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
Here is an explainer piece on Protected Areas in India.
What is a Protected Area (PA)?
PAs in India comprise National Parks, Sanctuaries, Conservation / Community Reserves and Tiger Reserves. It does not include Reserved Forests.
Protected Area (PA) has been defined in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Section 2(24A) says: “Protected Area” means a National Park, Sanctuary, Conservation / Community Reserve. These are notified under Chapter IV titled “Protected Areas”.
A Tiger Reserve on the other hand is notified … Read More
According to a Dec 02, 2019 Press Release from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), the Indian Government has mapped 32 major tiger corridors inside and outside protected areas across the country, as part of a long-term conservation strategy for the big cats. The plan, which is also likely to benefit many other species, will include mandatory animal passages when developing new infrastructure projects.
The plan is contained in a document titled ‘Connecting Tiger Populations for Long-term … Read More
With wildlife veterinarians calling upon the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to revamp the prevailing guidelines/SOP to deal with conflict big cats (tigers and leopards), certain changes have been brought in the procedures to be followed by the tiger range states in India from November 11, 2019. This puts an end to hiring of hunters / sharp shooters for capture operations of big cats as also calling conflict tigers as ‘man-eaters’ and finally, leaving major decisions to skilled wildlife vets … Read More
Photographs by Forest Department staff of Pakke Tiger Reserve.
Intensive camera trapping by state forest departments (as per Phase-IV of NTCA) to monitor tiger populations, is now being done on a yearly basis in tiger reserves across India. This was done for the first time in Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh. Here are some stunning images of fabulous mammals captured during this season’s monitoring exercise. This effort has been mainly undertaken by the forest department staff of Pakke … Read More
Answer from: Dr. Ullas Karanth, Director for Science-Asia, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS):
The overall tiger numbers being reported by the Government, based on the Wildlife Institute of India’s surveys once in four years, are generated from a weak methodology and hence not very robust. The complicated, ‘double-sampling’ based regression model they use is a somewhat flawed and obsolete approach. Further, the quality of their estimates of tiger densities from individual sites that feed into this model vary. There are … Read More
TRAFFIC India, in conjunction with CBI and INTERPOL, is conducting a major wildlife law enforcement training in India next week. Officials from eleven countries are attending. See official press release below:
New Delhi: Senior delegates from various enforcement and intelligence agencies of the eight South Asian countries plus China, Russia, and Myanmar will meet next week to develop a cross cutting operational strategy to curb the growing menace of illegal wildlife trade in the region.
The Integrated Investigative Capacity Development … Read More
This piece originally appeared in the journal Oryx: Volume 47- April 2013.
Following the adoption of reﬁned protocols for intensive annual monitoring of source populations of tiger (see Oryx, 46(4), 480), India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is now following through by establishing a country-wide database of wild tigers captured in cameratrap surveys conducted by multiple research and governmental institutions at increasing intensity across the country. The objective of this project is to assign Unique Tiger Identiﬁcation (UTID) numbers to … Read More
With decisions like the Supreme Court’s interim order banning tourism inside tiger sanctuaries becoming inevitable in the face of increasing political and executive resistance to expansion of protected nature reserves on public land, the issue of tiger tourism calls for a pragmatic approach that can resolve contradictions between the burgeoning tourism demand and the tiger’s shrinking habitats.
Wildlife biologists K Ullas Karanth & Krithi K Karanth propose a “Tiger Habitat Expansion Model”, based on a shared profit motive between private … Read More
Conservation India received this letter from Joanna Van Gruisen on July 29th 2012. Joanna has lived in the subcontinent for nearly 35 years. She has filmed, photographed, written and been an advocate for wildlife throughout this time. Two years ago she and conservation biologist, Dr Raghu Chundawat, began a small, earth-friendly lodge in Madhya Pradesh, designed as an alternative place to stay for tourists visiting Khajuraho. It also lies close to the Panna Tiger Reserve.
Regulation and bans are two … Read More
Fundamentals of Wildlife Management
Author: Rajesh Gopal
Publisher: Natraj, Rs. 1,395
The size is daunting — a fact remarked upon by the Minister of Environment and Forests, Jayanthi Natarajan, when she released this book, explaining that she had not read it yet, but would certainly have done the deed by the end of her tenure. Besides the fact that she was keen to read the book, I believe she also conveyed her intent to stick around for some time … Read More
Will make India world leader in big cat monitoring, say scientists.
In a move welcomed widely by the conservation and scientific community, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has adopted new refined protocols for intensive annual monitoring of tiger source populations under ‘Phase IV’ of National Tiger Estimation. The new protocol is expected to lead to more robust estimates of population density, change in numbers over time and other crucial parameters such as survival and recruitment rates in key wild … Read More
The environment ministry has given an in-principle approval for setting up a breeding centre in Rewa in Madhya Pradesh. Rewa was the home of the last wild white tiger, nicknamed Mohan. The bred tigers will be released into semi-wild habitats. Mohan’s genetic material is said to be the basis for white tigers in captivity. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) said that the Central Zoo Authority will setup the conservation breeding centre.
Background info on White Tigers courtesy Wikipedia
The … Read More
Reports from a joint camera trapping exercise in Manas were discussed between park officials of the the two countries — Manas National Park in India and the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. Fourteen tigers have been captured in the camera traps that scanned 650 sq km of protected area. Four tigers were “common”, ie. they were spotted in both countries. Seven tigers were male and six female, with the gender of one being difficult to ascertain. Officials from WWF … Read More
Union environment minister, Jayanthi Natarajan revealed to the members of the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) that the planning commission’s proposal to merge three centrally sponsored schemes — Project Tiger, Project Elephant and Integrated Development under Wildlife Habitat (IDWH) into one has been dropped. When the move was proposed, all nine members of the NBWL had opposed the move. NBWL members thanked the Union Minister and the Planning Commission chairman, for showing concern towards the implications … Read More