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Teeming With Tigers, India Needs To Manage Their Population

India is facing a serious 'problem of plenty'. Rising tiger population in many parts of the country is creating conflict zones. And the tiger- human clashes are going up, alarmingly in many landscapes. The Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) needs to take initiatives to control the situation. Fifty years after the project tiger as India moves on from dwindling tiger population to surplus numbers of the big cats,  the nation needs an active tiger population management plan. As MoEFC&C yet to  become proactive, a team of  tiger catchers continue to carry out search operations for the past over five months to  capture a tigress with four cubs. Thge team members are  scanning Tadoba Andhari Tiger Landscape in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, grappling with the issue of over population of 200 tigers. As many as 53 people lost their lives in Chandrapur in 2022 in tiger attacks while 14 tigers have also died from January 2022 to January this year. This
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Tiger Poaching In Panna National Park

 Sorry again to begin the New Year on a negative note. In less than a month’s time, when wildlife lovers have not forgotten the gruesome incident of a tiger poaching and the images of the  tiger carcass hanging from a tendu tree, another tiger was killed. The December 7 tiger poaching had happened 20 kms away from the park this time  the tiger poaching has taken place right inside Panna national park . The  tiger was electrocuted in Kishenganj range of buffer zone of the tiger reserve. Casual Appoach of Park Management    The latest case of tiger poaching was reported on the intervening night of January 3 and 4. In fact a hyena was also electrocuted. It was a well built beautiful tiger that lost life right inside the park where poachers used the supply line passing from the park to kill the animal.  But more depressing was a statement of the park director, Brajendra Jha who said this was part of the birth of tigers and their death.  More tigers have been born in Panna tiger reserve tha

No This Tiger Did Not Commit Suicide, Body Found Hanging Near Panna Tiger Reserve

  It is always disheartening to carry a picture of a dead tiger . This young  tiger was killed by poachers near Panna tiger reserve .  About four days after the death, body of this male tiger was found hanging from a tree from a clutch wire- used in motor bikes. The picture gives an impression as if the tiger committed suicide. This is the second such incident in the region. Around four years ago,  the body of a tiger was found hanging from a tree in the core area of the tiger reserve.  Poachers Are Active  On the cold December morning on Wednesday, the  forest  department officials in Panna and Chattarpur   received a message of  the tiger's death. As the investigations started by afternoon on December 7, officials of the Special Task Force, the Tiger Strike Force and  local police arrived at the scene. Sniffer dogs were deployed . We will update the story  whenever some development take place. The crime scene is located in a village Vikrampur ,8 kms away from Panna city and abou

Ultimate Test When Cheetahs Face Leopards in Kuno National Park

 Cheetahs in Kuno National Park are going to be released in the 748 sq km open forest of the park sometime early in the new year. To begin with  the two males- Fredie and Elton -may be released in the first phase followed by others .And as this date approaches, members of the team of international experts monitoring these cheetahs are apprehensive spending anxious moments. So far, Kuno cheetahs immune from leopards. For the first time, these imported spotted cats will have a faceoff with the local leopards, the top predator of Kuno and the carnivores like hyenas .You may be knowing that cheetahs brought from Namibia on September 17   have been living in protective 5 sq km enclosures in Kuno with plenty of prey-  like spotted deer - and  trained people to take care of their well being- mainly health -and the  issues related with adaptation. Cheetah is Smaller Than Leopard  In Africa, the home to most of the cheetahs in the world, leopards are known to attack the fastest land animal. Wit

Prep Before Cheetahs Become Free Ranging In Kuno National Park

  When another male cheetah, Obaan,joined the two rock stars – Freddie and Elton -- in yet another bigger enclosure of Kuno national park on November 18, only five female cheetahs remained in smaller bomas in the park where they were released on September 17. Like the three males, the five female spotted cats will also be released soon in larger bomas to run and chase their prey to kill. India’s  wildlife authorities accompanied by the experts from the cheetah conservation fund (CCF) from Namibia   have been taking utmost care and caution  before the  cheetahs in Kuno are ultimately made “free -ranging” meaning released in open to move around the entire length and breadth of the park. “Free ranging cheetahs and their monitoring  will be like a grand finale of the Project Cheetah to be played in Kuno for a longer  period in the coming years'", said a senior official of the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFC&C).  Apprehensions, Concerns  on Chee

Tiger In Town Near Corbett Reserve Shot Dead

                                    An injured tigress was shot dead in a busy market place near the world famous Corbett tiger reserve . Mystery shrouded the cold blooded killing of the big cat .Who killed the tiger- people of Marchula town where the tiger had strayed or the forest department personnel?  The animal could have been easily rescued by a team  of experts located few kms away from the spot.  10 Gun Shots And The Tigress Was Dead The tigress was spotted in the night  in the market of Marchula, a town dotted with  resorts and restaurants  catering to  tiger tourism. Though there was no one on the roads of Marchula market, people were heard shouting “ maro ”   “ maro ” ( shoot -shoot).   They were also heard shouting “ yeh kal walla hai” ( this is the same  as yesterday (sighting) ). This was followed by gunshots. A gun barrel was also seen coming out from the window of a white four-wheeler which was also charged by the tigress.  Eyewitnesses said  markets were closed and peo

