Skip to main content

Lesser Florican: MP Banishes the Bird Popular for mid- air Romance

There seems to be no place  in  Madhya Pradesh for Lesser Florican or Kharmore (Sypheotides) ,one of the most romantic but endangered birds of the planet . The shy bird, popular for  it's mid-air courtship gestures ,has been rendered almost homeless by the  state government.  The State wildlife Board - headed by the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh- recommended  last month de-notification of 348.12 sq km area of Sardarpur Kharmoresanctuary in Dhar district, home to Kharmore during its breeding period of monsoon till October. The sanctuary will now be shrunk only to about 16 sq km area. As the bird was being banished, ‘esteemed’ members of the Board looked as helpless as the threatened Florican before the powerful politicians. Though the State Wildlife Boards have the primary task to manage the conservation and protection of wildlife at the State Level, it seems to have worked contradictory to  its mandate . There was hardly any voice of dissent from its members who are empowered t

Tiger's Epic Walk Raises Serious Environmental Issues

radio-collared tiger in India, tiger population, wildlife sanctuary, Yavatmal district in Maharashtra, in Dhyanganga sanctuary, Buldhana, GPS data  generated, Maharashtra and Telangana, jungle in Vidharbha,

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

radio-collared tiger in India, tiger population, wildlife sanctuary, Yavatmal district in Maharashtra, in Dhyanganga sanctuary, Buldhana, GPS data  generated, Maharashtra and Telangana, jungle in Vidharbha,
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 down in Dhyanganga sanctuary in Buldhana. And while doing so, the big cat had travelled 3,020 kilometres across Maharashtra and Telangana in 13 months, as per the records of the GPS data  generated by the tiger’s collar. From TWLS T1C1, or Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary cub C1 born to tigress T1, the tiger became Walker. Distance between the two Maharashtra districts ( Yavatmal and Buldhana) is about 244 kms. But Walker had to travel 3020 kms to reach Dhyanganga, the small jungle in Vidharbha region of Maharashtra known as the island jungle because it has no forest connectivity. Ever since Walker made this jungle his home, he is all alone. Though the forest department in Maharashtra is mulling over translocation of a mate for C1, they have not been able execute this idea.

“Dhyanganga is like an island. Unless it has some connectivity to other tiger-bearing areas like Melghat in Amravati district and Muktai Bhavani in Jalgaon district, it makes little sense to facilitate the growth of Walker’s progeny in Dhyanganga”, officials said. “Where do they go and how do we ensure their genetic plurality?” is their concern. This has also highlighted the importance of the forest corridors and the connectivity of one forest to another to give safe passage to the wild animals.

Dnyanganga, officials  reiterates,that it needs to be developed into a regular tiger-sustaining area by developing corridors to connect with other such locations. “We need to first facilitate connectivity before letting Walker’s tribe grow,” the forest department officials of Maharashtra have said.

Also read: Protect This Wildlife Corridor To Save The Ganges

Born in late 2016, the sub-adult male C1 was a part of a project of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, to study the dispersal of tigers across the eastern Vidarbha landscape.  The WII team which tracked the tiger throughout his journey  said Walker strayed into Adilabad division in Telangana and spent considerable time across inter-state forests of Adilabad and Nanded divisions during August and September 2019 . It criss-crossed several forest divisions and districts crossing human-dominated landscapes, agricultural fields, canals, villages and highways before  heading towards  Dhyanganga sanctuary.

Over the months, 6,240 GPS locations were picked up and the animal was found to have normal predation patterns and achieved all the skills to survive and avoid humans, according to a report by the team of scientists and researchers at WII, comprising Bilal Habib, Parag Nigam and Zehidul Hussain. Citing this as the longest journey ever taken by a collared tiger in the country, the team submitted its report to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden of Maharashtra.

Walker Waits for an Answer

radio-collared tiger in India, tiger population, wildlife sanctuary, Yavatmal district in Maharashtra, in Dhyanganga sanctuary, Buldhana, GPS data  generated, Maharashtra and Telangana, jungle in Vidharbha,
WII scientists said that  “ translocating a tigress  is an easy task and can be carried out any time. But where would the cubs go after mating.  But experts warn that “the challenge is much bigger than that”. The space within Dhyanganga would not be sufficient to accommodate the family of tigers.

