Wild Seve – Empowering People and Fostering Tolerance for Wildlife

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India’s Bandipur and Nagarahole National Parks are home to the highest densities of tigers, leopards and elephants globally. People living adjacent to these parks frequently experience crop and property damage, livestock predation and occasionally are injured or killed. As a result, the traditional tolerance that rural communities of India have for wildlife can get eroded due to continued financial losses they incur.

Wild Seve is a novel conservation initiative developed by WCS Scientist Dr. Krithi Karanth in collaboration with the … Read More

When Humans are Curious to Know the Spotted Cat

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Nashik district’s Niphad taluk is situated on the fertile banks of the Godavari River. Agriculture is the main occupation here, with sugarcane the major cash crop, grown along with food crops such as wheat, grapes, jowar and other vegetables. Livestock-rearing also contributes a major part to the local economy. In this productive landscape, where human density is fairly high, jackals, hyenas, jungle cats, civets, and leopards also co-exist, as there is water, prey, and shelter.

Some communities like Warali, Mahadeo … Read More

Polling for Pakke — Please help Pakke Tiger Reserve pick its best images!

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Every year the Pakke Tiger Reserve Forest Department holds a prize distribution ceremony for the best camera trap images and also gives prizes to the most sincere staff in the reserve. For this we team up with Conservation India to hold this public voting contest as a unique form of outreach to help motivate our staff on the ground. This year as well our team has compiled notable camera trap photographs where staff patrolled the forests and never left their … Read More

Janata Waghoba: A Story of People and Leopards in Rural Maharashtra

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The Northern Western Ghats, also known as the Sahyadris, are home to many species of flora and fauna. The area is one of the richest biodiversity hotspots in the world, as well as the origin of important rivers like the Godavari, Kaveri, Krishna, Thamiraparani and Tungabhadra. The part of Maharashtra state which has been flanked by the Ghats on the west is known as Western Maharashtra.

Junnar and Sangamner talukas in Pune and Ahmednagar Districts respectively, which are interspersed with … Read More

Pakke: From Darkness into Light

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Tana Tapi is in a tough spot. He has the enormous task of protecting 862 sq. km of mostly inaccessible, and difficult eastern Himalayan wilderness. His job is made more difficult by the fact that some of the people that log and hunt inside these forests belong to the same community as him, the Nyishi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. This general area bordering Assam is also one of India’s deforestation hotspots where logging networks are fuelled by larger market forces … Read More

Wildlife Tourism in India — New Challenges for Park Management

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Wildlife or Nature-based tourism is growing in many countries across the world including India. Krithi K. Karanth and Ruth DeFries examine trends and practices in wildlife tourism for ten parks across India. These are results of their study from the forthcoming paper in the journal, Conservation Letters.

Study Sites in India

Ten parks were selected across India – Ranthambore, Sariska, Pench, Kanha, Anshi-Dandeli, Bhadra, Nagarahole, Bandipur, Periyar and Mudumalai. These protected areas vary in tourist numbers, access to cities, and … Read More

A Moment in the Life of a Forest Guard

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Frontline staff — Forest Guards and Watchers — are the most vital link in the forest protection chain, but they are also the most neglected. They are lauded as “our unsung heroes” in media articles, and, occasionally, one or two a year are given awards at glittering ceremonies. But their lot on the ground remains the same year after year.  While more and more posts that suck up tax payer money are created at the top echelons of state Forest … Read More

Elephant Rescue, Valparai

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It was that time of the year again, when elephants slowly started marking their presence. Like every year, there were incidents of households getting hit here and there, thankfully, nothing major though. What is always interesting to note every year is the consistency they maintain in terms of their movement patterns, and also in the damage sites they choose! Early that morning I decided to take off from my daily routine in front of my Macbook’s hypnotizing screen. I went … Read More

Forest Officer Found in Possession of Elephant Tusks – Demand Action!

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Bangalore-based conservation NGO, Wildlife First, has written to the Chief Wildlife Warden of Karnataka demanding immediate action against a senior officer of the Karnataka Forest Department who was found in possession of elephant tusks in his house. The Central Bureau of Investigation found the tusks during an anti-corruption raid. Wildlife First’s letter to the Chief Wildlife Warden is attached for viewing.

Those who are concerned about this are encouraged to email the Chief Wildlife Warden requesting that immediate action be … Read More

Dhole and Indian Wolf, Debrigarh, Odisha

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Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary in Western Odisha must currently be one of the very few PAs in the country where dholes and wolves co-exist! Interestingly, sporadic reports in March 2013 by frontline staff seem to indicate that the lone male wolf, which made its appearance about a month back, has been hanging around near the pack of dholes. In fact, the RFO could see them interacting in close proximity for extended periods of time — feigning charges, scent marking, etc.

The … Read More

Electrocuted Elephant, Nagarahole

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This magnificent tusker was electrocuted on Nov 12th, 2012, around 1 a.m., in Balle Range in the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. The elephant was frequently seen in the area and was known to have sight in only one eye. As it was attempting to cross a tribal village, it appears to have entangled in a triangular section formed by an electric pole and the guy wires holding it up. The elephant’s attempts to free itself seem to have brought the guy … Read More

Replenishing Water Tanks in Wildlife Reserves: How Scientific?

