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Are Leopards ,Tigers Threat To Cheetahs Coming To Kuno ?

  There is further delay in Cheetah’s flight to India. Whether the delay is caused by the threat of leopard presence inside the Cheetah enclosures   prepared in Kuno Palpur national park of Madhya Pradesh or it’s a procedural delay in signing of MoU between South Africa and India.Though an MoU was already signed with Namibia on July 21 this year , Cheetahs have yet to be translocated from this south west African nation.  Silence Over The Delay   Riddled with controversies and concerns raised by environmentalists, the cheetah project has been in the news for wrong reasons right from the beginning. Termed as a “vanity   project “and an “expensive mistake” by experts like Ravi Chellam, the cheetah project has been opposed mainly for denying lion’s entry to Kuno that was prepared for a second home to the Asiatic lion among other conservation issues. Firstly, in March this year, Namibia wanted India’s support for lifting a United Nations ban on commercial trade of wildlife products, includ
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Gujarat Lions Are Weak, Lack Vigor

Asiatic lions in Gujarat are weak and may be getting weaker with time. Inbreeding is causing several genetic disorders. Their vigor and vitality are declining.  An interesting and elaborate research on the population of Asiatic lions has also shown “missing and malformed limbs” among lion cubs in Saurashtra Landscape in Gujarat, the only home to lions in India. “The lion has become a socio-political instrument in Gujarat, which despite a Supreme Court directive has not parted with founders to establish another population. Threats from epidemics loom large and currently a canine distemper virus outbreak is prevalent”, the study has warned.  Inbreeding  Effects On Vigor  On World Lion Day , as we discuss one of the most controversial subjects of India's wildlife governance, Gujarat continues to be in denial mode as far as the lion translocation project is concerned . The demographic conditions of the Asiatic Lion Landscape (ALL) in Gujarat are pathetic  and an alarm raised by  wildli

Golden ,Black Or White , Colourful Tigers are Cause of Concern

  Tyger Tyger, burning bright,  In the forests of the night William Blake, one of the celebrated English poets of 18th century, may have not written this poem had he seen the black tigers of Simlipal tiger reserve of Odisha. Blake’s source of inspiration, literary critics have written, was the flame-like appearance of a tiger’s stripes. But Simlipal tigers have dominant black stripes and have been in news again after camera traps captured its images in Odisha jungles in the last week of July. A black tiger was spotted marking its territory on a tree trunk at Similipal tiger reserve (STR) in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha. Earlier, this year, we had visuals of a golden tiger coming from  Kazirangana national park of Assam. We already have white tigers and the first such animal was spotted in Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh in 1951. Actually, we can have as many as 14 types of colouration patterns in tigers including the one that was “ burning bright”  in Blake’s  “The Tyger” publish

Lion ,Cheetah And The Politics Of Conservation

After yet another flip -flop on Project Lion, Gujarat  will establish lions in the newly identified sites  only within the state. Despite Supreme Court order in 2013, Gujarat did not translocate lions in Kuno Palpur national park of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh where Project Cheetah is being   seen as the last nail in the coffin for the lion project in Kuno. In August 2020, the Centre launched a lion conservation programme along the lines of Project Tiger and identified six sites including two in Madhya Pradesh, three in Rajasthan and one in Gujarat for the relocation of the big cat. But now the government’s 25-year roadmap for Project Lion makes no mention of relocation. The new plan focuses on “facilitation of natural dispersal” of the big cat across Saurashtra in Gujarat and “potentially” to Rajasthan by 2047. “Who stops lion from further dispersal from Rajasthan to Madhya Pradesh,” officials comment jokingly. Overly Enthusiastic Zeal of Gujarat  For the past quarter

