The Elusive Leopard Cats of India

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Small felids, like jungle cats, leopard cats, fishing cats and marbled cats (among others) constitute more than 60% of all cat species in the world. But most of these small cats remain understudied because they are generally secretive, elusive and difficult to observe and monitor. In this aspect, the leopard cat presents a fascinating case study.

Leopard cats are among the world’s most widely occurring small cat species. There have been substantial studies of their ecology in Southeast Asia. In … Read More

Madras Tree Shrew in BR Hills, Karnataka

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On one of the safari drives in BRT Wildlife Sanctuary, I came across a small rat-like mammal. Though I knew it was the Madras Tree Shrew, I wasn’t really sure since it had rarely been recorded in this area. The ID was later confirmed by experts.

The Madras Tree Shrew (Anathana ellioti), also referred to as the Indian Tree Shrew, is a small mammal belonging to the order Scandentia, and is endemic to peninsular India. It is distributed … Read More

Field Survey of large mammals (transect surveys) and training program on their population monitoring methods — Call for Volunteers by WCS – India

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Field Survey of large mammals and training program on their population monitoring methods 

Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program and its partner Centre for Wildlife Studies are conducting field training camps for monitoring large mammal populations for the field season 2013. These field workshops will be held at several reserves in Karnataka including Dandeli-Anshi, BRT, Bhadra, Bandipura and Nagarahole. Some of the methods taught will include:

  1. Estimation of large herbivore populations
  2. Relative abundance estimation of large carnivores using scat encounter rates
  3. Demo
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Need For Elephant Corridors Throughout The Country

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A report by the Elephant Task Force (ETF) has estimated that roughly 400 people are killed in India every year in conflicts with elephants. Encroachment of elephant habitat by a growing human population creates a situation where elephants frequently raid crops. Retaliatory killings are on the rise and, for instance, in Karnataka alone, 16 elephants were killed in 2006-07, 46 were killed in 2008-9 and 41 were killed in 2009-10. The Karnataka forest department paid 4.2 crores in 2008-9 for … Read More

NTFP Collection and its Impact on Forests in the BR Hills, Karnataka

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Although the collection of NTFPs (Non-Timber Forest Products) is an age-old practice in India and many other parts of the world, there is little concrete knowledge about the sustainability of long-term, intensive extraction of forest fruits, roots, shoots, bark, resins and other products, and what ecological changes follow the commercialization of an NTFP. Such information is required – by foresters, conservationists and local people – to understand the ways in which wild resources are being manipulated, the subsequent ecological impacts, Read More

BR Hills and Kudremukh to Become Tiger Reserves

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Union Minister for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh said that the government had approved two more tiger reserves in Karnataka. BR hills in Chamrajnagar district and Kudremukh in Chikmagalur district would become the country’s 40th and 41st tiger reserves. This takes the number of tiger reserves in Karnataka upto six.… Read More

Karnataka Forest Department seeking Tiger Reserve Status for Kudremukh National Park

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The Karnataka State Forest Department is seeking a Tiger Reserve Status for the Kudremukh National Park (KNP). Recently, the Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple Wildlife (BRT) Sanctuary was given the tiger reserve status by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). Union Minister Jairam Ramesh has also recently directed the state government to submit a proposal to declare KNP as a tiger reserve and also to shift machinery and infrastructure of the Kudremukh Iron Ore company that is lying inside the park. There … Read More

Agriculture land close to BRT Tiger Reserve handed over for Industrial Purposes

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The Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) has handed over 410.44 acres of land to Bannari Amman Sugars. The land is said to be within 1 km radius of the BRT Tiger Reserve and also on a part of an Elephant Corridor. According to a Supreme Court order, non-forest activities cannot be taken up within 10 kms of a protected area (eco-sensitive zone). The forest department has made it clear that no work can be undertaken without an approval from … Read More

Biligiri Rangana Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRT) forest staff expose ungulate poachers’ racket

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The Forest Department squad of Biligiri Rangana Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRTWLS), pursuing fleeing poachers, has bumped into a well-knit racket into ungulate (hoofed animals) poaching, which has been active for the past five years. Three persons have been arrested in this connection.… Read More