Vishal and Nidhi’s project will be focused on engaging communities for wetland preservation to foster coexistence with Mugger crocodiles in central Gujarat’s Charotar region. They will be identifying village-specific conservation challenges and potential conflicts, along with assessments of animal behavior and habitat use of Mugger crocodiles.
Vishal S Mistry hails from Vaso village of Kheda District in central Gujarat. He rejected formal schooling at a young age and befriended frogs, birds, and lizards. Growing up, he spent countless hours on the wetlands' banks, watching crocodiles and listening to stories from people. He turned his field of interest into a professional pursuit and built his expertise in wildlife Biology, Ecology, Management, and Conservation. Working along with individual researchers and organizations like SACON, Nature Club Surat, WWF-India, and BNHS, he contributed to nearly 30 research works on Sarus Crane, Mugger Crocodiles, Odonates, and vultures in Gujarat.
Nidhi Thanki is a wildlife enthusiast and zoological researcher with a Master's in Zoology at Navrachna University, Vadodara. She has a specialization in Behavioral Ecology and Conservation Biology. Her master's dissertation focused on the population estimation and individual identification of mugger crocodiles. A passionate visual storytelling, her work has been exhibited in Wildlife Week 2022. Nidhi also actively engages in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation through the Nature Help Foundation.