Save the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) from Extinction!

superadmin Announcements Leave a Comment

Powerlines in GIB habitat should go underground. 

The critically endangered Great Indian Bustard has disappeared from over 90% of its former range due to habitat loss, hunting, disturbance and lack of protection in many ‘lekking’ and nesting sites (see 2013 CI campaign). Now, overhead power transmission lines that crisscross its habitat are sounding the death knell of this low-flying, ground-dwelling species (see attached map). According to a study by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), as many as … Read More

Bleeding the Chambal Dry

superadmin Announcements, Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

Reckless water hoarding, diversion, sand mining and fishing are killing a pristine river that once used to recast its vast ravines every flood. Jay Mazoomdaar on the curse of the Chambal.

This article originally appeared in Tehelka, 8 March, 2013.

In a culture where rivers are worshipped, the Chambal, by all means mightier than the Yamuna, would be slighted as a tributary of the latter. Unsurprisingly, no great cities or shrines came up on its banks. This traditional isolation fostered … Read More

Great Indian Bustards near Desert National Park, Rajasthan

Ramki Sreenivasan Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

On a trip to the Desert National Park in Nov 2014, I was fortunate to see 17 bustards in a fallow field just outside the park. The image captures seven of that flock.

The critically endangered Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) is amongst the heaviest of flying birds. Less than a hundred remain in the wild, with the most (~70) being in Rajasthan, in and around the Desert National Park.

Currently (March 17 to 25, 2017), the Rajasthan forest department … Read More

Call for Entries: A Nature Writers’ Competition — WII, Dehradun, December 15, 2016

superadmin

The UNESCO Category 2 Centre for World Natural Heritage Management and Training, at the Wildlife Institute of India,Dehradun, is organising a two-venue festival in February 2017: Celebrating Natural Heritage: In Literature, Arts & Culture. The event will take place at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, and the Great Himalayan National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Himachal Pradesh.

The Natural Heritage Festival, the first of its kind in India, aims to celebrate India’s spectacular natural heritage … Read More

Hybridisation Threat in the Himalaya

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week

The Himalayan wolf was only recently distinguished as the oldest lineage within Canis lupus, yet little is known about its ecology, distribution and behavior. In Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, the wolf population was last estimated in 1995 at 350 individuals, and is listed as protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. Due to human-induced pressures, this incredibly unique wolf lineage faces a variety of threats. Additionally, feral dogs have been known to endanger wild canid populations through … Read More

Q: Are the number of tigers present in India accurate? I mean other than the national parks and the sanctuaries, are there no tigers left elsewhere? For example the forests of Goa, Uttar Kannada (not the Anshi-Dandeli Reserve), places like Karwar and the whole belt upto Mangalore?

superadmin Ask CI Leave a Comment

Answer from: Dr. Ullas Karanth, Director for Science-Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS):

The overall tiger numbers being reported by the Government, based on the Wildlife Institute of India’s surveys once in four years, are generated from a weak methodology and hence not very robust. The complicated, ‘double-sampling’ based regression model they use is a somewhat flawed and obsolete approach. Further, the quality of their estimates of tiger densities from individual sites that feed into this model vary. There are … Read More

GIB Campaign update — Rajasthan launches ‘Project Great Indian Bustard’

superadmin Campaigns Leave a Comment

With less than 200 left, will this magnificent bird be the first mega species to go extinct in India since the cheetah? Or can it be pulled back from the brink of extinction, like the California condor in America?

We are not crying wolf. A survey of recent literature — and discussions with experts — reveals that there may be less than 200 Great Indian Bustards (Ardeotis nigriceps) left in India. What’s worse, this tiny number is fragmented … Read More

India to Establish a National Database of Camera-trapped Tigers

superadmin Articles, Featured Article, Front Page Featured, The Featured Posts Leave a Comment

This piece originally appeared in the journal Oryx: Volume 47- April 2013.

Following the adoption of refined protocols for intensive annual monitoring of source populations of tiger (see Oryx, 46(4), 480), India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is now following through by establishing a country-wide database of wild tigers captured in cameratrap surveys conducted by multiple research and governmental institutions at increasing intensity across the country. The objective of this project is to assign Unique Tiger Identification (UTID) numbers to … Read More

Wildlife Institute of India — Admission to M.Sc. Course in Wildlife Science (2013-2015)

superadmin Events Leave a Comment

Wildlife Institute of India
(An Autonomous Institution of Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India)

Advertisement for the Admission to XIV M.Sc. Course in Wildlife Science (2013-2015)
Advt. No. WII/ACD/2013-15/002/Advt. M.Sc.

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehra Dun an internationally acclaimed organization in the field of Wildlife Conservation and Research invites applications from highly motivated students having passion for wilderness for its prestigious two-year Master’s Programme in Wildlife Science for the Year 2013-2015.

The Wildlife Institute of India … Read More

India Adopts a New Refined Protocol to Monitor Tigers

Prerna Singh Bindra Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

Will make India world leader in big cat monitoring, say scientists.

