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

Morning Rush, Nagarahole

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The Mysore-Mananthavadi road passes right through the Nagarahole National Park. This particular stretch of the road is quite smooth and most vehicles zip across, at good speeds. People who have visited this park have seen a lot of wildlife around this stretch and know how dangerous it is when so many vehicles drive past every day.

This image is the last elephant of a herd that crossed the road one evening inside Nagarahole National Park, as safari jeeps and regular … Read More

Chitals Chewing Plastic and Paper, Bandipur

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This is an image from Bandipur. After a fine morning drive, having sighted a leopard in all its glory, the constituents of our vehicle were beaming with happines. However, the drive back to the resort brought everyone back to reality. Very close to the checkpost of Bandipur National Park, we saw tourists proceeding towards Ooty, feeding bread and jam to a herd of Chital. It has to be noted that of late, drivers and naturalists of Jungle Lodges and Rests … Read More

Leopard With Gaur Calf Kill, Bandipur

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I had heard about this leopard with a gaur calf kill 3 days prior to making this image. The leopard was unable to carry the kill atop the tree because of its size. The kill lay vertically beneath the tree but no one saw it till the leopard got down from the tree and dragged the kill to other side of the game track. Inspite of multiple days of feeding the kill was still massive in size relative to the … Read More

Leopard Outside Protected Areas

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We all know that unlike tigers, leopards are not strictly confined to national parks wildlife sanctuaries. This leopard (do you see the two little cubs!) was photographed near Jayapura Village, H D Kote Road. Because of rapid expansion of urban areas, we constantly hear of leopard captures in towns and even cities. In Mysore city alone, during the last few months, three leopards were captured:

Chamundi Hills: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/217901/leopard-trapped-chamundi-hills.html
N R Mohala, Mysore: http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/karnataka/article3003671.ece
Bellikere, Mysore: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/article2852542.eceRead More

Wildlife Gains 25 km Corridor in Kudremukh in Unique “Conservation Swap”

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In a precedent-setting “conservation swap” initiated by the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), and the Karnataka Forest Department, a 25 km long wildlife corridor disrupted by a 220 KVA power transmission line in Kudremukh National Park has been restored. The line was originally supporting the now defunct Kudremukh Iron Ore Company (KIOCL)’s mining operations, shut down by the Supreme Court in response to litigation by local wildlife conservation groups.

The Karnataka government had … Read More

India Adopts a New Refined Protocol to Monitor Tigers

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Will make India world leader in big cat monitoring, say scientists.

In a move welcomed widely by the conservation and scientific community, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has adopted new refined protocols for intensive annual monitoring of tiger source populations under ‘Phase IV’ of National Tiger Estimation. The new protocol is expected to lead to more robust estimates of population density, change in numbers over time and other crucial parameters such as survival and recruitment rates in key wild … Read More

Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Bheemeshwari, Karnataka

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The Grizzled Giant Squirrel (Ratufa macroura) is listed as “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to habitat loss and hunting. The strongholds for the squirrel are Srivilliputtur Grizzled Squirrel Sanctuary and Chinnar wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, and the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka.

These arboreal creatures seem to thrive at the Bheemeshwari and Galibore Fishing Camps of Jungle Lodges and Resorts (part of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary), and the two that … Read More

Negotiating For Protected Areas: How The Forests Of Anshi–Dandeli Were Increased

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Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary has seen several drastic changes in its boundaries. It was originally notified as a game sanctuary covering an area of 127 sq km on 10 May 1956. In 1975, post the euphoria of Project Tiger, it was declared a wildlife sanctuary and its area was expanded to 5,729 sq km. In 1987, to facilitate development projects – hydro-electric, a naval base, roads, transmission lines, mining and other industries – the area of the sanctuary came crashing down … Read More

Long-billed Vulture Chick, Ramanagara, Karnataka

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The welcome sight of a Long-billed Vulture chick on the crags of Ramanagara signal some hope for the augmentation of the very low population of this bird in the south of India. As of now, the number of Vultures at this location seem to have dwindled from thirteen, a year or two earlier, to only nine or ten. The painkiller chemical, Diclofenac, which is still not banned for human use, has decimated the population of Long-billed Vultures across the Indian … Read More

Magadi Tank — Reducing The Disturbance To Wintering Waterfowl

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Madagi, a small village which is an hour’s drive from Hubli in North Karnataka. Every winter thousands (5000+) of Bar-headed Geese (Anser indicus) and other migratory species like common teal, comb ducks, etc. come to this tank from Central Asia and Europe. This year (2012), 50+ tagged Bar-headed Geese were recorded in the area.

The lake is not protected and is open from all sides. Villagers use this lake for washing clothes, vehicles and other activities.

The forest … Read More