Framing Ecologically Sound Policy on Linear Intrusions Affecting Wildlife Habitats

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In the 20th meeting of the Standing Committee of the NBWL held on 13 October 2010, it was discussed that linear intrusions were a serious issue and a sound policy needs to be framed consulting various experts. The Chairman requested the member of the Standing Committee from the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore, to prepare a background paper that could be discussed at the next meeting to move towards the formulation of a policy on linear intrusions at the national level. … Read More

Tiger Road, Tadoba

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A tiger walks on the main road in Mohurli Range in the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) completely oblivious to the humans and vice versa! There are still villages within the tiger reserve but slowly the ongoing voluntary resettlement is helping villagers find an alternative outside the park — a win-win for both tigers and villagers. … Read More

Tiger Roadkill, NH 212, Bandipur 2003

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This tiger was killed by a speeding vehicle on the Gundlupet – Sulthan Bathery road (NH 212) in 2003.

Two major National Highways pass through Bandipur Tiger Reserve – NH-67 (Gundlupet – Ooty Road) and NH 212 (Gundlupet – Sultan Batthery Road) – and both experience heavy traffic. The traffic on NH-67 is largely tourists plying from Karnataka to the hill station of Ooty in Tamil Nadu. While on NH 212 there is heavy passenger and truck traffic plying to … Read More

Elephant Crossing, Bandipur

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An elephant herd crossing the road (NH 67, Gundlupet – Ooty) in Bandipur National Park after a patient wait. Ironically, even inside a protected area, these animals don’t seem to have right of way inspite of the carefully placed boards near crossings animals prefer. A group of ill-informed motorcyclists were off their vehicles trying to take pictures of the herd which had lined up to cross the road. Soon many vehicles crowded the road stopping traffic and preventing the elephants … Read More

Environment Ministry Seeks Restoration of Night Traffic on Highways Through Bandipur

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The Karnataka High Court had banned night traffic, between the hours of 9 PM and 6 AM, through the two national highways that cut through Bandipur Tiger Reserve. The Karnataka Forest Department had provided evidence that wildlife including elephants and tigers were being regularly killed after being run over by vehicles and were also being driven out of the forest due to sound and light disturbance. Based on these evidences, the High Court had passed the order. However, the Ministry … Read More

Closing Highways to Night Traffic — A Case Study From Karnataka

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This Conservation India exclusive by Sanjay Gubbi, Assistant Director, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Member, State Board for Wildlife, Karnataka, highlights the conservation threat posed by roads and highways through PAs, showcases successful night closures of two major highways running through Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka and provides tips and inspiration for road closures in other protected areas.

Background: Impacts of roads on wildlife

India is in a phase of rapid infrastructural growth where improving the surface transport system is … Read More

Proposal for Ring Road in Gir To Divert Traffic From Lion Habitats

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The Gujarat State government has sent a proposal to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests for constructing a ring road around Gir National Park. The proposed 269-km road will connect villages on the periphery of Gir. Currently, around six state highways and other minor roads cut through Gir. There have been incidents where vehicular traffic caused accidental lion deaths as well as incidents of the inner roads being used for poaching. The ring road proposal includes 14 flyovers and … Read More

Gujarat Pushes Centre for Assistance Towards Lion Conservation

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The Gujarat government has asked for central assistance in implementing two projects towards Lion Conservation in Gir — Asiatic lions’ only abode. The state government has submitted a proposal for “The long term conservation of lions on Brhuhad Gir” with an estimated cost of Rs 262.36 crores. This proposal includes strengthening protection, habitat development, wild life health care, minimizing man animal conflicts, eco development work, use of modern technology, public awareness and eco tourism. A second proposal is to build … Read More

Leopard Runover by Truck on Bangalore NICE Road, Feb 2011

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A leopard was run over by a heavy vehicle on the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) Road, connecting Bannerghatta Road and Kanakapura Road. It shows how much the urban sprawl have begun infringing on wildlife habitat. Forest officials and the Bannerghatta police, who visited the spot visit in the morning, said that the leopard sustained head injuries and died on the spot. The forests urban department which has ordered a probe is in the process of identifying the vehicle from … Read More

Leopard Crossing, Mysore — Mananthavadi Highway, Nagarahole

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A leopard tentatively crosses the Mysore – Mananthavadi highway in Nagarahole national park and tiger reserve in Karnataka. Based on the fact that this road passes through an extremely crucial habitat for elephants and tigers and number of tragic roadkills, conservationists filed an application to the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court to close the road to nighttime traffic.