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A recent decision by the Karnataka Forest Department to replenish drying waterholes in Bandipur and Nagarahole Tiger Reserves with water brought in from outside using water tankers, has been opposed by several experienced conservationists, who have worked in these areas for several decades. Sometime ago, CI carried a letter to the PCCF (WL), Karnataka, from K.M. Chinappa, former Range Forest Officer, Nagarahole, and President, Wildlife First, and Praveen Bhargav, Trustee, Wildlife First. Here we present the views of Dr. K. Read More

Artificial Filling of Waterholes Decried – Wildlife First Writes to CWW, Karnataka

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Shri Dipak Sarmah, IFS
PCCF & Chief Wildlife Warden
Karnataka Forest Department
2nd Floor, Aranya Bhavan
Malleswaram, Bangalore – 560 003

Sub: Request to reject the proposal to artificially replenish water holes

It is with great concern that we are observing the developments with regard to the proposal to artificially fill up water holes by transporting water in tankers. While we do welcome your decision to constitute an expert committee which is currently carrying out field inspections, we wish … Read More

Kodagu Villagers Demonstrate a Model Response to Managing Human-Tiger Conflict

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Most often, in situations involving a large predator, which is accidentally cornered in human dominated landscapes, local people swiftly form raging mobs and attack the animal as well as impede forest officials handling the situation. This often ends tragically with the death of the big cat, and sometimes injuries to people and forest staff. In this context, WCS India would like to highlight the exemplary restraint and positive conservation attitude of village community of Nidugumba, which is about 1.2 km … Read More

Sloth bear cub trapped in snare — Rescued by Wildlife SOS & Karnataka Forest Department

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In the early hours of 3rd December 2012, Wildlife SOS team in Bangalore headed by veterinarian Dr. Arun A Sha received an SOS call from the DFO Tumkur Division, Karnataka Forest Department about a sloth bear trapped in a snare. This was a very unusual case and we had little time to lose. The location was about 2-hours from Bangalore city (about 150 kms) in a village situated in Tumkur division.

The Wildlife SOS team from the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue … Read More

Jackal in Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary

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On Oct 13, 2012, in the evening, we saw this jackal feeding on termites by the road side in Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. The jackal did not seem to be bothered by our presence, though vehicles passing by would scare him. He would hide and come back out to feed when it was safe.

We visit Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary regularly for our volunteer work. Over time, we have observed some positive changes due to the good work by the DFO, Mr.Vasanth … Read More

Survival

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In July 2012, I was witness to a story of survival in the wild, and how, despite the best attempts of humans, nature has its way. I was in Valparai and we got news that an elephant herd that we were tracking had given birth to a calf. The mother was a young elephant and an older one was observed always staying by her side. A few days later, while I was at Bangalore, I heard the startling news that … Read More

Stopping ‘Eco-Resorts’ In Their Tracks

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May 30, 2012: Based on a complaint filed by wildlife conservation NGOs, the Deputy Commissioner of Chikmagalur district in Karnataka cancelled the permission given to Satori Eco Adventure Resorts Pvt Ltd. for constructing resorts on Chandradrona hill in the Western Ghats. This cancellation is a significant milestone in the persistent battle by local conservation groups, WildCAT C and Bhadra Wildlife Conservation Trust, to halt commercial resorts in this tiger corridor connecting Bhadra Tiger reserve with adjoining forests.

Importance of the Read More

From Wild To Captivity: An Orphaned Elephant Calf

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This four-year old elephant calf was found in the Malapuzha forest range of Palakkad, Kerala, dehydrated, tired and not eating anything. Thanks to the efforts of forest department staff and doctors, this tired little one was brought back to life. Unfortunately, the calf refused to go back into the forest. So the forest department had to take him to a rescue center. Even though the life of an elephant was saved, it was painful to see the transformation of a … Read More

Followup Action on the Hunting Incident Near the Himayat Sagar Reservoir

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People often feel helpless in the face of conservation issues, as even if they possess the know-how and try to take action, they are likely to face dead ends and official stonewalling. Sometimes a louder, or just a second voice is needed. Sharing conservation issues on Conservation India and other such portals helps achieve this. Diya Banerjee, a wildlifer and animal activist based out of Hyderabad, happened to read this post about Hunting near the Himayat Sagar Reservoir on CI. … Read More

Living with Elephants

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This was photographed in the Chikkadevama Hill, near Saragur, H D Kote taluk, Mysore. Adjoining this hill, there is a village called Lanke, where conflicts with elephants are frequent. During the crop season, many elephants cross the scrub jungle late in the evening and return back to forest in the early morning hours. This photograph clearly shows a villager trying to drive a group of elephants back to the jungle.

When one talks to the forest department people here, one … Read More

Cinereous Vulture Rescue By Forest Department in Melghat

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This cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) was found on the first day of a line transect survey, on Feb 10th, 2012 at around 8:30 AM in the Suklihenda Valley in Dhakna Wildlife Range, under Melghat Tiger Reserve. It almost fell to the ground from what appeared to be illness or hunger. We quickly rescued it from predators and took the vulture to our range headquarters at Dhakna. It was treated here by Dr. Swapnil Sonone of Youth for Nature Conservation … Read More

First Ever Camera Trap Photo of Striped Hyena in Bandipur Tiger Reserve

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Striped hyenas have been documented before in Mudumalai, but there have only been anecdotal reports of their presence in adjoining Bandipur. Their presence in adjacent areas inside Karnataka is only speculative.  The last two authentic evidences documenting their presence, are a road kill reported by Dr. Ullas Karanth around Nugu Wildlife Sanctuary in 1984 (observed and collected by the then ACF (Wildlife), Mysore); and another observation and a mobile phone capture by Praneet Goteti in farmlands around Bandipur (Moyar area) … Read More