This unusual image of a Greater Flamingo chick on the back of its mother (?) was taken by me on 22 January in Dholpur, Rajasthan, at the Hussain Sagar water body. The waterbody derives its name from Hussain Pur, a nearby village, and is fed by rain water. Even though there is anthropogenic disturbance at this site — buffaloes enter the water and people wash their clothes here everyday — a small group of Greater Flamingos have been at the … Read More
Would you walk away from a tiger lying 10 feet in front of you? Well, I did and only for the lure of that elusive, enigmatic predator – the leopard. We were at Ranthambore, face to face with a handsome male tiger (T6 aka Romeo) when our guide Hemraj suggested that we head off to a nearby waterhole to wait at a leopard’s spotted deer kill. The reluctance was momentary, the chance of a leopard on a kill was too … Read More
The Indian subcontinent records both Red (or Grey) Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) and Red-necked Phalarope. Both are Arctic breeders that spend the non-breeding (winter) season at sea in the south Pacific, with the Red-necked Phalarope also in the Arabian Sea, and Red off West Africa. Red-necked Phalaropes migrate overland in Europe and Asia, and are encountered in inland wetlands, but Red Phalarope is a vagrant and occur inland only when storm-driven.
On 18 April 2012, Range Forest Officer (RFO) … Read More
A leopard was captured in a village from Bauli Tehsil of Sawai Madhopur District and released in Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary, 40 km away from the leopard’s territory. The leopard was just spotted by villagers and summoned the forest department to remove it. After 3 days, the leopard found its way back to its homerange as typically happens. On the way back, it encountered villagers and accidentally injured a child. A chaos ensued, and during the (second) forest department rescue operation, … Read More
Jiwan Das, an associate of the notorious poacher Juhru was sentenced to five years imprisonment by a court in Alwar, Rajasthan. He is accused in six cases of tiger poaching. The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has assisted in the prosecution related to a case pertaining to the poaching of a tiger in Sariska on May 24, 2003. Jiwan Das was also fined Rs 40,000. Proceedings are also ongoing against two of his accomplices. Jiwan Das has also been sentenced … Read More
An illegal construction of a canal to connect the Kushalipura nalla to the Manasarovar dam, threatens to destroy a corridor that connects Ranthambore National Park to the Sawai Mansingh sanctuary. Wild animals can cross the two protected areas that run parallel to each other, at only two points, as high hills and three villages block the other points. The canal is all set to block the most often used of the two points.
Ex-forest minister NN Meena laid the foundation … Read More
An endangered male Lesser Florican (Sypheotides indicus) displays in the Sonkhaliya grasslands in Ajmer, Rajasthan. Most of Sonkhaliya have been converted into agricultural fields and the remaining into shrub land of the invasive Prosopis juliflora. Surprisingly, in a recent survey more than 150 male floricans were seen in the Sonkhaliya area of about 100 square kilometers. This author (G.S. Bhardwaj — a scientist at the Wildlife Institute of India) who conducted the survey in NW India observed … Read More
Atleast five army jawans participating in an exercise in the Indo-Pak border have been found to have hunted chinkara for meat. After being informed by villagers, officials from the state forest department rushed to the army camp and recovered the severed heads of the gazelles besides the uncooked meat. The officials also recovered the vehicle used in the hunting, which had bloodstains on it. The jawans fled the camp when the officials conducted the raid. They have been booked under … Read More
The rare Yellow-eyed Pigeon, at the turn of the 19th century, used to migrate to India in swarming flocks during winter. However, habitat destruction and unrestrained hunting had driven them out of their wintering grounds in India. But now, the highly vulnerable species is making a comeback and favors the Tal Chhapar wildlife sanctuary in Churu district, Rajasthan. In 2009, the pigeons had flown into Tal Chhapar in small groups and repeated the act again in 2010. This year, the … Read More
A recent study by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) says that Ranthambore’s tigers show a loss of genetic diversity over the years, due to the tigers being an isolated population without any genetic exchange. Ranthambore’s tigers used to take the Chambal river route to the Kuno sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. But due to the flattening of the river banks, the tigers stopped using this route for dispersal and there has been no gene flow between the two tiger populations. … Read More
Sariska national park in Rajasthan faces a shortage of officials willing to stay on as District Forest Officers (DFO). Officials do not want to stay in the park because of the big responsibility and the possibility of more tiger deaths. So soon after appointment, they start pulling strings to get transferred to a new location. Rajasthan’s Chief Conservator of Forests, P.S. Somshekar contends that there is a shortage of senior officials who can take up the DFO post. Three out … Read More
Alwar, June 20, 2011: In a landmark judgement, the Court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate – II, Alwar, Rajasthan convicted noted wildlife poacher Juhru and his associates, Tayyeb, Ramzan, Noora and Jiwan Das, sentencing them to a maximum imprisonment of seven years and a fine of Rs 50,000, in a case related to tiger hunting in the Sariska Tiger Reserve in 2005.