In a move welcomed widely by the conservation and scientific community, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has adopted new refined protocols for intensive annual monitoring of tiger source populations under ‘Phase IV’ of National Tiger Estimation. The new protocol is expected to lead to more robust estimates of population density, change in numbers over time and other crucial parameters such as survival and recruitment rates in key wild … Read More

Hand-reared and Reintroduced Panna Tigress T4 Gives Birth to Cubs

superadmin News Leave a Comment

A tigress raised in captivity (T4) and transolcated and released in Panna, has given birth to cubs. She had been rescued at the age of three from the Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. The reintroduction was carried out by the Madhya Pradesh forest department with scientific inputs and monitoring by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII). WII scientist Dr K Ramesh, who leads the post-release monitoring programme for tiger reintroduction, has called it a landmark development but also cautioned … Read More

National Level Plan Drawn To Protect Endangered Bustard And Floricans

superadmin News Leave a Comment

A draft plan for national recovery of the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) and the endangered Lesser Florican (Sypheotides indica) has been submitted by a special task force to the MoEF. The ‘Draft Guidelines for Species Recovery Programmes’– is hosted on the MoEF website. Comments/suggestions are invited from civil society owithin a week of issue of this notification, the website says.

“There is an immediate need for an executable plan both at the … Read More

Snow Leopard Research Centre To Be Setup At Kibber In Spiti

superadmin News Leave a Comment

One of the first tasks under the funds received from Project Snow Leopard, will be used to setup a research center at Kibber in Spiti, says the Himachal Pradesh Chief Wildlife Warden AK Gulati. A lot of conservation interest has sprung up after the animal has been declared as the state animal. It is proposed to spend Rs. 30 lakhs on the center in the first year. Project Snow Leopard has Rs 5.5 crore allocation, spread over Himachal Pradesh, Jammu … Read More

Ranthambore’s Isolated Tigers Face Threat Of Lack Of Genetic Diversity

superadmin News Leave a Comment

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

Proposal to Include Buffer Areas of Manas Under Field Director Control

superadmin News Leave a Comment

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

Camera Trap Images of Tigers in Andhra Tiger Reserve Point to Recovery

superadmin News Leave a Comment

Camera traps in the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) in Andhra Pradesh have captured images of a tigress and her three tiger cubs feeding on a kill. The camera trap sequences provide evidence of breeding tigers and boosts conservationists hopes of a recovery in this large landscape. The India Tiger Estimate 2010 released by the Ministry of Environment and Forests last year records that the forests of Andhra Pradesh had a decline in the population of tigers. NSTR has an area … Read More

Molecular Ecology Article Calls Cheetah Reintroduction Project Genetically Flawed

superadmin News Leave a Comment

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

Seeking Alliance with People, Government Launches Campaign for Elephants

superadmin News Leave a Comment

New Delhi, May 24, 2011: Reaching out to the people, to improve conservation and welfare prospects of the elephant – India’s National Heritage Animal, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has launched the nationwide “Haathi Mere Saathi” campaign.

“Elephants are so ingrained in Indian culture and traditions, that sometimes, we tend to take the elephant for granted. This public initiative is aimed at increasing awareness among people and developing not … Read More

Shared Concerns for Elephants Bring Together African and Asian countries at the E-8 Meet

superadmin News Leave a Comment

New Delhi, May 24, 2011: An unprecedented initiative to mobilise global cooperation in elephant conservation and welfare began today with the Elephant – 8 Ministerial Meet (E-8) in New Delhi.
The E-8, hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, in collaboration with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), brings together for the first time African and Asian nations to discuss conservation and welfare … Read More

MOEF Press Brief — Annual Intensive Tiger Monitoring Will Kickoff in November

superadmin News Leave a Comment

The annual tiger monitoring exercise will kickoff in November and will include Simlipal and Satakosia. The MoEF has made this announcement following a three day workshop where experts deliberated on the Best Management Practices in Tiger Conservation. The November census is titled Phase IV of the National Tiger Estimation Programme. The annual monitoring will be done by the respective Chief Wildlife Wardens of the reserves. The methodology will be determined by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and NTCA. Simlipal, … Read More

Tiger Sightings in Central Indian Forest Corridors

superadmin News Leave a Comment

A WWF-India Carnivore Sign Study in the Central Indian Forest corridors has found evidence, including direct sightings, of tigers using the corridors. Joseph Vattakaven, Tiger coordinator, WWF-India says the sightings strengthen the conviction that tigers spilling over from Kanha and Pench need these corridors to disperse safely. Tigers that lose out on competition and sub-adults often move out of the reserve into other areas through these corridors. This also ensures their long term survival by preventing in-breeding. … Read More

Review of the Tiger Task Force report, 2005 — Joining the Dots but Losing the Cats?

Ullas Karanth Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

After the Sariska catastrophe, and the resultant public outcry, the Prime Minister appointed a Tiger Task Force (TTF) to review the status of the species. The TTF submitted a 206-page report titled Joining the Dots in August 2005. Dr Ullas Karanth reviews the TTF report.

Maintaining ‘inviolate’ areas for wild tiger populations

The TTF recognizes that viable breeding populations of wild tigers need sufficient habitats free of incompatible human uses. It projects an area of 37,000 sq km, within boundaries … Read More

Cheetah reintroduction faces delays

superadmin News Leave a Comment

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

Madhya Pradesh plans Great Indian Bustard conservation along the lines of Desert National Park

superadmin News Leave a Comment

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

Camera trapping reveals wildlife rarely seen in Pilibhit

superadmin News Leave a Comment

The Pilibhit Territorial Forest Division forests are spread over an area of 700 sq. km. They are a part of the Terai Arc landscape that stretches for over 800 km between the Rivers Yamuna in the west and Baghmati in the east (click image at bottom). Pilibhit’s forests are strategically located in the landscape and connect India’s Dudhwa Tiger Reserve and Nepal’s Suklaphanta National Park through the Lagga Bagga forests. This forest division is in the process of being declared … Read More