Conservationists Win Legal Battle in Bhadra Tiger Reserve

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In a tough legal battle conservationists, succeeded in stalling two projects that would have upset the ecologically fragile eco-system buffering the Bhadra Tiger Reserve in Chikmagalur district.

One was a 124 windmill project to be set-up by Karnataka Renewal Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) subleased to BB Hills Wind Farm Development for a period of 30-years on the Bababudangiri Hills and the other was a resort-cum-spa, promoted by Bangalore-based Brigade Hospitality Services, in collaboration with the Singapore-based Banyan Tree Hotels and … Read More

Be a Conservation-friendly Wildlife Tourist, Nature Lover or Photographer

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(With inputs from Praveen Bhargav and Ramki Sreenivasan)

Merely visiting a wildlife reserve or being a wildlife photographer does nothing to save wildlife.  In fact, uncontrolled visitation by tourists and ‘nature lovers’ is leading to the degradation of reserves and the ‘wilderness experience’ that one craves.  But we can offset the impact of our visits (somewhat) by becoming conservation watchdogs.

The number of people visiting wildlife reserves for recreation is increasing rapidly, thanks largely to an upwardly mobile middle class … Read More

Villagers Happily Move Out Of Melghat Tiger Landscape

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Three villages in the Wan sanctuary, in the Melghat Tiger Reserve have successfully and willingly relocated to new areas outside the reserve. Other villages have also petitioned the forest department to rehabilitate them. 350 families from Amona, Nagartas, Bharukheda have moved with a relocation package of Rs. 10 lakhs per adult and free land for a house. All three villages are now closer to their administrative headquarters and all the people have better access to healthcare, education, courts, and other … Read More

Golden Langur Conservation Awareness in Manas

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Locals in Manas, joined hands with the Bodoland Territorial Council, the Assam Forest Department and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) – Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to create an urgent campaign to save the highly endangered Golden Langur. Less that 2500 individuals are estimated to be found in the wild today. The species has suffered tremendously due to habitat loss and fragmentation, which forces them to descend to the ground where they are vulnerable to accidental death and … Read More

Army To Help Save Hangul or Kashmir Stag

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The Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JKLI) will be collaborating with the Jammu and Kashmir Forest Department to help save the Kashmiri Stag (also know as Red deer or Hangul) in the Dachigam National Park. The stag is known for its reddish coat and two antlers. The state’s conservation program has seen the population increase from 172 in 2010 to 218 this year. The JKLI will work with the forest department to work out the modalities. The JKLI will also … Read More

Mangalajodi — A Village Of Bird Protectors In Orissa

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How do you convert a village of hardened poachers into committed conservationists? Read on to find out.

Mangalajodi village is situated on the banks of Chilika lake in Odisha (formerly Orissa). Chilika Lake is a brackish water lake, with lagoonal characteristics, spread over the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Orissa state on the east coast of India. It is Asia’s largest brackish water lake. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds in the Indian subcontinent. The lake … Read More

Killing a Grassland, Hesaraghatta, Bangalore

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There is an urgent conservation issue related to the Hesaraghatta grasslands in NW Bangalore. Of all places in Bangalore, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) selects possibly the last remaining grassland to go on a tree-planting overdrive. Using bulldozers, close to 30,000 pits have been dug and most of them planted. The media coverage was helpful and possibly aided in putting a halt to the digging but almost 200 acres of prime grassland is dug and gone — unless the saplings … Read More

Closing Highways to Night Traffic — A Case Study From Karnataka

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This Conservation India exclusive by Sanjay Gubbi, Assistant Director, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Member, State Board for Wildlife, Karnataka, highlights the conservation threat posed by roads and highways through PAs, showcases successful night closures of two major highways running through Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka and provides tips and inspiration for road closures in other protected areas.

Background: Impacts of roads on wildlife

India is in a phase of rapid infrastructural growth where improving the surface transport system is … Read More

Unilever’s Mercury Fever — Dumping Toxic Mercury in a Biodiversity Hotspot

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Corpwatch examines Unilever’s response when caught dumping toxic mercury waste from a thermometer factory in Southern India earlier this year. The Anglo-Dutch company recently closed the factory. Community members, however, allege that the multinational has downplayed the dangers of mercury and misled the public in an attempt to cover up the truth. Indian journalist Nityanand Jayaraman reports for CorpWatch.

In March 2001, residents of Kodaikanal, a pretty hill retreat in Southern India, caught the Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever red-handed when they … Read More

Manas Revival Possible Because of Role Reversal of Rebels

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The diverse and rich Manas Tiger Reserve has staged a revival of sorts after the Bodo insurgencies in the last 80s saw its wildlife and forest wealth being plundered. In 1992, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee demoted it to a “World Heritage Site in Danger” and faced prospects of being completely removed from the list. However, a turnaround occurred in 2003 when the Bodo Liberation Tigers gave up their weapons and the locals turned to being protectors. Around 40 former … Read More

Hundreds of Flamingos Electrocuted in Bhavnagar, Gujarat

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Hundreds of flamingos are dying of electrocution daily as they fly into high-voltage electricity cables on the outskirts of Bhavnagar city. The situation is made worse by stray dogs which attack these birds, causing the flock to take off in panic and hit the high-tension lines.

After Times of India reported the incident, officials visited the 300-hectare marsh on the outskirts of Bhavnagar on Sunday. Officials of Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited (GETCO) claim that there could be reasons … Read More

Bharatpur — Can we Regain this Bird Paradise?

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The year 2004 was a fateful one for Bharatpur, India’s most famous bird sanctuary. In order to appease farmers belonging to particular community, the then Chief Minister of Rajasthan, issued an order diverting water from the Ajan Bund away from the Bharatpur marshes and into the fields surrounding the park, unleashing catastrophic consequences for this 250 year-old artificial wetland. Since then, Bharatpur has never been the same. While various schemes to bring water to the park are under consideration, bird Read More

Record Release of Olive Ridley Turtle Hatchlings in Chennai Coast

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Over 14,000 hatchlings, coming out of around 180 nests, have been released this season in the 14-km stretch between Napier’s bridge and Neelangarai on the Chennai coast. The nests were relocated to safer locations using scientific protocol. Sustained action by conservationists have helped with turtle conservation. For instance, the Casuarina trees planted as part of the Tsunami Reconstruction encroached upon the turtle nesting sites. Sustained efforts from conservation NGOs caused the World Bank to withdraw its loan and the forest … Read More

Using RTI for Wildlife Conservation

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Excerpts from a presentation given by Biswajit Mohanty in Bangalore on 23rd August 2013. You can reach him for questions or comments at kachhapa@gmail.com.

What is Government?

This is a difficult question for an ordinary Indian citizen. He/she knows that Government is an omnipotent and omnipresent entity but is not exactly sure who “Government” is. When you want something from any government office, you will frequently hear the words … “Government will decide”. If there are dues/taxes to be … Read More

Illegal Windmills Operating in Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra

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Koyna sanctuary, a part of Sahyadri Tiger Reserve has about 200 windmills operating within the sanctuary boundaries. Around 500 trees have been estimated to have been chopped up for this purpose. Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) activist Nana Khamkar says that 250 endangered species of birds are found in the sanctuary and since the windmills have come, the birds have not been seen. An RTI application sent to the Forest Department has shown that the windmills have been setup without … Read More