Lesser & Greater White-fronted Geese, Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

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Birders recently spotted two Lesser White-fronted and four Greater White-fronted Geese in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK), Gujarat. Both are rarities and seldom seen in the Indian subcontinent. They are long distance migrants.

The Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) breeds across the tundra from Nunavut to Siberia, across Russia, and in Greenland. The Greater White-fronted Goose has one of the largest ranges of any geese species in the world.

The Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropusRead More

CI Wishes its Readers a Green 2014!

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It has been a terrific couple of years for Conservation India. CI was launched exactly two years ago and along the way we have clocked some interesting statistics. Here is a quick snapshot of our traffic (Google Analytics for the period Jan 01, 2012 to Dec 31, 2013):

  • Total Visits to the Site: 429,320
  • Total Unique Visitors: 286,947
  • Total Pageviews: 1,062,048
  • Average monthly visits: Between 12,000 to 30,000 (sometimes upto 10,000 per day)
  • Average Pages / Visit: ~3

It … Read More

Leopard on a tree

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“There is a Leopard on a tree” –  the call from a friend made me pack my camera bags and drive approximately 75 kms in a hurry. Throughout the journey, I hoped that the leopard would still be on the tree, and fortunately, it was.

We regularly come across stories of human-leopard conflict from this region (South Gujarat – outskirts of Vansda National Park & Poorna Sanctuary). Just four days earlier, a girl was attacked by a leopard in the … Read More

Feral Dogs Bringing Down a Nilgai (Bluebull), Gujarat

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I had gone on a routine birding trip to Gandhinagar, Gujarat in Nov 2011. We were surprised to find around five feral dogs attacking an adult Nilgai or bluebull (Boselaphus tragocamelus) when it came near a water body to drink water. By the time I saw them they had almost killed the antelope, and 15 more dogs were waiting on the shore for their share. I have seen dogs feeding from a bluebull carcass earlier so they must … Read More

Bonelli’s Eagle with Common Crane Kill, Little Rann of Kutch

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December 2012: We were on a jeep safari in the Little Rann of Kutch one afternoon, when, far away, we saw a large raptor sitting on what appeared to be a small mound. We approached slowly, and, to our surprise, found a Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata) sitting on a large dead bird. It was evident that the kill had taken place just a while earlier; feathers of the victim lay scattered on the ground. We realised that the … Read More

White-rumped Vulture Release, Ahmedabad

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Jivdaya Charitable Trust is an NGO dedicated to treating stray animals and birds free of charge. Set up in Ahmedabad in 2007, the Trust has come a long way and is now equipped with the latest treatment facilities, from gas anesthesia machines, latest orthopedic instruments, an X-ray unit, a ventilator, a multipara monitor with a pulse oximeter and also 2 state-of-the-art operation theatres. The Trust also has three fully equipped ambulance vans that treat animals on the spot. The Trust … Read More

Rusty-spotted Cat in Kutch-Gujarat, India

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On the evening of 12th February 2013, I was birding in a rocky area near the Chhari-Dhand bird conservation area in the famed Banni grasslands of Kutch. After seeing an eyeshine near a small bush, I spotted a small cat was sitting on a rock. I took some images of the wild cat. The cat was quite small (compared to the jungle cats common in the area) with a long tail and a white belly.

Experts later identified the cat … Read More

Regurgitation in Birds

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There are several reasons why birds and animals regurgitate. Sometimes, adult animals regurgitate food to feed their not-yet-mobile young ones. Classic examples of this behaviour can be seen in a pack of Wild Dogs (Dholes) and, more commonly, in birds. The crow feeds its young with regurgitated food from its wide-ranging diet, while a pelican would regurgitate fish to feed its chicks.

Some birds also regurgitate undigested matter, like bones, feathers, fur, skull and hair. Birds of prey, as well … Read More

Domestic Dogs chasing Indian Wild Ass, Little Rann of Kutch

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The Indian Wild Ass or Khur (Equus hemionus khur), is an endangered animal with its last refuge in India’s only wild ass sanctuary. The Khur was formerly widespread in the arid zone of northwestern India and Pakistan, westwards through much of central Asia. However, it is now limited to the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, India. The khur probably went extinct in Baluchistan and the extreme south of Pakistan, on the Indian border, during the 1960s (Corbet … Read More

Jungle Cat feeding on a Nilgai calf carcass, Velavadar

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We found this carcass of a Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) fawn in the Velavadar grasslands. We had seen three Indian wolves (Canis lupus pallipes) in the same area earlier. It was likely that they had killed the Nilgai. A couple of Jungle Crows and a Wild Boar had their share of the carcass a while ago, before this Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) came along to have a bite!… Read More

Flamingo City Campaign Update — NBWL Clears Road Project

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Campaign Update July 2013

The road proposal whose ecological damages CI highlighted in this campaign was unanimously and strongly rejected by all members of the MOEF constituted Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) on June 6th, 2013. The project was rejected on grounds that it was having a serious impact on the wildlife of the fragile Kutch region particularly the nesting site of flamingoes.

Lesser Floricans and Windmills

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A few decades back, there was hardly any village in the state of Gujarat which didn’t fall in the distribution range of the Lesser Florican (Sypheotides indica). As the local name ‘Khadmor’ (Khad = Grass, Mor = Peacock) indicates, the Lesser Florican resembles the Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus), and lives in grassland habitats. This bird is a keystone species of healthy grasslands. The bird’s wide spread distribution of the past has changed significantly now.

Its popularity … Read More

400 Flamingos Electrocuted in Kutch, Gujarat in 10-days

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At least 400 Greater Flamingos have died due to electrocution by high tension cables near their breeding grounds in Gujarat. The flamingos breed in the warm marshes of the Khadir region in Kutch. The chief conservator of forests has admitted to atleast 130 deaths, but locals and ornithologists have recorded much higher number of deaths. Deaths are said to be taking place at nights, when the birds would fly into the near invisible wires after being disturbed by passing vehicles … Read More

National Centre for Marine Biodiversity Coming up in Gujarat

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A National Centre for Marine Biodiversity (NCMB) is coming up in Jamnagar, Gujarat. The centre will have the goal of safeguarding the biodiversity of coastal area. It is the first research institute set up in a public private partnership in the country. Jamnagar is close to India’s only Marine National Park in the Gulf of Kutch. The overall mission of the centre will be to support integrated management of coastal and marine biodiversity and ensure sustainable development and hazard management. … Read More