Skip to main content

Posts

Are Tigers denied Honourable Death?

  Should a wild tiger be allowed to die its natural death in the jungle when injured after aterritorial fight or in natural course  or it should be  given medical treatment  when found injured.For long, this question has baffled the wildlife managers, many of whom are of the opinion that a wild tiger should not be denied an honorable death. Let the law of the jungle prevail and there should be no interference with nature. Treat or Not to Treat: Dilemma Continues   So a tiger carrying an injury in its natural course of life in the jungle (not due toany human action) – should it be treated with medicines? Though this question has been raised for the past many years, NTCA guidelines prohibit such intervention(of medication). A one-word answer for the question seems to be difficult ,especially in the times when most of the people are concerned moreover thetiger numbers. India along with other 13 tiger range countries has been workingfor the past few years to double the number of the big c
Recent posts

Bird Festival Begins in Bhigwan

  Bhigwan Bird Sanctuary (BBS) has come alive in a riot of colours. Thousands of resident and migratory birds have flocked the backwaters of the Ujani dam built downstream of river Bhima. For years, flamboyance of flamingos has been attracting a large number of tourists . The greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is the most widespread and largest species of the flamingo family. It is found in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and in southern Europe. As the birds stand on the pink lanky legs,  wildlife photographers click in frenzy to  catch the  best of the moves made by  them. Local guides call flamingo the “tiger” of Bhigwan as most of the people come here especially for this bird. Charm of B&W : Black Headed Ibis   Vying for the attention of the tourists, there are over 300 species of birds - both residents and migratory- in Bhigwan. Winter beckons birds' migration  to the backwaters of the dam as they  chirp, cheep , sing, shriek hoot and make all sorts

Midst Extinction Fear, Search Begins for Caracal in MP

Madhya Pradesh is searching for carcal, a cat fastheading towards extinction in India. Known for its elusive nature, caracal is foundmostly  in Rajasthan, Kutch in Gujarat and perhaps, parts of Madhya Pradesh around Chambal ravines. Though nocaracal has been sighted for long in MP, efforts are on to spot  them in and around Kuno Palpur National Park  in Sheopur district bordering Rajasthan. CameraTraps in Kuno The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and thestate forest department are trying to locate caracal by placing cameratraps   in the jungle. Few years ago, there were reports in Hindi media in Sheopur about sightings of caracal  but it couldnot be confirmed.  However, theneighbouring Ranthambhore national park is home to some of these fascinatingcats. The park is located in Sawaimadhopur district .Besides, the cat isbelieved to  be spread in Karoli  and Dholpur districts  of Rajasthan also. In October this yearphotographic evidence of the endangered cat was reported from Kumbhalgar

Death of a Superstar Highlights Signifiance of Tiger Corridors

                                                          A superstar-tiger of Panna National Park popularly known as Hira was poached. Code named 234-31,Hira was about 2 years of age and was perhaps headed towards Ranipur wildlifesanctuary in Chitrakoot Uttar Pradesh when he was electrocuted and de-skinned brutally by the poachers. For thousands of tourists and wildlife photographers,Hira along with his sibling Panna assumed a status of superstars because of thefrequent sightings and the photo opportunities they provided to the visitors of Akola wildlife tourist zone in the buffer area of the park.  They were born in November 2019 to Tigress P234 in her third litter. Panna,  the sibling of Hira, is still entertaining  the tourists.  Tiger Unsafe Outside  Protected Area As Hira was radio collared, his whereabouts were known tothe forest department. But tigers are not monitored on an hourly or day to daybasis. After leaving the Akola zone on July 24 , Hira remained in Panna’s  north di

Save Snow Leopards to Avoid Himalayan Blunder

In a country where wildlife conservation revolves around tigers- the top predator playing a pivotal role in the health and diversity of an ecosystem,  the significance of  snow leopard -an important species, seems to be  ignored and overlooked. Shy and solitary, snow leopards are found  in India high up in the Himalayas, the source of most of our fresh water and 3 perennial rivers – the Ganga, Yamuna and Brahmaputra, lifeline of  over 500 million Indians. Without the snow leopard, the Himalayan ecosystem will be adversely affected, impacting  the rivers too. Healthy population of snow leopards also indicates good health of the Himalayas .Ignoring this eco -system would be like a Himalayan blunder.On  the World Snow Leopard Day this year on October 23, we  call upon  all those concerned with the issue to underline the importance of the elusive cat and not undermine it.    Protect Glaciers  to Save Leopards  Protecting the snow leopard and its habitat will ensure protection of the major

Corbett Controversy: Misplaced Priorities of Politicians

One of the most celebrated tiger reserves of the world, Jim Corbett national park was in the news last week, albeit for the wrong reasons. Union minister of state for forest and environment Ashwini Kumar Choubey  had expressed his intentions to  rechristen   the reserve as Ramganga national park when there are a number of environmental issues pending in Uttarakhand . But the minister chose for renaming of the park which was almost immediately turned down by the state government. This is one of the top safari destinations of the country and very popular among tourists. When the state forest minister Harak Singh Rawat declined the Union minister’s idea on name change, he had in mind the potential threat to tourism activities. “A name change will hit tourism in Uttarakhand as the park is popular, among international tourists, as Corbett,” the minister said.  Interestingly, both the ministers, it seems, did not have on their priority list  the issues pertaining to protection of forest and

