Declaring Wildlife as Vermin — Legalising Hunting?

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Uttarakhand, Bihar and Himachal Pradesh have had – in recent months – notifications issued by the Central Government stating that select species of wildlife have been declared as vermin in specified areas. In other words for a specified period, in these areas, the wild pig in Uttarakhand, wild pig and Nilgai in Bihar and Rhesus Macaque in Himachal Pradesh are shifted to schedule five of the Wildlife Protection Act. Besides, Maharashtra and Telangana have had culling orders issued by the … Read More

Hybridisation Threat in the Himalaya

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The Himalayan wolf was only recently distinguished as the oldest lineage within Canis lupus, yet little is known about its ecology, distribution and behavior. In Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, the wolf population was last estimated in 1995 at 350 individuals, and is listed as protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. Due to human-induced pressures, this incredibly unique wolf lineage faces a variety of threats. Additionally, feral dogs have been known to endanger wild canid populations through … Read More

The Great Snow Leopard Camera Trap Expedition

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Snow leopards are elusive animals. The regions they inhabit are remote and extremely difficult to negotiate, adding to the aura around them. Regular monitoring is key to understanding their occurrences. However, the lack of skilled resources has often posed a challenge to monitoring these beautiful species.

In 2013, the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department (HPFD) along with Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) and the Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) initiated an effort to plug this vital gap. The HPFD along with NCF and … Read More

Healthy Dogs, Healthy Cats — Containing Feral Dogs to Protect Wildlife

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Feral dogs kill more livestock in Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh region than snow leopards and wolves combined. Now, conservationists and local communities are teaming up to contain the canines and protect local wildlife.

In India’s Spiti region, an unlikely threat to wildlife has emerged over the last few of years: feral dogs. Kaza, Spiti’s capital, only has 300 households – but as many as 250 feral dogs. They roam free, without proper homes, care and attention. These dogs have … Read More

Stoat, Jispa, Himachal Pradesh

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The stoat (Mustela erminea) is a small, specialized predator of alpine and temperate forests.

According to Wikipedia, the stoat does not dig its own burrows, instead using the burrows and nest chambers of the rodents it kills. The skins and underfur of rodent prey are used to line the nest chamber. The nest chamber is sometimes located in seemingly unsuitable places, such as among logs piled against the walls of houses. The stoat also inhabits old and rotting stumps, under … Read More

Snow Leopard Research Centre To Be Setup At Kibber In Spiti

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One of the first tasks under the funds received from Project Snow Leopard, will be used to setup a research center at Kibber in Spiti, says the Himachal Pradesh Chief Wildlife Warden AK Gulati. A lot of conservation interest has sprung up after the animal has been declared as the state animal. It is proposed to spend Rs. 30 lakhs on the center in the first year. Project Snow Leopard has Rs 5.5 crore allocation, spread over Himachal Pradesh, Jammu … Read More

Zero Breeding of Western Tragopan in Sarahan Breeding Centre

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The Western Tragopan, a highly endangered and globally threatened pheasant will not be bred in the Sarahan Breeding Centre this year. This is to allow the birds to recover from an e-coli infection last year that left them very weak. There are 19 birds in captivity. Last year they had bred 17 fertilized eggs of which only one hatched. The chick died soon after. Three adult birds had also died and post mortem findings narrowed the cause to e-coli infection. … Read More

Enhanced protection for Tigers leaves Leopards vulnerable to Poaching

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Poachers have shifted their attention to leopards, now that tigers are being protected with zeal. Leopard body parts are sold as tiger body parts. Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are said to be the epicentre of this trade. Conservationists allege that for every tiger there are 10 leopards being poached. Leopards live on the fringes of the forests and are more vulnerable to poaching. There is a call for an accurate leopard census by the government.… Read More

Three leopard skins seized in Himachal Pradesh

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With the assistance of Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), the HP police succeeded in seizing three leopard hides, including one of a cub, from three accused with each possessing a leopard hide from tehsil Sangrah of district Sirmaur in Himachal Pradesh.

One of the accused, Mahindra Singh from village Kajwan of the area, is a Government school headmaster.… Read More