Leucistic Malabar Giant Squirrel, Mahableshwar

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

Albinism and leucism are two terms to do with the lack of pigmentation in animals, that are often confused with each other. Albinism is the complete absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes. Leucism (or leukism) is a form of partial albinism characterized by retention of color in the eyes, bill, and legs but the skin or plumage contains no color pigment.

The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is that in albinism the eyes … Read More

When Protectors Break the Law!

chaithanya.krishnan Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

On 4th May 2013, these two guards — one seen taking photos and another next to him (not in pic) — were on foot just a few metres away from this huge male tiger in the Telia range of the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. When questioned about their behavior, they were rude and said the law did not apply to them. Soon, a furious exchange of words happened between a few tourists and the guards and later a formal complaint … Read More

Plover Drenched in Oil, Navi Mumbai

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

In August 2010, two cargo ships collided off the coast of Mumbai spilling around 400 tonnes of oil into the Arabian Sea.

This image from the mangroves of Navi Mumbai shows the plight of an oil-bathed Kentish Plover in an oil-soaked habitat that was the aftermath of the incident. Oil penetrates the plumage of birds, reducing its insulating and waterproofing properties. As a result, oil-soaked birds are more vulnerable to temperature fluctuations and are much less buoyant in the water. … Read More

Catalysing Awareness — How Mumbai’s Media Represents its Leopards

superadmin Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

The common leopard (Panthera pardus) is a highly adaptable species that is found throughout the country (and beyond) in a variety of habitats, from the pristine rainforests to human-modified and dominated landscapes. Despite its ability to survive on a wide range of prey species including the wild and the domestic, the leopard population is on a downward spiral owing to intense persecution and pressures of illegal wildlife trade.

Authors Saloni Bhatia, Vidya Athreya, Richard Grenyer and … Read More

A Red-wattled Lapwing Nesting on a Roof, Mumbai

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

While Red-wattled lapwings are very often seen near human habitation, their nesting is primarily carried out only on the ground. But there have been growing records of their roof-nesting habit (Saxena 1974; Reeves 1975; Tehsin & Lokhandwala 1983; Mundkur 1985; Koshy 1989; Kumar & Sharma 2011). I have been observing this roof-nesting pair for the last 5 years and feel that this is an important case-study to be shared with the rest of the community. At no point, did I … Read More

FDA Maharashtra Issues Order on Diclofenac Malpractices in Veterinary : A Step forward

superadmin News Leave a Comment

Recent pilot surveys by our team indicated a significant lack of awareness as well as rampant malpractice among stakeholders with respect to the veterinary use of (banned) diclofenac in Pune district, Maharashtra. Typical issues reported were :

  • Lack of knowledge on the ban on veterinary use of diclofenac.
  • Unrestricted over the counter sale of diclofenac for veterinary use.
  • Easy access to human formulations of diclofenac for veterinary use.

These issues were raised with senior forest officers. In response to the … Read More

Unregulated Tourism at Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Nannaj

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week 1 Comment

There are a lot of tourism-related pressures on the critically endangered Great Indian Bustards in Nannaj, Solapur district, Maharashtra where the population is on the decline. The  population estimate for the Nannaj region is just 10-11 birds. Estimated population of the bustards in Maharashtra is around 35-40 birds. The Pune-based NGO GIB Foundation has proposed some specific recommendations for reducing tourism-related pressures for the bustards, especially during the monsoon — when bustards gather in their traditional breeding grounds — when … Read More

Flamingos of Sewri get a respite

superadmin Case Studies, Featured Case Study Leave a Comment

Mumbai. A March afternoon. The din of cars, and the hot cloying air of the city. And then, we reach the mudflats of Sewri in South Mumbai. We are, suddenly and unexpectedly, looking at a lattice of pink, scarlet and white. 10,000 Lesser Flamingos, feeding calmly. Like ballerinas, they shift their wings and legs, suffusing the air with elegance.

The noise of the city becomes distant. At the mudflats of Sewri in South Mumbai, this Spring, the Lesser and Greater … Read More

Dogs at War — Indian Wolf hounded by Feral Dogs

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

The Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallippes) though declared as an endangered species, and listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, remains an ignored species in India. Indian wolves, like most canids in India, are found in dry, degraded habitats which fail to get enough attention and protection compared to the green tracts of the country. These creatures are often found around human habitation in rural areas. Blamed for killing poultry, goats and sheep, adult wolves … Read More

Cinereous Vulture Rescue By Forest Department in Melghat

aalokrm Photos 1 Comment

This cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) was found on the first day of a line transect survey, on Feb 10th, 2012 at around 8:30 AM in the Suklihenda Valley in Dhakna Wildlife Range, under Melghat Tiger Reserve. It almost fell to the ground from what appeared to be illness or hunger. We quickly rescued it from predators and took the vulture to our range headquarters at Dhakna. It was treated here by Dr. Swapnil Sonone of Youth for Nature Conservation … Read More

Nilgai in Tadoba Fed by Humans

rajneshnaidu Photos Leave a Comment

There is a Nilgai on the banks of the Tadoba Lake in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, which has been relocated from a zoo. The Nilgai is obviously used to human presence and humans feeding it. Hence the scene shown in the picture. Animals in forests may behave in various ways due to various reasons. The onus is actually on us to refrain from interacting with them in irresponsible and dangerous ways.… Read More

Eating away their grasslands

aalokrm Photos 1 Comment

This image was taken in the short grasslands of Solapur in 2010, showing a ‘city’ construction project taking place near the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary. This picture depicts the unfortunate fate of a majority of dry, arid habitats in the country. Short grasslands in India are fast getting modified due to the expansion of agriculture and industry. Even though crop raiding species such as the Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) may seem to benefit slightly from agricultural expansion, such conversion … Read More

Road Rash in Tadoba

Nishant.Shah Photos Leave a Comment

The car pictured here was being driven rashly in Tadoba on 30th March 2012. We had stopped for some spotted deer to cross the road, but the car in the picture did not. It overtook our stationary jeep and scared the deer in the process. It could have caused a road kill too.

