Short-nosed Fruit Bat and its Tents

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Short-nosed Fruit Bats (Cynopterus sphinx) make their own roosts in the form of hanging tents. These tents are usually made in palm trees, either within the fruiting pods or dry leaves, by removing the center portion of pods/leaves. This small colony made their tent within a Fishtail Palm (Caryota urens). These palms are best suited for these bats and make a great case to encourage planting them in urban parks and gardens.

These were photographed in a park near … Read More

Cormorant and Plastic, Bangalore

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I photographed this Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger) with a sheet of plastic in Puttenahalli Lake, Bangalore, on 9th June ’18 while out birdwatching. The bird did not seem entangled in it, so I was unable to understand what was happening. The incident ended in under a minute, with the cormorant suddenly swimming away. Was it looking for a fish under the plastic? Only my speculation!

Despite plastics being non‐biodegradable, most tourists to lakes, wetlands and our wildlife parks consume plastic … Read More

How to be a birding buddy — The United Theological College, Bangalore, Nov 18, 2017

A half-day workshop for bird educators

If you love wild birds and are keen to reach out to children and others to share your enthusiasm for birds with them, this workshop by Early Bird is for you.

You may already conduct bird walks and slideshows on birds, or perhaps you haven’t yet, but would like to start activities like these. Either way, this workshop will introduce you to a variety of techniques and activities to get children and adults excited … Read More

Bannerghatta National Park In Grave Danger — Act Now!

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New 2018 Notification Further Reduces Bannerghatta ESZ. 

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released a new draft notification seeking to reduce the proposed Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) around Bannerghatta National Park by a further 100 sq. km. This would reduce the zone to just 1km from the park’s boundary, and a mere 100m in some places. 

Read / download the new 2018 draft MoEFCC notification here.

Bannerghatta National Park is part of a contiguous wildlife habitat … Read More

Workshop on Statistical Ecology and Related Topics — Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore, Dec 8 – 11, 2016

There are many exciting research opportunities in theoretical and applied ecology for statisticians. As a result the field of Statistical Ecology has grown explosively over the last two decades. Yet the uptake of these research problems within India has been very limited. Given the increasing human-induced pressures on India’s wildlife and biodiversity, there is a pressing need for auditing India’s biodiversity by developing sound methods involving construction of innovative statistical models, designing effective sampling strategies as well as advancing statistical … Read More

New records of Swinhoe’s and Ashy Minivet in Bengaluru, Karnataka

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Swinhoe’s Minivet, aka Brown-rumped Minivet, (Pericrocotus cantonensis), breeds in central, eastern, and south-eastern China, and winters in parts of southern Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam (BirdLife International 2016). The Ashy Minivet (P. divaricatus) breeds in parts of Siberia, China, Korea, and Japan. The species is a winter migrant to South and Southeast Asia (Robson 2008; BirdLife International 2016).

However, very little is known about the status of these two species in India.

This presents details of the first record of a … Read More

Bird Poaching in Bangalore’s Wetlands

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Bird poaching was one of the pressures that birds in the city faced in the 90’s. It was thought to have died down since then. So much so that, during the planning of the Bangalore Mid Winter Water Bird survey 2015-2016, the coordinators and those assisting in planning the survey had considered dropping some of the parameters such as bird netting, bird shooting, poaching, trapping, etc. However, we were in for a rude shock when we visited a few survey … Read More

A Dead Owl on a String, Bangalore

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A sunny Sunday morning turned up one of the most bizarre sights of the season. A Barn Owl’s right wing hanging on a string, blowing and turning in the wind in a secondary forest patch in Bangalore. It was not too difficult to unravel the story though!

A play kite had been flown and somehow the person flying it had let it loose, and it had blown over and got stuck in a tree in the woodland patch. The dark … Read More

Roads Emerging as a Critical Threat to Leopards in India?

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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

Yellow-legged Buttonquail hunting in Bangalore

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Due to high demand for their meat, wild quails are hunted ruthlessly even though there are licensed quail farms where they are bred in captivity for the table.

This Yellow-legged buttonquail (Turnix tanki) was rescued from hunters by a group of people near HSR layout in Bangalore. The hunters had already killed five. We tried to convince them and create awareness not to kill these birds, but they were ignorant and lacked any concern. Avinash and I had … Read More

Pond Heron fatally entangled in fishing net

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We found this Indian Pond Heron or Paddybird (Ardeola grayii) fatally entangled in a plastic fishing net, at Hoskote kere (lake), rural Bangalore, on 28th December, 2013. I did not how to address the problem, and posted the picture on my Facebook page. Miraculously, someone on my timeline took up the issue with officials locally in Hoskote, and the farmers were told to remove the net. My friend went a few days later and confirmed that the net was indeed … Read More

Kannada Film Industry Continues to Destroy Hesaraghatta Grasslands

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I have been working towards preserving the grasslands in Hesaraghatta near Bangalore with my colleagues at the Arkavathy River Rejuvenation group. The govt. of Karnataka proposed to build a film city here and a public interest litigation (PIL) opposing that has been filed in the High Court of Karnataka. Consequently, the Karnataka High Court ordered all parties to maintain status quo until further notice.

The land is under the supervision of Kanteerava Studios which lets it out for shooting movies. … Read More

Q: “We are a group of people interested in protecting lakes and wildlife of Bannerghatta National Park (BNP). We noticed that a lake is encroached near Kaleshwari village, Mantapa Grama panchayat, Bangalore 560083. Also, a new layout is coming up in the safe zone of BNP, and they are planning to release sewage water to the lake and drainage water to the stream, which passes through the heart of BNP. This Lake is the main water source for the wildlife of BNP. How can we protect this lake and wildlife of BNP?”

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Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Wildlife First:

Dear Shankara,

Thanks for writing to CI and good to learn about your interest to protect Bannerghatta National Park. You could possibly initiate the following steps:

  1. You should meet the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Executive Officer, Karnataka Lake Development Authority,2nd Floor, Parisara Bhavana, Chruch Street, Bangalore-560 001 and seek immediate action to stop the encroachment.
  2. Other authorities who can stop encroachment are – The Superintendent of Police Bangalore Rural or
Read More

Hesaraghatta PIL — Karnataka High Court Orders Parties to Maintain Status Quo Until Further Notice

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In September 2012, a group of concerned citizens led by photographer Mahesh Bhat, who lives near the Hesaraghatta grasslands in Bangalore had initiated an online campaign to save 300 acres from getting converted into a film city. Earlier, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had planted several thousand saplings in almost half of the grassland (See ‘Killing a Grassland‘). The misguided seemingly good-intentioned approach was stopped thanks to an outcry from conservationists in the city but not before considerable … Read More

Sloth bear cub trapped in snare — Rescued by Wildlife SOS & Karnataka Forest Department

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In the early hours of 3rd December 2012, Wildlife SOS team in Bangalore headed by veterinarian Dr. Arun A Sha received an SOS call from the DFO Tumkur Division, Karnataka Forest Department about a sloth bear trapped in a snare. This was a very unusual case and we had little time to lose. The location was about 2-hours from Bangalore city (about 150 kms) in a village situated in Tumkur division.

The Wildlife SOS team from the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue … Read More