Rhino Falls To Poacher’s Bullets In Kaziranga

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Poachers have shot and killed a rhino that strayed out of Kaziranga. Gunshots were heard by forest officials in the wee hours and an operation was launched. The carcass of the rhino was found at 915 AM with its horn missing. The poachers were encountered by the forest guards, but they managed to escape after shooting at the guards. Atleast 20 rounds were exchanged between the forest guards and the poachers. Forest officials say that security has been beefed up … Read More

Male Rhino Killed in Kaziranga

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A male rhino has been killed in Kaziranga National Park. The bullet riddled body with its horn chopped off was found on a remote sandbar by the Brahmaputra inside the park. The animal appeared to have been killed two or three days ago.

This is the fifth rhino to be killed by poachers in and around the park this year. On August 30th, a female rhino was killed by poachers for its horn. Patrolling has been intensified in the area. … Read More

Assam National Parks Face Funds Crisis

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The Assamese government has failed to release funds required to manage the state’s national parks and sanctuaries. As a result, maintenance activities in all the five national parks – Kaziranga, Manas, Orang, Dibru-Saikhowa and Nameri, have come to a standstill. It has been more than six months since Dispur released these funds. Orang national park — the smallest — which needs about 10 lakhs per month, has seen 26 of the 42 casual workers leave. Officials at Kaziranga had a … Read More

Greater Adjutant in Guwahati Garbage Dump, Assam

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Endangered Greater Adjutant Storks Leptoptilos dubius patiently await their turn at a landfill near Guwahati, Assam. They await their turn patiently at the garbage table – every time a fresh truckload of garbage enters the landfill people rush to it first, and once they are done with their pickings the storks move in filling their gullets with rotten meat. I still wonder how this species living so calmly in an urban environment could be so endangered.

The Greater Adjutant Stork … Read More

Manas and Kaziranga National Parks at Risk From Dams

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Manas National Park, which recently regained its World Heritage Site status continues to be at risk from hydel projects. The Kurichu hydro electric project (60 MW) and the Mangdechu hyrdro electric project (720 MW) in Bhutan are deemed likely to threaten Manas. The Kurichu dam has already flooded Manas once in 2004, killing large numbers of wildlife. Release of water from the dam has been reported on several occasions in the last six years creating floods in the Manas Biosphere … Read More

Golden Langur Conservation Awareness in Manas

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Locals in Manas, joined hands with the Bodoland Territorial Council, the Assam Forest Department and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) – Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to create an urgent campaign to save the highly endangered Golden Langur. Less that 2500 individuals are estimated to be found in the wild today. The species has suffered tremendously due to habitat loss and fragmentation, which forces them to descend to the ground where they are vulnerable to accidental death and … Read More

Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary First Critical Wildlife Habitat in India

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Assam’s Hoollongoppar Gibbon Sanctuary is set to become India’s first Critical Wildlife Habitat. Under a new concept floated by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), for an area to be included in that category, the area must be free of encroachments and tribal settlements and should have a well demarcated boundary. By categorizing the area as a Critical wildlife habitat, the ministry hopes to create inviolate spaces for wildlife. Gibbon wildlife sanctuary has no tribal settlements or encroachers, … Read More

Proposal to Include Buffer Areas of Manas Under Field Director Control

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The Management Effectiveness Evaluation brought out by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has recommended that the buffer areas of the Manas Tiger Reserve under the control of Manas’ field director. Manas was notified as a tiger reserve in 2008, with 500 sq km as the core area and 2,337.10 sq km as buffer. Currently, the buffer areas are under the control of the Forest Chief of the Bodoland Territorial Council. The core … Read More

Manas Revival Possible Because of Role Reversal of Rebels

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The diverse and rich Manas Tiger Reserve has staged a revival of sorts after the Bodo insurgencies in the last 80s saw its wildlife and forest wealth being plundered. In 1992, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee demoted it to a “World Heritage Site in Danger” and faced prospects of being completely removed from the list. However, a turnaround occurred in 2003 when the Bodo Liberation Tigers gave up their weapons and the locals turned to being protectors. Around 40 former … Read More

Translocation of Swamp Deer Planned in Manas National Park

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In accordance with suggestions given by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (WHC), the forest department is planning to increase the population of swamp deer in Manas National Park. Translocation of swamp deer from Kaziranga into Manas is planned as a three year project. Kaziranga has around 1200 swamp deer, whereas Manas has only 20. Eleven rhinos have been translocated from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary into Manas since 2008 and the translocation has been deemed successful.

The recovery plan has been prepared on … Read More

UNESCO Lauds Manas’ Revival, Removes Danger Tag

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The UNESCO removed the “danger” tag from Assam’s famed Manas National Park, a World Heritage site, acknowledging its revival. The Manas sanctuary, a national park, a tiger reserve, an elephant and a biosphere reserve, was listed as a World Heritage site in 1985. In 1992, it was declared a World Heritage site in Danger due to severe damages to the ecosystem during the civil unrest of the 1980s and early 1990s.

