A study by Krithi Karanth and others in Conservation Letters identifies challenges to wildlife because of burgeoning tourism. The main drive behind the increase is attributed to the rising affluent, middle class with money to spend on vacations. Increased revenue from tourism is still not benefiting individual parks, as it goes into a larger treasury. It also skips local communities, with the revenue ending largely in private hands. Other challenges include threats to unprotected adjoining lands, corridors as well as … Read More
Human – Elephant Conflict
In our densely populated subcontinent, elephants and people have had to increasingly share land and resources, leading to frequent and often fatal conflict. How can the government resolve this problem? Janaki Lenin and Raman Sukumar recently submitted a lengthy report on the issue. Here is a gist of the report.
A few facts about elephants in India:
- Only 22 per cent of elephant habitat is found within our protected area network – the remaining elephant range lies outside, in places
Lessons from Voluntary Resettlement in the Western Ghats
K.Ullas Karanth and Krithi Karanth on the lessons learned from resettlement projects in three important protected areas in the Western Ghats — Nagarahole, Bhadra and Kudremukh.
Forests in the Western Ghats occur as fragmented strips within a larger landscape matrix of crops and tree plantations. Reserves in the Ghats cover only twelve per cent of total area and the average reserve size is 243 sq km; the fourteen legally protected areas in the Ghats cover a total of only 6400 … Read More
Eco-development in Periyar — an Objective Analysis
The India Eco-Development Project (IEDP) in Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala, has often been cited as a ‘successful’ project overall. Two years after the completion of the project, Sanjay Gubbi, Matthew Linkie and Nigel Leader-Williams independently evaluated the IEDP around Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) in south India and its USD 6 million component. Conservation India (CI) summarises the paper that originally appeared in Environmental Conservation.
The Government of India has requested funding from the Global Environment Facility for a new … Read More
Patterns of Large Mammal Extinctions in India
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,
Resort activity threatens Bandipur’s North Eastern boundaries
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
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
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
(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
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
Jairam Wants Karnataka Chief Minister To Declare Kudremukh Park A Tiger Reserve
Union Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh has asked Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to declare the Kudremukh National Park (KNP) as a tiger reserve saying that such a move would strengthen tiger landscapes and, thereby, forestry conservation.… Read More
Restricting Human Activity
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
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