Wild Seve — Empowering People and Fostering Tolerance for Wildlife

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India’s Bandipur and Nagarahole National Parks are home to the highest densities of tigers, leopards and elephants globally. People living adjacent to these parks frequently experience crop and property damage, livestock predation and occasionally are injured or killed. As a result, the traditional tolerance that rural communities of India have for wildlife can get eroded due to continued financial losses they incur.

Wild Seve is a novel conservation initiative developed by WCS Scientist Dr. Krithi Karanth in collaboration with the … Read More

Religious Festivals Inside Protected Areas

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CI recently received this very pertinent question (in our ‘Ask CI’ section) from Suraj Kumaar of Coimbatore: “I would like to know what kind of rights for worship are provided to tribals and forest dwellers (villagers) inside PAs? We have been recording the temple festivals inside Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary over the last two years and the situation is one of absolute mayhem. Between 70,000 to 1,50,000 visitors, over 700 buses, trucks visit two temples deep inside the sanctuary. One temple, Read More

Tourist Photographs Aid Tiger Research and Monitoring

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Conservation India carried a photograph on 9th November 2016 of a tigress making a wild pig kill in Nagarahole. All tigers have stripes that are unique, just like human finger prints. To identify this tigress and trace its history, a WCS team of researchers working under my guidance rapidly matched patterns of this tigress against 850 other wild tigers, whose images are in our long-term camera trap database, maintained as part of a long-term monitoring of tiger populations in the … Read More

The Six Percent Solution — a New Recipe for Saving Wild Tigers

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21 leading conservation biologists from across the world have proposed that since it might be far too expensive and far too difficult to save all wild tigers, we should focus a major part of our efforts and expenditure on 42 selected sites that show the greatest promise. Here’s CI’s distilled version of the original paper titled Bringing the tiger back from the brink – The six percent solution.

Current approaches to tiger conservation have not succeeded in slowing the decline … Read More

Camera Trapping Reveals Exciting Secrets of Tiger Dispersal

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On 1-5-2011, Forest officials of the Shimoga Wildlife Division, had safely captured a male tiger that strayed into Gama village near Shikaripur. A decision was made by the Forest Department, based on consultation with WCS senior scientist and NTCA member Dr. Ullas Karanth, to release the tiger in Bhadra Tiger Reserve, rather than hold it in perpetual captivity. This decision was based on the fact that the tiger was estimated to be of dispersal age (about 3 years), healthy and … Read More

Expand Reserves, Involve Locals in Tiger Tourism — On Record Dr. Ullas Karanth

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Originally an engineer, Ullas Karanth decided to become a professionally trained wildlife biologist. A Senior Conservation Scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Dr Karanth has adjunct teaching faculty status at the National Centre for Biological Studies, Bangalore (part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research), and at the Department of Wildlife Biology, University of Minnesota. He has conducted pioneering long-term research on the ecology of tigers and other large mammals. Dr Karanth was elected member of the Indian Academy … Read More

Q: I would like to know what kind of rights for worship are provided to tribals and forest dwellers (villagers) inside PAs? We have been recording the temple festivals inside Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary over the last two years and the situation is one of absolute mayhem. Between 70,000 to 1,50,000 visitors, over 700 buses, trucks visit two temples deep inside the sanctuary. One temple, Karuvannarayar, is 18 kms from the Forest Checkpost and the Masi Temple is close to 45 kms deep inside the Moyar valley. Liquor flows freely, animal sacrifice is rampant, plastics, tree felling, open air cooking in dry scrubland is causing enormous stress. The land otherwise is a haven for wildlife with the highest density of tigers reported here. The Forest Department is a mute spectator. Kindly advice.

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We requested Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee of Wildlife First, to field this question. Since many PAs are plagued by similar problems, we think that his answer has wide relevance and so we decided to publish a detailed answer in our articles section.Read More

Over Fifty Tigers Dead This Year: WPSI Report

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Statistics collated by the Wildlife Protection Society Of India (WPSI) indicate that 51-tigers have perished so far in 2011. Uttarakhand leads the states with 14-deaths followed by Karnataka with six and Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh with five each. A tiger killed by policemen using AK-47 machine guns outside Kaziranga National Park in Assam on Monday (5th Nov. 2011) is the latest in that list.

The WPSI Wildlife Crime Database has records of over 19,100 wildlife crimes involving more than 400 … Read More

Coal Mining Destroying Critical Tiger Habitat Around Tadoba Tiger Reserve

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New Delhi, 22 November, 2011: Coal mining poses a serious threat to tigers in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur region, near the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) and must be reined in. This is the verdict of a Fact Finding Mission to the area organized by Greenpeace India, consisting of wildlife experts Praveen Bhargav and Biswajit Mohanty and environmental lawyer Rahul Choudhary.

The team released its findings and recommendations in a report titled “Undermining Tadoba’s Tigers” at a press conference in New Delhi. … Read More

Rampant Mining Poses Threat To Tadoba Says Expert Wildlife Panel

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Rampant coal mining in Chandrapur and its surrounding areas in Maharashtra pose a grave threat to tigers. A fact-finding team, comprising of Praveen Bhargav, Biswajit Mohanty and environment lawyer Rahul Choudhary, released its findings and recommendations in a report titled, “Undermining Tadoba’s tigers” said that no new mines should be given forest clearance in the region and further expansion of mines in operation should be stopped. The team has visited the area in September of this year, interacted with villagers, … Read More

Conservationists Win Legal Battle in Bhadra Tiger Reserve

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In a tough legal battle conservationists, succeeded in stalling two projects that would have upset the ecologically fragile eco-system buffering the Bhadra Tiger Reserve in Chikmagalur district.

