Great Indian Bustard — The Way of the Dodo?

Prerna Singh Bindra Announcements Leave a Comment

On the afternoon of 15th September, a farmer in the Karamba village in Solapur, Maharashtra was grazing his cattle when he noticed a large, severely injured bird on the ground, its wings singed. Hovering by, helping death to strike were a few feral dogs. As he edged closer, he saw a black mobile like device on the prone creature. He knew the bird, a frequent visitor to his fields from the adjacent Nanaj sanctuary, and immediately informed the forest department. … Read More

Hispid Hare, Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh

Ramki Sreenivasan Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

This image of the globally endangered Hispid Hare (Caprolagus hispidus) may have some conservation significance considering that this is one of the first wild images taken from northern India.

The hispid hare is a lagomorph in the Leporidae family (hares and rabbits). It is identified by its distinctively short ears and, unlike other members of the Leporidae family, short and stout hind legs barely exceeding the length of the forelegs. The animal is rarely seen due to its extremely shy … Read More

Asian Vulture Crisis – It’s Not Over Yet

Ramki Sreenivasan Announcements Leave a Comment

The widespread use in cattle of the painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac, led to the unprecedented and dramatic disappearance of vultures over the past 20 years. This inadvertently poisoned around 40 million vultures, causing populations to plummet across South Asia. It’s tempting to think that with the government bans now in place for over ten years, the job is done. While there are indeed some early indications that the remnant vulture populations may be stabilising, albeit at very low … Read More

The Enigma of the Forest Owlet

superadmin Announcements, Articles Leave a Comment

The Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti) is a curious bird, both by name and nature. It has captured the imagination of many within and outside the country and for the right reasons.

The forest owlet has an interesting past associated with it. Let us travel back in time to the 19th century. It was in 1872 when an Irish officer, Mr. Francis Robert Blewitt (F. R. Blewitt) saw this different looking owl near Phooljhar in eastern Madhya Pradesh (now in Chhattisgarh). … Read More

Chinese Pangolin, Tamenglong Market, Manipur

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

We are passionate conservationists from Tamenglong, Manipur. We would like to report the rampant trapping, hunting and sale of wildlife in Tamenglong and its neighbouring villages. We have seen monkeys, pythons, Chinese pangolins (Manis pentadactyla — featured here) , great barbets, civets, leopard cats, Asian forest tortoises and many other species of wildlife for sale in these markets. Many of these species are on the endangered list.

The concerned authorities are turning a blind eye towards this very critical … Read More

Great Indian Bustards near Desert National Park, Rajasthan

Ramki Sreenivasan Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

On a trip to the Desert National Park in Nov 2014, I was fortunate to see 17 bustards in a fallow field just outside the park. The image captures seven of that flock.

The critically endangered Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) is amongst the heaviest of flying birds. Less than a hundred remain in the wild, with the most (~70) being in Rajasthan, in and around the Desert National Park.

Currently (March 17 to 25, 2017), the Rajasthan forest department … Read More

Saving the Elusive Pygmy Hog

superadmin Announcements, Articles Leave a Comment

Thanks to a content sharing agreement with Livemint, we are able to bring some interesting conservation articles authored by Ananda Banerjee.

Success in conservation is usually measured by the effectiveness of steps to boost the numbers of big, charismatic species. In India, the stars are the Bengal tiger, followed by the Asiatic lion, the leopard, the elephant and the rhinoceros.

Assam, for instance, is celebrating an increase in the population of the endangered, greater one-horned rhinoceros by 250. Earlier this … Read More

Gharial Population Estimation in the Chambal and Conservation Implications

superadmin Announcements, Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

India’s Chambal River hosts the largest population of the critically endangered Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus). In the 1970s, the total population of the Gharial was estimated at less than 200, following which conservation programmes involving the creation of protected areas and rear-and-release programmes were established. But, despite the release of over 5000 gharials into various Indian rivers over the past few decades, only about 200 breeding adults reportedly still survive. These programmes were poorly monitored and their outcome never … Read More

A Species Recovery Plan for Jerdon’s Courser

superadmin Announcements, Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

Jerdon’s Courser (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus) is a nocturnal cursorial bird found only in the State of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is one of the world’s rarest bird species and is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The species was believed to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1986 near Reddipalli village, Cuddapah District of Andhra Pradesh, India. The site where it was rediscovered was designated as the Sri Lankamaleswara Wildlife … Read More

The Last of Kashmir’s Royal Stags

superadmin Announcements, Articles Leave a Comment

Thanks to a content sharing agreement with Livemint, we are able to bring some interesting conservation articles authored by Ananda Banerjee.

