Conserving Shared Spaces for People and Predators

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Conservation of carnivores and their habitats is a complex challenge. Many of India’s carnivore species continue to share space with humans, and this necessitates understanding human-carnivore interactions to minimize conflict and foster co-existence. A recent study by researchers from the Centre for Wildlife Studies, University of Florida, Wildlife Conservation Society-India and USA, and Duke University examined interactions between humans and carnivores (dhole, Indian wolf, Indian fox, golden jackal and striped hyena) in the Kanha-Pench corridor in central India.

The study … Read More

First Records of Preorbital Gland Opening in Rare Wild Barasingha, Kanha TR, Madhya Pradesh

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The opening of the preorbital gland in deer serves as a visual communication and has been linked to a wide variety of behavioural situations. As we reported recently, all previous long-term studies on preorbital gland opening were carried out on only one species, whereas case reports on six other rarely studied species have shown associations with different behaviours, thus greatly increasing our overall understanding of the real function of this gland in animal visual communication.

Here, we report for the … Read More

Central Indian Landscape Symposium (CILS), Dec 2016

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The Central Indian Landscape Symposium (CILS) was organized in Pench Tiger Reserve (MP) from 14th to 17th December, 2016. It was the second of a bi-annual symposia aimed at bringing together researchers, conservationists and managers working in the Central Indian Highlands to share their perspectives and findings, and develop networks for collaborative future work in the region. It was organized by WWF-India, Satpuda Foundation and the Network for Conserving Central India – a network of researchers, NGOs and managers dedicated … Read More

Tiger vs. Cow: Risk Models Help Beat the Odds

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A tiger and a cow meet in a jungle. The scenario is tragically predictable: tiger kills cow, cow’s owner kills tiger. Yet in India, where repeated conflict can amount to sizeable livelihood losses and tiger declines, predicting where the scenario plays out is far from easy. However, a simple statistical method applied to mapping human-carnivore conflict could up the odds by helping people anticipate high-risk hotspots.

Our study, published in Ecology and Evolution, explored a technique that could be … Read More

Compensation for Coexistence — Lessons from Kanha

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Although attacks by tigers and leopards on livestock cause devastating losses to owners around Kanha Tiger Reserve in Central India, villagers now rarely retaliate. A prompt compensation scheme by Reserve authorities may be the secret to saving cattle-killing big cats in the wild.

(The author has adapted this article from its original publication form, which appeared in Frontline)

Sweat running from every pore, Vishal exhaled with relief at the sight of his dead buffalo. For two days he … Read More

Protected Areas and Beyond

Krithi K. Karanth Articles Leave a Comment

Authors Ruth DeFries, Krithi K. Karanth and Sajid Pareeth propose the designation of a ‘Zone of Interaction’ (ZOI) around reserves encompassing hydrologic, ecological and socioeconomic interactions between a reserve and the surrounding landscape, in their paper, “Interactions between protected areas and their surroundings in human-dominated tropical landscapes,” published in Biological Conservation in 2010.

There are 683 Reserves covering less than 5 per cent of total land area in India today. Most of these reserves are embedded in human-dominated landscapes. Land … Read More

Tiger – Gaur Face-off, Bandhavgarh

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I was on a evening drive in the Magdhi zone of Bandhavgarh national park when I came across this big male tiger. He was walking along the fence that was erected to contain gaur when they were reintroduced to Bandhavgarh from Kanha. Suddenly the tiger froze. I couldn’t figure out why. He had certainly detected something,  but I couldn’t see it. After about ten minutes he walked back on the road and suddenly I saw him face to face with … Read More

Modeling Conflict Hotspots and Compensation Access in Central India

Krithi K. Karanth Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

Human-wildlife conflicts are among the most pressing conservation challenges today. Krithi K. Karanth, Arjun M. Gopalaswamy, Ruth DeFries and Natasha Ballal survey 735 households in a 5000 sq km area around Kanha National Park to model and map conflict hotspots and compensation access reported by people. These are highlights of their study from a paper published in the journal PloS One.

  • Surveys and interviews with 735 local residents from 347 villages surrounding Kanha.
  • Crop loss was reported by 73% of
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Wildlife Tourism – New Study, New Revelations

Krithi K. Karanth Articles, Featured Article 2 Comments

Wildlife tourism has averaged 15% growth in India, mirroring many countries. This growth is reflected in the increase in visitors to many Indian protected areas. Krithi K. Karanth, Ruth DeFries, Arjun Srivathsa and Vishnupriya Sankaraman examine the attitudes and perceptions of visitors to three of India’s most popular and well known National Parks and Tiger Reserves, namely Nagarahole, Kanha and Ranthambore.

These are the highlights of their study from a forthcoming paper in the journal Oryx.

  • Wildlife tourism
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Hand-reared and Reintroduced Panna Tigress T4 Gives Birth to Cubs

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A tigress raised in captivity (T4) and transolcated and released in Panna, has given birth to cubs. She had been rescued at the age of three from the Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. The reintroduction was carried out by the Madhya Pradesh forest department with scientific inputs and monitoring by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII). WII scientist Dr K Ramesh, who leads the post-release monitoring programme for tiger reintroduction, has called it a landmark development but also cautioned … Read More

Central India Loses Four Tigers

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Central India has lost four tigers in the past two and half weeks. The male tiger, 14-year old B2 who was a legend in Bandhavgarh national park, died yesterday after a territorial fight with another tiger. B2 was rescued on the 20th after being found with multiple injuries on his bodies and legs, but died on the way to Shahdol. A four to five year old male was trapped and killed in a wire snare just 500 feet from the … Read More

Tiger Sightings in Central Indian Forest Corridors

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A WWF-India Carnivore Sign Study in the Central Indian Forest corridors has found evidence, including direct sightings, of tigers using the corridors. Joseph Vattakaven, Tiger coordinator, WWF-India says the sightings strengthen the conviction that tigers spilling over from Kanha and Pench need these corridors to disperse safely. Tigers that lose out on competition and sub-adults often move out of the reserve into other areas through these corridors. This also ensures their long term survival by preventing in-breeding. … Read More

Tourism, But Not at the Cost of Wilderness

Prerna Singh Bindra Articles, The Featured Posts Leave a Comment

Unregulated tourism in tiger reserves has created quite a furore of late, with even the Prime Minister Dr Man Mohan Singh writing to Chief Ministers of Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh cautioning against “unregulated and unplanned tourism,” following a report and media outcry on the negative impact of tourism on tigers and other wildlife on Corbett.

Resorts (along with other construction) is blocking critical tiger and elephant corridors, there is government infrastructure on crucial grasslands,  too many vehicles enter parks, some … Read More