Religious Festivals Inside Protected Areas

Praveen Bhargav Announcements, Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

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

Illegal Sand Mining, Shimsha River, Karnataka

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

This photographer made this image of illegal sand mining activities going on the Shimsha river bed near Kokkare Bellur (see location below). This could destroy the sanctuary for the Spot-billed Pelicans and Painted Storks which depend on the fish from this river.

This image of sand mining in the Cauvery river captures the norm rather than the exception: across the length of the river, and its tributaries (like Shimsha), sand is being gouged out at a pace that is hundreds … Read More

Action To Be Taken After Detection Of Tiger Mortality

Praveen Bhargav Announcements, Articles, Featured Article 2 Comments

Background

On 21st December, 2011, an adult tiger was found dead at a place called Chekkadi in Tirunelli Village just two kilometers from the boundary of Wayanad Sanctuary in Kerala. The tiger was caught in a strong wire snare skillfully laid between two trees just beyond a thick hedge. Preliminary investigations by the Forest department have revealed that the land belongs to one Beerabahu a resident of Apparapara Village who is absconding. A case has been registered and investigations are … Read More

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

Ullas Karanth Announcements, Articles Leave a Comment

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

Tiger Killed By Wire Snare, Wayanad, Kerala

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week 1 Comment

On 21st December, 2011, an adult tiger was found dead at a place called Chekkadi in Tirunelli Village, just two kilometres from the boundary of Wayanad Sanctuary in Kerala. The tiger was caught in a strong wire snare skillfully laid between two trees just beyond a thick hedge.  A case has been registered and investigations are underway. Conservation India carried a note on the ‘Legal Aspects of Tiger Mortality’ along with a picture sourced from local sources. This picture was … Read More

‘Gajah’: The Report of the Elephant Task Force

superadmin Announcements, Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

A major report on securing the future for the Elephant in India was today submitted to the Minister of Environment & Forests. The report lays out a comprehensive action agenda for protecting elephants in the wild and in captivity, and for addressing human-elephant conflict. The Minister welcomed the Report and promised speedy implementation of the major recommendations.

The Executive Summary is posted here. The full report can be downloaded from the MOEF website here.

Executive Summary

Securing a future … Read More

Supreme Court Calls for New Standards for Endangered Species Conservation

superadmin Announcements, Articles, Featured Article Leave a Comment

A slightly different version of this article appeared in the Hindu dated May 7, 2013.

The recent Supreme Court judgment on lions (Centre for Environmental Law WWF-1 v. Union of India and others, Supreme Court, 2013) has called for completely new standards for endangered species conservation to be set in the country. It has asked for lions to be re-introduced to Madhya Pradesh (Intervention Application 100, Biodiversity Conservation Trust of India through Faiyaz Khudsar in writ petition 337, 1995). It … Read More

Bullfrogs in a Bucket

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

This image highlights the serious problem of Indian Bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus) poaching during the monsoon. We came across a paddy farmer near Jog falls, Mavingundi, Karnataka, who had collected nearly 30 bullfrogs and kept them in a bucket waiting to hand them over to a guy from Goa who was supposed to come and collect the frogs for the Goan Bar/Restaurant market. They are sold as ‘Jumping chicken’ there. We immediately rescued and released them plus reported the poacher to … Read More

Urgent Campaign for a Credible National Board for Wildlife — Act Now!

superadmin Campaigns Leave a Comment

Most urgent! Write to the Minister of Environment & Forests urging him to constitute a CREDIBLE National Board for Wildlife. The few minutes you spend on this could make a huge difference to India’s precious protected areas. Act now!

Background

All development projects, such as roads, dams, mines, power plants etc. that are proposed in or within 10 kms of a Sanctuary or National Park have to be examined and cleared by the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), a Statutory … Read More

Important convictions in wildlife cases in Uttarakhand

Belinda Wright News Leave a Comment

In the last four days there have been two important convictions in wildlife cases in Uttarakhand – both cases were WPSI assisted seizures – and one important arrest.

The first case involved the seizure of a tiger skin and a full tiger skeleton, one otter skin, a turtle carapace and a steel trap on 30 January 2009 in Fatehpur Range of Ramnagar Forest Division, which adjoins Corbett Tiger Reserve in the nothern state of Uttarakhand. The tiger was killed by … Read More

Pulicat Bird Sanctuary in Grave Danger

superadmin Campaigns Leave a Comment

Pulicat Bird Sanctuary, spanning northern Tamilnadu and southern Andhra Pradesh is the 2nd largest brackish water ecosystem in India. Hundreds of thousands of migratory waterfowl throng the lake from October to April, including large numbers of Greater and Lesser Flamingos. Efforts are underway through national conservation bodies such as Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural history (SACON) to declare it as a wetland of international importance and obtain for it the status of … Read More

Jungle Cat in the Bag

aalokrm Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

On the morning of 28th November, when Balaji Rayadurgam, Karthik Ramamurthy and I went birding on the outskirts of Chennai, we heard gunshots. Closer inspection revealed that the shots were being fired by 2 poachers, who were coming out a field with a gun in hand and a bag. We caught them red-handed and snatched the weapons and the bag, anticipating birds inside. But we were taken by surprise as there was something else — a jungle cat — which … Read More

Q: If a project comes up in an area likely to be notified as a PA, will (or can) it be stopped if it gets notified while the project is in progress?

superadmin Ask CI Leave a Comment

Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee, Wildlife First:

Notification of a Sanctuary is a two step process:

  1. A preliminary notification is issued under Section 18 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and
  2. A final notification is issued after settlement of rights etc under Section 26 A

However, if the area proposed for notification is already a Reserved Forest, then a final notification can straight away be issued under Section 26 A.

