Fences in Protected Areas — No Easy Solutions

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Fences are meant to protect forests from encroachment. Sometimes, however, they can prove fatal for the very animals that they are in place for. An Indian Giant Flying Squirrel (Petaurista philippensis) is caught in one such fence near Agumbe (Shimoga district) in the Western Ghats of Karnataka.

This is a popular tourism spot that is also part of the rainforest. The fences were erected to protect the rainforest – to stop people from trespassing into the forest and … Read More

Commercial activity in Shola grasslands

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Shola grasslands are high-altitude grasslands, evergreen, with very good water retention capacity. The Western Ghats is a biodiversity hotspot, supporting many endemic and threatened species, a region where many streams and rivers originate. The mountains are known for the wide variety of flora, including many medicinal herbs. The roads are laced with many tiny wild flowers of different hues.

One look at the landscape is enough to take your breath away. It is alright to soak in the beauty. It … Read More

Macaque fielding at slip, Bandipur!

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The highlight of a rather rainy trip to Bandipur in April 2012 came from a rather unexpected source. With Bandipur’s famed carnivores declining to give us an audience, the little bonnet macaques decided to put on a show for us on our last safari!

We were on our way out post the afternoon safari and right at the exit, in a large open meadow, we stopped to check out some bonnet macaques. Especially since one of them had a little … Read More

Huge Impacts, But No assessment? Groups Urge MoEF to Correct its Blunder on Yettinahole Diversion Project

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Yettinahole Diversion Project is being planned in the Western Ghats and Eastern Plains of Karnataka, by the Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited (KNNL) purportedly as a drinking water supply scheme to supply 24 TMC water to Kolar and Chikkaballapur Districts. The scheme involves 8 dams in Western Ghat forests, 250 kms long canals, 80 and 50 kms long raising mains, a reservoir that will submerge 1200 hectares of land and 2 villages. A closer look at the Project Report of the … Read More

Moon Crab at Devbagh Beach, Karwar

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While walking along the water’s edge one evening during a visit to the Devbagh Beach Resort near Karwar, I was treated to one of the most beautiful creatures that I had ever seen. It was probably a crab though the spines on either side of its body and legs gave it a very non-crab appearance at first sight.

The creature that I was staring at had an almost circular body, which was about 4 cm across. But the flattened appendages … Read More

Long-billed Vultures Mating, Ramanagaram

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We were lucky to witness the courtship of Long-billed Vultures (Gyps indicus) in Ramanagaram (Ramadevarabetta) in January this year (2013). The process of both courtship and mating went on for a few minutes and they started the entire process again. We left the critically endangered vultures with their privacy and with a silent prayer that their brood grows!

It will be recalled that in response to a hard fought conservation battle, the government of Karnataka notified Ramadevarabetta as … Read More

Cormorant Caught in Fishing Net, Bhadra

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We found a dead Little Cormorant (Microcarbo niger) caught in a fishing net in the backwaters of the Bhadra Dam. Cormorants are fish-eaters, feeding on small eels, fish, and even water snakes. They dive underwater and propel themselves with their feet. Cormorants can dive to depths of upto 45 metres.

Birds like cormorants, as well as other animals like crocodiles, can get entangled in these fishing nets that are cast in rivers and backwaters. The dangers caused by … Read More

Leopard Road Kill, MM Hills

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A young male leopard was victim of being run over at night by a speeding vehicle on 5th January, 2013. This happened on the Konanakere-Talubetta Road near the foothills of MM Hills.

Related media coverage about the incident.

Roads and highways through protected areas pose a severe conservation threat. In Karnataka, 9 of the 15 national highways pass through important wildlife habitats in the Western Ghats, while 28 state highways (out of 151) pass through the Ghats. The primary challenge … Read More

Forest Officer Found in Possession of Elephant Tusks – Demand Action!

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Bangalore-based conservation NGO, Wildlife First, has written to the Chief Wildlife Warden of Karnataka demanding immediate action against a senior officer of the Karnataka Forest Department who was found in possession of elephant tusks in his house. The Central Bureau of Investigation found the tusks during an anti-corruption raid. Wildlife First’s letter to the Chief Wildlife Warden is attached for viewing.

Those who are concerned about this are encouraged to email the Chief Wildlife Warden requesting that immediate action be … Read More

Malabar White-headed Starling, Dandeli

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Above is an image of a Western Ghats endemic, Malabar White-headed Starling (Sturnia blythii), taken by Vaibhav Kamatkar at Dandeli, Karnataka. “Most people who go to visit wildlife sanctuaries are educated,” he remarks, “so why can we not desist from throwing away plastic trash, which could have such a bad effect on the environment?” … Read More

Marsh Crocodile Dead After Swallowing Fishing Net, Ranganathittu

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A male ‘Marsh crocodile’, found dead in Cauvery River at Ranganathittu bird sanctuary near Srirangapatna in the Mandya district on Monday night, swallowed a piece of fishing net.

The crocodile was around 40-years old. The carcass of the crocodile was found floating near an islet at the sanctuary on Monday night. There was some panic that it died of disease as at least 35,000 birds have nested on the trees at the islets at Ranganathittu. The incident has raised a … Read More

Black Stork, an Uncommon Bird in South India, Nagarahole

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The Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) is an uncommon bird in South India. It is a winter visitor and considered to be rare in the Deccan. It has not been recorded in South India (Ali & Ripley, 2001).

However, over the last few years there have been several sightings in Karnataka. The bird has been seen in north Karnataka in the vicinity of Dandeli. In more recent times, there have been reports of a bird from Bangalore as well … Read More

Electrocuted Elephant, Nagarahole

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This magnificent tusker was electrocuted on Nov 12th, 2012, around 1 a.m., in Balle Range in the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. The elephant was frequently seen in the area and was known to have sight in only one eye. As it was attempting to cross a tribal village, it appears to have entangled in a triangular section formed by an electric pole and the guy wires holding it up. The elephant’s attempts to free itself seem to have brought the guy … Read More