According BS Nathawat, ACF Sariska Tiger Reserve, the hunting took place in Routkhola beat of Akbarpur range, … Read More
An article in the esteemed journal Molecular Ecology has stated that African Cheetahs are genetically very different from their Asiatic Counterpart and hence has started a debate on the government’s ambitious Rs. 300 crore Cheetah reintroduction project. The article states that “Asiatic Cheetahs are unambiguously separated from African subspecies” with divergence estimates placing the split at “32,000 to 67,000 years ago”. The Asiatic subspecies is severely threatened with only 70-110 individuals existing in Iran. However, the African subspecies is present … Read More
The year 2004 was a fateful one for Bharatpur, India’s most famous bird sanctuary. In order to appease farmers belonging to particular community, the then Chief Minister of Rajasthan, issued an order diverting water from the Ajan Bund away from the Bharatpur marshes and into the fields surrounding the park, unleashing catastrophic consequences for this 250 year-old artificial wetland. Since then, Bharatpur has never been the same. While various schemes to bring water to the park are under consideration, bird … Read More
In a gross violation of Wildlife Protection Act and Forest Conservation Act, construction activity continues despite the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) ban earlier this year.
In a letter to Mr. M. K. Jiwrajka, Member Secretary, Central Empowered Committee (CEC), conservation biologist Dharmendra Khandal of Tiger Watch working in the area writes:
“You have already advised the Rajasthan state government for no construction activity in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (file no. 1-26/CEC/SC/2010-PC.XXXVIII, Dated: 8th March 2011). However, recently there is new construction … Read More
At a recent meeting of the national board of wildlife (NBWL) on 25 April, the energetic ministry of environment and forests (MOEF) cleared as many as 40 projects in three hours. The rush has left some members of the board gasping and fuming, since most of them got just 24-72 hours to study project proposals running into hundreds of pages.
One of the projects is permission for setting up the 330-megawatt Dholpur gas-based combined cycle thermal power project (stage II) … Read More
A 100 ft wide, 5-7 km long canal is being constructed in Ranthambore, between Khushalidarra and Manasarovar Lake, despite the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) banning all construction activity in Ranthambore earlier this year. The canal threatens the tiger corridor between Ranthambore and Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. The CEC had banned all activity in March, in response to a letter by conservationist Belinda Wright of the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) who had complained about dams and anicuts being constructed in … Read More
The proposed reintroduction of the Asiatic Cheetah in the Shahgarh Bulge region in Jaisalmer District of Rajasthan faces delays as both administrative and the political department has expressed reservations. The Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot met Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh on his visit to Rajasthan and conveyed that the local population was apprehensive of the fast moving animal, which they had never seen. He also conveyed that the surrounding area is under exploration for oil and natural … Read More
Cheetah is the only mammal which has become extinct in India since 1947. However, a section of natural historians believes that India did not have an indigenous cheetah population and it was introduced by the Moguls who brought them from Iran for hunting purposes. And though there are depictions of a cheetah-like animal in prehistoric cave paintings here, some think that it might just be a leopard.
This debate will persist. But our government has decided to reintroduce the cheetah. … Read More
The Central Empowered Committee constituted by the Supreme Court has ordered that all construction activity that violates the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and other court directives, be stopped. The directive is the result of a petition by Belinda Wright, executive director of Wildlife Protection Society of India. Massive construction work is being undertaken by the forest department to construct 20 big dams. The forest department is undertaking these activities in response to a severe scarcity of water last summer. … Read More
The Tiger Man, Fateh Singh Rathore, died at his home in Sawai Madhopur on March 1st, 2011. He had been suffering from lung cancer. He was 72. Fateh Singh Rathore’s legacy is the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve which he helped create in 1973 and spent almost forty years protecting and campaigning for. He was Field Director of Ranthambore and made the park world famous for its tigers. He was a vocal critic of India’s conservation policies and made enemies in the … Read More
The state of Madhya Pradesh is planning on increasing conservation activities around the Great Indian Bustard (GIB). The state has lost all the GIBs from the Karera sanctuary in Shivpuri and is left to preserve only a handful in Ghatigaon sanctuary (Gwalior). Chief Wildlife Warden HS Pabla closely monitored the conservation of the GIB in Desert National Park on his recent visit to Rajasthan, which is protecting around 100-150 GIBs. Only eight GIBs have been spotted in the last census … Read More
The Karauli police have recovered a panther skin and arrested a villager who wanted to sell it. The police are trying to find out how the accused got it but are not ruling out the possibility of poaching.
On a tip-off by NGO Tiger Watch, the Baran police arrested Hari Gujjar, a resident of Nibhera village near Keladevi Sanctuary.… Read More
A five-year-old male tiger, translocated from Ranthambore to Sariska in June 2008, on Monday was found dead within the Sariska Tiger Sanctuary by a team of Rajasthan forest officials on the trail of another four-year-old tiger “missing” since Friday.
The ambitious project to revive Sariska’s tiger population, which lost all its tigers by 2005, began in June 2008 when a tiger was translocated from Ranthambore National Park (RNP) to Sariska in a helicopter. Since then, five tigers have been translocated … Read More
JAIPUR: The beauty of the Aravalli-flanked Sariska Reserve may soon be a thing of past with Rajasthan government granting 40 new mining leases in the eco-sensitive zone, something that’ll leave the area pock-marked with quarries and pose a threat to an ambitious tiger rehab project.
The government sanctioned the leases on Tuesday on a plea that Aravalli range, where stone mining had been sanctioned, had contours less than 100 feet, which is not considered as a hill as per state … Read More