WRCS Team

Mr. Jayant Kulkarni

Jayant Kulkarni is Executive Director, Conservation with WRCS. Jayant has a B.Tech and an M.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT (Mumbai). Although an engineer by qualification, his passion has always been for wilderness and nature. To pursue his interest, he joined the Indian Forest Service (IFS) from Maharashtra cadre. He was trained in wildlife management at Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun and was awarded silver medal for his performance. Jayant served as an IFS officer in Maharashtra and was posted in Melghat Tiger Reserve. After a few years of service, he resigned from IFS and returned to working actively in nature conservation, a field close to his heart. Jayant’s main interest is in nature conservation that can be linked to people’s participation. Jayant is an excellent bird watcher and photographer. He loves to trek, be in the wild, and is a foodie at heart.

Dr. Prachi Mehta

Prachi Mehta is working as Executive Director, Research with WRCS. Prachi has been actively involved in wildlife and nature conservation since her college days. To pursue her interest further, she joined Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun and worked on her Ph.D in wildlife biology. For the Ph.D degree, she examined the impact of forestry practices on bird communities of Satpura Hills in Bori Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh and Melghat Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. For her Ph.D work, she was awarded Salim Ali Award for best work in Ornithology at WII. Prachi’s main interest is in ecological research focusing on birds and large mammals. Prachi enjoys bird-watching, trekking and photography. Her current passion is study of the critically endangered Forest Owlet.

Tushar Pawar

After completing M.Sc in Zoology, Tushar Pawar Joined WRCS as a researcher. In last four years, Tushar has carried out several projects including a study on human wildlife conflict, survey of giant squirrel, assessing Potential of Ecotourism and forest-based enterprises. For last two years, Tushar has been working relentlessly for tiger conservation in Melghat Tiger Reserve. He has carried out sign surveys and camera-trapping in Sipna Division and East and West Melghat Divisions. Tushar was in charge of the volunteer patrolling program in Melghat where he trained the volunteers in patrolling and reading the signs of wildlife. Tushar's main interst lies in research and conservation of tiger in central Indian landscape with special emphasis on developing anti-poaching and law enforcement capabilities. Tushar is a fine artist and avid reader.

Sunil Kale

Sunil Kale, an MBA in Environmental Management, is working with WRCS on Conservation of Private Forests at Koyna-Chandoli corridor in Northern Western Ghats (Maharashtra). At present large number of private forests are clear-felled on short rotation cycles for sale of firewood, which is an unsustainable management practice therefore they are in degraded state. Scientific forestry is capable of producing higher wood production while conserving the forests and maintaining tree cover. As an amateur nature lover, I am seeking expertise that helps to taking appropriate decision regarding environment. My field of interest are Ecology, GIS and remote sensing, Forestry, Environmental management etc.

Ravi Bandekar

Ravi Bandekar is diploma holder in agriculture faculty and has substantial work experience with local communities in Davengere in Karnataka. Ravi has been working with students and farmers in villages in Karnataka teaching them about enhancing education skills and livelihood securities. He is skilled in establishing communication and network with people from all walks of life. Ravi is associated as a Project Officer and Researcher with WRCS's elephant project in North Kanara district. He is interested in conflict management and establishing novel ideas for elephant conservation.

Girish Punjabi

Girish is a wildlife biologist whose interests revolve around carnivore ecology and conservation. He is an alumnus of the Masters Program in Wildlife Biology & Conservation from NCBS, WCS-India and TIFR (https://www.ncbs.res.in/mscprogram/). He works in the Sahyadri region on issues related to landscape conservation, population ecology of large mammals, and hunting. He has extensively trained front-line staff of the Maharashtra Forest Department in improved monitoring of large mammals. He received the Carl Zeiss award for wildlife conservation in 2015.

Nirmala Mesta

Mrs. Nirmala Mesta is a Commerce Graduate from Udipi in Karnataka. Nirmals is an Accountant by profession and has worked in co-opeative bank for last seven years. Nirmala is associated with WRCS as an Accountant. Nirmala is an efficient manager and a gifted cook.

Akshay Anand

Akshay Anand has completed his B.Sc in Zoology from Madras Christian College, Chennai. Akshay has a keen interest in wildlife and conservation issues. Akshay has worked on occupancy of carnivores in Sahyadri Tiger Reserve with WRCS and is currently working as researcher on the forest owlet project in Madhya Pradesh. Akshay enjoys the wilderness and tranquility of the forests and makes the most of his days monitoring owls, reading, photography and cooking.

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