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

Biligiri Rangana Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRT) forest staff expose ungulate poachers’ racket

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The Forest Department squad of Biligiri Rangana Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRTWLS), pursuing fleeing poachers, has bumped into a well-knit racket into ungulate (hoofed animals) poaching, which has been active for the past five years. Three persons have been arrested in this connection.… Read More

1,000 pangolins hunted in 2 months

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Aug 14: The pangolin has become a hot favourite with wildlife traders in the region as it is believed their scales have medicinal properties that can cure arthritis, fever, venereal diseases and skin disorders. Only a week ago the police busted a poachers gang in Kamalapur village near Hampi and arrested seven men with 2.5 kg of pangolin scales, clearly meant for the international market where there is a huge demand for them.

Honorary wildlife warden, Bellary district Santosh Martin, … Read More

Organized International Pangolin Wildlife Trade Busted

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Conservationists headed by Santosh Martin, President Sloth Bear Foundation and also the honorary wildlife warden of Bellary district, Karnataka, with the help of Kamalapur police have unearthed a major organized international wildlife trade in Bellary district with the seizure of several kilograms of Pangolin scales. These scales were heading towards China and other south Asian Countries like Korea, Taiwan, etc., where the demand for scales and other animal body parts has increased exponentially over the recent years due to economic … Read More

The Kudremukh Saga — A Triumph for Conservation

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December 31st, 2005 was an environmentally historic day that went virtually unnoticed, even by most environmentalists.  It was the day on which a landmark judgment of the Supreme Court of India took effect, bringing the curtain down on a mining operation that was causing havoc in the Western Ghats of Karnataka.  The Supreme Court’s order was all the more remarkable because what was closed down was no two-bit operation but a massive, government-owned, export-oriented, profit making mining operation of the Read More

Nationwide tiger census in January 2010

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The much awaited tiger census will begin on January 22, 2010, and experts are optimistic that the government’s conservation methods after the last census’ shocking figures, should have helped protect the cats.

A regional training was held from November 10 to 12 at the Bandipur tiger reserve for forest officials. Now, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in coordination with the central government, various state forest departments and Project Tiger will undertake a detailed study of 17 states.

Speaking to … Read More