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

Tiger and a plastic bottle, Bandipur

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I saw this young tigress in Bandipur with a plastic bottle near its feet.

In spite of a nighttime traffic closure (see CI casestudy), the Ooty-Mysore highway (NH 67) through Bandipur Tiger Reserve causes serious disturbances to wildlife. Tourists and passersby are always stopping by the road to look at wild animals or disturbing them like feeding monkeys, getting close to already agitated elephants, honking and, not the least, speeding.

Hoever, what disturbed me most was this plastic … Read More

Pelican Poaching in Kanva Dam, Channapatna, Karnataka

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Kishan SB, Deepak Jois, Amith Kumar, Aravind S and I had gone to Kanva Dam, (which is behind Kengal temple on the Mysore-Bangalore highway near Channapatna) on the afternoon of 18th Feb 2013. There was a lot of water in the dam. We could see Painted Storks, River Terns, Whiskered Terns, Spot-billed Ducks, Black-winged stilts and Black-tailed Godwits in the water.

There were a flock of five Grey or Spot-billed Pelicans (Pelecanus philippensis). As we were watching them … Read More

Replenishing Water Tanks in Wildlife Reserves: How Scientific?

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A recent decision by the Karnataka Forest Department to replenish drying waterholes in Bandipur and Nagarahole Tiger Reserves with water brought in from outside using water tankers, has been opposed by several experienced conservationists, who have worked in these areas for several decades. Sometime ago, CI carried a letter to the PCCF (WL), Karnataka, from K.M. Chinappa, former Range Forest Officer, Nagarahole, and President, Wildlife First, and Praveen Bhargav, Trustee, Wildlife First. Here we present the views of Dr. K. Read More

Egyptian Vultures near Hassan, Karnataka

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I spotted a group of over 25 Egyptian Vultures on 12th January 2013, near Hassan, Karnataka. A research paper by scientists from the Bombay Natural History Society (BHNS) shows that the number of vultures in the country increased marginally between 2011 and 2012. While it is heartening to hear of the stabilization, vulture populations are hardly out of the woods, until Diclofenac, the killer veterinary drug that wiped out vultures, is truly eliminated. Its use continues despite a ban. As … Read More