Editor’s note: Also read Private Vehicles – Bane of Wildlife Tourism?

 … Read More

Villagers Inside a Tiger Reserve

Nishant.Shah Photos Leave a Comment

Villagers inside the reserve area at Tadoba Tiger Reserve. Humans (locals) and animals are a threat to each other in such scenarios. Local people’s perception of surrounding forests is an important factor in their conservation. Also, in many cases, the villagers themselves want to trade the hardships of living inside forests in favour of a more modern lifestyle near cities and towns. Voluntary resettlement can be a win-win solution. Apparently four more villages are yet to be moved out of … Read More

A Wildlife Survey along the Khanduli River, outside Ranthambore

girish Photo Feature, Photos Leave a Comment

The river Khanduli emanates from the Mansarovar dam, situated south of Ranthambore National Park and heads along the Eastern boundary of Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. It gradually drifts Southeast and merges with the mighty Chambal, in the National Chambal Sanctuary. The Khanduli flows through a mixed-use landscape comprising of forest, agricultural fields and plantations. However, like the Chambal, the Khanduli river floods heavily during the monsoon and as a consequence the most dominant features along its course are its ravines. These … Read More

Flamingoes and Trucks – Birds at Lake Rajewadi, Satara District.

aalokrm Photos 1 Comment

I made this image at Rajewadi Lake, Satara, Maharashtra where even in summer, huge flocks of birds are seen. Even ‘Reversed Migrants’ like Flamingos (Greater and Lesser) and Black-tailed Godwits were seen apart from the resident Spoonbills, Painted Storks, Herons & Egrets, Small Pratincoles, Great Thick-knees, etc during this week in June. This tells us that the lake has a preferable habitat for such birds and already holds good populations. The water level seemed to be quite low because of … Read More

Forest Fire at Nagla Block of SGNP, Mumbai

Saurabh Photos Leave a Comment

We witnessed a huge forest fire while doing some field work in the Nagla Block of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai, in March 2012. It took two of us more than an hour to create a fire line and beat the fire, preventing it from spreading further west. However we couldn’t do anything about the Southern side. Perhaps the fire had been raging since the night before. Around half a square kilometre of forest on the Eastern side had already … Read More

Painted Storks — Living with Trucks and JCBs, Pune

aalokrm Photos Leave a Comment

Pune Municipal Corporation has undertaken the work of “restoring” the Pashan Lake in Pune. Lots of digging; new additions to the habitat are being made. I hope the flora & fauna present in and around the lake, benefit after the changes take place. Detailed information of the project is not yet available to me. This image shows the ‘Near Threatened’ Painted Storks with a truck carrying rocks in the background.… Read More

Private Vehicles – Bane of Wildlife Tourism?

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week 1 Comment

Screeching tyres, engines revving noisily, exhausts spewing black smoke, horns blaring, cars cutting in front of each other, people shouting and even the odd bang or two. Sounds like normal urban India? Think again, this is a scene from a safari in the heart of a tiger reserve in Maharashtra!

Some tiger reserves allow private vehicles (albeit with a forest guide) for safaris. The drivers have no sensibilities on how to drive in a forest (we barely have any road … Read More

Two tigers caught in poachers’ traps near Chandrapur; one dead

superadmin News Leave a Comment

Two tigers were caught in steel traps set by professional tiger poachers in a heart-rending incident that took place yesterday in Palasgaon Range near Chandrapur in Maharashtra. One tiger died and the other has been rescued by the Forest Department with serious injuries.

The scene of the crime was a small pond in scrub forest, only 2.5 km from the nearest village Gondmohadi which also has a forest chowki. The Forest Department had been setting up camera traps there to … Read More

Tourists Breaking Rules, Tadoba

Prabhanjan Photos 2 Comments

This image shows two tourists on foot in the Kolsa zone of Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), in Maharashtra. This happened during the afternoon safari on 10th Apr 2012. Forest authorities should take stringent action against both the tourists as well as accompanying the forest guide who allowed it. Private vehicles should also be banned inside the national park. … Read More

Unregulated Tourism at Kaas Plateau, Maharashtra.

aalokrm Photos Leave a Comment

Kaas flower plateau is Maharashtra’s valley of flowers. The plateau is located between 1200 – 1240 metres and is about 25km from Satara town. As the monsoon sets in (Sept / Oct), the plateau and the surrounding hillsides come alive with millions of blooming wild flowers. The carpet changes colour every passing day through the monsoon.

This spectacle attracts many tourists and photographers resulting in unregulated tourism causing vehicular traffic, air and noise pollution and pressure on the fragile habitat. … Read More

Developmental Activities Have ‘Seriously Impacted’ Districts Of Ratnagiri And Sindhudurg, Says Expert Panel

superadmin News Leave a Comment

The entire districts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg in southern Maharashtra have been “seriously impacted, both environmentally and socially, by a number of mining, power projects and polluting industries”, says a report submitted by the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP). The impacts mentioned include pollution (noise, air and ground water), depletion of fisheries, deforestation, siltation of water bodies and “loss of unique biodiversity elements”, among many others. The report claims that there are also numerous illegal activities in these areas … Read More