Amrit Mahal Kavals are semi-arid grasslands in Karnataka that were set aside several centuries ago, during the Vijayanagara empire, and protected as grazing grounds for a sturdy local breed of cattle known as Amrit Mahal, which was once highly prized as a military draught animal. The protection of these grasslands was continued by subsequent rulers, including Hyder Ali, Tippu Sultan, and the Maharajas of Mysore, as well as the British during their colonial reign in India. Although these grasslands … Read More
A young tusker walks along Aala Halla in Lokkere reserve forest (RF), an important migratory corridor connecting two parts of Bandipur Tiger Reserve. Ecological restoration in this landscape over the last 12-years involving Junglescapes (an NGO specialising in ecological restoration) has created a very healthy habitat for elephants, with excellent grass cover and numerous browsing trees / shrub species. The area has been made almost completely free of the exotic invasive Lantana camara. Usage of the habitat by elephants … Read More
Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) is a nocturnal and very rarely seen animal. Although listed as least concern in IUCN’s red list, this is increasingly being poached, and traded illegally. Sadly, most sightings of late have been that of dead civets.
This berry and fruit-eating omnivore has a gastrointestinal tract with the power to ferment coffee beans, improving the caffeine content. This power is one of its biggest threats, as it is “bought” to produce kopi luwalk or civet coffee.… Read More
Thoughtless construction work and habitat alterations may spell doom for Karnataka’s last Great Indian Bustards. Urgent action needed!
The Great Indian Bustard or GIB (Ardeotis nigriceps) is one of the rarest birds in the world. Endemic to the Indian subcontinent, it is listed under Schedule-1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. With fewer than 150 birds estimated to be surviving in the wild, the GIB is listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN’s red list, and sadly, could be first … Read More
Nagarahole Tiger Reserve offers a variety of landscapes with its mix of dry and moist deciduous forests. It is one of the best places to experience a wildlife safari full of surprises and thrills. It is a privilege to see nature’s inhabitants in their natural habitat, displaying raw emotions.
On a cool February afternoon in 2020, we started on our jungle safari. Soon we were all excited as we sighted a huge male tiger resting on the bund of a … Read More
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
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
We witnessed an astonishing natural history moment while on a ride inside Nagarahole Tiger Reserve on the 20th of September, 2017.
Just as the rain stopped in the morning in the Kabini area of the park, our safari jeep came upon a tiger facing off with a large pack of dholes. The crouching tiger seemed ready to pounce, when a bike-borne forest department staffer came riding between them, inadvertently chasing both away. The tiger disappeared into a bush, so we … Read More
The recent Supreme Court order on the issue of night traffic ban in the Bandipur National Park comes as a victory for tiger conservation as it has directed central authorities to come out with specific measures to shut down NH-212 permanently for traffic. The Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFF&CC) has been directed to file an affidavit on this within September 6.
The court has asked MoEF&CC to find out how NH-275 and SH-90 can be converted … Read More
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
Raichur district of Karnataka state is home to nearly 250 species of birds. It is also the second home for many migratory birds.
Manchlapur Lake in the District is a boon for a large number of migratory and resident birds. Nearly 194 species of birds have been recorded here by local birders, including lesser flamingo, greater flamingo, pied avocet, spot billed pelican, spoonbill, and bar headed goose, to name a few. The arrival of lesser flamingos to Manchlapur lake in … Read More
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
The Asiatic wild dog or dhole (Cuon alpinus) is pack-living apex predator found in south and southeast Asia, currently threatened with endangerment. Dholes are generally restricted to protected forest habitats, but also occur in reserve forests and production agroforests (like tea and coffee plantations). The recent IUCN Red List assessment suggests that there may be 1000–2000 adult, mature dholes left in the wild. Despite its precarious status, the dhole remains one of the least studied large carnivores in the world. … Read More
In a two-hour long risky and dangerous operation carried out by Wildlife SOS, a male sloth bear that had accidentally fallen into a forty feet deep well was rescued. It was released back into the wild after medical treatment and observation. The Wildlife SOS team at the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Center (BBRC) received a call from the forest officials about a sloth bear that had fallen into a deep well in Tumkur, a few hours’ drive from Bangalore. The well … Read More
An oft-used survival strategy in nature is to mimic something you’re not, either to ambush unsuspecting prey or to convince predators that you’re not tasty!
On a warm summer night in April 2015, we headed out on a night trail in the evergreen forests of Agumbe, Karnataka. We were quite happy to see a few snakes, scorpions and frogs. We were still on the trail when I noticed something unusual. Initially I dismissed it as a fallen dried leaf. But … Read More