I recently witnessed a grotesque ritual in my village, Rettanai, near Chennai, Tamil Nadu. We grow paddy at our farm there, and the flooded fields form a nice breeding ground for frogs and crabs which attract egrets. One evening, three young men came to our farm and asked permission to cross our farm to go to the neighboring field. They were carrying an assorted collection of stuff in their hands, and out of curiosity I asked them what they intended … Read More
Bird Poachers Caught Red-handed at Kelambakkam Lake, Chennai
I took this image of two poachers trapping waders (mainly little stints) flying low over Kelambakkam lake near Chennai and getting trapped in mesh nets. I was birding along the lake accompanied by Vaithiyanathan, also a birdwatcher and photographer. Both of us are members of the Photographic Society of Madras (PSM).
When we reached the lake, I saw two people crouched on one of the small islands in the backwaters. I took a test shot with my camera to check … Read More
Followup Action on the Hunting Incident Near the Himayat Sagar Reservoir
People often feel helpless in the face of conservation issues, as even if they possess the know-how and try to take action, they are likely to face dead ends and official stonewalling. Sometimes a louder, or just a second voice is needed. Sharing conservation issues on Conservation India and other such portals helps achieve this. Diya Banerjee, a wildlifer and animal activist based out of Hyderabad, happened to read this post about Hunting near the Himayat Sagar Reservoir on CI. … Read More
Hunting Downstream of Himayat Sagar Reservoir Near Hyderabad
On the morning of 8th July, 2012, a little after 9 AM, I visited a place downstream of the Himayat Sagar Reservoir, about 20 kms away from Hyderabad. On my way I heard the sound of a gun shot, followed by panic stricken cries of Spot-billed Ducks, Peafowl and other birds. Upon reaching the spot, I saw two men, one of whom was perched on a bare tree with a rifle, while the other was resting on the opposite bank. … Read More
Birdwatchers Help Nab Waterfowl Poachers in Siruthavur Lake Near Chennai
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
Large-scale Waterfowl Slaughter in Puducherry
Every day, hundreds of waterfowl (both resident and migratory) and other animals notified in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, meet with a fatal end in Puducherry (Pondicherry, Union Territory). A large number of gypsies or narikoravas, hunt these birds and sell the meat right under the nose of the Forest Department. Birds are caught at the nearby Oussudu Lake (which is notified as a bird sanctuary) and openly sold for their meat at roadside stalls on Koodapakkam … Read More
Dearth of Studies on Hunting in India
Hunting remains one of the major conservation threats across the world, particularly in tropical countries. Nandini Velho, Krithi K. Karanth and William F. Laurance analyze hunting studies from India. These are the highlights of their study from their paper published in the journal, Biological Conservation.
- The authors did a meta-analysis of 143 published studies on hunting in India.
- 114 mammal species are hunted across India and large bodied species are the most vulnerable.
- A majority (76%) of studies
Bird Trap, Sulur Lake, Coimbatore
I photographed this trap on my birdwatching trip to Sulur Lake in Coimbatore dated 05-09-2010 (05:32 pm). … Read More
The Pakke Hornbill Nest Adoption Program
There is a quiet change taking place in Arunachal Pradesh. Not big, but quite important. Pakke Tiger Reserve lies in South Western Arunachal Pradesh and is home to several Nyishi tribal villages. Late one morning in December 2011, a group of nine tribal headmen representing their villages, the dynamic Nyishi District Forest Officer (DFO) Tana Tapi, and researchers from the Nature Conservation Foundation’s (NCF) had gathered in a community hall. They were kicking off an innovative program – the Hornbill … Read More
Dead Wreathed Hornbill, Arunachal Pradesh
Freshly killed Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) in Mehao wildlife sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh. 15 Wreathed Hornbill individuals were brought into a village by several local hunters on that single day in January 2008.… Read More
Dead Rufous-necked Hornbill in Mehao wildlife sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh
Rufous-necked Hornbill (Aceros nipalensis) has been classified as ‘Vulnerable’ by IUCN. Populations of this species have already been exterminated from east Nepal and large parts of Vietnam. One of the primary causes of its population decline is hunting. Logging large trees — like this — for timber and agriculture is another major threat. This individual was shot by a group of young educated men which included a teacher and administrative staff from Roing inside the Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary … Read More
Egret Hunting, Koraput, Odisha
This photo was taken in Padwa village, Koraput, Odisha (Orissa) in Dec 2011. These village boys found immense pleasure in killing the egret for the pot using marbles. … Read More
Q: What protection do lakes enjoy in urban / rural landscapes? Under what jurisdiction do they come? Are they protected? How does one report violations about lakes — both protection to the waterfowl as well as the lake itself?
Answer from Praveen Bhargav & Shekar Dattatri:
- Some lakes / water bodies / wetlands such as Bharatpur, Ranganathittoo or Vedanthangal are notified as protected areas and enjoy the same protection as any sanctuary or a national park.
- Waterfowl listed in any of the Schedules of the Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA) receive legal protection from hunting and anybody found even in possession of a gun near any lake can be prosecuted under the Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA). For more details read
Duck Hunting At Karenahalli Kere, Bangalore
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
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