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Showing posts from January, 2021

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 Though the  court stay continues, the south Indian state has not yet withdrawn the project.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's Epic Walk Raises Serious Environmental Issues

When Walker wandered over 3000 kms last year, the three year old tiger seemed to have thrown the gauntlet at the government and officials busy in achieving a bizarre target, the target of doubling the tiger population. Termed as TX2, it is a global goal to make the tiger population two- folds by 2022. In 2010, all the 13 tiger range countries joined hands in St Petersburg and set the target.  India, with the largest tiger population in the world, is busy in achieving the objective. Too obsessed with their tiger number, they seemed to have forgotten the forests and preservation of the corridors.  A wake-up call from Walker underlines the significance of forest corridors. The Epic Walk In March, 2020 this radio-collared tiger in India grabbed global attention by taking a roundabout route of forests starting from Tipeshwer wildlife sanctuary in Yavatmal district in Maharashtra in June 2019. From here, the tiger went to Telangana before re-entering Maharashtra again and finally settling

Tale of Missing Tigers of Ranthambhore: 4 More Takes the Count to 34

Following the history of Ranthambhore National park (RNP) , four more tigers have  gone missing. These tigers have not been sighted for the past over 9 months. One of them- a tigress- is missing with her two cubs making the total number of missing cats 6. The park authorities have sought the help of the Kuno Palpur National Park (KPNP) in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh to help track them. The tigers which vanished from the Ranthambhore include T 64 , T 95 , T 97 and the tigress T 73. Two cubs of this tigress have also not been sighted. The RNP tigers often move out to the MP jungles situated on the banks of river Chambal.   Mystery Shrouds the Vanishing Act Since 2009 , the park has “mysteriously” lost 30 tigers, including seven old and 23 young ones.  Of these 23 , the number of missing tigresses was 11. And if we include the latest case of four more, the number becomes 34.  Most of the time, the park authorities term it “a natural migration”. It is also believed by Rajasthan fore

More Good News From Emarald Forests of Panna

Beautiful images with good news have come out from the emerald forests of Panna , perhaps the most talked about national park of the country.  After the news of the birth of four more tiger cubs, Panna has come alive again. Though   it is a common sight in national parks, sightings of a newly born tiger always assumes greater significance to the park that had seen it's entire tiger population decimated by poaching barely 12 years ago. This was followed by the translocation of three tigers from Kanha,Bandhavgarh and Pench national parks.  Since then, there has been no looking back and  Panna has been  seen as the only successful tiger reintroduction model in the world. Also Read: From Unknown Tigress of Kanha to Mother of Panna:The Untold Story of T2 So the park authorities were jubilant  after beginning of the new year when a camera trap captured the images of  a tigress -coded as P213(31)   -clutching  delicately in her jaws one of the four cubs  while moving in the woods  to

Panna landscape Needs 2 More National Parks, Not Satellite Tiger Collaring

Ahead of the controversial Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP) amidst concerns over enormous environmental loss in Panna tiger reserve (PTR), two major studies have been launched quietly in the PTR -a major project for GPS Satellite collaring of 14 tigers in Panna and radio tagging of threatened vultures.  Wildlife Institute of India (WII)  is involved in both of these, one of a kind projects. All 14 tigers will be collared to study their dispersal behavior and 25 vultures will also be radio -tagged to understand movement, habits and their range of scavenging. The WII is funding both the projects which are part of the Panna Landscape planning for the KBLP. However, experts have raised eyebrows,“The project was not at all required. Tiger habits and their dispersal pattern in Panna is very well known and recorded”, they said.   “ It’s an Exercise in Futility” Eight big cats roaming in the buffer zone of the tiger reserve and 6 from Panna landscape including  the forest divisions surroundin