Vijay Pinarkar,TNN
NAGPUR: About 26 students from six fringe villages near Pench tiger reserve got an opportunity to be part of a two-day residential nature camp. The camp is an attempt to sensitise those living on the fringe areas of national parks and sanctuaries to nature and the necessity of conservation. 

The Satpuda Foundation, a NGO working for tiger conservation in Central India, organised the nature camp for young people from six villages — Ghoti, Sillari, Pipariya, Kolitmara, Ghatpendri and Ghatkukda — at Kolitmara. The two-day camp concluded on February 21st. 

Students were taken to the nature interpretation complex of Kolitmara in west Pench range. During the camp the students took part in various nature-orientated activities like presentations on wildlife, nature games, lectures and vieiwing wildlife documentaries.

They went on a nature trail along the banks of Pench river for bird watching. Though living on the fringes of the forest these students rarely get an opportunity to explore it. They spotted herbivores like barking deer, spotted deer, sambar, langurs and many birds including jungle owlets, plum-headed parakeet, pariah kite, the Asian open-bill stork and other species. 

Satpuda Foundation assistant director Anoop Awasthi encouraged the students to persuade their families to support wildlife conservation efforts. A conservation manual prepared by the Foundation was provided to the students which recommends various conservation actions.

"Such nature camps were the reason I took up wildlife conservation as a career. I hope these camps will give us good wildlife conservationists from the local areas," said Awasthi. 

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