Also read: Lonely Tiger Returns Home After One Decade 

Officials point to two forest stretches that can provide a larger area for a tiger population to move about: the 74-sq km Katepurna Sanctuary in Akola and the 18-sq km Karanja Sohol Sanctuary in Washim. But these proposals  are full of “ifs and buts”.

For long-term conservation, we need to ensure proper channels for tigers to move in and out of Dhyanganga. It is a big challenge, officials in Maharashtra said.

Back in Buldana, , there were demands to preserve Dhyanganga as a tiger area to facilitate tourism.  A Shiv Sena  MP Prataprao Jadhav had  even suggested a 10-km elevated corridor between two villages to replace the 50-km Khamgaon-Buldana road cutting through the sanctuary. There are also plans to relocate the only village inside the sanctuary.

Walker’s walk has raised many big questions. The most important: Is TX2 possible without proper preservation of India’s forests and the corridors connecting them. Walker awaits an answer.

Representational pictures


  1. What place for tigers in 25 years time, when the human population of India will have doubled? In my life I have seen the world population multiplied by 3, and the animal population of the planet decimated. A "free-market" economy is not sustainable, since it is not based on long-term conciderations, and only concernes human interests.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Fresh Tiger Crisis in MP Midst Favourable Poaching Conditions

Madhya Pradesh , the tiger state of India, is facing  fresh tiger threat. Four cases of suspected poaching around Bandhavgarh national park in the last one month and tragic tiger killing in a road accident near Panna national park rattled the state forest department. Experts believe that this is an ominous sign and should serve as a wake -up call for the government to continue the tiger success story in the state. Already facing the issues of multiple threats to the tiger corridors and habitat, the recent happenings revolve around the revenge killing and poaching. There is also an urgent need to initiate retrofitting measures in the parks like Panna , recently included in the list of UNESCO biosphere reserves. Disturbing Trends Around the National Park As the special task force (STF) of wildlife rush to investigate the tiger killings around Bandhavgarh national park- 4 in about 25 days of time- it is suspected that “organised poachers” are behind the killings. Quite a sensation was

Lantana: World’s Worst Weed Devouring Jungles

When people from the world of glamour take up some issue like conservation of forest and environment, the message is sent far and wide. Versatile Bollywood actor Rahul Singh, famous for films like Ghazi Attack, Tere Bin laden and  Delhi Belly among others,  decided to convert the  corona crisis into an opportunity and joined the  wonderful initiative of Inspector General of police Binita Singh to uproot Lantana ( Lantana Camara) from Sajjangarh  wildlife sanctuary in Udaipur. As the campaign continues, more and more people joined to get rid of one of the world’s 10 worst weeds,  fast spreading in the country' s forests.  Rahul Singh shares his views on the  issue. Tarachand I live near the 519.61 hectare Sajjangarh wildlife sanctuary in  Udaipur,  home to leopards, jackals,  jungle cats and a variety of antelopes and deer  including , sambhar ,cheetal  ( spotted deer) and blue bull or the nilgai among others .  But the beautiful forest known as crown of Udaipur is infested with Lan

Lonely Tiger Returns Home After One Decade

If tigers are solitary creatures, don't they get lonely and depressed? An interesting question ran by Quora on July 29, 2017. About three years later, a tiger itself seemed to have answered this query.  This tiger lived , alone ,in Kuno Palpur   Ntional Park of Madhya Pradesh for 10 years, yes, one decade !   Recently the elderly tiger reached his home Ranthambhore National Park , almost 100 kms away, safely. Code named T38 by the officials of this wonderful tiger reserve of Rajasthan some time in 2006 -07, the big cat was known as “Ranthambhore ka Sher '' in Kuno,   the park awaiting the arrival of lions for three decades now. For this reason, Madhya Pradesh has not relocated any tiger in the park to increase   their number and for the past 3650 days, T38   was living absolutely unaccompanied   . Interestingly , there was no tigress around and T38 spent a bachelor’s life. The predator would hunt and was quite healthy. A tiger expert of Wildlife Institute of India (WII