Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) is a 103.8 sq. km. protected area with more than 1000 plant species, 251 species of migratory land and water birds, 50,000 species of insects 38 species of reptiles, 9 species of amphibians, 150 species of butterflies and a large variety of fish and 40 species of mammals. For protecting all these beautiful species SGNP has limited no of forest guards, out of them 30-35 guards are beat guards. With an average area of 500 hectare for each guard and with the Park surrounded by Mumbai and Thane city there have been many routes to enter the Park from various entry-exit points and trespassing has been common, this leads to several incidences of forest fires, tree felling, and recent incidences of poaching & man-animal conflict around the periphery of the National Park.
Our Team has been working on various projects inside and outside the park along with Forest Department, wildlife biologists and scientist. Many such incidences have been observed and monitored and some firm steps have to be taken against it for which an effective network will have to be developed around the park so that such incidences can be reduced and tackled quickly.
Warriors for SGNP is an initiative to create a citizen enrolled team which works on active participation of residents who live within the park as well as on the periphery of the park. Residents staying adjoining the park in high rises having aerial views of the landscape also form a part of such group. These individuals form a part of a Whatsapp group where visual reporting of forest fires, poachers etc is reported directly.
This methodology has help the forest department curb forest fires during the summer season as the response team of department initiates the fire dousing team immediately on receiving a message on the mobile application.