Local Hunting and Conservation of Large Mammals

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Hunting wildlife for the pot and for commercial sale is far more widespread than most people realize, and is leading to an ‘empty forest’ syndrome in many parts of the country.  M.D. Madhusudan and K. Ullas Karanth conducted a fascinating study on local hunting around two wildlife reserves in Karnataka. These are the results of their study, excerpted from their original scientific paper published in Ambio in 2002.

  • Mammals that weigh over one kilo are the most prone to hunting
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Mining and its aftermath

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Iron ore was discovered in Kudremukh in 1913, when P. Sampath Iyengar, a geologist from Mysore, set out on a quest for the mineral.  As he rode along the Bhadra River he noticed that fine particles of ore had adhered to his horse’s shoes. Following the trail, he finally reached the Aroli range of hills and discovered Kudremukh’s iron-ore deposits. However, full-scale mining operations only began decades later, when the Iranian government, under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi — the Shah of … Read More

Dog chasing Sambhar, Kudremukh National Park

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This is an image I took of domestic dogs chasing a sambhar fawn in Singsara river in Kudremukh National Park.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that India alone is home to 25-30 million domestic dogs. When such high numbers of dogs include even a small amount of wildlife in their diet, collectively they can have a serious impact.

Dogs also harbour several diseases that can be deadly not only to humans (such as rabies) but to wild carnivore species … Read More

Bhadra River Recovering after Stoppage of Mining in Kudremukh

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The picture of the Bhadra River on the left loaded with silt after a heavy rainstorm was taken on 30th September 2002, during an inspection by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) as ordered by the Supreme Court. The photo on the right, showing the clear waters of the Bhadra River was taken on 18th October 2010, again after a heavy rainstorm, from the same location, five years after mining was stopped by the Apex Court based on a petition filed … Read More

Dholes near Karkala, Kudremukh

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On Sunday, June 22, 2014 we set out from Karkala, as usual, for a birdwatching and photography trip. We decided to explore Samse village close to Kudremukh town.

The monsoon got delayed this year, but it did rain heavily in the 3rd week of June. We were enjoying a downpour while driving through the dense shola forest of Kudremukh NP. At around 10:35AM we reached the South Canara Border (SK border), on to the left of the road I saw … Read More

Tribal Family Prefers Voluntary Relocation Over Forest Rights

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On January 17, 2014, Padmaiah Malekudiya, whose family had been living on about 2 acres of encroached forestland in Bijjale enclosure, Mala Village of Karkala Taluk, Kudremukh, chose to renounce the rights he had acquired under the Forests Rights Act, 2006 in favor of a fresh start and a better life outside, thanks to fair and just compensation from the government.

Through a landmark order dated 9th January 2014, the Deputy Commissioner of Udupi, M. T. Reju, provided a compensation … Read More

DV Girish wins RBS ‘Protect the Tiger’ Award

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Veteran conservationist, D.V. Girish has been conferred the ‘Protect the Tiger’ award by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), a subsidiary of the RBS Group, for his life-long commitment towards protecting Karnataka’s Bhadra Tiger Reserve and its surrounding landscape in the Western Ghats.

A resident of Chikmagalur, Girish has been a staunch wildlife conservationist for over two decades. His most significant contribution to conservation was the catalytic role he played in facilitating the government sponsored voluntary relocation of more than … Read More

Conservation swap restores corridor in a biodiversity hotspot

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The attached link is of a news item by Prerna Bindra of WCS-India from the current issue of Oryx, regarding a valuable “conservation swap” that resulted from an inspection by the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of Government of India a couple of years ago in Kudremukh National Park, Karnataka.

Read the detailed case study on Conservation India. … Read More

Wildlife Gains 25 km Corridor in Kudremukh in Unique “Conservation Swap”

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In a precedent-setting “conservation swap” initiated by the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), and the Karnataka Forest Department, a 25 km long wildlife corridor disrupted by a 220 KVA power transmission line in Kudremukh National Park has been restored. The line was originally supporting the now defunct Kudremukh Iron Ore Company (KIOCL)’s mining operations, shut down by the Supreme Court in response to litigation by local wildlife conservation groups.

The Karnataka government had … Read More

Union Minister’s Letter Delays Extension Of Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Notification

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Union minister for corporate affairs, Dr. M. Veerappa Moily has written a letter to the Union environment minister, Jayanthi Natarajan, asking that a decision to include 455.96 sq kms of land with the Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuary, be reconsidered. Wildlife experts and enthusiasts are enraged that this maybe the work of timber and mini-hydel mafias. Moily’s letter states that the inhabitants are in fear of losing their agricultural land. The Joint director of Wildlife has forwarded the letter to the Principal … Read More

BR Hills and Kudremukh to Become Tiger Reserves

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Union Minister for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh said that the government had approved two more tiger reserves in Karnataka. BR hills in Chamrajnagar district and Kudremukh in Chikmagalur district would become the country’s 40th and 41st tiger reserves. This takes the number of tiger reserves in Karnataka upto six.… Read More

Karnataka Forest Department seeking Tiger Reserve Status for Kudremukh National Park

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The Karnataka State Forest Department is seeking a Tiger Reserve Status for the Kudremukh National Park (KNP). Recently, the Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple Wildlife (BRT) Sanctuary was given the tiger reserve status by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). Union Minister Jairam Ramesh has also recently directed the state government to submit a proposal to declare KNP as a tiger reserve and also to shift machinery and infrastructure of the Kudremukh Iron Ore company that is lying inside the park. There … Read More

Lessons from Voluntary Resettlement in the Western Ghats

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K.Ullas Karanth and Krithi Karanth on the lessons learned from resettlement projects in three important protected areas in the Western Ghats — Nagarahole, Bhadra and Kudremukh.

Forests in the Western Ghats occur as fragmented strips within a larger landscape matrix of crops and tree plantations. Reserves in the Ghats cover only twelve per cent of total area and the average reserve size is 243 sq km; the fourteen legally protected areas in the Ghats cover a total of only 6400 … Read More

Bhadra River recovering from siltation impact after stoppage of Mining in Kudremukh

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The picture of the Bhadra River on the top loaded with silt after a heavy rainstorm was taken on 30th September, 2002 during the inspection by the Central Empowered Committee as ordered by the Supreme Court. The picture below showing the clear waters of the Bhadra River was taken on 18th October 2010 after a heavy rainstorm from the same location, five years after mining was stopped by the Apex Court based on a petition filed by Wildlife First. This … Read More

Jairam Wants Karnataka Chief Minister To Declare Kudremukh Park A Tiger Reserve

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Union Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh has asked Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to declare the Kudremukh National Park (KNP) as a tiger reserve saying that such a move would strengthen tiger landscapes and, thereby, forestry conservation.… Read More

The Kudremukh Saga — A Triumph for Conservation

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December 31st, 2005 was an environmentally historic day that went virtually unnoticed, even by most environmentalists.  It was the day on which a landmark judgment of the Supreme Court of India took effect, bringing the curtain down on a mining operation that was causing havoc in the Western Ghats of Karnataka.  The Supreme Court’s order was all the more remarkable because what was closed down was no two-bit operation but a massive, government-owned, export-oriented, profit making mining operation of the Read More