In India, the words, Mountain ungulates- Wild sheep and goat of the subfamily Caprinae-, often invokes the images of flamboyant species like the Ibex (Capra sibirica), standing atop a crag in the snowy Himalayas. Aptly titled “Mountain Monarchs” by the legendary conservationist Dr. George Schaller, given their elaborate horns (particularly on males), mountain ungulates of High Asia are mesmerizing species. However, beyond the Himalayan heights, there is also the Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius), a mountain monarch … Read More
Ecological Restoration Increases Tree Diversity and Carbon Storage in Degraded Rainforest Fragments
Our research article that appeared recently in the journal, Ecosphere, asks: To what extent can a degraded rainforest be ecologically restored to resemble an undisturbed and mature rainforest? This is the first study that attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of a long term rainforest restoration project in the Anamalai Hills of the Western Ghats in peninsular India.
The results of the study suggest that ecological restoration of degraded rainforests – by controlling invasive weeds and planting native tree saplings – … Read More
Hornbill Watch: A Citizen Science Initiative for Indian Hornbills
This is a summary of the paper originally published in INDIAN BIRDS Vol. 14 No. 3 (Publ. 25 July 2018).
Hornbills are called the ‘farmers of the forest’ as they play a very important role in dispersal of seeds that grow into trees. These long-lived birds are slow breeders, with larger hornbills usually raising a single chick every year. Hornbills face significant threats from hunting in parts of India and from habitat loss across their range in India. The information … Read More
Lights on for Elephants
Technology offers solutions for Human-Elephant Conflicts.
The dark hulks ambled in a single file across the stark green landscape of thigh-high tea bushes. Without a pause in their stride, the elephants made their way towards a tiny patch of forest. Save for the tree crickets, there were no other sounds. Had it been daytime, the elephants would have been harassed by people behaving like neurotic monkeys. On such occasions, despite their size, the elephants seemed so vulnerable, with nowhere to … Read More
A Species Recovery Plan for Jerdon’s Courser
Jerdon’s Courser (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus) is a nocturnal cursorial bird found only in the State of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is one of the world’s rarest bird species and is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The species was believed to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1986 near Reddipalli village, Cuddapah District of Andhra Pradesh, India. The site where it was rediscovered was designated as the Sri Lankamaleswara Wildlife … Read More
Science-based Approach to Promote Human-Elephant Coexistence — Lessons from Valparai
Understanding human-elephant interactions is critical for conservation of elephants outside Protected Areas. One of the intriguing questions is how can a person weighing 50kg and a 5000kg animal coexist with no barrier between them?
Conflict incidents frequently lead to use of reactive measures such as chasing elephants, capture and translocation, or retaliatory persecution, but these often fail to resolve conflicts on a sustained basis, empower communities to implement solutions, or help conservation of elephants. Long-term research on behavioural and ecological … Read More
Pakke Paga — Protecting the Hornbills of Arunachal Pradesh
In 2003, Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) started a long-term study of hornbill nests in the Pakke Tiger Reserve, western Arunachal Pradesh. Hornbills nest in existing holes in trees and are dependent on specific large trees for this. These birds have a long breeding cycle and intensive parental care which lasts 3 to 4 months depending on the species. After eight years of studying hornbill nests in the Tiger Reserve, we realised the need to extend this work outside the Protected … Read More
Elephant Rescue, Valparai
It was that time of the year again, when elephants slowly started marking their presence. Like every year, there were incidents of households getting hit here and there, thankfully, nothing major though. What is always interesting to note every year is the consistency they maintain in terms of their movement patterns, and also in the damage sites they choose! Early that morning I decided to take off from my daily routine in front of my Macbook’s hypnotizing screen. I went … Read More
The Great Snow Leopard Camera Trap Expedition
Snow leopards are elusive animals. The regions they inhabit are remote and extremely difficult to negotiate, adding to the aura around them. Regular monitoring is key to understanding their occurrences. However, the lack of skilled resources has often posed a challenge to monitoring these beautiful species.
In 2013, the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department (HPFD) along with Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) and the Snow Leopard Trust (SLT) initiated an effort to plug this vital gap. The HPFD along with NCF and … Read More
Healthy Dogs, Healthy Cats — Containing Feral Dogs to Protect Wildlife
Feral dogs kill more livestock in Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh region than snow leopards and wolves combined. Now, conservationists and local communities are teaming up to contain the canines and protect local wildlife.
In India’s Spiti region, an unlikely threat to wildlife has emerged over the last few of years: feral dogs. Kaza, Spiti’s capital, only has 300 households – but as many as 250 feral dogs. They roam free, without proper homes, care and attention. These dogs have … Read More
Narcondam Campaign Update — Rare Hornbills in danger as Ministry Reopens Radar Project!
Campaign Update 21st November 2012Great News! The Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) has rejected the proposal by the Indian Coast Guard to erect a RADAR installation on Narcondam Island in the Andamans.
Living with Elephants, Valparai, Tamil Nadu
In the human-dominated landscape of the Valparai plateau, abutting the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu, this is the peak annual elephant movement period, which lasts till the end of February. Given the mosaic of landscapes the herds have to navigate, they encounter curious onlookers, passing tourists and heavy vehicle movement. The elephants normally choose to move once human activities reduce after sundown.
This herd had a hard time traversing through tea estates interspersed with degraded forest patches because of … Read More
Catalysing Awareness — How Mumbai’s Media Represents its Leopards
The common leopard (Panthera pardus) is a highly adaptable species that is found throughout the country (and beyond) in a variety of habitats, from the pristine rainforests to human-modified and dominated landscapes. Despite its ability to survive on a wide range of prey species including the wild and the domestic, the leopard population is on a downward spiral owing to intense persecution and pressures of illegal wildlife trade.
Authors Saloni Bhatia, Vidya Athreya, Richard Grenyer and … Read More
Human-Tiger conflict in Russia and its relevance in India by Dr. John Goodrich — Bangalore, 3rd February 2013
Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) in association with Panthera, UK, is very happy to invite you to a talk titled “Human-tiger conflict in Russia and its relevance in India” by Dr. John Goodrich, Senior Tiger Program Director at Panthera (see bio). Given the backdrop of an alarming number of human-tiger conflict incidences in Karnataka, Dr. Goodrich’s talk will give a pertinent look at the issue and lessons we can learn from the world’s longest running radio-telemetry based tiger research … Read More
Bridging the Gap
In the Anamalais, highways and the resulting fragmented canopies, are a huge threat to lion-tailed macaques. The highways department has been widening and improving the quality of roads to cater to the growing tourist population. There has been a sharp increase in the number fairly silent cars that speed through such roads. Macaques have also been emboldened by tourists feeding them, and thus hang out by the roadside. All this has led to a growing number of roadkills to this … Read More
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