Cheetahs' Flight to India Delayed

Translocation of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) to Kuno Palpur national park in Madhya Pradesh has been delayed. Though the government has been highlighting covid19 spread in Africa as the prime reason, India has yet to receive the permission of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna), an international agreement between governments to preserve plants and animals of the planet to ensure that the international trade in their specimens does not threaten their survival. India’s application to bring this spotted at is yet to be cleared by this international organisation.  India 's Application With CITES Pending  Cheetah was scheduled to have been transported from Namibia and South Africa to Kuno in November this year. In all 8 cheetahs were scheduled to be translocated from the two places. But India applied “quite late” for the relocation of cheetah leading to delay in the processing of the application. Now this fastest animal on four

Balloon Safari In Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve Creates Controversy

After four months of monsoon break when Bandhavgarh national park was thrown open for tourists again on October 1, a hot air balloon flying low over core area of the tiger reserve erupted controversy. A member of National Tiger Conservation Authority member Satyendra Tiwari   blew the whistle leading to questions whether hot air balloons should be allowed to fly over such a low height. Can Hot Balloon Fly over Core Area ?                                                                                                                     Some tourists on a tiger safari on gypsies also spotted the balloon.  But Tiwari, an NTCA member  clicked a picture of the   balloon  and posted it on Facebook . He said if you  see  it (the picture  ) carefully you can see a white dot amongst the trees  which is  a watch tower in Chakradhara meadow and this is the tree line near  cave number 1.  “ No matter  the elevation of the place I was standing , I cannot make this balloon look below the tree line

Awesome Assam : Commitment to Conserve its Biodiversity

For the past few months, Assam has been buzzing with positive news stories of environment and wildlife conservation activities. Three months ago, two new national parks came into existence while burning of rhino horns has grabbed international headlines. Assam has set the agenda for the conservation of some of the most endangered species including the greater one -horn rhino and golden langur, one of the world’s most endangered primates endemic to northeast India and Bhutan.    Unique, Unmatched Transboundary  Biodiversity Famous for golden langur, Raimona national park , became sixth national park of Assam on June 5 this year followed by Eastern Assam’s Dehing Patkai national park  and elephant reserve  on June 9 2021. The five national parks that existed prior to the 422 sq km Raimona are Kaziranga, Manas- both world heritage sites-, Nameri, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa. Assam now stands third in the list of the states in India with the most national parks after 12 in Madhya Pradesh and

Rhino Horns Consign to Flames but Will it Check Poaching?

  Amidst chanting of rhymes and vedic rituals, the “world’s largest stockpile” of rhino horns was burnt to ashes in Assam. The ceremony was held in a  stadium of Bokakhat, the headquarters of the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve , a world heritge site, on the occasion of  the World Rhino Day on  September 22. It was aimed at dispelling myths leading to an illegal horn trade and the poaching of the majestic animal.  But the question raised by the environmentalists is , “ Will it check the rhino poaching”? " A World Record" A large number of people witnessed the “ world record”  made at the Bokakhat  stadium when 2,479 horns stored in 12 district treasuries since 1979 were burnt in six large iron furnaces  especially designed for the purpose. These were lit remotely through drones . The weight of the horns destroyed was 1,305.25 kg. Before the  horns were consigned to flames, experts had verified the horns using "scientific methods" at the treasuries they wer

Big Step Towards Conservation of Kaziranga Rhino

The World Rhino day (WRD) – September 22- is going to witness an unprecedented happening in Assam.  The state government has decided to set ablaze nearly 2,500 confiscated rhinoceros’ horns on this day to spread a message against the illegal multi-million dollar  trade of the horns. The pachyderm, listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list , is  killed for its horns. Preparations are underway at Bokakhat in Assam's Golaghat district, near Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR), to destroy 2,479 pieces of rhino horn housed in state treasuries. This will be done publicly. These horns confiscated from poachers have been piling for years in the government treasuries . Home to these beautiful animals, Kaziranga is a world heritage site. It is a major wildlife tourism attraction.    Myths of Aphrodisiac and Illegal Trade of Horns Long ago, North-East India’s active conservation group Nature’s Beckon had claimed that the state forest department used to sell rhino horns even aft

Are Lion Tailed Macaque More Fortunate than Panna Tigers: A Tale of Two Projects

Almost a  year after the Karnataka high court stayed the project that had further threatened the already endangered lion tailed macaque (LTM) ((Macaca silenus), endemic to the Sharavathi river valley nestled in the Western Ghats; the sword of Damocles continues to hang over the primates. The Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) had launched a geothermal survey  with heavy machines to ascertain if the 2000 MW underground pump storage hydro-electric project was feasible. Besides LTM, the Sharavathi river valley is also home to a diverse array of species and sustains very rich biodiversity. Though the  court stay continues, the south Indian state has not yet withdrawn the project. For the time being, the power project may not have been in the priority list of the government after the change in the political guard, it continues to stare at LTM menacingly. Sharavathi Valley, a Jewel in the Western Ghats The project was proposed within the core area of 902 sq km in the Sharavathi Valle