Dholes or Asiatic wild dogs (Cuon alpinis) are among the least-studied large carnivores in the world. The IUCN Red List assessment (2015) categorizes the dhole as an Endangered species. With fewer than 2,500 mature individuals remaining in the wild – across 11 countries in South and Southeast Asia – the dhole may be facing a crisis far more severe than the tiger or elephant. India has the highest dhole population in the world, in three key landscapes: the Western Ghats, … Read More
Every year the Pakke Tiger Reserve Forest Department holds a prize distribution ceremony for the best camera trap images and also gives prizes to the most sincere staff in the reserve. For this we team up with Conservation India to hold this public voting contest as a unique form of outreach to help motivate our staff on the ground. This year as well our team has compiled notable camera trap photographs where staff patrolled the forests and never left their … Read More
A threatened but poorly understood species, the Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena) is thought to occur in arid ecosystems across India. It is found in human-dominated landscapes in Rajasthan, a region with 4.3 percent of land area protected under nature reserves. This large carnivore predominantly scavenges on domestic and wild ungulate carcasses. At present, we lack robust estimates of hyena densities and understanding of factors that influence their persistence and distribution.
Authors Priya Singh, Arjun M. Gopalaswamy, and K. … Read More
Small felids, like jungle cats, leopard cats, fishing cats and marbled cats (among others) constitute more than 60% of all cat species in the world. But most of these small cats remain understudied because they are generally secretive, elusive and difficult to observe and monitor. In this aspect, the leopard cat presents a fascinating case study.
Leopard cats are among the world’s most widely occurring small cat species. There have been substantial studies of their ecology in Southeast Asia. In … Read More
Conservation India carried a photograph on 9th November 2016 of a tigress making a wild pig kill in Nagarahole. All tigers have stripes that are unique, just like human finger prints. To identify this tigress and trace its history, a WCS team of researchers working under my guidance rapidly matched patterns of this tigress against 850 other wild tigers, whose images are in our long-term camera trap database, maintained as part of a long-term monitoring of tiger populations in the … Read More
The Jeypore-Dehing Landscape is located in eastern or Upper Assam. It comprises three large blocks of forest (Jeypore, Upper Dehing West Block and Upper Dehing East Block) and several forest fragments. The reserve forests lie within a mosaic of oil and coal mining grants, tea plantations, agriculture and settlements. The forest type is lowland Assam Valley Tropical Wet Evergreen forest (Dipterocarpus-Mesua) and together stretch over roughly 600 sq km. The landscape is part of the Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve and 111 … Read More
News papers have been reporting the presence of a livestock killing tiger in agricultural fields and state forests outside the eastern boundary of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve over the last few days. Unfortunately on 25-August-2012 the tiger attacked a woman grazing livestock, killed, and partially ate her. On 26-August-2012 Forest Department staff managed to locate the tiger using domestic elephants, tranquilized it and moved it into captivity.
We have been carrying out long term monitoring of tiger populations in Karnataka using … Read More
Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh contains within itself a wide elevation range (500 to 3200 m ASL), diverse habitats and species which make it one of the most important areas of the Kameng Protected Area Complex. This complex covers over 3500 sq km; two states, and five protected areas. The spectacular bird diversity of Eaglenest has been the keystone in ensuring Eaglenest’s protection by the resident Bugun and Shertukpen community. About 525 bird species are … Read More
Photographs by Forest Department staff of Pakke Tiger Reserve.
Intensive camera trapping by state forest departments (as per Phase-IV of NTCA) to monitor tiger populations, is now being done on a yearly basis in tiger reserves across India. This was done for the first time in Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh. Here are some stunning images of fabulous mammals captured during this season’s monitoring exercise. This effort has been mainly undertaken by the forest department staff of Pakke … Read More
This piece originally appeared in the journal Oryx: Volume 47- April 2013.
Following the adoption of reﬁned protocols for intensive annual monitoring of source populations of tiger (see Oryx, 46(4), 480), India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is now following through by establishing a country-wide database of wild tigers captured in cameratrap surveys conducted by multiple research and governmental institutions at increasing intensity across the country. The objective of this project is to assign Unique Tiger Identiﬁcation (UTID) numbers to … Read More
Striped hyenas have been documented before in Mudumalai, but there have only been anecdotal reports of their presence in adjoining Bandipur. Their presence in adjacent areas inside Karnataka is only speculative. The last two authentic evidences documenting their presence, are a road kill reported by Dr. Ullas Karanth around Nugu Wildlife Sanctuary in 1984 (observed and collected by the then ACF (Wildlife), Mysore); and another observation and a mobile phone capture by Praneet Goteti in farmlands around Bandipur (Moyar area) … Read More
Perhaps because they remind people of ‘Bagheera’, from Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, or perhaps because of their distinctive look, black leopards have always generated a buzz. Although they are just a genetic variant among the more common spotted form, it is usually assumed, even among many conservationists, that black leopards are a different species. Though the black form also occurs in dry forests, it tends to be more common in denser and humid forest regions (for example virtually all leopards … Read More
This one belies the field guides and the natural history books, which usually dismiss the leopard’s diet as “scrounging on smaller prey.” In actual fact, leopards are powerful predators that routinely kill fairly hefty prey such as spotted deer and sambar fawns.
