deer and, feeling pity for it, may want the deer to be rescued and provided with veterinary care.

• A wildlife conservationist seeing the same deer will choose not to interfere with the natural processes of nature, and do nothing.While this may seem insensitive to the animal lover, the conservationist is behaving correctly. Rescuing aged or naturally wounded wild animals and keeping them in a rescue centre is misplaced compassion and should be done only in exceptional situations; such as, if the animal in question belongs to an extremely rare species that is down to the last few individuals and is in imminent danger of extinction.

In a forest, weak, aged or wounded prey animals are an extremely important source of food for predators. A perceived act of human kindness in rescuing such an animal may result in depriving another animal of its rightful nourishment. Animals must be allowed to die of natural causes because their carcasses are a vital source of sustenance for scavengers such as vultures, jackals and hyenas, which may otherwise not be able to survive and raise their young.While every domestic animal or captive wild animal in a zoo must be treated humanely and given medical attention in case of injuries, in a Wildlife Sanctuary or National Park, it is best to leave nature alone. Human interference and intervention should be avoided.  The exception might be where a wild animal has been injured by humans – for eg., an animal caught in a trap or a snare.

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