On 16 March, Wildlife Institute of India scientist Parag Nigam tranquilized and radio-collared a hangul in the Dachigam National Park on the outskirts of Srinagar.

The enigmatic Kashmir stag has never been radio-collared before, and its nervous disposition doesn’t make it the ideal subject for tranquilization. Indeed, a plan to collar three more stags has been deferred to November, … Read More

Rewilding the Rare Pygmy Hog in Assam

superadmin Announcements, Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

Thanks to a content sharing agreement with Livemint, we are able to bring some interesting conservation articles authored by Ananda Banerjee.

On 24 May, six little pigs trotted out of their wooden box enclosures to freedom, into the wild grasslands of Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary in north Assam. Those tiny pig steps could turn into a giant leap for conservationists.

Because these were no ordinary pigs but Pygmy Hogs, the smallest and rarest wild pig or hog on the planet. The … Read More

Great Indian Bustards and Wind Turbines, Desert National Park, Rajasthan

superadmin Announcements, Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

With just about 150-200 surviving in the wild, the fate of the Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) already seems bleak. A significant population of these birds remain in Desert National Park, Rajasthan, the last stronghold for the critically endangered bird. The presence of wind turbines very close to the Great Indian Bustard enclosures near Sam Village in Desert National Park increase the bird’s potential life-threatening risks. Additionally, such enclosures (which form only about 4% of the park’s total area) are … Read More

Saving the Spoon-billed Sandpiper in Bangladesh

superadmin Announcements, Case Studies, Featured Case Study Leave a Comment

The first specimen of the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) was collected in mid-19th century from Bangladesh. The country also holds the record for the highest single count of the bird anywhere in the world — 202 birds in 1989 from Moulevir Char (Bakewell & Howes 1989)!

That was history.

The bird has since undergone a drastic decline in its population. According to Birdlife International, this charismatic species is listed as Critically Endangered because of its extremely small population … Read More

Forest Owlet, Tansa, Maharashtra

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

To start the New Year with a bang, Saurabh Sawant, Rujuta Phadke and myself went to Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary near Mumbai where Sunil Laad — a naturalist associated with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) — had sighted and photographed the Critically Endangered Forest Owlet in November 2014.

We had just parked our car to stop and search when, to our incredulity, we heard a Forest Owlet calling. It took us just 10 more minutes to locate a beautiful pair … Read More

Electrocuted Great Indian Bustard, Kutch

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

On 12th September 2014, an adult female Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) collided with high-tension electric powerlines near Kutch Bustard Sanctuary (KBS) in the Abdasa taluka of Kutch district, Gujarat. The bird was found dead just below the powerlines and had electrocution marks. The incident happened a few hundred meters from the boundary of KBS. There are three heavy powerlines passing by the Lala-Jakhau main road, two lines on one side and one on the other. The bird … Read More

Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation in Bangladesh

superadmin Photo Feature, Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

Considering its grim current global status, a group of young ornithologists in Bangladesh took up the challenge to save the critically endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper in 2009, when they began the Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project (BSCP).

Their surveys confirmed that Bangladesh is an extremely important wintering ground for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, and identified Sonadia Island (near Cox’s Bazar) as the key wintering site and Domar Char as a stopover (passage) site in the country. In Sonadia Island, they found evidence … Read More

Life isn’t fair for the ‘King’!

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

As if going from widespread to critically endangered in a few decades (thanks to Diclofenac) wasn’t bad enough, king vultures also have to fend off competitors for their hard won meals; and sometimes the smaller, more nimble opponents take away the booty!

This particular encounter happened one morning in Ranthambhore National Park, as we waited at a spotted deer kill. The vulture flew in to polish off the remains while the tigress was away. But its chances of a … Read More

CI Wishes its Readers a Green 2014!