In this question, tt is not clear whether … Read More

Forest Officer Found in Possession of Elephant Tusks – Demand Action!

superadmin News Leave a Comment

Bangalore-based conservation NGO, Wildlife First, has written to the Chief Wildlife Warden of Karnataka demanding immediate action against a senior officer of the Karnataka Forest Department who was found in possession of elephant tusks in his house. The Central Bureau of Investigation found the tusks during an anti-corruption raid. Wildlife First’s letter to the Chief Wildlife Warden is attached for viewing.

Those who are concerned about this are encouraged to email the Chief Wildlife Warden requesting that immediate action be … Read More

Betraying India’s Wildlife

Praveen Bhargav Opinion, Resources 2 Comments

Shekar Dattatri co-authored this article, which originally appeared in the Oct 2011 issue of GovernanceNow.

Poor governance, replete with farcical meetings, subjective and improper application of the law, and unilateral decision-making, mars the functioning of the National Board for Wildlife, the apex body on conservation. The new Union Environment Minister must take urgent corrective action to restore the Board’s credibility, and protect India’s precious natural heritage from the relentless pressures of development.

Forests and wildlife in India are governed … Read More

Q: Is Baiting Crocodiles Illegal?

superadmin Ask CI Leave a Comment

Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Trustee, Wildlife First:

Doubts have been raised as to how feeding of Crocodiles by the resort near Dandeli Tiger Reserve constitutes an offence under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA). Here’s a short explanation on the correct legal position:

Sub-section (36) of Section 2 defines a wild animal which includes any species listed in Schedule I to IV and found wild in nature. Crocodile is a wild animal listed in Schedule I, Part II of … 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.

superadmin Ask CI Leave a Comment

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

Birdwatchers Help Nab Waterfowl Poachers in Siruthavur Lake Near Chennai

superadmin Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

Two and half of hours of drama unfolded at the Siruthavur lake this morning (3rd June 2012). Five of us from the Madras Naturalists Society (MNS) had come to watch and photograph birds in Siruthavur lake, 40 km from Chennai in Tiruvallur district. The lake was full of birds when we arrived around 7 AM. Just as we reached the lakeshore we heard gunshots. We saw grey herons fall followed by egrets. The shots lasted for half an hour or … Read More

Q: How can I stop a tourism-centric hotel project being planned in the heart of a wildlife sanctuary by a State Tourism Department together with the Forest department? The project is in its early planning stage.

superadmin Ask CI Leave a Comment

Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Trustee, Wildlife First:

  • The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA) makes no distinction between a private and a government tourism company. So a State Tourism department is not exempted from the provisions of the WLPA. (Link to the Wildlife Protection Act).
  • Section 29 of the WLPA prohibits any kind of destruction or diversion of habitat within a Sanctuary without a permit and no such permit shall be granted unless it is for the improvement of
Read More

Duck Hunting At Karenahalli Kere, Bangalore

superadmin Photos

At around 11 a.m. on the Bangalore Bird Race Day, Suma Rao, Gayathri Naik, Garima Bhatia, Jainy Maria and I were birding at Karenahalli kere, one of the lakes off Kanakapura Road, just past Somanahalli in the outskirts of Bangalore. Our attention was focussed on a flock of about 30-35 lesser whistling teals, when we heard a gunshot, and the entire flock took to the air. Right across the lake from us, we could see a lone injured duck flapping … Read More

Tiger Poacher Sentenced To Five Years Imprisonment

superadmin News Leave a Comment

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

Be a Conservation-friendly Wildlife Tourist, Nature Lover or Photographer

Shekar Dattatri Resources, The Ready Reckoner, Toolkit 2 Comments

(With inputs from Praveen Bhargav and Ramki Sreenivasan)

Merely visiting a wildlife reserve or being a wildlife photographer does nothing to save wildlife.  In fact, uncontrolled visitation by tourists and ‘nature lovers’ is leading to the degradation of reserves and the ‘wilderness experience’ that one craves.  But we can offset the impact of our visits (somewhat) by becoming conservation watchdogs.

The number of people visiting wildlife reserves for recreation is increasing rapidly, thanks largely to an upwardly mobile middle class … Read More

An Injured Stump-tailed Macaque Infant, Dzulekie, Nagaland

superadmin Photos Leave a Comment

In a recently concluded Nagaland Biodiversity Survey, team members Dipti Humraskar and Swapna Reddy found this injured stump-tailed macaque infant with a village girl (in a nepali settlement 15kms from Dzulekie). A boy, aged approximately 14 years, who caught the infant claimed that he saw a troupe of about 20 macaques near his house. He aimed at the troupe with his catapult. The infant somehow fell down or was mistakenly dropped by the mother while escaping and was captured by … Read More