SC Directs Centre for Alternatives to NH-212 in Bandipur Tiger Reserve

The recent Supreme Court order on the issue of night traffic ban in the Bandipur National Park comes as a victory for tiger conservation as it has directed central authorities to come out with specific measures to shut down NH-212 permanently for traffic. The Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFF&CC) has been directed to file an affidavit on this within September 6.

The court has asked MoEF&CC to find out how NH-275 and SH-90 can be converted … Read More

Forests May Not Recover Even After 36 Years of Abandoning Plantations, Finds Study

All over the world, the number of plantations have been increasing for timber, paper and other produce. Several studies have been carried out to understand if plantations can sustain native flora and fauna. But, how long does it take for an abandoned plantation to recover and grow back into a forest? In a new study published in the Journal of Tropical Ecology in February 2019, researchers from Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) and Gubbi Labs, … Read More

Uttar Pradesh’s first Sloth Bear Conservation Reserve Proposed in Mirzapur Forest Division

A first of its kind, and Uttar Pradesh’s first Protected Area dedicated to Sloth Bear may come in Mirzapur Forest Division. The proposal for 408 sq.km. Conservation Reserve is backed by the first ever wildlife inventory using camera trap survey conducted in three forest ranges- Marihan, Sukrit and Chunar under Mirzapur Forest Division, Uttar Pradesh. The report titled “Wildlife Inventory and Proposal for Sloth Bear Conservation Reserve” published in July 2019 is authored by Vindhyan Ecology and Natural … Read More

The Forests Rights Act Mess

This story originally appeared on greenminute.in on July 21, 2019. 

On July 24 2019, all state governments have to file a fresh affidavit on the issue of Forest Rights Act (FRA) implementation.

The FRA, 2006 was enacted for correcting a historical injustice as tribals had suffered at the hands of colonial rulers, losing their rights on forest lands. Unfortunately, in the last decade, the implementation of this ‘right’ has turned messier and messier. In fact, it has turned into a … Read More

The Recent Supreme Court Order on Forest Rights Act (FRA) Does Not Affect Genuine Claimants

PRESS RELEASE FROM PETITIONERS IN THE FOREST RIGHTS CASE

On February 13th 2019, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Arun Mishra issued an extremely important order in Writ Petition 109 of 2008 to ensure protection of forests, which have been severely affected due to ineligible/bogus claimants under the Forest Rights Act (FRA). Such claimants continue to occupy a huge area of forestland, including within National Parks and Sanctuaries, even though their claims have been rejected after … Read More

Caging the Wild: Maharashtra Government Approves Building of Zoo in Aarey Milk Colony Forest Land

According to this press report, the government of Maharashtra has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to hand over more than 100 acres of Aarey Milk Colony, one of Mumbai’s few remaining intact forest patches, to build an extension to Byculla Zoo. Although the zoo is being touted as a conservation initiative, it is obvious that natural forests are far more viable, both ecologically and economically, for the conservation of wildlife and native flora, … Read More

West Bengal’s Gangetic Dolphins in Danger

The Gangetic or South Asian River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica) or Shushuk, is an Endangered dolphin that lives in one of the most densely populated regions of the world – in the rivers of India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh (IUCN Red List; Braulik and Smith 2017).

While the primary threat to these blind river dolphins is fishing gear entanglement, the loss and fragmentation of riverine habitat and changes in water flow, due to the construction of dams … Read More

Conserving Shared Spaces for People and Predators

Conservation of carnivores and their habitats is a complex challenge. Many of India’s carnivore species continue to share space with humans, and this necessitates understanding human-carnivore interactions to minimize conflict and foster co-existence. A recent study by researchers from the Centre for Wildlife Studies, University of Florida, Wildlife Conservation Society-India and USA, and Duke University examined interactions between humans and carnivores (dhole, Indian wolf, Indian fox, golden jackal and striped hyena) in the Kanha-Pench corridor in central India.

The study … Read More

Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins off Mumbai Coast

To be able to observe dolphins from one’s balcony or from shore is a possibility for most of us in Mumbai. There must have been a time when Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins (Sousa plumbea) roamed this coastal stretch in large numbers. Today they are scattered in small pockets, one of which is the bay off Raj Bhavan, Malabar Hill.

Other locations in Bombay, where these dolphins are seen is Worli, off Chowpatty in South Mumbai, Marine Drive, Sassoon Docks, and … Read More

Whale and Dolphin Surprises in Goa

A group of us ventured out to sea off the coast of Goa on a fishing trawler for a full-day survey of pelagic birds. These birds spend most of their lives out at sea, living a solitary life, and visit certain islands only during breeding season. We started our explorations in Goan waters in 2017, but our last two trips, on 14th and 21st October, 2018 were exciting and memorable for a completely different reason.

We usually start off by … Read More