India’s Protected Area (PA) Network

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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

Connecting Tiger Populations for Long-term Conservation

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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

Conflict Big Cats to be Termed as Dangerous and not as Man-eaters, their Elimination only by Dept. Staff

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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

Camera-trapping Mammals in Pakke Tiger Reserve

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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

Q: Are the number of tigers present in India accurate? I mean other than the national parks and the sanctuaries, are there no tigers left elsewhere? For example the forests of Goa, Uttar Kannada (not the Anshi-Dandeli Reserve), places like Karwar and the whole belt upto Mangalore?

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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

South Asia’s First Integrated Wildlife Law Enforcement Strategy to be Developed in India — TRAFFIC

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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

India to Establish a National Database of Camera-trapped Tigers

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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

A Tiger in the Drawing Room — Can Luxury Tourism Benefit Wildlife?

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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

Tourism Ban in Tiger Reserves – Some Points to Ponder

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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

Book Review — Fundamentals of Wildlife Management

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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

India Adopts a New Refined Protocol to Monitor Tigers

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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

Breeding Centre For White Tigers In Rewa

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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

Joint Camera Trapping Between India And Bhutan Reveals 14 Tigers

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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

Project Tiger Merger With Other Schemes Dropped

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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

Coal Mining Destroying Critical Tiger Habitat Around Tadoba Tiger Reserve

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New Delhi, 22 November, 2011: Coal mining poses a serious threat to tigers in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur region, near the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) and must be reined in. This is the verdict of a Fact Finding Mission to the area organized by Greenpeace India, consisting of wildlife experts Praveen Bhargav and Biswajit Mohanty and environmental lawyer Rahul Choudhary.

The team released its findings and recommendations in a report titled “Undermining Tadoba’s Tigers” at a press conference in New Delhi. … Read More