Before Cheetah Came To Kuno,India Attempted To Clone Asiatic Species

  Two decades before cheetah translocation from Namibia to Kuno National Park , India’s efforts to clone Asiatic cheetah from Iran had failed after the western Asia country backtracked from the project.  Perhaps, it could have saved the species, believed to be on the brink of extinction. Now,only 12 Asian cheetahs are left in Iran and its government termed the situation as “extremely critical.” Compared to African cheetahs, its Asiatic cousin is smaller but has a thicker coat, a more powerful neck, and slender legs. Many experts believe that they could be faster than African species with longer legs, but this theory could not be confirmed in the absence of any test. The Project Cloning When cheetahs were released in Kuno, experts considered the presence of leopards as a threat to the cheetahs. But in 2003, the scientists of Hyderabad based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology ( CCMB) had planned a female leopard as a surrogate mother. However, the Iranians were not prepared to all

Cheetahs In Kuno Kill Another Deer But The Real Test Awaits

After Freddie and Elton, the two male cheetahs, made their first kill in Kuno National Park making national headlines, the two spotted cats killed another spotted deer sometime on November 8 evening. Moving around the one square km enclosure, the fastest  land animal got some space to sprint  and  recover from the long confinement in small bomas - first in Namibia and then in Kuno. Like a fitness test, the deer hunting is taking place  inside  a  one square km fenced enclosure facilitating the cheetahs to  catch the cheetal (spotted deer) herbivore and kill. But this is being termed as  "cheetah project on the right track". The real test of cheetahs will begin when they are finally released in the open forest in the coming months to compete  and face the  ferocious  leopards and  packs of the wild dogs of Kuno,  officials of the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFC&C) admit. Cheetahs Chase Deer Inside Enclosure The second kill in  Kuno's enc

Tiger Poaching On The Rise As The Cat Becomes Commodity

India may have claimed to have the highest number of tigers in the world; it also has the maximum number of poaching cases reported from its jungles. The country has 70 % or 2,967 of the global tiger population of 4500. The central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh with the biggest tiger population in the country seems to be the hottest poaching spot as a report revealed that it is leading the list of the states with high rate of tiger poaching. Poaching Crisis Deepens This is not the end of the bad news. Amidst  huge pressure on tiger habitat and increasing cases of  tiger -man conflict, poaching continues to be one of the biggest threats. In the last four years from 2018 to 2021, poaching cases have gone up by 21 % in India, reveals a report of TRAFFIC (South East Asia), a leading non-governmental organisation working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.Ifirst came across a TRAFFIC while working on m

Govt Pushes Railway Project: Western Ghats, Tiger & Elephant Corridors Under Threat

 A quarter century old railway project continues to pose a threat to the Western Ghats , one of the eight biodiversity “hottest hotspots” of the world. Like many other jungles of India, the Railways intend to cut a large number of trees as it proposes a 164.44 km Hubballi-Ankola railway project (HARP) through a dense  forest patch , also a corridor for two iconic species- the tiger and the elephant. In fact, not one but three elephant corridors will be impacted. In the times when climate change is a reality,   the governments- both the centre and the state- push the project preferring economics over environment.    Tiger Conservation Of Entire Western Ghats At Stake The railway project, conceived in 1998, is proposed to pass the forests between two major protected areas — Kali Tiger Reserve and Bedthi Conservation Reserve. More than 80% of the  railway line has to pass through the dense forest lands of the Western Ghats, and this entails the diversion of 595 hectares of prime forests w

Cheetahs In Kuno National Park : Future Tense !

Now a team of international scientists  and biologists have  questioned the  “incomplete”   cheetah action plan  with an unscientific   approach  relying on “  decade-old flawed  projections from Namibia”. Making a scathing attack on the translocation project of the iconic species in Kuno National Park , 8 scientists and conservationists write in an international journal that this may lead to “human –cheetah conflict. They “advised” to “prepare a revised science based” action plan. The Great Cheetah Divide The Cheetah Introduction Action Plan developed by the Wildlife Institute of India ( WII ) and the National Tiger Conservation Authority ( NTCA ) and of the Union ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFC&C). Many experts from Namibia and South Africa have supported the plan.  As controversy followed the cheetah translocation in Kuno national park, 8 cheetahs were released by the prime minister of India Narendra Modi on his birthday on September 17 this year. The