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Showing posts from July, 2020

Return of ‘Bagheera’ in the Mowgli land of Pench

In the Mowgli land of Central India’s Pench tiger reserve , ‘ Bagheera’  has returned. And this black leopard is attracting the attention of a large number of wildlife tourists. So far only a few lucky people have got a chance to see some glimpses of this elusive big cat, mostly wandering around the buffer zone of the jungle and also often visiting the core area. Despite the presence of  the star big -cats like Collarwalli, Patdev or L-Mark, there is a lot of buzz  in the park about ‘ Bagheera‘ too. Kipling Immortalises Black Panther Rudyard Kipling immortalized the black panther  –Bagheera. As a child Kipling lived in India and most of his stories are set in the country, though it is not entirely clear in exactly which part of the country.  The jungles that claim to be associated with Kipling stories include Pench National Park located near the district of Seoni.  Also read : Like Her Mother in Pench, Patdev Tigress delivers 5 cubs The park is also popularly known as Mowgli land and t

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