Roads. Possibly the most common habitat in India today. On March 31, 2018, India had 6,603,293km of roads or 1.70km of roads per square kilometre of area (according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways). It is the second largest road network in the world. Unfortunately, the most common habitat is very often not the refuge of the living. Roads take away crucial habitat from wildlife, often planned at the expense of our biodiversity-rich forests and countryside. They also … Read More
During the night of 29-Dec-2017, an adult male tiger T2 from Bor Tiger Reserve fell prey to the killer highway NH-6 that cuts the vital corridor between Bor and Melghat Tiger Reserves in Maharashtra. Despite repeated appeals by conservationists no mitigation structures were built on the highway. Read TOI Nagpur report on the incident. T2, King of Bor (affectionately known as Bajirao), was about 8-years old and in his prime. He often shuttled between Bor and Kalmeshwar, which is … Read More
Roadkills: A Citizen Science Initiative: For win-win solutions to minimise wild animal deaths along roads, irrigation canals and railway lines.
Roadkills is a Citizen Science Initiative to collect data on mortality of wild animals on roads, irrigation canals or railway lines in India.
This Citizen Science Project endeavours to engage with concerned citizens across the country. We hope that the data collected will be useful to researchers and infrastructure planners across the country to help in reducing wildlife mortality, install … Read More
I was riding back from Karwar to Bangalore, when, 30 Kms before Davangere, on NH4 (Now NH48), at around 8:30 a.m., I saw a man standing on the roadside staring at something. At first I passed it off as a log of wood, but as I got closer, I realized that it was the carcass of a pangolin (Manis crassicaudata). The animal had visibly damaged scales on its right shoulders and a bleeding right paw. One of its … Read More
The ongoing controversy about widening National Highway 7 (NH7) has highlighted the inevitable trade-offs in conservation and development. Conservation groups and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have been at logger-heads. The former contend that widening the parts of NH7 that pass through Kanha and Pench Tiger Reserves will further fragment an important wildlife refuge and corridor. NHAI opposed the high costs of wildlife-friendly mitigation measures, and agreed to build underpasses and overlays only after the Supreme Court’s intervention. Nonetheless, … Read More
This Desert Fox (Vulpes vulpes pusilla) roadkill, was photographed on November 4, 2017, on the way to village Charwas, one km from the forest guest house of Tal Chhapar Blackbuck Sanctuary. This road was renovated a year back.
A healthy population exists of both desert and Indian foxes in the Guashala region of Chhapar. The desert fox, also known as the white-footed fox, can be identified by the dark upper-half behind the left ear and white-tipped tail. Many fox dens … Read More
One of the major factors affecting faunal survival is our road network. Road kills are documented widely and affect all taxonomic groups, especially in protected areas. Animals don’t recognise a road as a hazard. Often, the road might have cut through a continuous patch of forest, and animals will have to cross these man-made roads in search of food, mates and other resources, like water.
On a recent trip while driving on the Amboli ghat road, we came across this … Read More
This dead Chestnut-winged Cuckoo was found (probably hit by a speeding vehicle) by the photographer just outside the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary (also known as the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary) in Ernakulam district on the northern bank of the Periyar river. A very unfortunate sight given that the bird has become a rarity in India.
This haunting image of a dead Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) was taken on the main road to Bhimashankar temple. We sighted this otherwise nocturnal creature first thing in the morning in this sad state, likely killed by a speeding vehicle at night. Bhimashankar Temple is a Jyotirling shrine (a major site of worship for Lord Shiva; one of 12 in the country) located in the Sahyadri hills near Pune, in Maharashtra.
As though to justify a road-side sign warning vehicles to go slow, an Indian gaur crosses the road in front of a motorcyclist. This image was taken late in the evening on the outskirts of Valparai, Tamil Nadu.
Valparai has vast tracts of tea estates that are surrounded by forests. As the day comes to an end, gaur move from the forest patches to graze on the grass growing within tea estates. This is the time at which they are … Read More
Title: The Handbook of Road Ecology
Editors: Rodney van der Ree; Daniel Smith and Clara Grilo
Linear infrastructure, such as roads, railways, power lines, pipelines, tracks and trails and the vehicles that travel on them are critical to supporting economic growth and development. However, the ecological impacts of linear infrastructure and vehicles can be massive, and usually negative. These impacts include habitat loss, fragmentation of habitats and populations, mortality of wildlife due to collision with vehicles, … Read More
The NH-37 from Guwahati to Tinsukia in Assam weaves through some really magnificent Terai forests and grasslands in the Brahmaputra floodplains. It is also a highly populated landscape. I was driving overnight on NH37 on 28th February 2015 to Tinsukia. Around midnight, near Demow, in Sibsagar District, I saw a small gathering on the road and I assumed that there had been an accident. It was indeed an accident but of a different nature. It was a roadkill of a … Read More
Urgent Action Needed!
