A Red-wattled Lapwing Nesting on a Roof, Mumbai

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While Red-wattled lapwings are very often seen near human habitation, their nesting is primarily carried out only on the ground. But there have been growing records of their roof-nesting habit (Saxena 1974; Reeves 1975; Tehsin & Lokhandwala 1983; Mundkur 1985; Koshy 1989; Kumar & Sharma 2011). I have been observing this roof-nesting pair for the last 5 years and feel that this is an important case-study to be shared with the rest of the community. At no point, did I … Read More

FDA Maharashtra Issues Order on Diclofenac Malpractices in Veterinary : A Step forward

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Recent pilot surveys by our team indicated a significant lack of awareness as well as rampant malpractice among stakeholders with respect to the veterinary use of (banned) diclofenac in Pune district, Maharashtra. Typical issues reported were :

  • Lack of knowledge on the ban on veterinary use of diclofenac.
  • Unrestricted over the counter sale of diclofenac for veterinary use.
  • Easy access to human formulations of diclofenac for veterinary use.

These issues were raised with senior forest officers. In response to the … Read More

Unregulated Tourism at Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Nannaj

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There are a lot of tourism-related pressures on the critically endangered Great Indian Bustards in Nannaj, Solapur district, Maharashtra where the population is on the decline. The  population estimate for the Nannaj region is just 10-11 birds. Estimated population of the bustards in Maharashtra is around 35-40 birds. The Pune-based NGO GIB Foundation has proposed some specific recommendations for reducing tourism-related pressures for the bustards, especially during the monsoon — when bustards gather in their traditional breeding grounds — when … Read More

Flamingos of Sewri get a respite

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Mumbai. A March afternoon. The din of cars, and the hot cloying air of the city. And then, we reach the mudflats of Sewri in South Mumbai. We are, suddenly and unexpectedly, looking at a lattice of pink, scarlet and white. 10,000 Lesser Flamingos, feeding calmly. Like ballerinas, they shift their wings and legs, suffusing the air with elegance.

The noise of the city becomes distant. At the mudflats of Sewri in South Mumbai, this Spring, the Lesser and Greater … Read More

Dogs at War — Indian Wolf hounded by Feral Dogs

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The Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallippes) though declared as an endangered species, and listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, remains an ignored species in India. Indian wolves, like most canids in India, are found in dry, degraded habitats which fail to get enough attention and protection compared to the green tracts of the country. These creatures are often found around human habitation in rural areas. Blamed for killing poultry, goats and sheep, adult wolves … Read More

Cinereous Vulture Rescue By Forest Department in Melghat

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This cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) was found on the first day of a line transect survey, on Feb 10th, 2012 at around 8:30 AM in the Suklihenda Valley in Dhakna Wildlife Range, under Melghat Tiger Reserve. It almost fell to the ground from what appeared to be illness or hunger. We quickly rescued it from predators and took the vulture to our range headquarters at Dhakna. It was treated here by Dr. Swapnil Sonone of Youth for Nature Conservation … Read More

Nilgai in Tadoba Fed by Humans

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There is a Nilgai on the banks of the Tadoba Lake in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve, which has been relocated from a zoo. The Nilgai is obviously used to human presence and humans feeding it. Hence the scene shown in the picture. Animals in forests may behave in various ways due to various reasons. The onus is actually on us to refrain from interacting with them in irresponsible and dangerous ways.… Read More

Eating away their grasslands

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This image was taken in the short grasslands of Solapur in 2010, showing a ‘city’ construction project taking place near the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary. This picture depicts the unfortunate fate of a majority of dry, arid habitats in the country. Short grasslands in India are fast getting modified due to the expansion of agriculture and industry. Even though crop raiding species such as the Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) may seem to benefit slightly from agricultural expansion, such conversion … Read More

Road Rash in Tadoba

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The car pictured here was being driven rashly in Tadoba on 30th March 2012. We had stopped for some spotted deer to cross the road, but the car in the picture did not. It overtook our stationary jeep and scared the deer in the process. It could have caused a road kill too.

Editor’s note: Also read Private Vehicles – Bane of Wildlife Tourism?

 … Read More

Villagers Inside a Tiger Reserve

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Villagers inside the reserve area at Tadoba Tiger Reserve. Humans (locals) and animals are a threat to each other in such scenarios. Local people’s perception of surrounding forests is an important factor in their conservation. Also, in many cases, the villagers themselves want to trade the hardships of living inside forests in favour of a more modern lifestyle near cities and towns. Voluntary resettlement can be a win-win solution. Apparently four more villages are yet to be moved out of … Read More

A Wildlife Survey along the Khanduli River, outside Ranthambore

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The river Khanduli emanates from the Mansarovar dam, situated south of Ranthambore National Park and heads along the Eastern boundary of Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. It gradually drifts Southeast and merges with the mighty Chambal, in the National Chambal Sanctuary. The Khanduli flows through a mixed-use landscape comprising of forest, agricultural fields and plantations. However, like the Chambal, the Khanduli river floods heavily during the monsoon and as a consequence the most dominant features along its course are its ravines. These … Read More

Flamingoes and Trucks – Birds at Lake Rajewadi, Satara District.

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I made this image at Rajewadi Lake, Satara, Maharashtra where even in summer, huge flocks of birds are seen. Even ‘Reversed Migrants’ like Flamingos (Greater and Lesser) and Black-tailed Godwits were seen apart from the resident Spoonbills, Painted Storks, Herons & Egrets, Small Pratincoles, Great Thick-knees, etc during this week in June. This tells us that the lake has a preferable habitat for such birds and already holds good populations. The water level seemed to be quite low because of … Read More

Forest Fire at Nagla Block of SGNP, Mumbai

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We witnessed a huge forest fire while doing some field work in the Nagla Block of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai, in March 2012. It took two of us more than an hour to create a fire line and beat the fire, preventing it from spreading further west. However we couldn’t do anything about the Southern side. Perhaps the fire had been raging since the night before. Around half a square kilometre of forest on the Eastern side had already … Read More