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Showing posts from July, 2022

A Cheetah By The Tail

 Cheetah  rescue operations after they stray  away from the  safe confines  of  congested  Kuno national park  have been reported   regularly in India  since  September 2022 when  the  maiden  batch of African cat landed in India  amidst much fanfare. But the latest visuals of yet another such action- this time in  a crowded Rajasthan village in Karauli district-put a question mark again  on the safety of the animal.   This cheetah had to be handled physically in order to prevent it from falling into a ravine as it cornered at the crest of the ravine after darting amid a gathering of an huge crowd nearby. Pawan's Life Was At Risk  Rajasthan forest  department officials alerted Kuno  National Park authorities  about the cheetah leading them to a rescue operation. Pawan, the male cheetah had wandered into Rajasthan through Chambal river bank and was spotted by the local villagers who in turn informed the  local authorities. “Male cheetah Pavan was rescued from Karauli district in Raj

Rising Tiger Numbers Midst Shrinking Forest Cover Makes No Sense

Tiger population in India is going up with shrinking forest  cover that provides shelter to the big cats. This coupled with increasing human dependence on forests is leading  to a serious issue -man animal conflict. On the International Tiger Day , ThewildlifeIndia raises the issue of  rising graph of Human-Tiger  conflict. Urban area around Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Maharashtra is one such conflict zone with an alarming rise in the cases of clashes between big cats and villagers. In places like Brahmpuri, as many as 6 lakh people are vying for space in the presence of large tiger population. Presence of breeding big cats in a thermal power station and a coalmine operating right on the edge of TATR have made the matter worse. The situation has reached a flash point  and an immediate intervention with strong political will is required to maintain harmony. 100 Tigers, Fragmented Forest And  Human Pressure  Why is there an element of urgency for intervention?  A forest depar

Cheetah Races For Kuno, Defeats Lion

Cheetah may be the fastest  land animal but the project to introduce the spotted cat from Africa to India moved even faster. And the speed with which the Cheetah project progressed left many wildlife experts awed and intrigued. With a political push, Cheetah has defeated Lion and the latter may, perhaps, never ever be able to reach Kuno national park , originally planned as second home to Gujarat’s pride. Finally, India inked an MOU with Namibia in July and may sign another with South Africa soon. However, the travel plan of Cheetah from Namibia to Kuno is yet to be finalized. Experts have termed it “ a vanity project ”. Cheetah is likely to reach Kuno in the winters of 2022. However, carries exclusive images of the  South African cheetahs to be translocated to India. Lion Loses Despite  SC Order In Favour Taking into consideration many factors including fear of an epidemic, the government of India in 1990s initiated a plan to find second home for Asiatic lions fou

Tigress Gets ‘Life Imprisonment’

It’s a tragic story of a beautiful breeding tigress. Four years ago, the tigress was sent from Bandhavgarh national park in Madhya Pradesh (MP) to Satkosia tiger reserve in Odisha along with a male tiger to revive the population of big cats. But apparent mishandling of the first ever interstate tiger relocation programme ended up in poaching of the male tiger named Mahaveer. Sundari, the tigress, landed up in a cage in Odisha where she languished for three years. While she was being shifted from one enclosure to another, the governments of MP and Odisha were engaged in bureaucratic procedures  and passing the buck. Sundari, now about 8 year of age, is condemned to a smaller enclosure of 10000 sq feet in Van Vihar , an open zoo and rescue centre in the state capital of MP where she would spend the rest of her life. It is believed that the inter-state project was launched without proper preparations. The officials in Odisha also did not ascertain the reasons for  declining tiger popula

Highway Blocks Tiger Movement,Effects Breeding In Panna National Park

As tigers explore new territories in Panna national park, a national highway crisscrossing the jungle is preventing further expansion of tiger territory in the core area of the park. Moreover, realignment of the highway- NH39 - has been delayed over a year. There is also a state highway crossing the park and the cumulative effect of the two roads is devastating. They have violated the sanctity of the emerald forest. A recent study conducted by the PTR has revealed that about 200 sq km park area is affected by NH39 where 10 to 12 more tigers can find home Road or Road Block  There are two areas which hold potential for future rise in tiger population in the PTR, says 2022 Mid-Year review of the reserve. The first area is north of NH 39 and it passes through the core of the park crisscrossing about 15 kms . This area, nearly 200 sq km -includes core area of Madla range and Gangau Sanctuary North of NH 39, as well as buffer area of Panna buffer range) holds potential for future rise of ti

Tiger Boom of Panna: River Project To Lead Reversal of The Trend

  As the  threat of Ken Betwa Linking Project (KBLP) continues to stare Panna tiger reserve (PTR) , its tiger numbers  are “going up exponentially” and may touch “100 sooner than predicted”. Not only this, the big cat is covering those parts of the park as well where they were not seen earlier. Though almost all the green permissions for the KBLP are yet to be cleared, the government in Madhya Pradesh has started survey of the villagers to be affected by the proposed project, propagated as a game changer for Bundelkhand region by transferring “surplus water” from Ken River to Betwa to irrigate the drought prone region. Experts have contested the merits of the project and questioned the environmental feasibility.   Panna's Success Story In This Report  An interesting tiger study released by the field director of the PTR, Uttam Kumar Sharma,  talks about various aspects of the rise in the population of the big cats in Panna, the geographical regions where the tiger numbers are incre

Vengeful Tiger of Bandhavgarh National Park

This is another amazing wildlife story from Bandhavgarh tiger reserve . It has come from a young yet experienced Gypsy driver who took me around the jungle for safaris. In the past , mahouts would narrate such stories. But after the elephant rides were discontinued in national parks, these elephant riders have lost touch with people. They have been replaced by Gypsy drivers and guides. Many of whom spend almost 7 hours a day in the jungle and develop genuine wildlife knowledge. So Jitendra or Jittu, the Gypsy driver accompanying me narrated an interesting story of a tiger waiting to take revenge for her mother. The sub adult cub “7A” is ready to take revenge from his father “Chakradhara Male”. Why 7A Waits For Revenge  A little over 3 year of age, this handsome tiger was named so because of ‘7’ and ‘A’ marks on his face. “The tiger is growing fast and getting ferocious”, said Jittu,  “soon he will mark his territory”.  7A is moving in Tala and Magadhi. He is likely to settle down in C

Exploring The Caves Of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

I have been visiting Bandhavgarh tiger reserve for a long time and like others saw the ancient caves in the Tala tourist zone of the park, famous for its tigers and the stories revolving around them.  A huge fort in ruins atop the hill overlooking the jungle is testimony to the glorious past. The rich historical cultural past of the park makes it all the more fascinating forest. Though the caves existed for almost 1800 years, a little is known about them. For years, they have been  abodes of tigers and bears among other wildlife. But now the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is exploring these dark caves with a golden past. First  detailed exploration by the ASI Knowing that the ASI was exploring the area for almost a fortnight in June, I too visited the forest to learn more about the caves built on the sand-stone hillocks of the Bandhavgarh Hills. There are around 42 caves in the region, which cover a length of over 5 kms. Wildlife tourists from all over the world are always delig