The WTI Team
A certified physiotherapist, Abhiskek Narayan joined WTI in 2011 after studying and rescuing snakes with various wildlife organisations for around four years. Currently he works as a technical officer in the Rescue and Conflict Mitigation department, and enjoys every bit of it. An enthusiastic biker, he describes the feeling of the wind in his face as he drives through and around the city, as one of the best feelings in the world – apart from handling snakes, obviously.
Born and brought up in Guwahati, Assam. Amitabha began his career as a consultant with WTI in 2004. Initially he worked with Prof. P.C. Bhattacharjee, and later decided to contribute all his time to wildlife conservation in February 2007, when WTI’s regional office in Guwahati became functional.
Amrit Menon joined WTI as a volunteer in the Wild Aid division in 2009 when he had just finished college as a zoology honors student. Working on addressing wildlife issues across the country along with the Wild Aid team and interacting with subject experts in the field of conservation helped him understand first hand the challenges facing conservation in India today.
Anil Nair is from South India. He is an Assistant Manager & Project lead, posted in Nagzira Nawegaon Tiger Reserve, central India. He is a Field biologist with experience of 20 yrs in wildlife conservation on species like Sarus Crane, Great Indian Bustard, Lesser Florican, Vulture, Sociable Lapwing, Sloth Bear, Tiger, wetland conservation and CCA’s.
Anson Philip graduated from M G University, Kottayam, and moved to Delhi to work in the accounts team at WTI. Always smiling, Anson has an eye for detail – like every good accountant – and diligently reminds his colleagues – normally too busy with other things – to clear or collect all their dues.
Sathyan, the chief of finance at WTI, is one of the organisations oldest members. He has the tough job of monitoring and recording the flow of money for all the programmes in WTI, and verifying the accuracy of those transactions. He calls WTI his home, and says the organisation means everything to him.
Dr Bhaskar Choudhury is a national award winning wildlife veterinarian from Guwahati, Assam, and works as the Regional head for Zone 1 in the North East – Assam. He has worked with IFAW-WTI’s Elephant Reintegration Project in Manas National Park and supervises the field implementation of a number of other WTI projects in Lower Assam.
Debobroto joined WTI in November 2009. He currently sits at the headquarters in the Wild Aid team, tirelessly going through proposals and coordinating with proponents associated with WTI’s Rapid Action Projects. Debo is frequently summoned to the TT room by anybody who needs a break and a worthy competitor.
Dinesh Chandra Pandey is a Field Officer in the National Elephant Corridor Project at WTI. He is also an Honorary Wildlife Warden of Nainital, Uttarakhand – a post he was awarded in August 2009.
Farukh joined WTI in January 2013 as an assistant field officer in the whale shark conservation project. He hails from Talala, a small town near the renowned GIR forest in Gujarat hence basically surrounded by wildlife at all times clearly influencing his life choices.
Harish is from Lucknow and works as a senior office attendant at WTI. He has held similar positions in the Delhi High Court and the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
One of the most experienced animal keepers on WTI’s staff rolls, Hemakantha is probably best known as wrought himself as a surrogate father to bears and clouded leopards. He joined WTI in 2001 and has spent several years thereafter at Pakke’s Centre for Bear Rehabilitation and Conservation and has helped hand raise eleven bears and two clouded leopards.At present he is working in the clouded leopard rehabilitation project and posted at Ripu Chirang Reserve Forest.
Jeetendra Kumar belongs to hilly state Uttarakhand. He graduated from H.N.B. Garhwal University, Uttarakhnd and joined WTI in March 2006. He is currently serving Wildlife Trust of India in its Training & Capacity Building initiatives under the Guardians of the Wild division (Van Rakshak Project). He has over 20 years of experience in office assistance and database management in the development and private sectors. He also possessed the rare skills of typing in Hindi.
John Kunjukunju belongs to Quilon district in Kerala, and in the six years of his working with the Wildlife Trust of India, he has grown to be one of the steadiest pillars of the organisation. He is currently an executive assistant to the executive director.
One of the most versatile members of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), Jose is the Regional Head of the south Indian projects and leads the division that handles wildlife trade control and litigation, arguably the most ‘glamourous’ positions in the organisation.
Based in the head quarters, Noida, Ramkumar is the Project lead in the National Elephant Corridor conservation project. He coordinates ground truthing in existing and potential elephant corridor work in 13 states of India. In the office, Ramkumar is fiercely sought out for the mouth-watering south Indian platter his wife packs for him everyday.
Kaushik Deb joined WTI in December 2009 and has been working in the Valmiki Tiger Reserve ever since, where he works on spreading awareness and alternatives among communities dwelling around a much degraded and pressurised forest land due to encroachment and other human activities.
Born in Bodoland, Maheshwar Basumatary (Ontai) was brought up amidst the civil and political conflicts. He is one of our more popular keepers, who has been making it to the press and receiving conservation awards ever since his story – of poacher turning into a protector – hit the news.
Mayukh currently heads WTI’s Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Division, and has in the past served in several other positions in the organisation, including as Head of the Planning Division and as Technical Officer to the Executive Director. He is a graduate in Anthropology (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) and has a doctorate in Animal Behavioural Ecology from the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.
Dr NVK Ashraf is the chief of conservation at WTI. He joined WTI in 2001 as the Coordinator of the Wild Rescue programme and became the programme’s Director in 2005. Under his leadership and supervision, for the first time in India, hand-raised rhino calves were relocated to Manas National Park from CWRC as part of IFAW-WTI’s rhino reintroduction programme. He also oversees rehabilitation of other temporarily as well as permanently displaced animals.
