Since November 2021, Himalayan Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus laniger) have been spotted in the foothills of north Bengal, perplexing Forest Department personnel, wildlife biologists, and local inhabitants alike. The species is usually only found at altitudes between 1200-4300m above sea level in tropical, subtropical, and temperate broadleaved and conifer forests of the Himalayas. Ursus thibetanus laniger is easily identified by a cream-coloured, crescent-shaped patch on the chest, earning its other common name, ‘Moon Bear’. It is one of the four … Read More
Bear knocked dead by train on Chanda Fort-Gondia line, Maharashtra
CHANDRAPUR, MAHARASHTRA: A full-grown sloth bear was knocked dead by a speeding train in Chichpalli forest range during the wee hours of Sunday, August 1, 2021. Officials said that a female bear, aged around three and half years, was crossing the track near railway poll no. 1198/9 in the Mul-Chichpalli stretch of Chanda Fort Gondia railway line, when the accident took place.
The bear suffered multiple fractures in the hip and hind legs and died after creeping a few metres … Read More
A Grizzled Giant Squirrel Felled – Kuthiraiyar, TamilNadu
In 2019, I made yet another visit to the Palni foothills in Tamil Nadu, and this visit took me to the catchment area of Kuthiraiyar Dam. I walked around, observing birds, discussing with the locals, and thinking about the ongoing reclamation process that could hold a lot of promise to the Kuthiraiyar.
The Palni hills, including this area, are some of the last remaining habitats of the grizzled giant squirrel (Ratufa macroura). Of the four giant squirrels in … Read More
Three New Linear Intrusions in Goa will Fragment Western Ghats
On April 7 2020, the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) cleared three infrastructure projects during a standing committee meeting via video conference of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), namely:
- The 400 KV High Tension Line, cutting through both protected areas (PAs) — Mollem National Park and the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Double-tracking of the railway line from Vasco to Castle Rock, which hits two segments of Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The National Highway expansion damaging both the protected
Voice your rejection of the Hubballi Ankola Railway Line Project (HARP) in Uttara Kannada
The Western Ghats are among the most important biodiversity hotspots in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The controversial Hubballi-Ankola Railway Line Project (HARP) will destroy some of the last remaining primary forests of the Western Ghats in Uttara Kannada and result in massive, irreversible ecological destruction. This region has already lost 3300 sq km of pristine forests, and stands to lose more if HARP becomes a reality. No amount of mitigation will compensate for the loss of … Read More
Desert Highway becomes Death Trap – Urgent Action Needed!
This image was taken near Diyatra village, 59 km outside Bikaner en route to Phalodi, in May 2018. Other dogs around it appeared to be well-fed and resting under Prosopis trees and this single individual was feeding on leftovers.
This highway stretch between Bikaner – Phalodi had been recently converted to a four-lane highway (55 km) and 100 km of it was widened to an extra 10 feet. This possibly triggered a lot of wildlife road kills as well. Stray … Read More
SC Directs Centre for Alternatives to NH-212 in Bandipur Tiger Reserve
The recent Supreme Court order on the issue of night traffic ban in the Bandipur National Park comes as a victory for tiger conservation as it has directed central authorities to come out with specific measures to shut down NH-212 permanently for traffic. The Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFF&CC) has been directed to file an affidavit on this within September 6.
The court has asked MoEF&CC to find out how NH-275 and SH-90 can be converted … Read More
A Serious Hazard for the Flamingos of Manchlapur Lake, Karnataka
Raichur district of Karnataka state is home to nearly 250 species of birds. It is also the second home for many migratory birds.
Manchlapur Lake in the District is a boon for a large number of migratory and resident birds. Nearly 194 species of birds have been recorded here by local birders, including lesser flamingo, greater flamingo, pied avocet, spot billed pelican, spoonbill, and bar headed goose, to name a few. The arrival of lesser flamingos to Manchlapur lake in … Read More
A Bullet to the Lungs: Mumbai Set to Lose More Forest to High-Speed Railway Line
Will development once again take precedence over conserving India’s natural wealth?
India’s forests are quietly disappearing to accelerated infrastructure development. During the past three decades, approximately 15,000 sq km of forests have been diverted for development projects. Among them, 5000 sq km for mining, 1,600 sq km for defence projects and 1400 sq km for hydroelectric projects (http://data.gov.in). As of 2019, government data shows that 15,19,167.19 hectares of forest land have been diverted for non-forest use cumulatively across … Read More
From Killer Roads to Humane Highways
A 17-minute conservation film on the impact of roads and highways on wildlife.
The rapid expansion of roads and highways through Protected Areas and corridors is one of the most serious threats facing India’s wildlife today.
In this context, we are pleased to announce the release of a powerful conservation film on this topic by wildlife and conservation filmmaker, Shekar Dattatri.
‘From Killer Roads to Humane Highways’ addresses the adverse impacts of roads and highways on wildlife, and showcases some … Read More
Tragic Loss of a Tusker, Kaziranga
On September 4th 2015, a bull elephant that was part of a larger herd was electrocuted when it walked into a live, low-hanging power cable at the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. The herd was trying to reach higher ground in order to escape from floods that had inundated over 80% of the park.
Wildlife photographer Sandesh Kadur, who was in Kaziranga at the time, recounted details of the accident. Years of waterlogging had eroded the base of the electric … Read More
Great Indian Bustard — The Way of the Dodo?
On the afternoon of 15th September, a farmer in the Karamba village in Solapur, Maharashtra was grazing his cattle when he noticed a large, severely injured bird on the ground, its wings singed. Hovering by, helping death to strike were a few feral dogs. As he edged closer, he saw a black mobile like device on the prone creature. He knew the bird, a frequent visitor to his fields from the adjacent Nanaj sanctuary, and immediately informed the forest department. … Read More
Roads to prosperity? Not for the Jackal.
Roads. Possibly the most common habitat in India today. On March 31, 2018, India had 6,603,293km of roads or 1.70km of roads per square kilometre of area (according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways). It is the second largest road network in the world. Unfortunately, the most common habitat is very often not the refuge of the living. Roads take away crucial habitat from wildlife, often planned at the expense of our biodiversity-rich forests and countryside. They also … Read More
Bor Tiger Reserve’s Dominant Male (T2) Road-killed on NH-6
During the night of 29-Dec-2017, an adult male tiger T2 from Bor Tiger Reserve fell prey to the killer highway NH-6 that cuts the vital corridor between Bor and Melghat Tiger Reserves in Maharashtra. Despite repeated appeals by conservationists no mitigation structures were built on the highway. Read TOI Nagpur report on the incident. T2, King of Bor (affectionately known as Bajirao), was about 8-years old and in his prime. He often shuttled between Bor and Kalmeshwar, which is … Read More
Bustard, Wires, and the Flight to Extinction
On behalf of the Bustard Conservation Team, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
This article is an outcome of Wildlife Institute of India’s ongoing research and conservation activities under the Great Indian Bustard Conservation Project investigated by Yadvendradev Jhala. The team members are, apart from the author, Sujit Narwade, Tushna Karkaria, Bipin C.M., Arjun Awasthi, Mohib Uddin, Devendradutta Pandey, Tanya Gupta, Sourav Supakar, Vineet Singh, Priyamvada Bagaria, Srinivas Y. and Shaheer Khan.
Much of India’s conservation movement has focused on forested … Read More