The Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) is an endangered ungulate found on remote mountain slopes in the southern Western Ghats. Found in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, their current range has been greatly reduced to a mere 400 kilometers. These animals are found among the rocky cliffs of montane grasslands, and it is estimated that around 3000 individuals are distributed evenly between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Eravikulam National Park and the grassy slopes of the Anamalai hills are the only … Read More
This haunting image of a dead Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) was taken on the main road to Bhimashankar temple. We sighted this otherwise nocturnal creature first thing in the morning in this sad state, likely killed by a speeding vehicle at night. Bhimashankar Temple is a Jyotirling shrine (a major site of worship for Lord Shiva; one of 12 in the country) located in the Sahyadri hills near Pune, in Maharashtra.
As though to justify a road-side sign warning vehicles to go slow, an Indian gaur crosses the road in front of a motorcyclist. This image was taken late in the evening on the outskirts of Valparai, Tamil Nadu.
Valparai has vast tracts of tea estates that are surrounded by forests. As the day comes to an end, gaur move from the forest patches to graze on the grass growing within tea estates. This is the time at which they are … Read More
Further to the ‘Tahr alert in Tamil Nadu’ Featured Photo, CI reader, Pravin Shanmughanandam, has sent us another image taken recently on the Pollachi – Valparai highway in Tamilnadu. He says that all along the 40-km stretch that cuts through prime forests, tourists get down at various places, without much monitoring. According to him, from the 5th to the 11th hairpin bends, where Nilgiri Tahr and Bonnet Macaques thrive, tourists approach them at close quarters and cause disturbance. This sometimes … Read More
This picture highlights roadkill of a Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) observed inside Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh. The metal road that lies on the Indo-Nepal border is about 26 km long from Dudhwa gate to Gauri Phanta (Last village on India’s side) and is open to vehicular traffic from approximately 6 am to 7 pm. The road is quite busy during the day with large transport trucks, tempos and buses crossing the International border from either side.
During our … Read More
Title: The Handbook of Road Ecology
Editors: Rodney van der Ree; Daniel Smith and Clara Grilo
Linear infrastructure, such as roads, railways, power lines, pipelines, tracks and trails and the vehicles that travel on them are critical to supporting economic growth and development. However, the ecological impacts of linear infrastructure and vehicles can be massive, and usually negative. These impacts include habitat loss, fragmentation of habitats and populations, mortality of wildlife due to collision with vehicles, … Read More
The NH-37 from Guwahati to Tinsukia in Assam weaves through some really magnificent Terai forests and grasslands in the Brahmaputra floodplains. It is also a highly populated landscape. I was driving overnight on NH37 on 28th February 2015 to Tinsukia. Around midnight, near Demow, in Sibsagar District, I saw a small gathering on the road and I assumed that there had been an accident. It was indeed an accident but of a different nature. It was a roadkill of a … Read More
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
Urgent Action Needed!
Effective speed control measures to reduce wildlife road kills needed immediately as per locations suggested in report (download).
This report has been submitted to the Principal Secretary, Environment and Forests Department, Tamil Nadu and the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, Tamil Nadu Forest Department for action.
- The National Highway (NH209) passing through Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary poses a grave threat to wildlife.
- The extent of the road within the sanctuary is
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
This article originally appeared in Cat News 60 – Spring 2014 issue.
Leopards (Panthera pardus) face severe threats from poaching, loss of habitat and killing in retaliation to conflict. However, in India a new threat appears to be emerging in the form of vehicle accident mortalities. In the past 60 months 23 leopards have been recorded as killed due to road accidents in the southern Indian state of Karnataka alone. When roads overlap with important wildlife habitats, considerable … Read More
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
This image was taken on June 3rd, 2014 at Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) in Tamil Nadu. We were driving from Aliyar in the foothills to Valparai and a group of around 50 tourists were cheering and screaming, we got down to see what was going on. An amazing drama was unfolding in front of us — a herd of elephants (7) were chasing away a pack of dhole (around 20) along the banks of the Aliyar reservoir!
As this road … Read More
Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee, Wildlife First:
Your comment on developing alternative alignments to roads that cut through Wildlife Reserves is valid. A lot of effort has been put in by the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) to address this issue. There have been many interventions by Courts as well. So, we are moving forward but we cannot completely close down roads/highways since that would antagonise society, which will lead to the loss of public support for conservation. … Read More
The Indian porcupine (Hystrix indica) is an elusive nocturnal rodent. It is covered in multiple layers of quills. The longest ones grow from its shoulders to about a third of its length. Its tail is covered in short, hollow quills that it rattles when threatened. When attacked, it raises its quills and rattles the hollow tail quills. If the predator still persists, the porcupine launches a backwards assault, hoping to stab its attacker with its quills. It does … Read More