Effective speed control measures to reduce wildlife road kills needed immediately as per locations suggested in report (download).
This report has been submitted to the Principal Secretary, Environment and Forests Department, Tamil Nadu and the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, Tamil Nadu Forest Department for action.
- The National Highway (NH209) passing through Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary poses a grave threat to wildlife.
- The extent of the road within the sanctuary is
This image is about how we as consumers are putting pressure on wildlife and wildlife habitats. This Desert Fox was photographed at the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) near Patdi village in Gujarat, which is said to produce a significant chunk of India’s salt. This salt also gets exported to other countries. The Rann is one of the most vibrant desert ecosystems in the world, supporting a large number of birds and mammals. This pup belongs to a den just … Read More
This article originally appeared in Cat News 60 – Spring 2014 issue.
Leopards (Panthera pardus) face severe threats from poaching, loss of habitat and killing in retaliation to conflict. However, in India a new threat appears to be emerging in the form of vehicle accident mortalities. In the past 60 months 23 leopards have been recorded as killed due to road accidents in the southern Indian state of Karnataka alone. When roads overlap with important wildlife habitats, considerable … Read More
This image was taken on June 3rd, 2014 at Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) in Tamil Nadu. We were driving from Aliyar in the foothills to Valparai and a group of around 50 tourists were cheering and screaming, we got down to see what was going on. An amazing drama was unfolding in front of us — a herd of elephants (7) were chasing away a pack of dhole (around 20) along the banks of the Aliyar reservoir!
As this road … Read More
This image is from the Agumbe – Someshwara main road in the Malnad region of Karnataka. This is a very busy road as it provides the shortest connection from Shimoga to coastal towns like Manipal, Mangalore and Udupi. Sadly, there are no signboards or speed-breakers to notify wildlife crossing areas.
The lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) is an endangered and endemic macaque found only in the tropical rainforests of the Western Ghats. These macaques can benefit from ecologically informed and … Read More
Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee, Wildlife First:
Your comment on developing alternative alignments to roads that cut through Wildlife Reserves is valid. A lot of effort has been put in by the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) to address this issue. There have been many interventions by Courts as well. So, we are moving forward but we cannot completely close down roads/highways since that would antagonise society, which will lead to the loss of public support for conservation. … Read More
The Indian porcupine (Hystrix indica) is an elusive nocturnal rodent. It is covered in multiple layers of quills. The longest ones grow from its shoulders to about a third of its length. Its tail is covered in short, hollow quills that it rattles when threatened. When attacked, it raises its quills and rattles the hollow tail quills. If the predator still persists, the porcupine launches a backwards assault, hoping to stab its attacker with its quills. It does … Read More
A young male leopard was victim of being run over at night by a speeding vehicle on 5th January, 2013. This happened on the Konanakere-Talubetta Road near the foothills of MM Hills.
Roads and highways through protected areas pose a severe conservation threat. In Karnataka, 9 of the 15 national highways pass through important wildlife habitats in the Western Ghats, while 28 state highways (out of 151) pass through the Ghats. The primary challenge … Read More
We found this huge rodent lying on the road, dying. We stopped to check what it was. We assumed that a biker who was going ahead had knocked it down, but weren’t sure. As we were discussing this, we saw a tiny animal pop out from a nullah, which was covered by dense vegetation next to the road. It immediately disappeared into the shrubs.
We initially mistook it to be a young Yellow-throated Marten. But then, out it popped again … Read More
This image was taken along the Aliyar – Valparai ghat road on 29th March 2013 in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu. Speeding two wheelers and cars on these roads pose a serious threat to this lesser known species of the Western Ghats. These squirrels had to cross the road to reach another patch of shola forest amidst tea estates. We saw another Jungle-striped Squirrel nearby. Further up, the same road turns killer to the endangered Lion-tailed macaques which … Read More
I saw this young tigress in Bandipur with a plastic bottle near its feet.
In spite of a nighttime traffic closure (see CI casestudy), the Ooty-Mysore highway (NH 67) through Bandipur Tiger Reserve causes serious disturbances to wildlife. Tourists and passersby are always stopping by the road to look at wild animals or disturbing them like feeding monkeys, getting close to already agitated elephants, honking and, not the least, speeding.
Hoever, what disturbed me most was this plastic … Read More
This leopard was found dead in a roadkill on Potoli-Ulavi Road near Chaperi Village in Gund Wildlife Range in Dandeli-Anshi Tiger Reserve in February 2011.… Read More
We came across some Lion-tailed Macaques (LTMs) at Pudhuthottam estate near Valparai. While some of the LTMs were feeding on fruits and shoots, this one was feeding on Ice Cream irresponsibly discarded by tourists. This species is in constant conflict, with some of the males even entering the main town of Valparai. Ice Cream should be the last thing this endangered species needs.
The Lion-tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus) is an endangered and endemic macaque found only in the … Read More
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