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Showing posts from October, 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

Cheetahs In Kuno National Park : Future Tense !

Now a team of international scientists  and biologists have  questioned the  “incomplete”   cheetah action plan  with an unscientific   approach  relying on “  decade-old flawed  projections from Namibia”. Making a scathing attack on the translocation project of the iconic species in Kuno National Park , 8 scientists and conservationists write in an international journal that this may lead to “human –cheetah conflict. They “advised” to “prepare a revised science based” action plan. The Great Cheetah Divide The Cheetah Introduction Action Plan developed by the Wildlife Institute of India ( WII ) and the National Tiger Conservation Authority ( NTCA ) and of the Union ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFC&C). Many experts from Namibia and South Africa have supported the plan.  As controversy followed the cheetah translocation in Kuno national park, 8 cheetahs were released by the prime minister of India Narendra Modi on his birthday on September 17 this year. The

Urban Tigers In Bhopal Residential Areas, A wake-Up Call To Govt

A new tiger is likely to fill-up the space created by  the tiger captured in sprawling campus of  Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) in the state capital of Bhopal located in the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Presence of the big cat in the regional engineering college created panic among the students who were asked to vacate the hostels and return only after October 30. Though everybody should have been relieved after the big cat was caught, the forest department realized that not one but two tigers were prowling the  campus. One of them is still roaming around somewhere near and may return soon. Catching the tiger is not the solution as the source population lives in nearby Ratapani sanctuary waiting for  upgradation of  its status to a tiger reserve for the last 14 years. Just do it, tigers of this sanctuary seems to be  telling the government.  Urban Tigers Creating Territory In Concrete Jungle     A full grown ferocious tiger identified as T-21421 was

Why Cheetahs in Kuno National Park Are Linked with International Ivory Trade ?

      Controversy on India’s alleged compromise on its stand against the ivory trade to facilitate cheetah translocation refuses to die . It started long before Namibian cheetahs landed in India and released in Kuno National Park on September 17. After the recent media reports on the issue, the Union environment ministry issued a denial.  It said “a news report on Namibia seeking India's support for lifting a UN ban on trade of ivory as part of the cheetah deal "largely relies on speculation, hearsay and not on facts". But knowledgeable sources stood to the "compromise" theory.  Let’s find out why the cheetah translocation issue is linked with elephant poaching and  internaional ivory trade.  Why Ivory Trade was Banned  Huge quantity of Ivory is stockpiled in Namibia along with some other African nations. The ivory was confiscated after poaching of elephants in several African countries. The number of wild elephants dropped dramatically across elephant range st

Shooting In Valmiki Tiger Reserve: Why More Tigers are Turning Into "Pests"

  Shooting  of a tiger in  Bihar's  only national park, Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR), shocked the nation earlier this month. It was also a cause of concern for the conservationists. This was another case of increasing man- tiger conflict as more tigers turned “pests” necessitating their elimination .  In the last three years, 125 people have died in the conflict with the cats. If I put this into perspective in the backdrop of increasing tiger population but decreasing forest cover and prey base outside the protected areas,the situation is alarming.   Huge Human Population Pressure on VTR In the VTR, where the young tiger of about 3 year of age was shot dead by special task force of Bihar police in a marathon hunting operation involving about 400 personnel, the number of tigers has gone up from 10 in 2006 to over50 in 2022. In the same period, anthropogenic or human pressure has also gone up manifold around the park and its buffer.  A recent study -   a ssessing forest health using

Controversies Chase Cheetahs In Kuno National Park

  Controversies involving cheetah translocation in Kuno national park refuse to die down. Amidst   government denial of   cheetah pregnancy reports in a section of media, experts have raised questions over “alleged negligence on the part of Cheetah Conservation Foundation (CCF) for its failure to detect the pregnancy”. But Dr Laurie Marker of the CCF has been quoted by Indian media that,” This is true (the pregnancy) , she may be pregnant. We cannot say for sure, but it is believed so, and this would be her first litter”. “This amounts to utter negligence”, says experts and India researchers.  “How could CCF put an animal at risk? If the cheetah  named Aasha, was pregnant, why  did they  put the  pregnant animal at risk by   putting  her under stress  first by  tranquilizing a number of times, a long journey from Namibia to India  under sedation  and  then release in new environs”.Eight cheetahs were flown  from Namibia and released into the national park by the prime minister Narend

Urban Tigers On The Prowl in Bhopal

  Two sub- adult tigers, now more than 24 months’ of age, seem to have started exploring the city of Bhopal. On October 3 night, one of them explored the sprawling campus of a regional engineering college located on a hillock in Bhopal. The tiger sighting led to panic. In the adjoining hostels, students were advised to stay indoors in the hostel.  For the last over a year or so, these tigers have already been accompanying their mother  as the trio roam the city outskirts.  Termed as urban tigers by the state forest department, there are as many as six resident tigers of Bhopal. In all there are 18 tigers moving about in a forest corridor near Bhopal and one third of them are now  city residents – born and brought up in the jungles near Bhopal. There seems to be no action plan with the government  which apparently awaits some major man-animal conflict in the tiger movement area.  Exploring New Territory Now the forest department has placed a cage to trap the tiger in the green patch nea

Cheetah Revives Hopes Of Wolf Howling

What is common between a tiger and wolf?  Their population in India is almost similar and so is their level of threat –endangered. Despite the highest level of protection and a project to save tiger, their number was 2967 in the last census in 2018. There are about 3100 wolves left in India. Experts believe that if they are not protected, the Indian wolves may vanish like their grassland cohabitant cheetahs in the past. But now the introduction of cheetahs in Kuno national park of Madhya Pradesh has revived the hopes for the protection of their habitat – savannahs  of India.  However, there are questions and concerns how protecting   the habitat in Kuno would protect other grass and shrub lands of the country. And there seems to be no answers.  Poor Wolf,  Doesn’t Howl - Whines Over the years, a mythical wolf silhouette howling at the full moon created a dark and dangerous image of the carnivore now struggling for survival. But why does a wolf howl? “A wolf will be wasting its time ho