One was a 124 windmill project to be set-up by Karnataka Renewal Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) subleased to BB Hills Wind Farm Development for a period of 30-years on the Bababudangiri Hills and the other was a resort-cum-spa, promoted by Bangalore-based Brigade Hospitality Services, in collaboration with the Singapore-based Banyan Tree Hotels and … Read More

Tiger Road, Tadoba

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A tiger walks on the main road in Mohurli Range in the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) completely oblivious to the humans and vice versa! There are still villages within the tiger reserve but slowly the ongoing voluntary resettlement is helping villagers find an alternative outside the park — a win-win for both tigers and villagers. … Read More

Corbett Records Highest Tiger Deaths on its 75th anniversary

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Corbett reserve and surrounding areas in Uttarakhand have recorded the highest tiger mortality rate this year. TRAFFIC India, a wildlife trade monitoring agency, has recorded 19 deaths in Corbett this year. Park management maintains that most of the deaths were natural. Observers are concerned that the high tourist numbers in Corbett are affecting tiger’s migratory habits and bringing them more into conflict with surrounding villages. According to the head of TRAFFIC India, the biggest threat faced by Corbett’s tigers is … Read More

Nagzira — Navegaon Reserve Area in Maharashtra To Be Expanded

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An earlier plan to include only the existing area of Nagzira and Navegaon in a proposed tiger reserve, has been shelved in favour of a new and better one, by adding more areas and creating a 556.12 sq km reserve. This will be done by including adjoining forests that come under the territorial wing and the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM). Thus, an additional area of 117.68 sq km will be added to Navegaon and 151.75 sq km will … Read More

Resource Crunch Affecting Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve

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Bandhavgarh tiger reserve is facing a shortage of resources and a crunch in funds is affecting the resettlement of 12 villages situated within the reserve. There is a need for a minimum of 240 staff, including forest guards, range officers and foresters to maintain the reserve, says CK Patil, the field director of the tiger reserve. The park is spread across 716 sq km and according to the last census there are 59 tigers inside, the highest density of tigers … Read More

Conservationists Oppose PIL to Ban Tiger Tourism in India

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The Supreme Court is hearing a PIL filed by social activist, Ajay Dubey, which proposes banning tourism in the country’s tiger reserves. Dubey’s contention is that excessive tiger tourism is disturbing the natural habits of tigers and also points to an incident earlier this year, where a tourist vehicle struck and killed a tigress and the subsequent death of two cubs she was rearing.

Many activists and tour operators contend that tiger tourism should be better managed, but resist calling … Read More

Annual Tiger Census to Start in Arunachal Pradesh this Month

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The annual tiger census in Arunachal Pradesh will be conducted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) this month. The tiger numbers in Namdapha and Pakke, the two tiger reserves in Arunachal, would be determined using scientific methods and reputed NGOs are to be involved in the process. The NTCA will provide all the equipment necessary as well as the training required for the field staff. Camera traps are to be placed at a distance of 1 km for 35 … Read More

Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary Expanded

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The Tamil Nadu forest department has issued a notification expanding the area under the Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary from the current 52,434 hectares to 1.41 lakh hectares, by adding seven reserve forests to the sanctuary. According to the last wildlife census, the sanctuary is home to one fourth of the elephant population in the state. It is also a unique habitat where tigers, elephants and blackbucks co-exist. Hyenas and vultures exist in the larger numbers here than anywhere else in the … Read More

Sariska National Park Faces Shortage of Officials

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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

Proposal to Include Buffer Areas of Manas Under Field Director Control

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The Management Effectiveness Evaluation brought out by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has recommended that the buffer areas of the Manas Tiger Reserve under the control of Manas’ field director. Manas was notified as a tiger reserve in 2008, with 500 sq km as the core area and 2,337.10 sq km as buffer. Currently, the buffer areas are under the control of the Forest Chief of the Bodoland Territorial Council. The core … Read More

Steady Decline in Tiger’s Habitat Goes Against Tiger Estimation Report Conclusions

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Tiger habitat in the country has been steadily declining in India. Between 2006 to 2010 the country has lost 20,000 sq km of tiger habitat bringing the area down to 72,800 sq km. Close to 30% of the population is outside tiger reserves and there is no real strategy to deal with the situation. The fragmented habitats and shrinking corridors between protected areas mean that young tigers have no room to disperse and create new territories. There are some bright … Read More

Environment Ministry Asks Chattisgarh to Propose Tiger Reserve Status for Guru Ghasidas National Park

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The Union Environment Ministry has asked Chattisgarh to submit a proposal to the National Tiger Conservation Authority asking for Guru Ghasidas National Park to be declared a Tiger Reserve. The national park lies in between Madhya Pradesh’s Bandhavgarh and Jharkhand’s Palamau tiger reserves. It is also contiguous with Madhya Pradesh’s Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has said that this would make for the largest landscape for tiger conservation in this part of Central India. Wildlife Institute of … Read More

NTCA Sets up Ten Member Committee to Monitor Land Use Practices in Tiger Reserves

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The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has set-up a 10-member expert panel to monitor land-use practices like mining, road construction and railway lines that affect tiger habitats. The panel will draw upon the best practices prevailing in other countries. The panel will examine current demands for diversion of habitat areas towards infrastructure projects in the tiger range states. It will also make recommendations for harmonising land use vis-a-vis tiger conservation in India. The panel will submit its report in six … Read More

Jairam Ramesh Pushes for More Protection for Tigers in Similipal National Park

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Mr. Jairam Ramesh has written a letter to Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asking for more safeguard measures for Tigers in Orissa. He has suggested at-least eight measures and has also asked the Orissa Chief Minister to intervene personally. The letter has been prompted by the visit of a senior official from the National Tiger Conservation Authority to Similipal National Park, who appraised Jairam Ramesh about the situation. The letter recommends that a small contingent of the state armed force … Read More