A Dead Owl on a String, Bangalore

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

A sunny Sunday morning turned up one of the most bizarre sights of the season. A Barn Owl’s right wing hanging on a string, blowing and turning in the wind in a secondary forest patch in Bangalore. It was not too difficult to unravel the story though!

A play kite had been flown and somehow the person flying it had let it loose, and it had blown over and got stuck in a tree in the woodland patch. The dark … Read More

Elephants near Human Settlements

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

This was photographed in the backwaters of the Kabini River in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. Across the river, just outside the reserve (Gendathur side of Bandipur Tiger Reserve), there are a lot of human settlements. Elephant Proof Trenches (EPT) protecting this area do little to stop the herds. Elephants easily swim across from the Nagarahole side to graze on grass on the Bandipur side, bringing them into frequent conflicts with humans. Cattle grazing occurs near the human settlements in the morning, … Read More

Rhino and Cattle, Pobitora, Assam

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

This image was captured in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam in November 2014. This small sanctuary, just 30 km east of Guwahati, houses the highest density of wild rhinos in the world. It is hemmed in on all sides by villages. It also has a sizeable population of Asiatic Water Buffalos, Wild Boar, Jackals and a huge variety of resident and migratory birds. Though declared a sanctuary in 1987 it has an extremely porous border, with cattle, wood cutters and herdsmen … Read More

White-bellied Sea Eagle on a Fish Trap in Lake Chilika, Odisha

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

Fish trapped in nets catch the attention of a White-bellied Sea Eagle in Lake Chilika, Odisha. Sea Eagles and other birds often perch near fish traps in the hopes of finding easy prey. Unfortunately, they risk entanglement in the nets themselves should they take the risk of diving into the traps. Lake Chilika is an extremely productive ecosystem, and fishing, though largely traditional, has become very intensive. So much so, that virtually no part of the lake is free from … Read More

Why Captive or Man-Eating Big Cats Should not be Released into the Wild

-  Announcements, -  Articles Leave a Comment

Preamble

They say the path to hell is paved with good intentions. That’s certainly true of releasing captive or man-eating big cats into the wild, ostensibly to ‘conserve’ them. In 2015, a wild tiger from Chikmagalur that killed a local woman, and showed no fear of humans, was captured by the Forest Department.  Unfortunately, while initial press reports indicated that it would be transferred to the Bannerghatta zoo, this dangerous animal was instead released into the Bhimgad forest against the Read More

Elephant Rescue, Valparai

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

It was that time of the year again, when elephants slowly started marking their presence. Like every year, there were incidents of households getting hit here and there, thankfully, nothing major though. What is always interesting to note every year is the consistency they maintain in terms of their movement patterns, and also in the damage sites they choose! Early that morning I decided to take off from my daily routine in front of my Macbook’s hypnotizing screen. I went … Read More

Healthy Dogs, Healthy Cats — Containing Feral Dogs to Protect Wildlife

-  Announcements, -  Articles Leave a Comment

Feral dogs kill more livestock in Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh region than snow leopards and wolves combined. Now, conservationists and local communities are teaming up to contain the canines and protect local wildlife.

In India’s Spiti region, an unlikely threat to wildlife has emerged over the last few of years: feral dogs. Kaza, Spiti’s capital, only has 300 households – but as many as 250 feral dogs. They roam free, without proper homes, care and attention. These dogs have … Read More

Feral Dogs – A Growing Threat to Wildlife

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

The grasslands of Tal Chhapar in Rajasthan are home to a rich variety of wildlife. Blackbuck dominate the park landscape and during winter, it’s a paradise for birdwatchers. Majestic raptors, fast-flying falcons, agile wheatears, spiny-tailed lizards, the list goes on. While the park has a well balanced ecosystem, wildlife does spill out of the park due to various reasons. Villagers often dump carcasses of their dead animals for open burials at the nearby Goshala. These carcasses attract scavengers, like Egyptian … Read More

Roads Emerging as a Critical Threat to Leopards in India?

-  Articles Leave a Comment

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

Elephant Conflict, Odisha

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

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

Photography a Serious Threat to the Great Indian Bustard

-  Announcements, -  Articles Leave a Comment

The GIB does not differentiate between a photographer and a poacher and treats them both as a serious threat. So, even approaching the bird for benign purposes such as wanting to take a picture can pose a serious threat to these birds, whose number has plummeted below 200 in India.

The GIB lives in open, short grass plains. It uses its height of 3.5 to 4 feet to scan for threats, and is able to perceive them from a long … Read More

Chital antlers entangled in fishing net, Nagarahole

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

This was photographed on the Kabini Backwaters in the Nagarahole tiger reserve on 18th June, 2014. This chital was running desperately trying to get rid of a fishing net entangled in its antlers. I hope this image highlights the threat of carelessly discarded nets to wildlife.

Nets pose a significant threat to wildlife often leading to fatalities. See more images of this threat on Conservation India.

Is there any way the forest department can periodically clean such nets and plastic … Read More

Dead Giant Flying Squirrel, Agumbe

-  Photos Leave a Comment

Came upon this sad sight recently. An Indian Giant Flying Squirrel (Petaurista philippensis) is caught in a barbed wire fence near Agumbe (Shimoga district) in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. This animal must have suffered a slow and agonizing death entangled in the fence. Possibly, the squirrel had died a few days ago as the body was beginning to decompose.

A local said he saw a similar sight last year in the vicinity. Incidentally, that incident was also reported on Read More

Human-Elephant Conflict, Coimbatore

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

Though an old picture (taken in 2012), this image shows the rise of Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) in the The Thadagam valley of Coimbatore. This area has become a major centre for brick production and the numerous brick kilns have drastically altered the landscape and interfered with the animal movement in the area. The outskirts of Coimbatore have served as traditional elephant migratory corridors connecting the various major forested regions of the Western and Eastern Ghats.

These two tuskers were standing … Read More

Feral Dogs and Wild Canids in Bidar

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

The grasslands of Bidar are home to several species of wildlife. The star attractions are Blackbuck and Indian Fox, among others. There has been a rapid development of the city and industries around the grassland. There are several small settlements that have come up, bringing with them domestic fowl and stray/feral dogs.

During one of our trips to Bidar, we saw a fox on an evening visit to the grassland. We also saw dogs chasing blackbuck. The next morning, we … Read More