BENGALURU: Karnataka forest officer Chandrakant R Naik has won the RBS Earth Heroes Award for 2017. The deputy range forest officer from Kali Tiger Reserve (KTR) has been selected in the ‘Green Warrior’ category which is given to an individual for exemplary work in protecting a habitat that hosts important species listed under the Wildlife Protection Act.
A decorated forest officer, C R Naik’s working life has been spent in the recovery of KTR. During his long service in Kulgi and Kumbarwada wildlife ranges, he tirelessly confronted the poaching and timber mafia and also worked in containing forest fires. He has arrested many in forest offense cases.
Hailing from Sanekatta village of Kumta taluk in Uttar Kannada district, Naik told Express, “I am surprised, but I feel very humbled and proud that they have recognised the contributions of a field staff. My family is very proud of my achievements.”Naik’s forest knowledge is so formidable that he can identify 290 tree species, 183 birds, 60 butterflies, 38 snakes and 27 amphibians. Tracking big carnivores is his forte as he can easily identify their scent and scratch marks, etc. Further, he can identify 30 types of spiders, their behavior and habitat. He has rescued 546 snakes, including King Cobras, krait, etc in the last 10 years.His prowess in rescuing snakes and other species is well known.