Karnataka Forest Department seeking Tiger Reserve Status for Kudremukh National Park

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The Karnataka State Forest Department is seeking a Tiger Reserve Status for the Kudremukh National Park (KNP). Recently, the Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple Wildlife (BRT) Sanctuary was given the tiger reserve status by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). Union Minister Jairam Ramesh has also recently directed the state government to submit a proposal to declare KNP as a tiger reserve and also to shift machinery and infrastructure of the Kudremukh Iron Ore company that is lying inside the park. There … Read More

Lessons from Voluntary Resettlement in the Western Ghats

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K.Ullas Karanth and Krithi Karanth on the lessons learned from resettlement projects in three important protected areas in the Western Ghats — Nagarahole, Bhadra and Kudremukh.

Forests in the Western Ghats occur as fragmented strips within a larger landscape matrix of crops and tree plantations. Reserves in the Ghats cover only twelve per cent of total area and the average reserve size is 243 sq km; the fourteen legally protected areas in the Ghats cover a total of only 6400 … Read More

Agriculture land close to BRT Tiger Reserve handed over for Industrial Purposes

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The Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) has handed over 410.44 acres of land to Bannari Amman Sugars. The land is said to be within 1 km radius of the BRT Tiger Reserve and also on a part of an Elephant Corridor. According to a Supreme Court order, non-forest activities cannot be taken up within 10 kms of a protected area (eco-sensitive zone). The forest department has made it clear that no work can be undertaken without an approval from … Read More

Resort activity threatens Bandipur’s North Eastern boundaries

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Illegal resort activity is threatening Bandipur’s forest boundaries in Gundlupet Taluk. On Tuesday, the forest department booked a case against Tropical Wilderness and Wellness Pvt Ltd, clearing forest land, changing land use patterns without permission and for constructions in a wildlife corridor without obtaining permission. An older project, the Tiger Ranch in Mangala village, is also under the scanner for illegal land acquisition from tribals. The latter is however more difficult to take action against, as it is owned by … Read More

Bhadra River recovering from siltation impact after stoppage of Mining in Kudremukh

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The picture of the Bhadra River on the top loaded with silt after a heavy rainstorm was taken on 30th September, 2002 during the inspection by the Central Empowered Committee as ordered by the Supreme Court. The picture below showing the clear waters of the Bhadra River was taken on 18th October 2010 after a heavy rainstorm from the same location, five years after mining was stopped by the Apex Court based on a petition filed by Wildlife First. This … Read More

Protests against mini hydel projects in Bisle forests in Karnataka

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A protest was held by various environmental groups against two proposed mini hydel projects across the Addahole and Girihole streams. The Karnataka Renewable Energy Ltd. has cleared the projects each with a capacity of 24 MW. The protesters alleged that the projects would divert the streams which provided water to wild animals. The Bisle forests are home to endangered species such as the Lion-tailed Macaque.… Read More

A Reprieve for the Wolves of Maidenahalli

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The Indian wolf (Canis lupus pallipes), a subspecies of the Eurasian wolf (Canis lupus), found in the Himalayan ranges, is a lanky animal with short fur, about the size of a German Shepherd Dog. An estimated 2000-3000 of these animals now survive in India, mainly in the states of Orissa, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. They are wide ranging, pack hunting predators requiring large home ranges. As agriculture expanded … Read More

Insights From A Scientific Study Of The Bhadra Resettlement

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Relocation, resettlement and displacement of people have been carried out for several reasons in India and the history of such efforts goes back forty years. In India it is estimated that resettlement for conservation is a small fraction (less than one percent) of the more than sixty million people relocated for other reasons. The nature of these efforts has ranged from forcible eviction to voluntary relocation and they have ranged from abject failure to mixed success.

Relocation and resettlement of … Read More

Voluntary Resettlement from Bhadra Tiger Reserve, Karnataka

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Devappa was born when the Jagara Valley was a hunting ground of the British. When he was small, the valley had elephants, gaur, and tigers. Within it were villages such as his, sparsely distributed with few people.

In 1951, this 198 sq km area was declared Jagara Valley Game Sanctuary. The population of the villagers inside the reserve was low and the extraction of forest resources was more for self-subsistence than for the market.

In the sixties, a reservoir was … Read More

Human-Elephant Conflict and its Mitigation: Q&A with Sanjay Gubbi

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Is human–elephant conflict on the rise?

Yes, it seems to be.  We have failed to reduce crop depredation loss and injury to human life, which has made people living around wildlife habitats more hostile towards conservation.

As a consequence, there has been a constant increase in the retaliatory killing of elephants. In Karnataka alone 16 elephants were killed in 2006–07, 46 in 2008–09 and 41 in 2009–10. The compensation paid by the Karnataka Forest Department for loss to life and … Read More

Elephant Calf Roadkill, NH-212, Bandipur 2003

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Two highways pass through Bandipur Tiger Reserve. NH-67 (Gundlupet-Ooty Road) and NH-212 (Gundlupet-Sultan Batthery Road) and both those highways experience heavy traffic. The traffic on NH-67 is typically tourist traffic from Karnataka to the hill resort of Ooty, while on NH 212 there is heavy passenger and truck traffic plying to northern Kerala.

Due to speeding vehicles several animals mostly chital, nocturnal animals such as civets, black-naped hare, mouse deer were killed in large numbers. Roadkills shockingly included the illustrated … Read More

Using Multiple Sources of Information to Estimate Tiger Densities

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In landscapes where wildlife occurs in low densities, gathering information from a single data source often does not permit accurate estimation of population densities and abundance. In such cases, using multiple data sources may allow us to overcome ecological and logistical constraints to estimate densities of elusive carnivores such as tigers. In particular, innovative spatially explicit capture-recapture modeling approaches integrate information from photographic capture-recapture and genetic data to derive more robust estimates of tiger densities in India.

Authors A. M. … Read More

Land for steel plants endangers Daroji bear sanctuary

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BELLARY, Karnataka: Nature lovers and wildlife activists have expressed grave concern over the severe threat to “Karadidham”, Asia’s first and biggest sloth bear sanctuary, located near Hampi in Bellary district following allotment of land for steel plants.

“We are not against development and setting up of large-scale industries for value-addition to natural mineral wealth, particularly iron ore, in the district through the newly established Vijayanagar Area Development Authority (VADA). But our concern is for the severe threat posed to the … Read More