The Leopard Crisis

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India has lost no less than 62 leopards in the first 50 days of 2010—more than a leopard a day, according to records available with the Wildlife Protection Society of India. Given that within the same period we have lost eight tigers, the Panthera pardus may well beat the tiger in the extinction race. The killings are mainly concentrated in Uttarakhand: from the dawn of the new year to February 20, 26 of these big cats met their end, a … Read More

Important convictions in wildlife cases in Uttarakhand

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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

Two tigers caught in poachers’ traps near Chandrapur; one dead

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Two tigers were caught in steel traps set by professional tiger poachers in a heart-rending incident that took place yesterday in Palasgaon Range near Chandrapur in Maharashtra. One tiger died and the other has been rescued by the Forest Department with serious injuries.

The scene of the crime was a small pond in scrub forest, only 2.5 km from the nearest village Gondmohadi which also has a forest chowki. The Forest Department had been setting up camera traps there to … Read More

106 Leopards And 19 Tigers Dead In Uttarakhand This Year

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As many as 106 leopards and 19 tigers have died in Uttarakhand till Dec 10 of this year. 57 leopards were killed by poachers, 19 died of old age or sickness, 7 were killed in accidents, 6 were killed by the forest department after being declared man-eaters, 6 died in territorial fights, 6 died during rescue operations, 3 were killed by other animals and carcasses of 2 cubs were found. Releasing these figures, the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) … 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

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

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

Uttarakhand Has High Incidence of Leopard Poaching

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Uttarakhand is turning into a killing field for Leopards. There were 136 registered cases of leopard poaching so far in 2011, out of which 51 have been reported from Uttarakhand. In two separate incidents in the last 10 days, the Uttarakhand police have seized three leopard skins. A leopard skin was seized and two persons arrested by the Uttarakhand Special Task Force (STF) in Dehradun on Thursday. Two leopard skins and other animal parts were seized by the SOG, Uttarakhand … Read More

261 Leopards Have Died in 2011

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Around 261 leopards have died between January and early September of 2011. Rising human-animal conflict accounts for a large number as well as poaching. Many of the deaths occur when leopards enter human habitations and the scared people try to chase the animal away. According to Belinda Wright of WPSI, this is an issue that needs to go beyond the law and needs creation of awareness amongst people on the need to protect these animals. Praveen Bhargav of Wildlife First … Read More

First Conviction in Karnataka for Tiger Poaching

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Three poachers have been convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court in Bangalore. The three had been arrested in an operation in 2008 for possession of tiger paws, tiger pelts and bones. The conviction is a first of its kind for the State. Though the sentence is light, conservationists are happy that convictions have finally started. For many years, arrests have made news but the culprits would eventually go scot-free. The Upparpet police … Read More

Leopards Poached More Aggressively than Tigers

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Six leopards are poached for every tiger that is killed. Leopard skins are in great demand in China. Their bones are also often passed off as tiger cub bones. Leopards are also involved in a lot of man-animal conflicts and are often killed with brutality for straying into human habitations.

In 2010, 180 leopards were killed through poaching whereas the total number killed stands at 328. In the first six months of 2011, there have already been 79 poaching related … Read More

Adult Female Rhino Killed in Valmiki Tiger Reserve

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In a first of its kind incident, an adult female Rhino was found lying dead in the Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) with its horn missing and two bullet injury marks. The animal appeared to have been killed 15 days ago. While the reserve is not home to the Rhino, the adjoining Chitwan National Park in Nepal has around 500 Rhinos which sometimes stray into Valmiki Tiger Reserve. Belinda Wright, executive director of the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) says … Read More

Construction Activity in Ranthambore Despite CEC Ban

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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

Supreme Court Panel directs State Government to stop construction activity in Ranthambore

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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

Arrest of six wildlife poachers operating in Corbett and Rajaji National Parks

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Six poachers operating out of Uttarakhand and active in Corbett and Rajaji National Parks have been arrested by a joint operation between Police and the Uttarakhand Forest department. Leopard pelts, big cat bones, ivory and firearms have been seized. The arrests include habitual offenders and one among them admitted to supplying a tiger skin and bones of three tigers to a man in Dharchula last year. Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) points out that a poaching nexus of Gujjars … Read More

Wild India’s Grim Reapers — Interview with Belinda Wright, WPSI

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In an interview to CI, Belinda Wright, Executive Director, Wildlife Protection Society of India, talks to Prerna Singh Bindra about the growing illegal trade in wildlife.

