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

Lone Elephant in Degrading Landscape

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This was photographed in the Nugu Backwaters, near Saragur, H D Kotte, Mysore. Cattle Grazing and collecting timber for  firewood look like the major problems here. Once livestock return to their thatched huts, elephants start to come out of the forests late in the evening, heading towards water. They returns back to woods after finishing a quick drink. Landscape such as this slowly degrades over time due to the human land use modifications.… Read More

First Ever Camera Trap Photo of Striped Hyena in Bandipur Tiger Reserve

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Striped hyenas have been documented before in Mudumalai, but there have only been anecdotal reports of their presence in adjoining Bandipur. Their presence in adjacent areas inside Karnataka is only speculative.  The last two authentic evidences documenting their presence, are a road kill reported by Dr. Ullas Karanth around Nugu Wildlife Sanctuary in 1984 (observed and collected by the then ACF (Wildlife), Mysore); and another observation and a mobile phone capture by Praneet Goteti in farmlands around Bandipur (Moyar area) … Read More

Stray Dog Chasing Blackbuck

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Here is an image of a stray dog chasing a herd of Blackbuck in the Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve (formerly Maidenahalli). There were at-least 5 or 6 more dogs chasing the bucks, in a very organized fashion (not unlike dholes). This is a serious threat, as the fawns are easy targets for these dogs.

The reason these dogs enter the sanctuary is unchecked tourism. Often, tourists from nearby villages picnic inside the reserve and leave behind food, thus attracting dogs. … 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

Resort Vehicles and Responsibility

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I witnessed this at Kabini in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, where a canter van belonging to Jungle Lodges and Resorts was stopped extremely close to a wild tusker. When we approached the scene, the van was parked on the safari track with the tusker close to it on the left. The tusker then moved slightly towards the van (may be a metre or so) and then stopped, but the van remained in its position. Only when there were signs of a … Read More

Camera ‘Traps’ Black Leopards in Dandeli-Anshi

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Perhaps because they remind people of ‘Bagheera’, from Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, or perhaps because of their distinctive look, black leopards have always generated a buzz. Although they are just a genetic variant among the more common spotted form, it is usually assumed, even among many conservationists, that black leopards are a different species. Though the black form also occurs in dry forests, it tends to be more common in denser and humid forest regions (for example virtually all leopards … Read More

Being Human

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This was photographed early in the morning at Nandi hills (near Bangalore), a good birding destination with an evergreen forest patch on the top.

A Bonnet Macaque that lives in the wild, with no human interaction is a docile, shy creature. As a stark contrast, the ‘monkey’ that all city-folk know exhibits the exact opposite behavior – aggressive, thieving, angry, and dangerous even. The way this intelligent, curious species has adapted itself to whatever environment it has been introduced to … Read More

BPL – 123, Tale of a Leopard

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This one belies the field guides and the natural history books, which usually dismiss the leopard’s diet as “scrounging on smaller prey.” In actual fact, leopards are powerful predators that routinely kill fairly hefty prey such as spotted deer and sambar fawns.

Even so, Vinay S Kumar’s photograph of a leopard dragging a gaur calf is not a sight you see everyday. The picture, which was taken in Karnataka’s Bandipur Tiger Reserve, shows a male leopard dragging his massive kill … Read More