Panjit joined WTI in 2008 full time after his stint as a volunteer during his student days with the organisation. During this period he helped hand-raise two Himalayan Black Bears which were later rehabilitated and released in to the Manas National Park. At present he is the incharge of the Mobile Veterinary Services in Lower Assam and is also looking after the Clouded Leopard Rehabilitation Process in Ripu Chirang Reserve Forest.
With over three decades of experience in wildlife conservation in Vidarbha, Maharashtra, Prafulla Madhusudan Bhamburkar, works as a Manager at WTI’s Central India Tiger Conservation Project. The project deals with various aspects of tiger conservation, particularly securing tiger corridors in the region. Among his notable wildlife enforecement activities Prafulla held a raid in a canteen inside Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha Assembly premises to stop serving of quail meat.
Part of the fishing community in Veraval, Gujarat, Prakash’s sound knowledge of the ocean provides much needed support to the field operations in WTI’s Whale Shark project. One of his greatest contributions is his ability to interact with almost anyone – especially local fishermen – which helps build better relations to help the cause of the whale shark.
Prem (or Pandeyji) is currently posted in Dudhwa National Park, where he works in the Uttar Pradesh Carnivore Conservation Project that mainly deals with conflict mitigation.
An expert of international repute on pheasants, Dr Rahul Kaul is the chief ecologist at WTI. Over 10 projects on diverse subjects including species surveys and ecology, species and habitat recovery as well as wildlife trade, run under his calm and effective guidance. Rahul is a member of several national and international animal welfare/conservation bodies including the Central Zoo Authority, Pheasant Specialist Group, IUCN/SSG and so on.
Dr Rajendra Prasad Mishra hails from Madhya Pradesh and is the Regional Head for WTI’s projects in Central India, based out of the field station at Udanti, Chattisgarh. He has over ten years of research and project management experience in the fields of wildlife conservation, sustainable forest management, medicinal plants and non timber forest produce management.
A wildlife biologist by training, Dr Rathin Barman has been associated with the Wildlife Trust of India since 2001. He joined as a manager. Rathin has been instrumental in the organisation’s growth in the Northeast and is currently Joint Director – WTI and Head – Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation.
Riyaz Ahmed is Manager and the Project lead for the Western Himayas Mountain Ungulates Project. He hails from Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir has an MSc in Wildlife Sciences from Aligarh Muslim University. At Aligarh he did a project on the biodiversity of Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary. Riyaz has worked on the Shahtoosh Survey and the Markhor survey for WTI in Kashmir.
Rudra started his career as a network engineer, moving on to working as a non-linear editor and an assistant director for media houses before turning to wildlife activism. Well known as the ‘Snake Man’, Rudra Prasanna discovered the first ever albino checkered keelback snake Xenochrophis piscator in India. Other credits include having been nominated in the amateur filmmaker category during CMS Vatavaran 2009 for the film, ‘God needs to be Rescued’.
Sajan John has a Masters degree in Marine Biology and joined WTI in 2014. Currently he heads the West Coast Marine Conservation Project which includes the Whale Shark Conservation Project at Veraval, Gujarat and the Coral Reef Recovery Project at Mithapur. He also looks after the Mangrove Restoration Project in North Kerala and manages the Marine Megafauna survey Project along the Odisha coast.
Dr Sandeep Kr Tiwari, Deputy Director and Head-Wild lands is a wildlife biologist and conservationist. He is working with WTI since 2002. His principal area of work has been to secure and restore critical wildlife habitats, with special focus on elephant corridors. Sandeep has been instrumental in securing elephant corridors in Karnataka, Kerala and Meghalaya and currently supervising five corridor securement projects. He also has a doctorate in alternative medicine.
Saji, from Alleppey in Kerala is head of Wildlife Trust of India’s finance division. Saji holds a BCom degree from the Kerala University in Trivandrum and is also qualified under the ICWA (Institute of Cost and Works Accountant). Saji moved to Delhi in 1996 and worked in various capacities in a Chartered Accountant firm and a Chartered Consultancy company. He joined WTI in July 2003.
Samir has been working in the Tiger Recovery Project in Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar, since 2003 when he joined Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). He is responsible for the on-site implementation of the project which aims for long-term recovery of tiger population in this once-neglected reserve.
Sanatan belongs to the state of Assam and by profession, He is a Sociologist with more than 12th years of experience, working on sustainable livelihood for rural poor in diversified fields. Presently, he is working in Greater Manas landscape in Bodoland Territorial Council, Manas, Assam as a Field Officer and Project Lead. “I have the habit of working with communities from my school days and now I get enough scope and freedom to continue my journey with Wildlife Trust of India” Sanatan says
Sunil Subba Kyarong is among the most successful wildlife conservationists to have worked at the Wildlife Trust of India. He joined WTI in May 2000 as a field investigator, with primary duty of wildlife data collection from a number of northern, eastern and northeastern Indian states. Currently, he is the coordinator for WTI’s operations in the Northeast India and the manager for the organisation’s Wild Lands Programme.
Upasana Ganguly is a Bachelors in Zoology from Delhi University with a Masters in Environmental studies from TERI University. She joined WTI recently as an Assistant Project Officer and currently based at the Headquarters in Planning division. She was interested in Animal Sciences since her undergrad, however, it was during her masters that she realized, She wants to pursue a career in Wildlife Conservation.