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Showing posts from August, 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 Though the  court stay continues, the south Indian state has not yet withdrawn the project.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

Bhopal Tigers Do Have the Same Fundamental Right to A home As Do We

The dispersing tigers   of  Bhopal  seem to be watching helplessly as their  habitat grows smaller, food getting scarcer while a smarter set of predators, the land sharks, increasingly devour their habitat. As you read this, prowling somewhere in the fast-dwindling forests of Kaliasot- Kathotia-Kerwa , on the city outskirts, are 18  magnificent tigers, whose future hangs on the pen tips of Bhopal’s babudom.   Pending Tiger Issues                              Many times, some of these dispersing tigers have left the balding jungle cover and strayed into the National Judicial Academy at  Bhadbhada , as if knocking its doors for justice   Two tiger issues have been pending for long.  After the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)   accorded a status of tiger reserve to Ratapani sanctuary , the source population of Bhopal tigers, in 2013, the state government needs to issue a notification.  The matter has been pending for the past 7 years. In fact, Ratapani was first recommen

The Great Elephant Migration: Can MP Chattisgarh join hands to Welcome the Jumbo ?

Like tigers, elephants too are running. They are moving from East to West reclaiming their lost territories, lost more than 200 years ago. Like the big cats, the beast of burden is facing a huge crisis of fragmentation of jungle corridors and shrinking habitat . Following growing urbanisation and deforestation in elephant areas like west Bengal and Jharkhand in the east, the pachyderms are pushing westwards towards Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.   The Great Elephant Migration We need to save this magnificent creature, revered in India because of its connection with lord Ganesha.   But the way elephants are treated raises     a question -   Are we Indians hypocrites? Is this reverence only a show off ?    According to data   released by the Union ministry of environment and forest in February 2019, 373 elephants had died between 2015-16 and 2018-19 (till December 31, 2018) due to reasons like electrocution, train accident, poaching and poisoning. The number comes out to be almost

Of Owl Crisis and Sorcerers

This blog should have been written on August 4 , the day when International Owl awareness day was observed . Or, even before, on July21 when a beautiful Eagle Owl  was rescued by the   special task force (STF)   of Madhya Pradesh police ,dedicated to check the wildlife crime,   from a gang    in Ujjain before it could reach   its client or a sorcerer and killed for some superstition linked with the bird. Nevertheless, it is still relevant.   The One Cr Owl Though an endangered species, owls have not been able to get the attention required for the protection of this important nocturnal and mostly solitary   bird. But when seen together, its group is called a “parliament” – NO nothing to do with that of our politicians- as owls have long been considered to be of a wise disposition, like our netas- no malice intended. The Indian subcontinent is home to 32 species of owls, 30 of them are recorded from in India. All these species are protected under the Wildlife (Protect) Act .All o