Rising Tiger Numbers Midst Shrinking Forest Cover Makes No Sense

Tiger population in India is going up with shrinking forest  cover that provides shelter to the big cats. This coupled with increasing human dependence on forests is leading  to a serious issue -man animal conflict. On the International Tiger Day , ThewildlifeIndia raises the issue of  rising graph of Human-Tiger  conflict. Urban area around Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Maharashtra is one such conflict zone with an alarming rise in the cases of clashes between big cats and villagers. In places like Brahmpuri, as many as 6 lakh people are vying for space in the presence of large tiger population. Presence of breeding big cats in a thermal power station and a coalmine operating right on the edge of TATR have made the matter worse. The situation has reached a flash point  and an immediate intervention with strong political will is required to maintain harmony. 100 Tigers, Fragmented Forest And  Human Pressure  Why is there an element of urgency for intervention?  A forest depar

Cheetah Races For Kuno, Defeats Lion

Cheetah may be the fastest  land animal but the project to introduce the spotted cat from Africa to India moved even faster. And the speed with which the Cheetah project progressed left many wildlife experts awed and intrigued. With a political push, Cheetah has defeated Lion and the latter may, perhaps, never ever be able to reach Kuno national park , originally planned as second home to Gujarat’s pride. Finally, India inked an MOU with Namibia in July and may sign another with South Africa soon. However, the travel plan of Cheetah from Namibia to Kuno is yet to be finalized. Experts have termed it “ a vanity project ”. Cheetah is likely to reach Kuno in the winters of 2022. However, thewildlifeindia.com carries exclusive images of the  South African cheetahs to be translocated to India. Lion Loses Despite  SC Order In Favour Taking into consideration many factors including fear of an epidemic, the government of India in 1990s initiated a plan to find second home for Asiatic lions fou

Tigress Gets ‘Life Imprisonment’

It’s a tragic story of a beautiful breeding tigress. Four years ago, the tigress was sent from Bandhavgarh national park in Madhya Pradesh (MP) to Satkosia tiger reserve in Odisha along with a male tiger to revive the population of big cats. But apparent mishandling of the first ever interstate tiger relocation programme ended up in poaching of the male tiger named Mahaveer. Sundari, the tigress, landed up in a cage in Odisha where she languished for three years. While she was being shifted from one enclosure to another, the governments of MP and Odisha were engaged in bureaucratic procedures  and passing the buck. Sundari, now about 8 year of age, is condemned to a smaller enclosure of 10000 sq feet in Van Vihar , an open zoo and rescue centre in the state capital of MP where she would spend the rest of her life. It is believed that the inter-state project was launched without proper preparations. The officials in Odisha also did not ascertain the reasons for  declining tiger popula

Highway Blocks Tiger Movement,Effects Breeding In Panna National Park

As tigers explore new territories in Panna national park, a national highway crisscrossing the jungle is preventing further expansion of tiger territory in the core area of the park. Moreover, realignment of the highway- NH39 - has been delayed over a year. There is also a state highway crossing the park and the cumulative effect of the two roads is devastating. They have violated the sanctity of the emerald forest. A recent study conducted by the PTR has revealed that about 200 sq km park area is affected by NH39 where 10 to 12 more tigers can find home Road or Road Block  There are two areas which hold potential for future rise in tiger population in the PTR, says 2022 Mid-Year review of the reserve. The first area is north of NH 39 and it passes through the core of the park crisscrossing about 15 kms . This area, nearly 200 sq km -includes core area of Madla range and Gangau Sanctuary North of NH 39, as well as buffer area of Panna buffer range) holds potential for future rise of ti

Tiger Boom of Panna: River Project To Lead Reversal of The Trend

  As the  threat of Ken Betwa Linking Project (KBLP) continues to stare Panna tiger reserve (PTR) , its tiger numbers  are “going up exponentially” and may touch “100 sooner than predicted”. Not only this, the big cat is covering those parts of the park as well where they were not seen earlier. Though almost all the green permissions for the KBLP are yet to be cleared, the government in Madhya Pradesh has started survey of the villagers to be affected by the proposed project, propagated as a game changer for Bundelkhand region by transferring “surplus water” from Ken River to Betwa to irrigate the drought prone region. Experts have contested the merits of the project and questioned the environmental feasibility.   Panna's Success Story In This Report  An interesting tiger study released by the field director of the PTR, Uttam Kumar Sharma,  talks about various aspects of the rise in the population of the big cats in Panna, the geographical regions where the tiger numbers are incre