The CEC on 05-05-2008 concluded that no vehicular traffic be permitted between 6pm and 6am apart from other mitigation … Read More

CEC hearing on July 6 for illegal road widening in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar

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The central empowered committee (CEC), appointed by the Supreme Court to look into the cases related to the violation of Forest (Conservation) Act and Wildlife (Protection) Act, has fixed July 6 for the hearing of the case related to the violation of rules in a road widening work inside Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) of Bihar. The CEC admitted the case on the basis of a petition filed by Ashok Kumar, vice-chairman of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) based on an … Read More

Book Review — Safe Passages: Highways, Wildlife, and Habitat Connectivity

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Safe Passages: Highways, Wildlife, and Habitat Connectivity edited by Jon P. Beckmann, Anthony P. Clevenger, Marcel P. Huijser & Jodi A. Hilty (2010), xix + 396 pp., Island Press, Washington, DC, USA. ISBN 9781597266543 (pbk), USD 40.00; 9781597266536 (hbk), USD 70.00.

Several tropical, biodiversity rich nations are going through rapid economic growth bringing welcome benefits including infrastructure development. One of the key sectors of infrastructural growth is building of vast network of roads or road expansion projects. However these benefits … Read More

Intervention on NH7 Four laning along Pench not granted relief by Supreme Court

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The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) had moved the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court seeking a ban on the four laning of NH7 in the periphery of Pench-Mowgli Sanctuary. However, in a recent ruling the Supreme Court refused to give relief on the CEC recommendation for intervention. The court has encouraged the petitioner to approach the responsible authorities under the Wildlife Protection Act. It has also ruled that proposals be considered expeditiously given the importance of the … Read More

Environment Ministry seeks draft policy on Minimizing Impact of Linear Instrusions on Wildlife and Habitats

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TR Shankar Raman, a member of the Nature Conservation Foundation has been asked to draft a policy guideline to minimize the adverse impacts of man made intrusions, such as roads, powerlines and railway tracks, on wildlife habitats. Shankar Raman, has already presented a background paper on the subject in meeting held on Jan 24th by the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife. Shankar Raman has identified the issues of fragmentation, spread of alien species, dessication, windthrow and animal … Read More

Elephant Calf Roadkill, NH-212, Bandipur 2003

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Two highways pass through Bandipur Tiger Reserve. NH-67 (Gundlupet-Ooty Road) and NH-212 (Gundlupet-Sultan Batthery Road) and both those highways experience heavy traffic. The traffic on NH-67 is typically tourist traffic from Karnataka to the hill resort of Ooty, while on NH 212 there is heavy passenger and truck traffic plying to northern Kerala.

Due to speeding vehicles several animals mostly chital, nocturnal animals such as civets, black-naped hare, mouse deer were killed in large numbers. Roadkills shockingly included the illustrated … Read More

Leopard Runover by Truck on Bangalore NICE Road

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A leopard was run over by a heavy vehicle on the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) Road, connecting Bannerghatta Road and Kanakapura Road. It shows how much the urban sprawl have begun infringing on wildlife habitat. Forest officials and the Bannerghatta police, who visited the spot visit in the morning, said that the leopard sustained head injuries and died on the spot. The forests urban department which has ordered a probe is in the process of identifying the vehicle from … Read More

Gir Sanctuary Roads to be Closed During Nights

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The Gujarat forest and environment department has banned entry of vehicles on the roads passing through Gir National Park and Sanctuary, the last abode of Asiatic Lions, at night.

The move by the forest department will give a much needed relief to the wildlife in the Gir as about 10 important roads pass through the sanctuary. This step will decrease the risk of accident to animals and also save it from disturbance and noise pollution.… Read More

Killing Softly, But Surely

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Spread before me is a grassland — a seemingly unending sea of golden grasses gently swaying in the wind, looking not unlike waves rising and falling to the rhythm of the wind. Out of this azure landscape, something, a bird, shoots straight up in the air some two metres high, but before I can catch and ‘paint’ the picture in my mind’s eye, it’s gone…then, a few furlongs ahead, another one emerges, leaps, a hen-sized bird–shimmering black body, silvery white … Read More

Tiger Crossing, Tadoba

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This image was taken in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in March 2010. The road is used equally by wildlife, villagers (on foot, bicycles and motorbikes), tourist safari jeeps, forest department vehicles and state transport buses.

The ongoing voluntary resettlement of villagers from various villages inside the reserve would over time lessen traffic on these roads and reduce pressure on tigers and their habitat. … Read More

Leopard Cat Roadkill, Arunachal Pradesh

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Sights like this are pretty common along the Tezpur-Tawang highway (Tezpur – Bhalukpong – Tenga Cantonment – Bomdila – Dirang – Sela pass – Tawang) in NE India. While the road climbs through fantastic jungle adjoining the protected areas on Nameri, Pakke and Eaglenest the well-maintained road (mainly for army movement) attracts a heavy toll on wildlife through roadkills. … Read More