Patterns of Large Mammal Extinctions in India

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In 2010, Krithi Karanth and others published a paper based on a study that was conducted to gauge and answer the question — what could be the factors that make some mammal species vulnerable to becoming locally extinct? Conservation India (CI) summarizes the scientific study. The authors selected 25 large Indian mammals for the study. These were:

  • Chital, sambar, muntjac, mouse deer, swamp deer
  • Blackbuck, nilgai, chinkara, four-horned antelope
  • Nilgiri tahr, wild pig, gaur, wild buffalo
  • Elephant, rhino
  • Black bear,
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Resort activity threatens Bandipur’s North Eastern boundaries

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Illegal resort activity is threatening Bandipur’s forest boundaries in Gundlupet Taluk. On Tuesday, the forest department booked a case against Tropical Wilderness and Wellness Pvt Ltd, clearing forest land, changing land use patterns without permission and for constructions in a wildlife corridor without obtaining permission. An older project, the Tiger Ranch in Mangala village, is also under the scanner for illegal land acquisition from tribals. The latter is however more difficult to take action against, as it is owned by … Read More

Bhadra River recovering from siltation impact after stoppage of Mining in Kudremukh

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The picture of the Bhadra River on the top loaded with silt after a heavy rainstorm was taken on 30th September, 2002 during the inspection by the Central Empowered Committee as ordered by the Supreme Court. The picture below showing the clear waters of the Bhadra River was taken on 18th October 2010 after a heavy rainstorm from the same location, five years after mining was stopped by the Apex Court based on a petition filed by Wildlife First. This … Read More

Insights From A Scientific Study Of The Bhadra Resettlement

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Relocation, resettlement and displacement of people have been carried out for several reasons in India and the history of such efforts goes back forty years. In India it is estimated that resettlement for conservation is a small fraction (less than one percent) of the more than sixty million people relocated for other reasons. The nature of these efforts has ranged from forcible eviction to voluntary relocation and they have ranged from abject failure to mixed success.

Relocation and resettlement of … Read More

Running a Conservation Campaign

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(With inputs from Praveen Bhargav and Sanjay Gubbi)

Feel helpless in the face of conservation problems?  So do most people. But with a proper plan and a carefully thought out strategy, you’ll be surprised by what you can achieve.

There are numerous examples from around the world, which show that determined individuals – acting alone or working as a group – can win conservation battles even against huge odds.  To quote renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead, “never doubt that a Read More

Human-Elephant Conflict and its Mitigation: Q&A with Sanjay Gubbi

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Is human–elephant conflict on the rise?

Yes, it seems to be.  We have failed to reduce crop depredation loss and injury to human life, which has made people living around wildlife habitats more hostile towards conservation.

As a consequence, there has been a constant increase in the retaliatory killing of elephants. In Karnataka alone 16 elephants were killed in 2006–07, 46 in 2008–09 and 41 in 2009–10. The compensation paid by the Karnataka Forest Department for loss to life and … Read More

Restricting Human Activity

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How can wildlife be conserved in India? At first appearance, simply eliminating all pressures on wildlife should be enough. But, is this at all realistic?

Two important forces – subsistence and commerce – drive India’s wildlife declines. Take any wildlife habitat. To the local user, its subsistence potential reigns paramount. To the entrepreneur, its development potential. To the conservationist, its intrinsic ecological potential. All are important, and none can be trifled with.

However, here I proceed under the premise that … Read More

Nobody’s Heroes: Our Forgotten Forest Watchers

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It was an hour after dawn. Siddarama, a forest watcher, was walking to the Tiger Reserve’s headquarters from his village a good six kilometres away, when he heard the faint sound of voices. Suspicious, he approached quietly, and saw three men sitting by a stream, smoking and chatting. Two guns leaned on the rocks behind them and a dead giant squirrel lay on a sackcloth. Siddarama was alone and unarmed, but all he could think of then was that he … Read More

Hunters are Invited — a Hunting Tribe in Pakke can be a Partner in Conservation

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At Pakke Tiger Reserve, in Arunachal Pradesh, Nandini Velho learns how a hunting tribe can be partner in conservation. 

I am often witness to and a part of small disasters while in the field, but I learn something each day that keeps me going. I still remember the day we spent five hours pulling our Maruti Gypsy out of the dirt track. We were on our way to Pakke Tiger Reserve in East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. To

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Cabinet approves decentralization and strengthening of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)

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The Union Cabinet today approved the creation of four posts in the rank of Inspector General of Forests for the three Regional Offices and Headquarters of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). This decision, in conjunction with the recent decision to set up 3 regional offices of the NTCA in Nagpur, Guwahati and Bengaluru is expected to give a major boost to India’s tiger conservation efforts.

Welcoming the decision, the Minister of State (I/C), Shri Jairam Ramesh said: “This is … Read More

MOEF Guidelines for Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZs) around Protected Areas

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The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has come out with new guidelines to create eco-sensitive zones (ESZs) around Protected Areas to prevent ecological damage caused due to developmental activities around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.

The new ESZ guidelines, declared by the ministry on February 9, 2011 would also ensure that these areas act as “shock absorbers” to the protected areas by regulating and managing the activities around such areas. The guidelines were updated on the ministry website today. … Read More

Tiger Tourism or Trauma?

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I recently refused to write a travelogue on Corbett for a renowned travel magazine. With some reluctance, given that I am always scouting for an excuse, and an opportunity, to visit the reserve. But as author of a report that established that tourism is a major threat to Corbett, I could hardly cross the fence and promote the ‘evil empire’.

Wait a minute here: Isn’t tourism the best means to win supporters for the cause? Doesn’t it benefit the local … Read More