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

Save the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) from Extinction!

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Powerlines in GIB habitat should go underground. 

The critically endangered Great Indian Bustard has disappeared from over 90% of its former range due to habitat loss, hunting, disturbance and lack of protection in many ‘lekking’ and nesting sites (see 2013 CI campaign). Now, overhead power transmission lines that crisscross its habitat are sounding the death knell of this low-flying, ground-dwelling species (see attached map). According to a study by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), as many as … Read More

Over 30 Flamingos Electrocuted in Bhavanagar, Gujarat

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First published on 14.6.2017:

Based on a recent complaint filed, in the last several days more than 33 flamingos (both lesser and greater of the species) have died in Kumbharwada in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. This incident was discovered after the locals notified the Forest Department. The inspection and postmortem results confirmed that the flamingos died of electric shock. The electrocution of these flamingos took place due to the presence of high-voltage power transmission lines in the Kumbharwada region. These wires have … Read More

Great Indian Bustard — The Way of the Dodo?

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On the afternoon of 15th September, a farmer in the Karamba village in Solapur, Maharashtra was grazing his cattle when he noticed a large, severely injured bird on the ground, its wings singed. Hovering by, helping death to strike were a few feral dogs. As he edged closer, he saw a black mobile like device on the prone creature. He knew the bird, a frequent visitor to his fields from the adjacent Nanaj sanctuary, and immediately informed the forest department. … Read More

Bustard, Wires, and the Flight to Extinction

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On behalf of the Bustard Conservation Team, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.

This article is an outcome of Wildlife Institute of India’s ongoing research and conservation activities under the Great Indian Bustard Conservation Project investigated by Yadvendradev Jhala. The team members are, apart from the author, Sujit Narwade, Tushna Karkaria, Bipin C.M., Arjun Awasthi, Mohib Uddin, Devendradutta Pandey, Tanya Gupta, Sourav Supakar, Vineet Singh, Priyamvada Bagaria, Srinivas Y. and Shaheer Khan.

Much of India’s conservation movement has focused on forested … Read More

The Enigma of the Forest Owlet

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The Forest Owlet (Heteroglaux blewitti) is a curious bird, both by name and nature. It has captured the imagination of many within and outside the country and for the right reasons.

The forest owlet has an interesting past associated with it. Let us travel back in time to the 19th century. It was in 1872 when an Irish officer, Mr. Francis Robert Blewitt (F. R. Blewitt) saw this different looking owl near Phooljhar in eastern Madhya Pradesh (now in Chhattisgarh). … Read More

Anatomy of Shark Fisheries in Gujarat, India

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Gujarat is gifted with a beautiful 1600 km coastline, the longest in India, and a wide continental shelf, making its waters nutrient rich and diverse in marine fauna. It tops the charts in fish production, and has the highest quantities of sharks harvested in India (CMFRI, 2013). Existing catch-related data collected over the years indicated dwindling shark harvests. While at ground level, efforts to increase fish catch were intensified, it was important to study shark fisheries and local fishing trends … Read More

Urgent — Help Safeguard the Western Ghats!

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Urgent! Time is short, so please act immediately – your appeal to the Central Government can help safeguard the Western Ghats.  Use the form below to write to the minister. 

I support the Government’s decision to declare 56,825 square kilometres of the Western Ghats as Eco Sensitive Area (see contents of the letter below the form). 


This campaign is now closed. We received support from more than 3500 concerned citizens. We are now sending a consolidated letter to the ministry, Read More

White-tailed Wood Rat, Purna WLS, Gujarat

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White Tailed Wood Rat (Madromys blanfordi) — First Record in Purna Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat.

On 23th January 2015 at around 2:29 am, we were travelling from Dhulda to Mahal, passing through the Purna Wildlife Sanctuary (PWLS). The PWLS, spread over a small valley, falls in Kalibel range, situated in Dang district of South Gujarat. The area has dense forests with thick bamboo brakes and is drained by the beautiful river Purna, which gives the sanctuary its name.

As we were … Read More

First Photographic Record of Long-eared Owl in India

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On 11th March 2012, while looking for the threatened Great Indian Bustards in Naliya grasslands in Kutch, Ramki Sreenivasan and I came across an owl which flew from one low tree to another. The owl was well camouflaged in dense foliage of an Acacia nilotica tree, but permitted a close approach.

The owl was brownish with streaks on its breast and belly. It had extremely long ear tufts, buff brown facial disk, black band down the face between the eye … Read More

Peregrine Falcon on Harrier Kill, Little Rann of Kutch

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On a beautiful morning in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK), Gujarat, I spotted this falcon with a kill from a distance with my binoculars. When we approached a bit closer it appeared to be a adult Peregrine with a kill. The bird was very skittish and moved away from us a couple of times. We retreated and waited till the bird consumed the kill. After sometime, the falcon decided let go of the remains and took off. We were … Read More

Flamingo City in Peril

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An edited form of this article appeared in the February 16, 2015 issue of the Outlook magazine.

The unique natural heritage of the Great Rann of Kutch that Amitabh Bachchan promotes in the slick Gujarat Tourism commercials, is imperiled, ironically by a proposed road said to promote tourism.

Among the 130-odd projects that the new National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) cleared in its controversial first meeting in August last year, is a road that cuts through the Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary … Read More

The Vulnerable White-naped Tit, Rajasthan

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With little importance given to thorn-scrub forests, birds such as the globally threatened White-naped Tit (Parus nuchalis) are getting pushed towards extinction.

The vulnerable White-naped Tit is a 12cm bird endemic to India. It has two separate populations. One is found in the thorn forests of Gujarat and Rajasthan and the other in the states of Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu. Recent surveys have found the species to be scarce across its range, and absent from many intervening areas between … Read More

Electrocuted Great Indian Bustard, Kutch

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On 12th September 2014, an adult female Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) collided with high-tension electric powerlines near Kutch Bustard Sanctuary (KBS) in the Abdasa taluka of Kutch district, Gujarat. The bird was found dead just below the powerlines and had electrocution marks. The incident happened a few hundred meters from the boundary of KBS. There are three heavy powerlines passing by the Lala-Jakhau main road, two lines on one side and one on the other. The bird … Read More

Desert Fox and Salt Truck, Rann of Kutch

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This image is about how we as consumers are putting pressure on wildlife and wildlife habitats. This Desert Fox was photographed at the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) near Patdi village in Gujarat, which is said to produce a significant chunk of India’s salt. This salt also gets exported to other countries. The Rann is one of the most vibrant desert ecosystems in the world, supporting a large number of birds and mammals. This pup belongs to a den just … Read More