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 Though the  court stay continues, the south Indian state has not yet withdrawn the project.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

Jailed in Jungle: Why Wild Tigress Languishes in Enclosure, Needs to Be Probed

Two years ago, two wild tigers were relocated from Madhya Pradesh to Odisha under India’s maiden interstate -tiger translocation programme which failed miserably. The two big cats were shifted  to Satkosia tiger reserve in Odisha after its tiger population plummeted  from 11 in 2004 to 2 in 2014. One of the big cats  Mahavir sent from MP was reportedly  killed by poachers while Sundari, the tigress, accused of killing two persons,  landed behind barbed wires in a small  enclosure raising questions over the  wildlife management in the country. Many wildlife experts in  India feel that the Satkosia fiasco should be probed and the people responsible for the plight of the national animal  should be held accountable. Condemned to Captivity Before Sundari was condemned to captivity in  Ghorela enclosure in Mukki range of of Kanha  National park,  the tigress had  already  spent an agonizing period of  28 months in captivity in Satkosia, where it was sent  to find a new home and help populat

Future Tense: Turbulent Time Ahead for Panna Tigers

Unaware of the fact that countdown to destruction of Panna tiger reserve has begun after signing of Ken Betwa Link Project (KBLP) , yet another tigress has given birth to two cubs, filmed and photographed by tourists on April 9.  The cubs were seen walking in the emerald forests with their mother code named T-151. In the past 4 months, about 15 new cubs were spotted in Panna national park. What would be the fate  of these cubs in the light  of the KBLP , hash tagged as dam of doom by the  wildlife lovers across the country ,is uncertain. In all ,there are about 65 to 70 tigers in Panna including the cubs. Final Approval of Green Clearances Still Awaited By the time the cubs  grow up , the process of the execution of the project would have begun and it would be the time to face the rising water in their habitat . Though the  government has not yet announced a date when it wants to launch the project, it said the project would be kicked off soon. In fact, the final approval of various g

Laughing Dove and Life Lessons for Survival

For four days in the third week of March, gusty winds lashed the city of Bhopal, the capital city of  the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh . The storm was so strong that branches were broken off from trees. At many places, even the trees were uprooted by the impact. Amidst all this, two  delicate chicks of Laughing Dove, barely about 14- days old, were left alone by their mother. The small chicks actually weathered the storm - not one but  four consecutive nights. Clutched to the branch of a Neem tree (Azadirachta indica), the small birds were braving the thundershowers. Iron Grip, Nature's  Gift Spending time in quarantine after recovering from Covid19, one morning we spotted some hectic activities at our rooftop garden where two petite  chicks were hopping from one pot to another. They would take small flights and sit inside the pot for hours till their mom arrived, fed them by regurgitation –feeding in an unusual way of interlocking her beak with those of chicks as if spa