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

It has been a terrific couple of years for Conservation India. CI was launched exactly two years ago and along the way we have clocked some interesting statistics. Here is a quick snapshot of our traffic (Google Analytics for the period Jan 01, 2012 to Dec 31, 2013):

  • Total Visits to the Site: 429,320
  • Total Unique Visitors: 286,947
  • Total Pageviews: 1,062,048
  • Average monthly visits: Between 12,000 to 30,000 (sometimes upto 10,000 per day)
  • Average Pages / Visit: ~3

It … Read More

Forest Owlet, Melghat Tiger Reserve

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

This bird is almost as mythical as the Phoenix!

During a recent trip to Melghat, I had a memorable experience with this extremely rare bird. I saw three individuals, which helped me understand the differences between the sexes. It was fascinating to watch their bobbing heads and flicking tails!

The Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti) was first described in 1873 and last seen in the wild in 1884. Subsequently, it was considered extinct. The bird was rediscovered 113 years later … Read More

Long-billed Vultures Mating, Ramanagaram

superadmin Photos Leave a Comment

We were lucky to witness the courtship of Long-billed Vultures (Gyps indicus) in Ramanagaram (Ramadevarabetta) in January this year (2013). The process of both courtship and mating went on for a few minutes and they started the entire process again. We left the critically endangered vultures with their privacy and with a silent prayer that their brood grows!

It will be recalled that in response to a hard fought conservation battle, the government of Karnataka notified Ramadevarabetta as … Read More

White-rumped Vulture Release, Ahmedabad

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

Jivdaya Charitable Trust is an NGO dedicated to treating stray animals and birds free of charge. Set up in Ahmedabad in 2007, the Trust has come a long way and is now equipped with the latest treatment facilities, from gas anesthesia machines, latest orthopedic instruments, an X-ray unit, a ventilator, a multipara monitor with a pulse oximeter and also 2 state-of-the-art operation theatres. The Trust also has three fully equipped ambulance vans that treat animals on the spot. The Trust … Read More

Photographers Ruining Hesaraghatta – A Wake-up Call

superadmin Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

A rapid assessment study of the grasslands of Hesaraghatta, outside Bangalore, shows that unregulated and excessive vehicular movement of bird photographers is creating permanent vehicle tracks, causing significant disturbance to the feeding and foraging activities of birds, imposing severe stress on the local birdlife, as well as damaging the ecosystem for some rare butterflies. 

Conservation India condemns such unethical and insensitive photography and urges wildlife photographers to strictly adhere to the cardinal rule of nature photography — “The welfare of Read More

Bellary — a Revival for Great Indian Bustards?

superadmin Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps – GIB in short), a critically endangered Indian endemic bird on the verge of extinction, is showing signs of recovery in Bellary district. Two birds were recently sighted foraging in an agricultural field by seventeen-year-old budding naturalist Preeth Khona, in Chelugurki village 20 kms from Bellary and 60 Kms south of Sirguppa, where it was earlier rediscovered in 2006 by the author. Preeth Khona, Shruthi Punyamurthy and Sunaina Martin are budding naturalists and members … Read More

Unregulated Tourism at Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Nannaj

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week 1 Comment

There are a lot of tourism-related pressures on the critically endangered Great Indian Bustards in Nannaj, Solapur district, Maharashtra where the population is on the decline. The  population estimate for the Nannaj region is just 10-11 birds. Estimated population of the bustards in Maharashtra is around 35-40 birds. The Pune-based NGO GIB Foundation has proposed some specific recommendations for reducing tourism-related pressures for the bustards, especially during the monsoon — when bustards gather in their traditional breeding grounds — when … Read More

The Official Ramadevarabetta Vulture Sanctuary Notification

superadmin News 3 Comments

Here is the official Notification, declaring Ramadevarabetta as a Vulture Sanctuary (courtesy @bngbirds).

**********
Government of Karnataka No. F.E.E.234.S.W.L. 2009, dated January 31, 2012

NOTIFICATION

Whereas the Govt. of Karnataka in excise of the powers confered under Section 26A of the Wildlife Protection) Act. 1972 (Ammended in 2003) (Central Act 53 of 1972) has considered the area, situation and limits which are specified in the Schedule notification of the Government of His Highness Maharaja of Mysore State, Notrification No. R-2992-FT-61-17-4 … Read More