Over 30 Flamingos Electrocuted in Bhavanagar, Gujarat

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First published on 14.6.2017:

Based on a recent complaint filed, in the last several days more than 33 flamingos (both lesser and greater of the species) have died in Kumbharwada in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. This incident was discovered after the locals notified the Forest Department. The inspection and postmortem results confirmed that the flamingos died of electric shock. The electrocution of these flamingos took place due to the presence of high-voltage power transmission lines in the Kumbharwada region. These wires have … Read More

Great Indian Bustard — The Way of the Dodo?

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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

Bustard, Wires, and the Flight to Extinction

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On behalf of the Bustard Conservation Team, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.

This article is an outcome of Wildlife Institute of India’s ongoing research and conservation activities under the Great Indian Bustard Conservation Project investigated by Yadvendradev Jhala. The team members are, apart from the author, Sujit Narwade, Tushna Karkaria, Bipin C.M., Arjun Awasthi, Mohib Uddin, Devendradutta Pandey, Tanya Gupta, Sourav Supakar, Vineet Singh, Priyamvada Bagaria, Srinivas Y. and Shaheer Khan.

Much of India’s conservation movement has focused on forested … Read More

The Enigma of the Forest Owlet

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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

Anatomy of Shark Fisheries in Gujarat, India

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Gujarat is gifted with a beautiful 1600 km coastline, the longest in India, and a wide continental shelf, making its waters nutrient rich and diverse in marine fauna. It tops the charts in fish production, and has the highest quantities of sharks harvested in India (CMFRI, 2013). Existing catch-related data collected over the years indicated dwindling shark harvests. While at ground level, efforts to increase fish catch were intensified, it was important to study shark fisheries and local fishing trends … Read More

Urgent — Help Safeguard the Western Ghats!

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Urgent! Time is short, so please act immediately – your appeal to the Central Government can help safeguard the Western Ghats.  Use the form below to write to the minister. 

I support the Government’s decision to declare 56,825 square kilometres of the Western Ghats as Eco Sensitive Area (see contents of the letter below the form). 


This campaign is now closed. We received support from more than 3500 concerned citizens. We are now sending a consolidated letter to the ministry, Read More

White-tailed Wood Rat, Purna WLS, Gujarat

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White Tailed Wood Rat (Madromys blanfordi) — First Record in Purna Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat.

On 23th January 2015 at around 2:29 am, we were travelling from Dhulda to Mahal, passing through the Purna Wildlife Sanctuary (PWLS). The PWLS, spread over a small valley, falls in Kalibel range, situated in Dang district of South Gujarat. The area has dense forests with thick bamboo brakes and is drained by the beautiful river Purna, which gives the sanctuary its name.

As we were … Read More

First Photographic Record of Long-eared Owl in India

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On 11th March 2012, while looking for the threatened Great Indian Bustards in Naliya grasslands in Kutch, Ramki Sreenivasan and I came across an owl which flew from one low tree to another. The owl was well camouflaged in dense foliage of an Acacia nilotica tree, but permitted a close approach.

The owl was brownish with streaks on its breast and belly. It had extremely long ear tufts, buff brown facial disk, black band down the face between the eye … Read More

Peregrine Falcon on Harrier Kill, Little Rann of Kutch

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On a beautiful morning in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK), Gujarat, I spotted this falcon with a kill from a distance with my binoculars. When we approached a bit closer it appeared to be a adult Peregrine with a kill. The bird was very skittish and moved away from us a couple of times. We retreated and waited till the bird consumed the kill. After sometime, the falcon decided let go of the remains and took off. We were … Read More

Flamingo City in Peril

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An edited form of this article appeared in the February 16, 2015 issue of the Outlook magazine.

The unique natural heritage of the Great Rann of Kutch that Amitabh Bachchan promotes in the slick Gujarat Tourism commercials, is imperiled, ironically by a proposed road said to promote tourism.

Among the 130-odd projects that the new National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) cleared in its controversial first meeting in August last year, is a road that cuts through the Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary … Read More

The Vulnerable White-naped Tit, Rajasthan

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With little importance given to thorn-scrub forests, birds such as the globally threatened White-naped Tit (Parus nuchalis) are getting pushed towards extinction.

The vulnerable White-naped Tit is a 12cm bird endemic to India. It has two separate populations. One is found in the thorn forests of Gujarat and Rajasthan and the other in the states of Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu. Recent surveys have found the species to be scarce across its range, and absent from many intervening areas between … Read More

Electrocuted Great Indian Bustard, Kutch

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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

Desert Fox and Salt Truck, Rann of Kutch

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This image is about how we as consumers are putting pressure on wildlife and wildlife habitats. This Desert Fox was photographed at the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) near Patdi village in Gujarat, which is said to produce a significant chunk of India’s salt. This salt also gets exported to other countries. The Rann is one of the most vibrant desert ecosystems in the world, supporting a large number of birds and mammals. This pup belongs to a den just … Read More

Lesser & Greater White-fronted Geese, Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

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Birders recently spotted two Lesser White-fronted and four Greater White-fronted Geese in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK), Gujarat. Both are rarities and seldom seen in the Indian subcontinent. They are long distance migrants.

The Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) breeds across the tundra from Nunavut to Siberia, across Russia, and in Greenland. The Greater White-fronted Goose has one of the largest ranges of any geese species in the world.

The Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropusRead More

CI Wishes its Readers a Green 2014!

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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

Leopard on a tree

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“There is a Leopard on a tree” –  the call from a friend made me pack my camera bags and drive approximately 75 kms in a hurry. Throughout the journey, I hoped that the leopard would still be on the tree, and fortunately, it was.

We regularly come across stories of human-leopard conflict from this region (South Gujarat – outskirts of Vansda National Park & Poorna Sanctuary). Just four days earlier, a girl was attacked by a leopard in the … Read More

Feral Dogs Bringing Down a Nilgai (Bluebull), Gujarat

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I had gone on a routine birding trip to Gandhinagar, Gujarat in Nov 2011. We were surprised to find around five feral dogs attacking an adult Nilgai or bluebull (Boselaphus tragocamelus) when it came near a water body to drink water. By the time I saw them they had almost killed the antelope, and 15 more dogs were waiting on the shore for their share. I have seen dogs feeding from a bluebull carcass earlier so they must … Read More

Bonelli’s Eagle with Common Crane Kill, Little Rann of Kutch

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December 2012: We were on a jeep safari in the Little Rann of Kutch one afternoon, when, far away, we saw a large raptor sitting on what appeared to be a small mound. We approached slowly, and, to our surprise, found a Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata) sitting on a large dead bird. It was evident that the kill had taken place just a while earlier; feathers of the victim lay scattered on the ground. We realised that the … Read More

White-rumped Vulture Release, Ahmedabad

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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

Rusty-spotted Cat in Kutch-Gujarat, India

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On the evening of 12th February 2013, I was birding in a rocky area near the Chhari-Dhand bird conservation area in the famed Banni grasslands of Kutch. After seeing an eyeshine near a small bush, I spotted a small cat was sitting on a rock. I took some images of the wild cat. The cat was quite small (compared to the jungle cats common in the area) with a long tail and a white belly.

Experts later identified the cat … Read More

Regurgitation in Birds

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There are several reasons why birds and animals regurgitate. Sometimes, adult animals regurgitate food to feed their not-yet-mobile young ones. Classic examples of this behaviour can be seen in a pack of Wild Dogs (Dholes) and, more commonly, in birds. The crow feeds its young with regurgitated food from its wide-ranging diet, while a pelican would regurgitate fish to feed its chicks.

Some birds also regurgitate undigested matter, like bones, feathers, fur, skull and hair. Birds of prey, as well … Read More

Domestic Dogs chasing Indian Wild Ass, Little Rann of Kutch

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The Indian Wild Ass or Khur (Equus hemionus khur), is an endangered animal with its last refuge in India’s only wild ass sanctuary. The Khur was formerly widespread in the arid zone of northwestern India and Pakistan, westwards through much of central Asia. However, it is now limited to the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, India. The khur probably went extinct in Baluchistan and the extreme south of Pakistan, on the Indian border, during the 1960s (Corbet … Read More

Jungle Cat feeding on a Nilgai calf carcass, Velavadar

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We found this carcass of a Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) fawn in the Velavadar grasslands. We had seen three Indian wolves (Canis lupus pallipes) in the same area earlier. It was likely that they had killed the Nilgai. A couple of Jungle Crows and a Wild Boar had their share of the carcass a while ago, before this Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) came along to have a bite!… Read More

Flamingo City Campaign Update — NBWL Clears Road Project

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Campaign Update July 2013

The road proposal whose ecological damages CI highlighted in this campaign was unanimously and strongly rejected by all members of the MOEF constituted Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) on June 6th, 2013. The project was rejected on grounds that it was having a serious impact on the wildlife of the fragile Kutch region particularly the nesting site of flamingoes.

Lesser Floricans and Windmills

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A few decades back, there was hardly any village in the state of Gujarat which didn’t fall in the distribution range of the Lesser Florican (Sypheotides indica). As the local name ‘Khadmor’ (Khad = Grass, Mor = Peacock) indicates, the Lesser Florican resembles the Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus), and lives in grassland habitats. This bird is a keystone species of healthy grasslands. The bird’s wide spread distribution of the past has changed significantly now.

Its popularity … Read More