Silent Valley – A People’s Movement that Saved a Forest

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Long before the Internet era, a remarkable people’s movement saved a pristine moist evergreen forest in Kerala’s Palakkad District from being destroyed by a hydroelectric project. The battle for the now famous Silent Valley raged for over ten years and involved thousands of people who did not even live in the vicinity of the area that was to be destroyed. Although the campaign did not have any centralized planning, it was highly effective. The sustained pressure exerted on the government Read More

Q: If a project comes up in an area likely to be notified as a PA, will (or can) it be stopped if it gets notified while the project is in progress?

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Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee, Wildlife First:

Notification of a Sanctuary is a two step process:

  1. A preliminary notification is issued under Section 18 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and
  2. A final notification is issued after settlement of rights etc under Section 26 A

However, if the area proposed for notification is already a Reserved Forest, then a final notification can straight away be issued under Section 26 A.

In this question, tt is not clear whether … Read More

The Official Ramadevarabetta Vulture Sanctuary Notification

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Here is the official Notification, declaring Ramadevarabetta as a Vulture Sanctuary (courtesy @bngbirds).

Government of Karnataka No. F.E.E.234.S.W.L. 2009, dated January 31, 2012


Whereas the Govt. of Karnataka in excise of the powers confered under Section 26A of the Wildlife Protection) Act. 1972 (Ammended in 2003) (Central Act 53 of 1972) has considered the area, situation and limits which are specified in the Schedule notification of the Government of His Highness Maharaja of Mysore State, Notrification No. R-2992-FT-61-17-4 … Read More

Negotiating For Protected Areas: How The Forests Of Anshi–Dandeli Were Increased

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Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary has seen several drastic changes in its boundaries. It was originally notified as a game sanctuary covering an area of 127 sq km on 10 May 1956. In 1975, post the euphoria of Project Tiger, it was declared a wildlife sanctuary and its area was expanded to 5,729 sq km. In 1987, to facilitate development projects – hydro-electric, a naval base, roads, transmission lines, mining and other industries – the area of the sanctuary came crashing down … Read More

Karnataka Wildlife Sanctuaries Get Bigger

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In a welcome development, the Karnataka state government has extended the boundaries of Bannerghatta national park and four wildlife sanctuaries (Dandeli, Mookambika, Cauvery and Someshwara) adding an incremental 1,255.64 sq km to the state’s protected area (PA) network. This constitutes a 20% increase in the overall size of PAs in the state. This has been achieved by merging the existing sanctuaries with adjoining reserve forests.

Specifically, Bannerghatta grew from 102.74 sq km to 260.51 sq km (254%), Dandeli from 638.34 … Read More

Chincholi Forest In Karnataka Becomes A Sanctuary

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Chincholi forest in Gulbarga, Karnataka, has now become Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary. The state government has notified an area of 14,958 hectares of forest land in Chincholi taluk as a wildlife sanctuary, and thus Chincholi becomes the state’s 21st wildlife sanctuary. The Principal Chief Conservator has asked the DCF to prepare a management plan for the sanctuary as per the guidelines of the Indian Wildlife Association. The notification declares that the forest area has rich natural canopy cover. Chincholi is the … Read More

Thane Creek In Mumbai To Be Declared A Flamingo Sanctuary

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The Maharashtra state forest department has decided to declare Thane creek as a Flamingo sanctuary, to protect the flamingos and several other birds that are threatened by pollution and habitat destruction in the north-eastern Mumbai area. The notification is expected soon. Mumbai based NGO Vanashakti had approached the state forest department seeking its intervention to protect the birds and mudflats along the Thane creek. Kavita Mallya, project officer with Vanashakti said that the number of birds arriving has reduced drastically … Read More

Nagzira — Navegaon Reserve Area in Maharashtra To Be Expanded

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An earlier plan to include only the existing area of Nagzira and Navegaon in a proposed tiger reserve, has been shelved in favour of a new and better one, by adding more areas and creating a 556.12 sq km reserve. This will be done by including adjoining forests that come under the territorial wing and the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM). Thus, an additional area of 117.68 sq km will be added to Navegaon and 151.75 sq km will … Read More

Union Minister’s Letter Delays Extension Of Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Notification

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Union minister for corporate affairs, Dr. M. Veerappa Moily has written a letter to the Union environment minister, Jayanthi Natarajan, asking that a decision to include 455.96 sq kms of land with the Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuary, be reconsidered. Wildlife experts and enthusiasts are enraged that this maybe the work of timber and mini-hydel mafias. Moily’s letter states that the inhabitants are in fear of losing their agricultural land. The Joint director of Wildlife has forwarded the letter to the Principal … Read More

SC Notification for The Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary in Maharashtra

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Finally, the Supreme Court (SC) has cleared the long-pending denotification of Great Indian Bustard (GIB) Sanctuary at Nannaj in Solapur district. From 8,496 sq km earlier, the sanctuary will now be restricted to 1,222 sq km.

The matter was pending in the court since 2006. In October, 2008, the SC had directed the committee for rationalization of boundaries to recommend the area of the GIB sanctuary. Accordingly, a committee headed by VB Sawarkar, ex-director of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), … Read More

Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary Expanded

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The Tamil Nadu forest department has issued a notification expanding the area under the Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary from the current 52,434 hectares to 1.41 lakh hectares, by adding seven reserve forests to the sanctuary. According to the last wildlife census, the sanctuary is home to one fourth of the elephant population in the state. It is also a unique habitat where tigers, elephants and blackbucks co-exist. Hyenas and vultures exist in the larger numbers here than anywhere else in the … Read More

Final Notification Comes Into Effect in Sigur Elephant Corridor in the Nilgiris

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The final public notification has been issued regarding the proposed elephant corridor in the Sigur plateau of the Nilgiris District. Resort owners and private land owners have to vacate and hand over their land to the Collector immediately. Private land owners will be given adequate compensation and those living on government poramboke lands will be given alternative dwelling sites as per the Forest Dwellers Act, 2006. The proposed corridor falls within Sholur, Masinagudy, Hullathy and Kadanad villages.

The public notice … Read More

Aghanashini Lion-tailed Macaque Conservation Reserve Notified

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An area of 299.52 sq kms has been declared as the Aghanashini Lion-tailed Macaque Conservation Reserve in Karnataka. Lion-tailed Macaque (LTM) distribution in the Karnataka forests has been studied over the years by various scientists. A detailed survey along with Vijay Mohan Raj, DFO and Mr K. Santhosh, with the financial support from Karnataka Forest Department, Rufford Small Grants, Primate Action Fund (Conservation International) and Primate Conservation Inc. was carried out in 2008. This study confirmed the results of our … Read More

A Reprieve for the Wolves of Maidenahalli

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The Indian wolf (Canis lupus pallipes), a subspecies of the Eurasian wolf (Canis lupus), found in the Himalayan ranges, is a lanky animal with short fur, about the size of a German Shepherd Dog. An estimated 2000-3000 of these animals now survive in India, mainly in the states of Orissa, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. They are wide ranging, pack hunting predators requiring large home ranges. As agriculture expanded … Read More