Intruding the personal space of elephants, Bandipur

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

We were driving back to Bangalore on 10th March 2013. That weekend saw an extraordinary rush to Bandipur, Mudumalai and Ooty. There were a lot of places on the Bandipur – Mudumalai (NH 67) highway where people were stopping to see wildlife. After we crossed the Kakkanhalla checkpost, we saw a car (Xylo) stop; two people casually got out, walked towards this pair of elephants and started taking pictures. I shot a video anticipating a charge, but the truck scared … Read More

Elephant Rescue, Valparai

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

It was that time of the year again, when elephants slowly started marking their presence. Like every year, there were incidents of households getting hit here and there, thankfully, nothing major though. What is always interesting to note every year is the consistency they maintain in terms of their movement patterns, and also in the damage sites they choose! Early that morning I decided to take off from my daily routine in front of my Macbook’s hypnotizing screen. I went … Read More

Elephant Conflict, Odisha

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

Human-elephant conflict is turning increasingly acute across elephant range in India. Relentless diversion of elephant habitats, loss of forest corridors that offer safe passage to migrating elephants, activities such as mining, construction of canals, railway tracks and highways that fragment forests, and even the ill-designed plantation of unpalatable trees in natural forests are together creating a deadly situation where direct, extremely volatile face offs between people and elephants have become a matter of routine. The loss of human life and … Read More

Human-Elephant Conflict, Coimbatore

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

Though an old picture (taken in 2012), this image shows the rise of Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) in the The Thadagam valley of Coimbatore. This area has become a major centre for brick production and the numerous brick kilns have drastically altered the landscape and interfered with the animal movement in the area. The outskirts of Coimbatore have served as traditional elephant migratory corridors connecting the various major forested regions of the Western and Eastern Ghats.

These two tuskers were standing … Read More

Human-Elephant Conflict, Corbett Tiger Reserve

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

The Sunderkhal village falls in the crucial Kosi river corridor linking Corbett Tiger Reserve to the Ramnagar Forest Division. This landscape constitutes prime tiger and elephant habitat. A population estimation exercise done jointly by the state forest department and WWF-India revealed no less than 13 individual tigers — including breeding tigresses. The All India Tiger Estimate 2010 indicated a density of 14 tigers / 100 sq km in Ramanagar forest division.

Here is a stray tusker being driven away by … Read More

Living with Elephants, Valparai, Tamil Nadu

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

In the human-dominated landscape of the Valparai plateau, abutting the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu, this is the peak annual elephant movement period, which lasts till the end of February. Given the mosaic of landscapes the herds have to navigate, they encounter curious onlookers, passing tourists and heavy vehicle movement. The elephants normally choose to move once human activities reduce after sundown.

This herd had a hard time traversing through tea estates interspersed with degraded forest patches because of … Read More

Dangers to Wildlife due to Railway Tracks

-  Photo Feature, -  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

The laying of railway tracks is considered crucial to the economic development of a region, and has for the past several centuries been actively encouraged. Being human-centric, political thought has always considered the felling of forests, and clearing of lands to lay railway lines. Technology improvements that allow for ecological considerations are not implemented, and less-than-ideal practices are often followed to this day. In this regard, even the widening of the track gauges can have an adverse effect on ecology.… Read More

Manual Review — ‘Monitoring Elephant Populations and Assessing Threats’ (edited by Simon Hedges)

-  Miscellaneous, -  Resources Leave a Comment

Monitoring Elephants the right way: A Synopsis of the Manual titled ‘Monitoring Elephant Populations and Assessing Threats’.

Elephants are social, group living mammals revered by people across diverse cultures in the world. Once widely distributed across a range of ecological conditions, currently distribution and abundance of elephants have both dwindled drastically throughout its range due to habitat loss, fragmentation and poaching. India holds the largest population of Asian elephants surviving today.

In spite of its conservation significance, elephant populations across … Read More

Palamu’s Killer Tracks

-  Articles, -  Featured Article Leave a Comment

One of the biggest threats to the wildlife of Palamu Tiger Reserve (PTR), spread over an area of 1130 sq.kms in West-Central Jharkhand, has been the New Delhi-Ranchi Railway line that slices through the Tiger Reserve’s core ranges of East & West Chhipadohar over a distance of 8 kms. About 70 trains — both passenger and freight — ply on this busy rail route everyday (these lines have been in existence before Palamu’s notification as a Tiger Reserve in 1973). … Read More

Elephant Taunting – A Despicable Spectator Sport in Coimbatore Forests

-  Articles, -  Featured Article Leave a Comment

Editor’s note: This report exposes a serious problem that needs urgent resolution. CI requests journalists to highlight this issue so that the authorities put strong measures in place to stop it. We request all conservationists and conservation NGOs in Coimbatore to join hands to help the Forest Department in solving this problem urgently.

Coimbatore, often referred to as the Manchester of South India, harbours hundreds of factories and multinational companies, which need land and other resources. Despite this, the … Read More

Elephants Attempting to Cross Elephant Proof Trench

-  Photos Leave a Comment

This was photographed in the Chikkadevama hill, near Saragur, H D Kote Taluk, near Mysore. Here elephants are trying to cross an Elephant Proof Trench (EPT), so that they can raid adjacent crop fields. With most of their habitat deforested, and their corridors interrupted by human encroachments, it is no wonder that they are forced to raid crops.… Read More

Living with Elephants

-  Photos 1 Comment

This was photographed in the Chikkadevama Hill, near Saragur, H D Kote taluk, Mysore. Adjoining this hill, there is a village called Lanke, where conflicts with elephants are frequent. During the crop season, many elephants cross the scrub jungle late in the evening and return back to forest in the early morning hours. This photograph clearly shows a villager trying to drive a group of elephants back to the jungle.

When one talks to the forest department people here, one … Read More

Q: We live in a small village, Thekambattu, near Salem in Tamil Nadu. Recently we had elephants near us for the first time in living memory of the oldest inhabitants here. We are glad to see your site because it is perhaps what would have helped us at that time. Anyway, the elephants seem to be wandering; so perhaps this is not the last we see of them. We need to know what can be done here as and when they show up without any resources, trained manpower etc. There has to be something like an Elephant Rescue team on call in the country at different places, I guess…

-  Ask CI 1 Comment

Answer from Shekar Dattatri, Conservation India:

The problem you describe in your question – and in more much more detail in your blog – is an extremely difficult one to tackle. Although you yourself seem to have analyzed the various dimensions to this dilemma, and may not find this answer very useful, we are posting it here for the benefit of other readers, but with this rider. No one from CI has been to the area or studied the … Read More

Electrocuted Elephant in Sathyamangalam

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week 1 Comment

This cow elephant was electrocuted on the periphery of Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary on December 21, 2011. The spot is just 15 m away from the forest boundary. It did not die inside a farm. It seems to have just been foraging through densely grown bushes on the side of a cart track abutting a turmeric field. A live wire was concealed inside the bushes and in the course of foraging, the animal seems to have stepped on it, thus getting … Read More