Belinda Wright, tiger conservationist and wildlife campaigner, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI). Born in Kolkata, she has spent her entire life working with wildlife in India. She was a internationally renowned wildlife photographer and Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker before turning to full time Read More

Leader of a tiger poaching gang arrested near Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve

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CHANDRAPUR: Mul police have finally nabbed the long absconding kingpin of the poachers gang busted by forest officials around one-and-half years back in Bhadrawati tehsil. Accused Shalik Gedam was picked up from Doni village in Mul tehsil and has been sent into MCR. Forest officials are likely to seek his custody after cops produce him before Bhadrawati court on Monday.

Notably, sleuths of Bhadrawati forest range had busted a poachers gang in March 2009. The first breakthrough came thanks to … Read More

Leopard Poachers Convicted to Six Years Imprisonment

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Katni, Madhya Pradesh: Shri A.A. Ansari, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Katni, today sentenced two poachers, Ittu Baiga, Bahilal Baiga to rigorous imprisonment of six years and a fine of Rs. 10,000 each under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. The third accused Iqbal (alias Atiq Ahmed), is still absconding and his trial is still pending.

On 25 June, 2009, the three poachers had poisoned a water-hole in the Dhimarkheda range of Katni division with an organo-phosphate pesticide (phosphamidan) which led to … Read More

No Two-bit Crime This

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Belinda Wright has been crunching some numbers: between 1994 and 2009, out of 691 cases of crimes against tigers filed in Indian courts, 10 cases have resulted in conviction of a total of 30 persons.

“Statistics are so important to get the bigger picture,” says the 57-year-old wildlife conservationist and executive director of Wildlife Protection Society of India or WPSI, an NGO.

Interpol estimates global illegal trade in wildlife products is worth around $20 billion. “It is significant that the

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Three leopard skins seized in Himachal Pradesh

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With the assistance of Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), the HP police succeeded in seizing three leopard hides, including one of a cub, from three accused with each possessing a leopard hide from tehsil Sangrah of district Sirmaur in Himachal Pradesh.

One of the accused, Mahindra Singh from village Kajwan of the area, is a Government school headmaster.… Read More

Seizure of 920 kg of antlers in Saharanpur near Dehra Dun, North India

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There was a huge seizure of deer antlers this morning in the town of Saharanpur in the State of Uttar Pradesh, north of the capital New Delhi. 

A staggering 920 kg of antlers were seized by the officers of Behat Police Station. Included in the haul were sambar, cheetal and barking deer antlers. Three people have been detained in this known collection centre for antlers. Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) is assisting the police with the investigation.

Since May

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Leopard skins and Himalayan Black Bear gall bladder seized in Uttarakhand

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New Delhi: The Anti-Poaching cell of the Uttarakhand Forest Department, assisted by the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), seized 2 leopard skins, 1 leopard cat skin and 1 Himalayan black bear gall bladder from Chakrata in Dehradun district, Uttarakhand, last night.

In the late night operation, the Anti-Poaching cell led by Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Mr. Paramjit Singh, arrested two local persons in connection with this seizure. A case under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 has been registering … Read More

130 Leopards Poached in India this year (as of Sept 2010)

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Watching a leopard amble along a sun-beaten track at dusk is a captivating sight. But now these big cats are in danger in India. At least 130 leopards have been poached this year so far, say experts describing the figures as “alarming”. 

Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra recorded the highest number of leopard deaths, stated the NGO Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI).

There have been reports of 240 leopard deaths so far.

Across the country, 17 leopards were killed

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Assessment of recent elephant poaching in Simlipal Tiger Reserve

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Simlipal Tiger Reserve (STR) is part of one of the largest contiguous tiger and elephant habitats in the world. With a Biosphere Area of over 5,000 sq km, it is one of the most promising landscapes for tigers and their prey species.

After a number of elephant deaths were reported in April and May 2010, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) constituted an independent assessment team on 3rd June 2010. The two-team members (Biswajit Mohanty and Belinda Wright) proceeded immediately … Read More

Notorious Tiger Poacher Dariya convicted

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New Delhi: In a major victory for tiger conservation in India, notorious tiger poacher Dariya and his wife Bhagwati were convicted under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 today by Justice A.K. Dwivedi, Judicial Magistrate First Class in Sihora, Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh. The trial of this case has been pending for more than 21 years. The prosecution of this case was conducted on behalf of the Forest Department by Advocate Ms Manjula Shrivastava, a lawyer of the Wildlife Protection … Read More