Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2020

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 Though the  court stay continues, the south Indian state has not yet withdrawn the project.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

Tiger Crisis: Enough Talking, Lets Get To Work Now

A midst the cacophony of save tiger campaigns- many of them starts and ends after brief  photo sessions on  Global Tiger Day  -it appears much spoken but little is done to  save the stripes. Rather, the laws are being simplified and the governments- both at the centre as well as in the states- look at the other way as the sanctity of green spaces is violated. If people are so much concerned over saving the tiger - the top predator at the apex of the food chainand an umbrella species whose conservation indirectly protects other wildlife and in turn the whole forest and environment- we should better start practicing what we preach. This is actually necessary for our policy makers. And    in this case, the sooner is going to be better. Or else, we may have to regret later. Shrinking Forests, Clogged Corridors Despite all the education and advocacy in wildlife conservation, the habitat of the big cat continues to decline. Less than 4,000 tigers remain in the wild, down from 100,000 a h

Mystery Shrouds Panna Tiger Deaths

Two back to back tiger deaths in Panna national park in the past one month- in fact four  tiger deaths in the past seven months-  raise questions on the  safety of the big cats in the national park, known for  its famous tiger reintroduction programme. The most serious aspect of these tiger deaths is “unknown element” of the cause of the deaths. The Unknown Threat In all the four cases, the tiger bodies were found after a gap of 4 to 5 days when the bodies were decomposed and all its parts were missing- probably eaten by wild animals or consumed by maggots. The causes of the death remained unknown in all the four cases. Is it because of some disease ? Or there is some foul play ?   This has raised question marks on both the protocol and protection of tigers, experts feel. Only one of the four, tigress-P213 was collared. The other three remained “unidentified as the body was beyond recognition.”   An immediate review of the park security is required, experts feel. Mystery

Problem Of Plenty: Gir Lions Turn Scavengers As Deadly Virus Stares

In the times of coronavirus, wildlife experts  in the country are  extremely concerned over another virus. Canine Distemper Virus or the CDV-– the dreaded pathogen that has already killed a large number of lions in Gir forest in Gujarat , the only home to  the Asiatic lions in the world.  The CVD has already killed 1,000 lions, or a third of the population in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania in 1994. “Given that it is (the Asiatic lions in Gir) already an inbred population with much reduced genetic diversity, they have to be managed even more carefully,” experts have already warned. Besides CDV , Gir National Park  and Sanctuary faces a number of threats to its ecosystem. They include recurrent drought, cyclones, and forest fires ,overgrazing, encroachment and excessive traffic among others .  There are a number of other threats including mining in the peripherals zone, pollution resulting from the railway lines that also run through the peripheral zone. Above all, the narrow   

Another tiger dies : Panna 'queen' death raises question over wildlife protection in MP

Mystery shrouds the death of a radio –collared breeding tigress in Panna national park. Tracked and monitored 24X7 through the radio collar around her neck, the tigress, code named P213, was recovered three days after the death on June 28. Decomposed carcass was found lying in the forest patch of the core area of the tiger reserve where the feline was born about a decade ago. Known as the queen of the Panna, P213 was progeny of T2, the tigress rehabilitated from Kanha National park as a part of the reintroduction of the big cats in this national park, known for wonderful wildlife. On June 28, when P213 strong stench of the tigress carcass drew the attention of the park authorities, the body had already decomposed.  With their faces wrapped by cloth, the park employees placed the body of the ‘queen' over a piece of plastic. The accompanying veterinarians found the internal organs were eaten by the wild animals. There was hardly any body part left to be sent for further analysis to a