A Leopard’s Meal – the Ubiquitous Feral Dog

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On September 19, 2020, while exiting the forest after wrapping up our afternoon safari in Bandipur Tiger Reserve, we noticed a free-ranging/feral dog enter the park from the highway. Although we tried our best to chase it back towards where it came from, it ventured deeper inside the forest. We were quite concerned as we had just sighted a tiger cub near a waterhole, 500m from the highway.

The next day, we skipped the morning safari and drove around the … Read More

Kite Flying — A Death Sentence

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It was a pleasant Sunday evening, during the 1st week of June 2020. I was enjoying the nature trail inside our lush green campus of CMPDI Nagpur, a habitat with more than 70 species of birds. While on the walk, I was left horrified after spotting a juvenile Shikra, hanging by its neck. This unfortunate bird was tangled in a nylon thread used for kite flying. Despite the National Green Tribunal (NGT)’s ban on using Chinese manja (kite strings made … Read More

Stray Dogs Killing a Chital Fawn, Muthanga, Kerala

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I was driving from Kerala to Bangalore on 18th May 2018 around 2.45 pm through Muthanga Wildlife sanctuary (Wayanad) in Kerala. Near the forest border, on the Kerala side and next to the highway, I noticed two stray dogs chasing a spotted deer fawn. Within a few minutes they hunted down the fawn. I just slowed down the vehicle and clicked this picture. I didn’t stop the vehicle as it is not permitted to stop inside the protected area.

Later … Read More

Free Ranging Dogs — A Serious Threat to Wildlife in PAs

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During my visit to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary (Keoladeo National Park), Rajasthan, in February (2019), I had the opportunity to witness a rather ghastly moment in the wild.

A female spotted deer, which was apparently ill and was unable to move was killed by two feral dogs. When I reached the spot, I could see them feeding on the carcass.

These dogs also chased a spotted deer fawn which was able to escape to live another day due to intervention of … Read More

Dogs wreak havoc at Maidenahalli Blackbuck Reserve, Karnataka

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It was my first trip to Jayamangali (formerly Maidenahalli) Blackbuck Conservation Reserve in 2008. Soon after we reached I got my first glimpse of blackbuck.

Later in the day while I was trying to photograph an Indian Courser, when I heard a pack of five stray dogs chasing a blackbuck exactly like what dhole or wilddog do in the jungle. They circled the animal and were attacking the antelope from all sides. Amidst all this commotion came another bigger pack … Read More

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

Monitor gives dog the slip at Buxa Tiger Reserve

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Jayanti is a small village within Buxa Tiger Reserve in Alipurduar district of West Bengal. On the 7th of August, 2018, three of us had been out watching butterflies around there, and had started on our way back at around 2 pm. We were walking along the river Jayanti, when suddenly, something caught our attention. It was a feral dog, holding a water monitor in its mouth.

We noticed that they were both biting each other. The water monitor is … Read More

Sightings of Adult Gharial in Mirzapur stretch of River Ganga in Uttar Pradesh

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A Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) has been sighted on multiple occasions at different locations in the Mirzapur stretch of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh. It was first reported by two fishermen (Naresh Sahni and Ravindra Sahni) at Shitladham ghat, Adalpura (Chunar) while they were fishing around 4 pm on 26th February, 2020. According to them, the Gharial was old, and may weigh approximately 200 kgs.

In another sighting, on 29th February 2020 near Shastri Bridge, Mirzapur, it was basking on a … Read More

Conflict Big Cats to be Termed as Dangerous and not as Man-eaters, their Elimination only by Dept. Staff

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With wildlife veterinarians calling upon the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to revamp the prevailing guidelines/SOP to deal with conflict big cats (tigers and leopards), certain changes have been brought in the procedures to be followed by the tiger range states in India from November 11, 2019. This puts an end to hiring of hunters / sharp shooters for capture operations of big cats as also calling conflict tigers as ‘man-eaters’ and finally, leaving major decisions to skilled wildlife vets … Read More

A Conflict Tale from Valparai, Tamil Nadu

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On 26th August, 2017, we were roaming around Valparai looking for wildlife, we came across an incidence of Human-Elephant conflict. We could sense some commotion near the sheds of some estate workers, and saw people running here and there. Upon checking, we heard that a female elephant had entered the premises of one of the workers and was polishing off a plantain tree.

There appeared to be two groups of people at the scene – one, consisting mostly of youth, … Read More

Kashmir Grey Langur, Dachigam National Park, Jammu & Kashmir

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On a recent trip to Dachigam National Park, I encountered a large troupe of these langurs (~50) crossing the main road. I was intrigued with the morphology of the monkey and was keen to understand more. This note is a summary of some of the research studies on the animal.

Kashmir (or Dark-eyed Himalayan) Grey Langur (Semnopithecus ajax) is a species of leaf-eating monkey formerly considered as a subspecies of S. entellus. However, recent studies have confirmed its status … Read More

Feral Dog Hunting Bar-headed Goose, Magadi, Karnataka

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In December 2018, I had been to Magadi Kere Conservation Reserve (declared in 2015), popularly known as Magadi Bird Sanctuary in Gadag District of North Karnataka. Several migratory birds make this lake their home during winter. Of these winter visitors is one of the world’s highest flying birds, the Bar-headed Goose, migrating from Mongolia. Over the years, bird lovers have reported many ringed birds here, contributing to the data about their migration. The Karnataka Forest Department has also taken measures … Read More

Conserving Shared Spaces for People and Predators

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Conservation of carnivores and their habitats is a complex challenge. Many of India’s carnivore species continue to share space with humans, and this necessitates understanding human-carnivore interactions to minimize conflict and foster co-existence. A recent study by researchers from the Centre for Wildlife Studies, University of Florida, Wildlife Conservation Society-India and USA, and Duke University examined interactions between humans and carnivores (dhole, Indian wolf, Indian fox, golden jackal and striped hyena) in the Kanha-Pench corridor in central India.

The study … Read More

Carnivores as Co-owners of our Lands

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Among the range of attributes that represent India is the little-known, seldom-acknowledged diversity of carnivore species it harbors. The country has 23% of the world’s terrestrial carnivore species. While popular discourse typically links large carnivores to forested reserves or large inviolate spaces, many of India’s carnivore species have historically shared spaces and adapted to using human modified landscapes. A recent study by researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society-India, Centre for Wildlife Studies, Foundation for Ecological Research And Learning, University of … Read More

Illegal Trapping of Birds in Uttara Kannada, Karnataka

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In November 2018, while walking across some fields in my village, Gundbala, in Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka, I was happy to see a lot of bird activity around my village. However, something caught my eye from afar, and when I ventured near I saw that there was a thin net spread across some shrubs/short trees along the dividing fence between adjoining paddy fields. It was thin and looked like a giant spider web, but really strong, with a female Plum-headed … Read More