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Showing posts from January, 2022

Prep Before Cheetahs Become Free Ranging In Kuno National Park

  When another male cheetah, Obaan,joined the two rock stars – Freddie and Elton -- in yet another bigger enclosure of Kuno national park on November 18, only five female cheetahs remained in smaller bomas in the park where they were released on September 17. Like the three males, the five female spotted cats will also be released soon in larger bomas to run and chase their prey to kill. India’s  wildlife authorities accompanied by the experts from the cheetah conservation fund (CCF) from Namibia   have been taking utmost care and caution  before the  cheetahs in Kuno are ultimately made “free -ranging” meaning released in open to move around the entire length and breadth of the park. “Free ranging cheetahs and their monitoring  will be like a grand finale of the Project Cheetah to be played in Kuno for a longer  period in the coming years'", said a senior official of the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFC&C).  Apprehensions, Concerns  on Chee

India's Forest Cover : Up, Down Or Cover- Up

The feel good India State of Forest Report (ISFR) has come under sharp criticism. Though the government hasdefended it, such reports have been“nonstop good news” since 1999. Till 1997,the forest cover declined in India after which it went up by a whopping 45,000sq km over the next three reports. Experts attribute two key changes in 2001which contributed to this: FSI adopted a fully digital analysis workflow, andit dramatically changed its definition of a forest, leading to scathing attacks.    Report To Meet Climate  Targets On Paper  ? Overall, the 2021 report said, India has recorded an increase of 1,540 sq kms in its forest cover. India’s total forestcover is 713,789 sq km or 21.71 % of the total geographical area of thecountry. India has set a target of bringing 33 % of its geographical area underforest cover. By showing an increase in forest cover, India wants to achievethe target on paper, it is alleged. The 33% is a reference to the National Green India Mission, one of eight mis

Egyptian Vultures: Victims of Myths And Misconceptions

In one of the most shocking cases of wildlife trade, seven endangered Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus), have been recovered from a man traveling from Kanpur to Manmad in Maharashtra. Wrapped in colourful cloth, the vultures were hidden inside a basket in Pushpak Express when the railway police rounded up the man with the threatened birds. The arrest is likely to unearth a wildlife crime syndicate. This blog will keep you updated on the issue . The scavenger birds are listed as endangered in the IUCN red list  threatened species because of its “rapidly declining"  population world over”. Myths Linked With Vultures Special task force (SIT) of Madhya Pradesh forest department is quizzing Fareed Sheikh (60) who was found in possession of 7 birds from a train at Khandwa railway station. He turned out to be only a   carrier-  like those  in drug trafficking. Fareed said that  Sameer Khan, a resident of  Kanpur, handed him over the vultures and  he was  asked to transfer the co

Fertility Stories Immortalise Collarwali Tigress of Pench Tiger Reserve

  She was a superstar of Pench tiger reserve . The tigress that livedmore than 16 years and delivered a record number of 29  cubs in8 litters died on January 15 evening. Collarwali, as she was fondly referred toafter a radio collar was put around her neck in 2008, was darling of wildlifetourists who would visit the tiger reserve. They would remember the tigress forher ‘catwalks’ on the pathways of the national park giving them ample opportunitiesto click pictures. She would make easy wildlife photography. Collarwali was immortalizedafter scores of national and international documentaries were made on her. The Departmentof Post in India issued a special cover envelope of Collarwali  on World Sparrow Day in 2015 Besides, NewZealand and Canada too issued personalized stamps on the tigress in the sameyear. The park director said she died because of old age complicationsin her intestine.  Apall of gloom descended over Pench while her funeral was performed on January 16. RIP Collarwali Offic

A Decade of Forest Cover Decline in India

  In the times of Global Warming, there is bad news from the forests of India. The latest government report on the status of the forests of the country revealed that there has been an overall decline in the forest cover across the country's 32 tiger reserves ( of the 52).The forest cover in its sole Lion Conservation Area (LCA) of Gir in Gujarat has also shrunk. According to the biennial India’s State of Forest Report 2021, published by the Forest Survey of India , the country has also recorded an increase of 1,540 square kilometers in its forest cover but it was mainly due to plantation and agroforestry . There is an overall decline of 22.62 square kms in  forest area and it should be a cause of concern.  Decade of Decline  The decreasing forest trend varied from 0.06 sq km in Orang in Assam to  the biggest loss of 118.97 sq km in Kawal tiger reserve in Telangana, Bhadra  tiger reserve (53.09 sq km) in Karnataka and the fragile Sundarbans in West Bengal (49.95 sq km) have also wi

Shouldn’t The Record Number Of Tiger Deaths Be A Cause Of Concern?

This story was on my agenda since December 30 when the tiger death data was revealed by the National tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) but as I did not want to begin the New Year with a negative note, I held it back. And a positive story of sighting of the clouded leopard atop a Nagaland mountain seemed to be the perfect beginning for the year 2022 before we go back to address the tiger crisis. Madhya Pradesh with the highest numberof tiger population tops the list of the big cat loss. The central India state accounted for almost 35 % of the record number of 126 tigers’ deaths in India in 2021. As many as 44 tigers died in MP. I apologise  from the readers to carry the images of tiger carasses along with this writeup.  MP’s Tiger Deaths Under Scrutiny   Though there is nothing official in the tag, the term of 'tiger state' enhances Madhya Pradesh's  status in the wildlife. This term is used because of the maximum number (526) of  felines found in the state. But 2021 turn

Clouded Leopards Kiss Clouds Atop Nagaland Peak

  Photographic evidence of elusive clouded leopard ((Neofelis nebulosa) has been recorded at an elevation of 3,700 meters  not in a wildlife sanctuary but in a community-owned forest along the India-Myanmar border in the north eastern state of Nagaland.  This rare species of leopard is listed as 'vulnerable' under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and its population is unknown in the wild. A team of researchers gathered evidence of four leopards- two adults and two cubs. Found on the Highest Peak of Nagaland  The findings have been published in the winter 2021 issue of Cat News, the IUCN/Species Survival Commission (SSC) Cat Specialist Group’s biannual newsletter. The state animal of Meghalaya, the clouded leopard is a medium-sized felid (a mammal of the cat family), and is the smallest of the large wild cats. These leopards  are largely known to inhabit low-elevation evergreen rainforests and are spread from the Himalayan foothills in Nepal, Bhutan and India to Myanmar,