Skip to main content

Monsoon Magic At Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

  Barely a week before Bandhavgarh national park closed down in June for three months, a large number of wildlife lovers visited the park. Many of them returned disappointed as there was no tiger sighting while  asmall number of visitors was still lucky to have some wonderful “chanced sighting “of the big cat. Like the one in Tala range. Barely a week before Bandhavgarh national park closed down in June for three months, a large number of wildlife lovers visited the park. as she took mud bath for a while amd also quenched thirst before proceeding to meet her four 5-month old cubs hidden in a cave deep in the jungle. Rare tiger sighting happens during the monsoon when plenty of water is available in every nook and corner of the jungle and the green forest cover revives after a few showers diminishing the chances of tiger sighting even if it is sitting very close in the bushes.But the showers have left a magical touch in the jungle. Jungle Make Over   After the pre-monsoon showers, the 

Endangered Chambal Gharials Find New Home in Kuno

Gharial, Gavialis Gangeticus, Chambal river, Upstream, National Chambal Gharial, Wildlife Sanctuary in Morena, Wildlife, The wildlife india,
Gharial (Gavialis Gangeticus) has found a new home in Kuno, a tributary of Chambal river in the upstream. Over a year after a female gharial showed way to a safe haven to it's threatened reptile species, 25 gharials were released in the river , the lifeline of Kuno Palpur national park. Continued to be threatened by the illegal sand mining in National Chambal Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary in Morena, the forest department decided to introduce the reptiles in the river.  Five males gharials and 20 female-reptiles were released, said the divisional forest officer of Kuno wildlife division PK Verma .Besides, threatened  chambal turtles were also released.

Are Gharials Threatened by Illegal Mining in Chambal?

Gharial, Gavialis Gangeticus, Chambal river, Upstream, National Chambal Gharial, Wildlife Sanctuary in Morena, Wildlife, The wildlife india,
One of the six  female gharials, who was radio tagged  in 2017  swam over 40 kms upstream last year for nesting in Kuno sand-bed. The scientist studying the reptile behavior  revealed to the authorities about the  female reptile’s journey leading to the discovery  of the new habitat. This first ever known case of gharial migration last year showed that now these reptiles are also running away from the menacing human presence in their  habitat around Chambal river. The five remaining  radio tagged gharials  were also found later nesting in Kuno.  Rampant sand mining has threatened this endangered animal and believed to have been one of the major reasons to force the females to migrate. Kuno flows through the Kuno Palpur national Park in Sheopur district of MP, awaiting a pair of lions for two decades for translocation from Gir.  The river flows from south to north in the park draining the other rivulets and tributaries into Chambal in Morena, at MP-Rajasthan border. About 180 km long , it originates from the Shivpuri plateau and passes through districts of Shivpuri, Sheopur and Morena.

 Also read: Problem of Plenty: Gir Lions Turn Scavengers AsDeadly Virus Stares

The gharials which chose to lay eggs on the quiet banks of the Kuno River were radio -tagged in 2017 by the scientists of Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology (MCBTCH) under telemetry research to learn more on their movements and nesting. Jailabdeen ,  the scientist  studying the gharials said, “During research, we have found that a female gharial went to Kuno but didn’t return. When we traced, the gharial  was found along with it's nest in Kuno . Besides sand mining the rising population of gharials in Chambal may also be the reason for the dispersal of the reptile.”  But statistics suggest the gharial population in Chambal River had declined to 1,255 in 2017 from close to 1,800 in 2015. For the 2019 census, the department decided to include Parwati River also, and therefore, the number of gharials in Chambal river basin increased to 1,681.

The illegal mining disturbs the gharials’ nesting sites as large numbers of heavy machines are deployed to dig out sand from the river banks in Chambal and Bhind districts . Besides, transportation of the mineral by trucks and dumpers creates chaos on the river banks almost 24X7 all around the year . “The colonies and pools of gharials are being destroyed by the illegal sand mining. The gharials are not finding safe sandbanks to lay eggs  and that might be the major reason why they might be moving up to  Kuno and Parwati,” officials said seeking anonymity.  There has been a decline in the number of wildlife tourists  in the Chambal sanctuary. Wildlife photographers are disappointed because of less sightings .According to South Asia Network on Dams Rivers and People (SANDRP), Madhya Pradesh has emerged at third place in illegal sand mining activities with 16,405 cases in 2018-19, most of the cases were from Chambal and Narmada river basins. Unable to control the illegal sand mining, the government is also mulling over denotifying some of the banks  to make the mining a legal affair.  It seems, when the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a crackdown on mafia in the state, the sand mafia doesn’t seem to fit in his scheme.

