Phaneesh Murthy: Leading the Charge in Tiger Conservation and Tech Innovation

India is home to more than 70 percent of the world’s tiger population, making it a critical player in the conservation of this endangered species. After being on the cusp of extinction, tigers are making a comeback thanks to conservationists such as Phaneesh Murthy. The stability of the tiger population is still at risk, though, due to habitat loss and poaching. 

According to the World Animal Foundation, the number of tigers killed by poachers in India increased from 38 in 2019 to 56 in 2021. With only 4,500 tigers living in the wild, that is an increase the world cannot afford. 

Phaneesh Murthy, a technology magnate from India, is contributing to the fight against poaching by providing anti-poaching drone technology to the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve.

Who Is Phaneesh Murthy?

Phaneesh Murthy is a conservationist and a leader in the Global and Tech Business Services Industry. Since starting his career, he has served as a CEO, President, founder, Head of Sales, and board member for some of the most prominent global companies. In addition, he has worked to innovate some of the most recognizable names in the technology industry. 

Today, Phaneesh Murthy is the founder and CEO of Primentor, a consulting agency that provides mentoring services to senior execs. The goal is to stimulate hyper-growth for the organizations he serves. Murthy believes that for a business to modernize, it must embrace tech and operations conversion. 

In addition to running his business, Phaneesh Murthy is dedicated to conservation, especially for tigers in his home country of India. He has spent the last two decades working tirelessly to prevent their extinction. 

In partnership with other conservationists, Murthy started the Kabini Foundation to protect the forest. Their primary concern at the time was villages encroaching on the habitat that supported so many species of wildlife and plants, including tigers. The Kabini Foundation provided simple vocational training and resources to prevent further destruction. They were trained to provide delivery services, basic maintenance, and even tailoring. Tasks that would allow them to afford resources to support their families without taking them from the forest. 

Even today, Phaneesh Murthy continues his efforts to protect the tiger population in India. He donates money and supplies that help support forest monitoring and anti-peaching initiatives. For example, Murthy donated his reward money from a golf tournament to the Tiger Conservation Fund. He got Jeeps for the Forest Department, allowing them to travel better in the dense areas. More recently, he donated a thermal drone to provide efficient forest monitoring. 

Thermal Drones for Forest Monitoring

Phaneesh Murthy donated a Q4i thermal drone to the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve as part of his conservation efforts. This drone can fly in all types of weather and allows the reservists to monitor the 4 kilometers of the forest they protect in just 40 minutes and on a single charge. They can use the drone 24 hours a day, as well. 

Murthy also donated 900 tracking cameras to the reserve. This allows them to follow poachers as they lay down snares in the forest. The cameras will help prosecute poachers by providing visual evidence of their crimes. 

About the  Nagerahole Tiger Reserve

Nagerahole Tiger Reserve sits in the Karnataka region of India. Once known as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park, it provides a natural habitat for diverse wildlife and plants. You’ll find numerous species at the reserve, including 125 tigers still at risk of extinction. Conservationists like Phaneesh Murthy are committed to protecting these majestic animals. 

The reserve gets its name from the streams and rivers that swerve like a snake through its 4km of forest. Nagerahole means serpent river in Kannada. Nagerahole Tiger Reserve is a connecting habitat to other wildlife reserves. This includes the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, which is home to Project Tiger and part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Nagerahole is the hub for both Project Tiger and Project Elephant. 

The Impact of the Drone Donation

These drones are an invaluable tool for conservation efforts because they help reservists track activity in the forest. Equipped with thermal cameras and imaging technology, thermal drones such as the Q4i can track animals and assist those in need, detect and map poaching activities, identify potential forest fires, and monitor population density in areas that are difficult for conservationists to access. The drone and cameras were donated to the Forest Department in a special ceremony featuring speaker Magnasoft CEO Tiger Ramesh. 

Collaborative Conservation Efforts

There is power in collaboration. That is something Phaneesh Murthy has learned over the years as a conservationist. The collaborative effort of Murthy and his fellow conservationists has resulted in a consistent growth of India’s tiger population over the past ten years. That population growth is responsible for preventing tigers from becoming extinct in the wild and the creation of a stable tiger population in India.

There has been intense debate about forest land management in the country. Many of the surrounding villages need the forest to survive, but that strips it of its resources. As a result, NGOs are becoming crucial players in need of forest governance and advocating for the people in the villages. 

These collaborators are looking to serve the wildlife in the region while still protecting the rights guaranteed by the residents surrounding their habitats by the Forest Rights Act. Technology like thermal drones is helping find common ground. 

While the tiger population is truly stabilizing, conservationists have a long way to go to save many species facing extinction. You can help. Find out how by looking into the conservation efforts in your area.