Even so, Vinay S Kumar’s photograph of a leopard dragging a gaur calf is not a sight you see everyday. The picture, which was taken in Karnataka’s Bandipur Tiger Reserve, shows a male leopard dragging his massive kill … Read More
The river Khanduli emanates from the Mansarovar dam, situated south of Ranthambore National Park and heads along the Eastern boundary of Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. It gradually drifts Southeast and merges with the mighty Chambal, in the National Chambal Sanctuary. The Khanduli flows through a mixed-use landscape comprising of forest, agricultural fields and plantations. However, like the Chambal, the Khanduli river floods heavily during the monsoon and as a consequence the most dominant features along its course are its ravines. These … Read More
Bhadra Tiger Reserve is seeing a few melanistic (Black) Panther sightings. Just yesterday (20th Feb 2012), tourists in the backwaters of the Bhadra reservoir saw this panther from a boat at 8am. There has been a couple of earlier sightings too. Researchers at the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) report of a melanistic leopard in a camera-trap capture from Bhadra in February 2009.
A black leopard is the same species as a normal-colored leopard with a high amount of pigment … Read More
Reports from a joint camera trapping exercise in Manas were discussed between park officials of the the two countries — Manas National Park in India and the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. Fourteen tigers have been captured in the camera traps that scanned 650 sq km of protected area. Four tigers were “common”, ie. they were spotted in both countries. Seven tigers were male and six female, with the gender of one being difficult to ascertain. Officials from WWF … Read More
Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in the north of Mumbai seems to have always been associated with leopards attacking humans. However, a little delving into the patterns of attacks finds that conflict is a recent phenomenon. The attacks began around the nineties and took on its worst form in 2004, when in a single month in May, nineteen attacks on people were reported. Now again, post-2006, there have been no attacks on humans.
Recently the Forest Department of SGNP (headed … Read More
Camera traps in the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) in Andhra Pradesh have captured images of a tigress and her three tiger cubs feeding on a kill. The camera trap sequences provide evidence of breeding tigers and boosts conservationists hopes of a recovery in this large landscape. The India Tiger Estimate 2010 released by the Ministry of Environment and Forests last year records that the forests of Andhra Pradesh had a decline in the population of tigers. NSTR has an area … Read More
TIRUNELVELI, Tamil Nadu: The Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) has witnessed two-fold increase in tiger population in 2010-11, when compared to the last estimate in 2006-07. H Malleshappa, Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, said the tiger population was around 15 to 18 as per the tiger estimate taken in 2010-11. “This is a two-fold increase when compared to the 2006-07 estimate of six to eight tigers,” he informed. Tigers that migrate from Periyar … Read More
On May 1, a young male tiger which had strayed into a betelnut plantation in gama and was stoned by a mob, attacked and killed a man before it was tranquilized by the forest officials. On May 7th, the tiger was released into the Bhadra tiger reserve. Analysis of the photographs of the tiger’s release by the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS), a wildlife NGO which had been camera trapping in Karnataka for around two decades, showed that the tiger … Read More
The presence of four tigers has been revealed by camera traps setup in three ranges of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve. The cameras had been installed after understanding the movement of the animals through front line uniform staff and anti-poaching watchers. The cameras were installed in Ullandy, Valparai, Manambolly and Amaravathy ranges and the sightings were recorded by the ones in Ullandy and Manambolly. Encouraged by the results, camera traps have been relocated in other strategic locations to know the presence … Read More
Ullas Karanth and seven other top wildlife experts said that Jairam Ramesh’s announcement of an increase in tiger numbers from the national tiger estimation exercise, was based on unreliable data. The letter, published in Science magazine, added pressure on the government to adopt a more comprehensive counting methodology. Ullas Karanth is a member of the ministry’s National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). Though Jairam Ramesh had hit back at Ullas Karanth’s letter, on the same day he approved a new scientific … Read More
In landscapes where wildlife occurs in low densities, gathering information from a single data source often does not permit accurate estimation of population densities and abundance. In such cases, using multiple data sources may allow us to overcome ecological and logistical constraints to estimate densities of elusive carnivores such as tigers. In particular, innovative spatially explicit capture-recapture modeling approaches integrate information from photographic capture-recapture and genetic data to derive more robust estimates of tiger densities in India.
Authors A. M. … Read More