Shrinking Habitat of Gharial Has Threatened the Reptile

Gharial, Gavialis Gangeticus, Chambal river, Upstream, National Chambal Gharial, Wildlife Sanctuary in Morena, Wildlife, The wildlife india,
Experts said that this reptile is  “not well-suited for land. And they only leave water either to bask in the sun or to nest in the sand on the river banks.” There was a time when  the reptiles used to  be found  in a vast area stretching from Pakistan to Myanmar but now  their range has shrunk to two countries: India and Nepal. They are found along the Chambal in MP ,UP and Rajasthan and Son  river in Sidhi  district of MP and along the Narayani River in Nepal.  Like Chambal, illegal sand mining has disturbed the reptile in Son too.  Their name gharial seems to have been derived from  the word ‘ghara’  (  earthen pot) . Male gharials sport a large   ‘ghara’ like  growth over their snout .They use their ‘gharas’ to vocalize and blow bubbles during mating displays, experts said. This fish eating  reptile does not lunge or attack like their cousin- the crocodile. The reptiles congregate to mate and make nests during the dry season, when females lay eggs in the sandbanks along slow-moving sections of water.  During one such exercise, the female gharial of Chambal had travelled over 40kms  and reached  Kuno river for safe nesting and a new home.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Incredible Tiger Images Keep Coming From Ranthambore ?

Ranthambore tiger reserve never ceases to spring surprises.  In yet another amazing tiger image, the striped cat was seen eating a leopard. The big cat consumed it, caught it again from his neck and vanished in the bushes- absolutely stunning. All this happened in front of a camera. A  Benguluru based photographer got the opportunity to click the incredible images. Wildlife photography has always been a wonderful experience in Ranthambore. But what makes the park different from other wildlife destinations offering better picture opportunities. Are tigers in Ranthambore more ferocious or adventurous? Or there is some other factor that makes this jungle different ?  Let’s try to understand.  Cat Man Catches Two Cats On Camera Known as The Cat-Man, the wildlife photographer Harsha Narasimhamurthy shared his experience on social media platforms. He said that he got an opportunity while holding a photo tour. “Witnessed one of the most incredible natural history moments today  ( June 2) at

Golden Tiger And Its Gloomy Roar In Kaziranga National Park

‘Golden tiger’ of Kaziranga National Park , sighted again, after a gap of two years, seems to be  raising a serious issue that needs to be addressed urgently. First spotted in 2014 in this world heritage , it's repeated sightings should be treated as a warning. The tiger is saying something, lets decipher it.There is also a misconception among many that the golden tiger carries  mystical qualities. In many parts of Asia, they are the subject of legends. But the fact remains that the colour variation is an aberration and not something to revere and rejoice.  Protect Corridors: Major Genetic Variations In Indian Tigers  The first to be photographed, in 2014 was a female that Kaziranga National Park authorities named Kazi 106 F. Instead of  the usual  bright black stripes on a shining orange background, this tiger had pale golden fur streaked with faded red-brown stripes, and a face that was mostly white. It was a ‘golden tiger’, an extremely rare .It looked like a soft  toy in pictur

Tiger Takes Rest After Months Of Tourism Stress

Most of the tiger reserves in India are going to be shut down in the months of monsoon. Ever wondered why? This is the time when tiger gets rest from the horde of tourists, the vehicular traffic and the accompanied noise. The ionic cat retires deep in the jungle to remain in serenity- much needed break from shutter sound and phone photography. Few years ago, a study in Kanha national park and Bandhavgarh tiger reserve had revealed high stress among the tigers because of tourist traffic Impact of Tourism on Tiger  The study was conducted in 2015, the same year when the government of Madhya Pradesh decided to give only three months’ break to tiger to rest. It curtailed full one month from its yearly time table of shut down in forests to facilitate tourism. Before this, parks would remain closed from June 16 to October 16. In 2015, the government decided to stretch the tourism season and issued orders for the parks to remain closed for three months -June 30 to September 30. The same year