Tillari Conservation Reserve
State of Maharashtra
Tillari Conservation Reserve has been dedicated to the QCC by His Excellency Aaditya Uddhav Thackeray, Cabinet Minister of Environment, Tourism and Protocol, for the Government of Maharashtra in India.
The Reserve protects 29.53 sq.km of Tropical Semi-Evergreen and Moist Deciduous forest in the northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra, a global biodiversity hotspot. The region was previously managed as a Reserved Forest (non-protected forest) before it was notified as a Conservation Reserve in June 2020 under the Indian Wildlife Act by the Government of Maharashtra. It is the first QCC project located in India.
The TCR protects an important wildlife corridor for elephants, tigers and other large mammals at the tri-junction of three states, including Goa and Karnataka. Over 50 mammal species, 236 bird species, and nearly 40 species of reptiles and amphibians are recorded in the region. Many endemic species of plants are also found there, including medicinal varieties which the local people consume for their wellbeing. The locals also protect the forest in the form of sacred groves, which includes a Myristica swamp which is an ancient forest habitat.
Tillari Conservation Reserve is a win-win solution for people and wildlife as it enables local rights to coexist with wildlife conservation. Through the formation of Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) local people can take part in and benefit from ecotourism activities in the reserve, providing additional sources of income and increasing awareness of biodiversity and wildlife conservation. Locals are employed on a rotational basis for night-guarding to prevent elephant crop raiding, and are also encouraged to undertake tourism initiatives in the form of homestays. Local youths in the area are being engaged to help with wildlife rescue and protection in the region.
In the TCR, a sustainable livelihood and forest conservation project has been implemented, focusing on a non-timber forest products (NTFP) scheme, by the Department of Forests, Maharashtra. Local people produce agricultural products such as Bay leaf, Shikakaki, Karonda fruit, Jamun fruit, Jack fruit, Wild mango, Indigenous rice, Ragi, Kokam, Wild Honey and others.