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

Artificial Filling of Waterholes Decried – Wildlife First Writes to CWW, Karnataka

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Shri Dipak Sarmah, IFS
PCCF & Chief Wildlife Warden
Karnataka Forest Department
2nd Floor, Aranya Bhavan
Malleswaram, Bangalore – 560 003

Sub: Request to reject the proposal to artificially replenish water holes

It is with great concern that we are observing the developments with regard to the proposal to artificially fill up water holes by transporting water in tankers. While we do welcome your decision to constitute an expert committee which is currently carrying out field inspections, we wish … Read More

Q: “We are a group of people interested in protecting lakes and wildlife of Bannerghatta National Park (BNP). We noticed that a lake is encroached near Kaleshwari village, Mantapa Grama panchayat, Bangalore 560083. Also, a new layout is coming up in the safe zone of BNP, and they are planning to release sewage water to the lake and drainage water to the stream, which passes through the heart of BNP. This Lake is the main water source for the wildlife of BNP. How can we protect this lake and wildlife of BNP?”

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Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Wildlife First:

Dear Shankara,

Thanks for writing to CI and good to learn about your interest to protect Bannerghatta National Park. You could possibly initiate the following steps:

  1. You should meet the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Executive Officer, Karnataka Lake Development Authority,2nd Floor, Parisara Bhavana, Chruch Street, Bangalore-560 001 and seek immediate action to stop the encroachment.
  2. Other authorities who can stop encroachment are – The Superintendent of Police Bangalore Rural or
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Field Survey of large mammals (transect surveys) and training program on their population monitoring methods — Call for Volunteers by WCS – India

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Field Survey of large mammals and training program on their population monitoring methods 

Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program and its partner Centre for Wildlife Studies are conducting field training camps for monitoring large mammal populations for the field season 2013. These field workshops will be held at several reserves in Karnataka including Dandeli-Anshi, BRT, Bhadra, Bandipura and Nagarahole. Some of the methods taught will include:

  1. Estimation of large herbivore populations
  2. Relative abundance estimation of large carnivores using scat encounter rates
  3. Demo
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Innovative Sign Surveys and Modeling for Tropical Forest Ungulate Densities

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Habitat destruction, hunting and socio-economic pressures are leading to low densities of large ungulates in tropical forests. With traditional population assessment methods proving to be unreliable, the need for innovative applications that tackle issues of imperfect detections becomes paramount.

A. M. Gopalaswamy, K. U. Karanth, N. S. Kumar and D. W. Macdonald estimate forest ungulate densities using abundance models of occupancy. These are the highlights of their study published in the journal Animal Conservation in 2012.

  • A field survey of
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Indian Spotted Chevrotain (Mouse Deer), Nagarahole

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The Indian Spotted Chevrotain (Moschiola meminna) is often referred to as the Mouse Deer. However in recent times, Indian Spotted Chevrotain seems to be the preferred usage.

This diminutive animal is nocturnal in habit, making it very difficult to see one in daylight. Occasionally a chevrotain may be seen late in the evening or early in the morning if it ventures out into the open like the one in this image, photographed one foggy morning near the Kabini … Read More

Blackbuck and Sheep

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This was photographed in a field near the Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve (formerly Maidenahalli) in Tumkur district, Karnataka. These free ranging blackbuck share their habitat with sheep herders and a lot of sheep. The sheep herders use dogs to protect their livestock and these dogs sometimes prey on newborn blackbuck — another threat to the numerous ones the reserve and the blackbuck already faces.

See this post for more conservation threats to the Jayamangali Blackbuck.… Read More

Blackbuck Entangled by Barbwire, Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve

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I have been visiting the Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve (formerly Maidenahalli) over the past 3 years, and have observed the number of blackbuck drastically falling. There are several threats to the reserve:

  • I saw this unfortunate sight of a blackbuck with a wire entangled around its neck. It may have been a trap set to catch blackbuck or drive them away from farms. I have never seen this before — this is a new threat for the animals.
  • Private land
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Kodagu Villagers Demonstrate a Model Response to Managing Human-Tiger Conflict

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Most often, in situations involving a large predator, which is accidentally cornered in human dominated landscapes, local people swiftly form raging mobs and attack the animal as well as impede forest officials handling the situation. This often ends tragically with the death of the big cat, and sometimes injuries to people and forest staff. In this context, WCS India would like to highlight the exemplary restraint and positive conservation attitude of village community of Nidugumba, which is about 1.2 km … Read More

Sloth bear cub trapped in snare — Rescued by Wildlife SOS & Karnataka Forest Department

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In the early hours of 3rd December 2012, Wildlife SOS team in Bangalore headed by veterinarian Dr. Arun A Sha received an SOS call from the DFO Tumkur Division, Karnataka Forest Department about a sloth bear trapped in a snare. This was a very unusual case and we had little time to lose. The location was about 2-hours from Bangalore city (about 150 kms) in a village situated in Tumkur division.

The Wildlife SOS team from the Bannerghatta Bear Rescue … Read More