Kodagu Villagers Demonstrate a Model Response to Managing Human-Tiger Conflict

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Most often, in situations involving a large predator, which is accidentally cornered in human dominated landscapes, local people swiftly form raging mobs and attack the animal as well as impede forest officials handling the situation. This often ends tragically with the death of the big cat, and sometimes injuries to people and forest staff. In this context, WCS India would like to highlight the exemplary restraint and positive conservation attitude of village community of Nidugumba, which is about 1.2 km … Read More

Modeling Conflict Hotspots and Compensation Access in Central India

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Human-wildlife conflicts are among the most pressing conservation challenges today. Krithi K. Karanth, Arjun M. Gopalaswamy, Ruth DeFries and Natasha Ballal survey 735 households in a 5000 sq km area around Kanha National Park to model and map conflict hotspots and compensation access reported by people. These are highlights of their study from a paper published in the journal PloS One.

  • Surveys and interviews with 735 local residents from 347 villages surrounding Kanha.
  • Crop loss was reported by 73% of
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Mudumalai Masinagudi Road Teeming With Vehicles

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This road teems not just with crossing wild animals, but also vehicle traffic. In an attempt to catch a glimpse of the wild, vehicles often stop, blocking the road for other vehicles. Sometimes people go to the extent of annoying animals, like elephants, to get pictures and videos of “mock charges”, attacks and so on. I have personally observed an elephant calf get separated from its mother, unable to cross the road. The mother had to charge and drive vehicles … Read More

Lion-tailed Macaque with Ice Cream, Anamalai Hills

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We came across some Lion-tailed Macaques (LTMs) at Pudhuthottam estate near Valparai. While some of the LTMs were feeding on fruits and shoots, this one was feeding on Ice Cream irresponsibly discarded by tourists. This species is in constant conflict, with some of the males even entering the main town of Valparai. Ice Cream should be the last thing this endangered species needs.

The Lion-tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus) is an endangered and endemic macaque found only in the … Read More

Dogs at War — Indian Wolf hounded by Feral Dogs

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The Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallippes) though declared as an endangered species, and listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, remains an ignored species in India. Indian wolves, like most canids in India, are found in dry, degraded habitats which fail to get enough attention and protection compared to the green tracts of the country. These creatures are often found around human habitation in rural areas. Blamed for killing poultry, goats and sheep, adult wolves … Read More

Elephants Attempting to Cross Elephant Proof Trench

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This was photographed in the Chikkadevama hill, near Saragur, H D Kote Taluk, near Mysore. Here elephants are trying to cross an Elephant Proof Trench (EPT), so that they can raid adjacent crop fields. With most of their habitat deforested, and their corridors interrupted by human encroachments, it is no wonder that they are forced to raid crops.… Read More

Living with Elephants

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This was photographed in the Chikkadevama Hill, near Saragur, H D Kote taluk, Mysore. Adjoining this hill, there is a village called Lanke, where conflicts with elephants are frequent. During the crop season, many elephants cross the scrub jungle late in the evening and return back to forest in the early morning hours. This photograph clearly shows a villager trying to drive a group of elephants back to the jungle.

When one talks to the forest department people here, one … Read More

Local Tribes Inside Bandipur Tiger Reserve

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Human settlements in tiger reserves are a threat to the delicate movement of wildlife and in turn, face the danger of sudden attacks by wild animals. It is the animals that are going to lose eventually. Relocation of local tribes and villages out of the reserves is the only solution for both the tribes and animals, because man and animals have failed to coexist in peace. Human activity of any kind, good, bad or ugly is a nuisance to the … Read More

Mugger Entangled in a Fishnet, Ranganthittu

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My friends and I visited the Ranganthittu Sanctuary, near Mysore, Karnataka, on the afternoon on July 6th. We noticed this mugger, lying on a rock in the river when we were taken for a boat ride in the sanctuary. It had a nylon fishing net and twigs stuck into its mouth, and seemed to be feeling uncomfortable. It was struggling to get rid of the net and twigs. When we tried to approach it to have a closer look, the … Read More

Village Dogs and Indian Gaur, Nagarahole

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Every year, the backwaters of the Kabini river recede in summer, allowing a lush carpet of grassy meadows to develop. It kickstarts game movement, as animals head towards the water and and also enjoy the lush grazing grounds. The general scarcity of water attracts not only elephants from neighboring ranges, but also herds of gaur and sadly, humans too. This forest, like many others, has tribal settlements on the periphery. The further the water recedes, the deeper the humans intrude. … Read More

Leopard in a Tea Estate, Nilgiris

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This leopard was photographed in a tea estate, near Kothagiri in the Nilgiris. I have also seen this leopard atop a rock, watching people below plucking tea leaves. So far there have been no reports of a conflict. Thus, at the moment, the leopard lives in harmony with the people in the area.

Editor’s note:  Leopards in India are often found in human-dominated landscapes. Here is another image of a leopard outside a protected area. For insights into … Read More

Q: We live in a small village, Thekambattu, near Salem in Tamil Nadu. Recently we had elephants near us for the first time in living memory of the oldest inhabitants here. We are glad to see your site because it is perhaps what would have helped us at that time. Anyway, the elephants seem to be wandering; so perhaps this is not the last we see of them. We need to know what can be done here as and when they show up without any resources, trained manpower etc. There has to be something like an Elephant Rescue team on call in the country at different places, I guess…

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Answer from Shekar Dattatri, Conservation India:

The problem you describe in your question – and in more much more detail in your blog – is an extremely difficult one to tackle. Although you yourself seem to have analyzed the various dimensions to this dilemma, and may not find this answer very useful, we are posting it here for the benefit of other readers, but with this rider. No one from CI has been to the area or studied the … Read More

The Dangers of Fishing Near Sanctuaries

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I took this photograph of a Chital Stag with a fishing net entangled in its antlers, at Kabini in Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Nagarahole on March 7, 2012. I feel that fishing with nets in the catchment areas is endangering the lives of animals and this photograph proves the point. The deer was photographed in the park, therefore it can probably be assumed that the net got entangled inside the boundaries of the park, most probably in the shallow waters … Read More

Electrocuted Elephant in Sathyamangalam

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This cow elephant was electrocuted on the periphery of Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary on December 21, 2011. The spot is just 15 m away from the forest boundary. It did not die inside a farm. It seems to have just been foraging through densely grown bushes on the side of a cart track abutting a turmeric field. A live wire was concealed inside the bushes and in the course of foraging, the animal seems to have stepped on it, thus getting … Read More