Precious Amrit Mahal Kavals are not Wastelands

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Amrit Mahal Kavals are semi-arid grasslands in Karnataka that were set aside several centuries ago, during the Vijayanagara empire, and protected as grazing grounds for a sturdy local breed of cattle known as Amrit Mahal, which was once highly prized as a military draught animal. The protection of these grasslands was continued by subsequent rulers, including Hyder Ali, Tippu Sultan, and the Maharajas of Mysore, as well as the British during their colonial reign in India. Although these grasslands … Read More

Dogs wreak havoc at Maidenahalli Blackbuck Reserve, Karnataka

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It was my first trip to Jayamangali (formerly Maidenahalli) Blackbuck Conservation Reserve in 2008. Soon after we reached I got my first glimpse of blackbuck.

Later in the day while I was trying to photograph an Indian Courser, when I heard a pack of five stray dogs chasing a blackbuck exactly like what dhole or wilddog do in the jungle. They circled the animal and were attacking the antelope from all sides. Amidst all this commotion came another bigger pack … Read More

Dog finishes victim of vehicle at Velavadar, Gujarat

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We had been on a visit to Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar, in 2016. While on safari, we observed this blackbuck which was injured after getting hit by a vehicle. While it was struggling to walk, a stray dog spotted it and followed the blackbuck until the latter collapsed. The dog began feeding on the blackbuck while it was still alive.

Blackbuck National Park in Velavadar has a healthy population of blackbuck that also roam outside the protected area, and are … Read More

Uttar Pradesh’s first Sloth Bear Conservation Reserve Proposed in Mirzapur Forest Division

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A first of its kind, and Uttar Pradesh’s first Protected Area dedicated to Sloth Bear may come in Mirzapur Forest Division. The proposal for 408 sq.km. Conservation Reserve is backed by the first ever wildlife inventory using camera trap survey conducted in three forest ranges- Marihan, Sukrit and Chunar under Mirzapur Forest Division, Uttar Pradesh. The report titled “Wildlife Inventory and Proposal for Sloth Bear Conservation Reserve” published in July 2019 is authored by Vindhyan Ecology and Natural … Read More

Blackbuck – Feral Dog Conflict, Vetnai

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The romanticism of Jack London’s ‘The Call of the Wild’ evaporates fast when one considers the feral dog scourge in the country. I have witnessed several occasions where feral dogs are are still being pampered despite creating serious social and ecological problems.  Man’s best friend is not wildlife’s best friend.

We witnessed a feral dog chase a Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) in Vetnai or Bhetnai sanctuary (in Ganjam district of Odisha) in July 2015. Luckily for the buck, my guide and … Read More

The Buck Stops Here

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A lone blackbuck walks through real estate development bordering the Vallanadu Blackbuck sanctuary, Tuticorin District, Tamilnadu. About 70 blackbuck are present in the sanctuary and are frequently seen outside its boundary in search of grass.

Vallanadu Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area created for the protection of Blackbuck. Located on an isolated hillock in Vallanadu Village of Srivaikundam Taluk, it is the southernmost place in India where a natural population of Blackbuck exists (courtesy Wikipedia). … Read More

Blackbuck in Captivity, Karnataka

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Although the species is protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, this male Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is illegally held in captivity at a religious place (Devargudda) near Ranebennur. It was captured in the nearby fields when it was young and is now an adult buck. Sadly, this sprinter is kept chained the entire day from dawn to dusk. Since Ranebennur blackbuck sanctuary is close, there are frequent sightings of blackbuck in the fields. But holding them captive is an offence … Read More

Stray Dog Chasing Blackbuck

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Here is an image of a stray dog chasing a herd of Blackbuck in the Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve (formerly Maidenahalli). There were at-least 5 or 6 more dogs chasing the bucks, in a very organized fashion (not unlike dholes). This is a serious threat, as the fawns are easy targets for these dogs.

The reason these dogs enter the sanctuary is unchecked tourism. Often, tourists from nearby villages picnic inside the reserve and leave behind food, thus attracting dogs. … Read More

Eating away their grasslands

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This image was taken in the short grasslands of Solapur in 2010, showing a ‘city’ construction project taking place near the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary. This picture depicts the unfortunate fate of a majority of dry, arid habitats in the country. Short grasslands in India are fast getting modified due to the expansion of agriculture and industry. Even though crop raiding species such as the Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) may seem to benefit slightly from agricultural expansion, such conversion … Read More

Conservation projects launched for Olive Ridley Turtles and Black Bucks in Ganjam District, Orissa

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Two projects have been launched under the Natural Resources Conservation Outside Protected Areas (NRCOPA) scheme in Ganjam district. The Rushikulya River Mouth project has been launched for Olive Ridley Sea Turtle conservation, while the Bhetonai-Balipadar project has been launched to protect Black Bucks. The NRCOPA is a Central Government scheme for conservation of biodiversity through community-led efforts. The said projects will extend support to conservation efforts in Odisha and Madhya Pradesh  by strengthening the capacity of communities to manage resources … Read More

Hospital threatens Guindy National Park in Chennai

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CHENNAI: Wood apple trees form a canopy over the mud trail leading through the forest, the chirruping of crickets fill the air, butterflies flit to and fro, and an ashy drongo sweeps across and settles onto a branch. It’s hard to believe that the busy Sardar Patel Road is just a 10-minute walk away. It’s noon at Guindy National Park (GNP) and not the best time to spot creatures but there’s still so much to see.

A recent announcement, however, … Read More