Belinda Wright

Founder and Executive Director, Wildlife Protection Society of India

BIOGRAPHY

Belinda Wright is a leading wildlife conservationist and the Executive Director of the well-respected Wildlife Protection Society of India. Born in Kolkata, she has spent over 40 years working on wildlife issues in India, and wild tigers in particular, initially as an award-winning photographer and filmmaker and then as a full-time conservationist.

Belinda founded the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) in 1994. Over the past 20 years she has pioneered investigations into the illegal wildlife trade in India, Nepal and China, and helped expose the trade in tiger and other wildlife products. WPSI has hosted more than 280 wildlife enforcement workshops throughout India and given training to over 15,400 Forest and Police officers in 17 states, as well as the National Police Academy, the National Institute of Criminology and Forensics Sciences, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI,) and other institutions.

As a filmmaker, Belinda won two Emmy Awards and 14 other major international awards for her 1984 National Geographic documentary ‘Land of the Tiger’. During the making of the film, she spent more than two years following the secret lives of wild tigers in Kanha and Ranthambhore Tiger Reserves. She has made 13 wildlife documentaries and coauthored five books, including ‘Through The Tiger’s Eyes; A Chronicle of India’s Wildlife’ (Ten Speed Press, 1997).

She has received various awards for her work as a conservationist, among them the O.B.E. from Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom in June 2003 for “services to the protection of wildlife and endangered species in India”. Belinda received the Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award in April 2005, and was elected an Ashoka Senior Fellow in 2009. In November 2012 she received the prestigious Sanctuary Lifetime Service Award.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

  • Sharma, K., Wright, B., Joseph, T., and Desai, N. (2014). “Tiger Poaching and trafficking in India: Estimating rates of occurrence and detection over four decades.” Biological Conservation 179: 33-30.
  • Wright, B. (2010). “Will the Tiger Survive in India?” In Tilson, J., and Nyhus, P.J. (eds.), Tigers of the World, 2nd Edition. San Diego: Elsevier, pp. 87-100.
  • Wright, P., and Mohanty, B. (2009). Simlipal Tiger Reserve: Assessment of recent elephant poaching and protection initiatives. Report prepared for the National Tiger Conservation Authority, Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi.
  • Wright, B. (2009). “The tiger’s last sigh.” Tehelka Issue 44, Volume 6.