Closing Highways to Night Traffic — A Case Study From Karnataka

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This Conservation India exclusive by Sanjay Gubbi, Assistant Director, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Member, State Board for Wildlife, Karnataka, highlights the conservation threat posed by roads and highways through PAs, showcases successful night closures of two major highways running through Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka and provides tips and inspiration for road closures in other protected areas.

Background: Impacts of roads on wildlife

India is in a phase of rapid infrastructural growth where improving the surface transport system is … Read More

Watchers and Guards — Unsung Heroes of Wildlife Conservation

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Originally published in The Hindu Survey of the Environment 2011.

Scorching sun, raging fires, inhospitable terrains and a few men trying to douse fires in these hostile conditions. Does this sound like a science fiction from a Hollywood blockbuster, unfortunately you are wrong. This is the scene in several of our protected areas during summers and few can bear with these situations and continue to fight for a cause. This clan has continued with this daunting task for decades in … Read More

CEC Report Calls Mining in Chitradurga and Tumkur Illegal and Irresponsible

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The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court, submitted a report that agrees with the Karnataka Lokayukta in calling the iron ore mining in Chitradurga and Tumkur districts as illegal and irresponsible. The amicus curiae, A D N Rao has said that the adverse effects in both districts were identical to the one witnessed in Bellary and has advocated that mining be controlled by the apex court, as it was done in Bellary. The court has issued a … Read More

First Conviction in Karnataka for Tiger Poaching

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Three poachers have been convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court in Bangalore. The three had been arrested in an operation in 2008 for possession of tiger paws, tiger pelts and bones. The conviction is a first of its kind for the State. Though the sentence is light, conservationists are happy that convictions have finally started. For many years, arrests have made news but the culprits would eventually go scot-free. The Upparpet police … Read More

Supreme Court Suspends Mining in Bellary, Karnataka

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The Supreme Court suspended mining in 10,868 hectares in Bellary district of Karnataka. The court also said that the Ministry of Environment and Forests will come out with a report on how much Iron ore is needed for the country’s steel industry and also spell out how much is to be domestic and how much needs to be imported. The bench’s decision came after a report from the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) that said that illegal mining was not only … Read More

Aghanashini Lion-tailed Macaque Conservation Reserve Notified

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An area of 299.52 sq kms has been declared as the Aghanashini Lion-tailed Macaque Conservation Reserve in Karnataka. Lion-tailed Macaque (LTM) distribution in the Karnataka forests has been studied over the years by various scientists. A detailed survey along with Vijay Mohan Raj, DFO and Mr K. Santhosh, with the financial support from Karnataka Forest Department, Rufford Small Grants, Primate Action Fund (Conservation International) and Primate Conservation Inc. was carried out in 2008. This study confirmed the results of our … Read More

Leopard Runover by Truck on Bangalore NICE Road, Feb 2011

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A leopard was run over by a heavy vehicle on the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) Road, connecting Bannerghatta Road and Kanakapura Road. It shows how much the urban sprawl have begun infringing on wildlife habitat. Forest officials and the Bannerghatta police, who visited the spot visit in the morning, said that the leopard sustained head injuries and died on the spot. The forests urban department which has ordered a probe is in the process of identifying the vehicle from … Read More

Rare Wayanad Laughing Thrush Spotted After 23 years in Uttara Kannada

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The rare Wayanad Laughing Thrush has been spotted again in the forests of the Joida Taluk in Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka. Dr. Ranjit Daniels had discovered the bird in these same forests in 1988. Prasanna Parab has discovered the bird in the Diggi Forests now. Only three species are found in South India — all enedmic to the Western Ghats. Parab has also spotted other rare birds such as the Malayan Night Heron and the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon in the … Read More

NTFP Collection and its Impact on Forests in the BR Hills, Karnataka

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Although the collection of NTFPs (Non-Timber Forest Products) is an age-old practice in India and many other parts of the world, there is little concrete knowledge about the sustainability of long-term, intensive extraction of forest fruits, roots, shoots, bark, resins and other products, and what ecological changes follow the commercialization of an NTFP. Such information is required – by foresters, conservationists and local people – to understand the ways in which wild resources are being manipulated, the subsequent ecological impacts, Read More

Leopard Crossing, Mysore — Mananthavadi Highway, Nagarahole

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A leopard tentatively crosses the Mysore – Mananthavadi highway in Nagarahole national park and tiger reserve in Karnataka. Based on the fact that this road passes through an extremely crucial habitat for elephants and tigers and number of tragic roadkills, conservationists filed an application to the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court to close the road to nighttime traffic.

The CEC on 05-05-2008 concluded that no vehicular traffic be permitted between 6pm and 6am apart from other mitigation … Read More

BR Hills and Kudremukh to Become Tiger Reserves

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Union Minister for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh said that the government had approved two more tiger reserves in Karnataka. BR hills in Chamrajnagar district and Kudremukh in Chikmagalur district would become the country’s 40th and 41st tiger reserves. This takes the number of tiger reserves in Karnataka upto six.… Read More

Supreme Court Sets up Team to Resurvey Mining Leases in Bellary-Hospet Forests

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There are 99 mining leases in the Bellary-Hospet forest region of Karnataka with allegations of encroachments and illegal mining outside the demarcations. Rapping the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) for not carrying the previous survey properly, the Supreme Court formed a new team comprised of representatives from the CEC, the Forest and Mines and Geology departments of the State Government and the Karanataka Lokayukta. The team would conduct fresh surveys of all 99 leased mines and if any encroachment was found, … Read More

Illegal laterite mining threatens Sagar forests

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Rampant and illegal laterite mining is reported from the Sagar Taluk in Shimoga, Karnataka. An RTI application with the Department of Mines and Geology reveals that permission has been accorded to mine only one and half acres across three villages. However, there are 200 illegal quarries reported in the Sagar Taluk operating on one hundred acres of land. Almost 50 truckloads of laterite blocks leave the Sagar Taluk on a daily basis. Most quarries are said to operate in forest … Read More