Ranthambore Canal Work Continues Despite Rejection by the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL)

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In a gross violation of Wildlife Protection Act and Forest Conservation Act, construction activity continues despite the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) ban earlier this year.

In a letter to Mr. M. K. Jiwrajka, Member Secretary, Central Empowered Committee (CEC), conservation biologist Dharmendra Khandal of Tiger Watch working in the area writes:

“You have already advised the Rajasthan state government for no construction activity in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (file no. 1-26/CEC/SC/2010-PC.XXXVIII, Dated: 8th March 2011). However, recently there is new construction … Read More

CEC hearing on July 6 for illegal road widening in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar

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The central empowered committee (CEC), appointed by the Supreme Court to look into the cases related to the violation of Forest (Conservation) Act and Wildlife (Protection) Act, has fixed July 6 for the hearing of the case related to the violation of rules in a road widening work inside Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) of Bihar. The CEC admitted the case on the basis of a petition filed by Ashok Kumar, vice-chairman of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) based on an … Read More

Film Shooting Near Aliyar Reservoir near Anamalai Tiger Reserve Draws Criticism

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A film is being shot on sets erected near the zero point of the Aliyar Dam. Environmental activists point out that soil has been dug up from the catchment area and that the chemicals used in the set are changing the color of the water. The polluted water endangers the fishes and the music, bright lighting and large number of people disturb the wildlife that come down at dawn and dusk to drink water. The film production unit has obtained … Read More

Land acquisition to resume for POSCO Project

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The Orissa State government has said that land acquisition would resume for the POSCO steel project near Paradip in the Jagatsinghpur district. The land acquisition had been stopped in August 2010, when the MoEF had issued a stop work order based on the NC Saxena Committee report which said that Forest Rights Act had been violated in the acquisition. The MoEF has now given permission for diverting 1,253 hectares of forest land for the project. Of the 4,004 acres required … Read More

Current Science research paper points to Lion-tailed macaque habitat loss

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Lion-tailed macaques in the Highwavy mountains in the Western Ghats are threatened with habitat loss as their movements are obstructed by tea estates. As a result of the interspersed tea estates, these rare primates find themselves isolated to fragments of forests. Besides plantations, vast areas of habitat have been submerged by the creation of three dams. These findings and others are discussed in the paper authored by H. N. Kumara of the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History … 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

Gross irregularities by filming company in Kamabalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh

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Sree Keerthi Combines, a Hyderabad based film company has committed gross irregularities such as leveling ground by clearing brush growth, spread of quarry dust and red sand brought from outside the sanctuary, construction of huge sets, pulling water with an electric motor and also contaminating the water source, all within the boundaries of the Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary and in the name of filming. The approval had been given by the DFO, Vishakapatnam, but he was not the competent authority to … Read More

Agriculture land close to BRT Tiger Reserve handed over for Industrial Purposes

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The Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) has handed over 410.44 acres of land to Bannari Amman Sugars. The land is said to be within 1 km radius of the BRT Tiger Reserve and also on a part of an Elephant Corridor. According to a Supreme Court order, non-forest activities cannot be taken up within 10 kms of a protected area (eco-sensitive zone). The forest department has made it clear that no work can be undertaken without an approval from … Read More

Sikkim Ecology Threatened by Hydroelectric Projects

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A coordinated set of hydro electric projects may soon come up on the Teesta river in Sikkim. The proposals to harness around 3635 MW of power along a 175 km stretch of the Teesta river, go back to 1998. Various factors, such as concerns from ethnic tribal communities and concerns over carrying capacity have over the years ensured that no real approval has been given by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for the Teesta river projects. However, in … Read More

Intervention on NH7 Four laning along Pench not granted relief by Supreme Court

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The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) had moved the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court seeking a ban on the four laning of NH7 in the periphery of Pench-Mowgli Sanctuary. However, in a recent ruling the Supreme Court refused to give relief on the CEC recommendation for intervention. The court has encouraged the petitioner to approach the responsible authorities under the Wildlife Protection Act. It has also ruled that proposals be considered expeditiously given the importance of the … Read More

Resort activity threatens Bandipur’s North Eastern boundaries

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Illegal resort activity is threatening Bandipur’s forest boundaries in Gundlupet Taluk. On Tuesday, the forest department booked a case against Tropical Wilderness and Wellness Pvt Ltd, clearing forest land, changing land use patterns without permission and for constructions in a wildlife corridor without obtaining permission. An older project, the Tiger Ranch in Mangala village, is also under the scanner for illegal land acquisition from tribals. The latter is however more difficult to take action against, as it is owned by … Read More

Bhadra River recovering from siltation impact after stoppage of Mining in Kudremukh

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The picture of the Bhadra River on the top loaded with silt after a heavy rainstorm was taken on 30th September, 2002 during the inspection by the Central Empowered Committee as ordered by the Supreme Court. The picture below showing the clear waters of the Bhadra River was taken on 18th October 2010 after a heavy rainstorm from the same location, five years after mining was stopped by the Apex Court based on a petition filed by Wildlife First. This … Read More

Major Construction in the Heart of Ranthambore

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In a gross violation of Wildlife Protection Act and Forest Conservation Act, construction activity continues despite the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) ban earlier this year. A 100-feet wide and 5-7 km long canal is being dug between Khushalidarra and Mansarovar lake destroying an important tiger corridor between Ranthambore National Park and Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. Read the full coverage in Times of India. … Read More

A Reprieve for the Wolves of Maidenahalli

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The Indian wolf (Canis lupus pallipes), a subspecies of the Eurasian wolf (Canis lupus), found in the Himalayan ranges, is a lanky animal with short fur, about the size of a German Shepherd Dog. An estimated 2000-3000 of these animals now survive in India, mainly in the states of Orissa, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. They are wide ranging, pack hunting predators requiring large home ranges. As agriculture expanded … Read More

Fire in Pallikaranai Marsh in Chennai destroys nesting birds and site

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Intermittent fires broke out in multiple locations in the Pallikaranai marsh in Chennai and destroyed hundreds of nesting birds, eggs and their nests. The fire is suspected to be caused by the release of methane or other inflammable gas from the nearby Perungudi dump yard. A team of forest officials entered the the marshland and put out the fire. A member of Care Earth, a bio-diversity research organization were also on the spot. The marsh is home to Pheasant-tailed Jacanas, … Read More