The name of the park comes from the Manas … Read More

Rhino Poached for Horn in Pobitora, Assam. Teacher arrested.

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The tiny Pobitora wildlife sanctuary ( 38.81 sq km) in central Assam known for its rhino density, lost a rhino to poachers who used a .303 rifle to kill the beast. The armed gang of four illegal hunters fired at the guards continuously and got away in the cover of darkness.

Subsequently, on the 16th of June, a school teacher was arrested in connection with the poaching. Read the Times of India article. … Read More

Rescued Elephant Finds ‘Family’ in Manas, Assam

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Manas (Assam), June 10, 2011: A rare conservation success story is emerging from Manas National Park with the sighting of a rehabilitated elephant having been accepted into a wild herd – good news for conservationists currently pleading for the removal of the park from the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

The elephant, named Hamren, was among the five hand-raised calves, relocated to Manas in January this year as part of the Elephant Reintegration Project – a joint venture … Read More

Unsustained Tourism a Cause for Concern across Tiger Reserves

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Sujit Banerji, Chairman of the Forest, Environment and Eco-tourism Committee and former Secretary, Tourism, Government of India, said this while addressing a seminar on tourism in Guwahati organized by the Tour Operators Association of Assam (TOAA) that tourism around Kaziranga would soon be shifted from the core area of this national park. “Buffer areas need to be well forested and so once wildlife starts inhabiting these areas, pressure of tourism is shifted from the core areas. There has to be … Read More

Armed Poachers Arrested While Attempting to Enter Kaziranga

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Police arrested three armed poachers in the Bihali area of Sonitpur district in Assam, while trying to sneak into Kaziranga National Park. The three were found during a combing operation, hiding in the house of a local. The local escaped. A .303 rifle, ammunition, some food and camp materials were found on them. It is believed their plan was to spend a week inside Kaziranga and poach Rhinos. … Read More

Assamese conservationist Firoz Ahmed wins prestigious award

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M Firoz Ahmed, a Wildlife Biologist working with Aaranyak in Assam, has been awarded the prestigious Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award 2011.

Firoz is currently conducting research on tigers, prey animals and their habitats in Orang, Manas and Kaziranga National Parks supported by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. He is also involved in community-based conservation of wildlife in Assam and is a passionate environment educator.

The Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award is given annually to wildlife conservationists, researchers and managers … Read More

Assam forest department orders Army to dismantle Sonai Rupai firing range

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The Assam forest department has asked the army to dismantle the short firing range near the Lama camp in Kalamati. Sonai Rupai was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1998. The Forest department has written twice since the beginning of the year to the army and though there was a reply, the response has not been suitable. The area is home to a sizeable Elephant population, as well as leopards, gaur, barking deer, sambar and a variety of birds.… Read More

Around 40 White-rumped Vultures sighted in Panidihing Sanctuary in Assam

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A flock of about 40 white-rumped vultures have been spotted in the Panidihing bird sanctuary in the Sivasagar district of Assam. This is the first sighting in three years of such large numbers. The most common of the nine vulture species, the white rumped Vulture has seen a population decline of over 99% since the early 1990s. The main cause has been cited to be the use of diclofenac, used to treat livestock. Diclofenac causes renal failure in the vultures … Read More

Kaziranga National Park to be extended

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The Assam government is set to complete the legal process for extension of the Kaziranga National Park from the present 430 square kilometres to double the area. The State’s forest and tourism minister, Rockybul Hussain, said the government was expeditiously trying to settle the land acquisition process for the extension so that animals, including the prized one-horned rhinos, were better protected.

Although the park has already more than 800 sq. km. area, it was not legally sanctioned thus preventing the … Read More

Kaziranga short-staffed to protect rhinos

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Assam Forest and Environment Minister Rockybul Hussain on Friday informed the state assembly that the present strength of frontline staff of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) was not sufficient to protect rhinos and other animals there.

Replying to a question by Communist Party of India (CPI) member Drupad Borgohain, Mr. Hussain said the strength of the frontline staff in 152 camps inside the park was 386 and this remained unchanged for the past 20 years though the area had doubled … Read More

Amur Falcon Hunting near Umrangso, Dima Hasao District, North Cachar Hills, Assam

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As the ‘Friends of the Amur Falcon’ initiative was underway in Doyang, Nagaland, the NGO NWBCT had parallely set-up ‘Amur Counts’ across a dozen locations in Northeast India. The objective of these counts were to document migratory routes, and roosting areas, as well as potential harvesting sites of Amur Falcons in the entire Northeast. NWBCT is the Nagaland-based NGO that, along with Conservation India, discovered the mass killings in Doyang last year and launched the ‘Friends of the Amur Falcon’ … Read More