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Dr. Rajendra Prasad Mishra
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.

Rajendra has several impressive academic qualifications under his belt that includes a PhD in Wildlife Science and an MSc in Environmental Biology. At the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, he opted for a PhD on the wild buffalo, noting that there was not much research done on this wildlife subject. He spent many sleepless nights in temporary machans observing the behaviour of these endangered animals in the wild. His thesis was the first one produced on the species in India.

Rajendra was selected to join WTI's wild buffalo recovery project in Chhattisgarh in May 2005. Although the wild buffalo had been declared as the state animal of Chhattisgarh, Rajendra's research revealed that, at the time, there were only seven individuals in the Udanti Wildlife Sanctuary.

"There was only one female wild buffalo in Udanti WLS. She and her calf were moved to an enclosure (25 ha) within the sanctuary for purposes of protection and observation. As recommended by the wild buffalo task force (formed by the state government following Rajendra's recommendations on behalf of WTI), WTI had submitted a captive breeding plan for wild buffalo to the Chhattisgarh Forest Department. The number of buffalos has now gone up to ten," says Rajendra. 

He has also surveyed few areas of Indravati Tiger Reserve and Bhairamgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, which have generally been avoided by conservationists because of the presence of Naxalites.

Rajendra has written extensively on matters relating to wildlife and the environment. Among his publications are five research project reports, 14 research papers and 13 articles besides a book on the biodiversity at the IIFM campus in Bhopal. He has also been an editorial member of the quarterly newsletter "C & I INDIA UPDATE" of IIFM-ITTO Project on Criteria & Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in India, IIFM. He has also developed a Herbarium of plant specimens at IIFM. Around 500 plant specimens were collected and mounted with taxonomic details from different parts of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Trekking, photography and listening to old songs keep this scientist relaxed in his leisure time. Kabaddi is also a passion with Rajendra, who has represented IIFM and other institutions at regional and national level kabaddi competitions.

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