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
Cabinet approves decentralization and strengthening of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
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
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?
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
Gir Sanctuary Roads to be Closed During Nights
The Gujarat forest and environment department has banned entry of vehicles on the roads passing through Gir National Park and Sanctuary, the last abode of Asiatic Lions, at night.
The move by the forest department will give a much needed relief to the wildlife in the Gir as about 10 important roads pass through the sanctuary. This step will decrease the risk of accident to animals and also save it from disturbance and noise pollution.… Read More
Leader of a tiger poaching gang arrested near Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve
CHANDRAPUR: Mul police have finally nabbed the long absconding kingpin of the poachers gang busted by forest officials around one-and-half years back in Bhadrawati tehsil. Accused Shalik Gedam was picked up from Doni village in Mul tehsil and has been sent into MCR. Forest officials are likely to seek his custody after cops produce him before Bhadrawati court on Monday.
Notably, sleuths of Bhadrawati forest range had busted a poachers gang in March 2009. The first breakthrough came thanks to … Read More
Translocated tiger found dead in Sariska
A five-year-old male tiger, translocated from Ranthambore to Sariska in June 2008, on Monday was found dead within the Sariska Tiger Sanctuary by a team of Rajasthan forest officials on the trail of another four-year-old tiger “missing” since Friday.
The ambitious project to revive Sariska’s tiger population, which lost all its tigers by 2005, began in June 2008 when a tiger was translocated from Ranthambore National Park (RNP) to Sariska in a helicopter. Since then, five tigers have been translocated … Read More
Centre team aghast at Palamau Tiger Reserve neglect
Ranchi, Oct. 22: A national team visiting the Palamau Tiger Reserve has castigated Jharkhand for not being serious about its upkeep, citing stark mismanagement and a severe staff crunch as among the many testimonials to the indifference of successive state governments.
While senior officials of the reserve, including director Paritosh Upadhyay, cited delays in sanctioning funds as the primary reason for all problems, the team, constituted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority of India (NTCA), wasn’t impressed.
“Despite the problems … Read More
Kaziranga National Park to be extended
The Assam government is set to complete the legal process for extension of the Kaziranga National Park from the present 430 square kilometres to double the area. The State’s forest and tourism minister, Rockybul Hussain, said the government was expeditiously trying to settle the land acquisition process for the extension so that animals, including the prized one-horned rhinos, were better protected.
Although the park has already more than 800 sq. km. area, it was not legally sanctioned thus preventing the … Read More
Camera trapping reveals wildlife rarely seen in Pilibhit
The Pilibhit Territorial Forest Division forests are spread over an area of 700 sq. km. They are a part of the Terai Arc landscape that stretches for over 800 km between the Rivers Yamuna in the west and Baghmati in the east (click image at bottom). Pilibhit’s forests are strategically located in the landscape and connect India’s Dudhwa Tiger Reserve and Nepal’s Suklaphanta National Park through the Lagga Bagga forests. This forest division is in the process of being declared … Read More
Railways and West Bengal govt. to declare Railway stretch as ‘elephant corridor’
The Railways and the Wildlife officials of both the West Bengal government and Centre today unanimously agreed to declare the entire 164-km stretch between Siliguri and Alipurdiar on the North East Frontier Railway as an “elephant corridor” and put a speed restriction of 45 kmph on all the trains – day and night.
Both the sides formulated and agreed on a number of other steps to prevent recurrence of such animal dashing by speeding trains, official sources said.
On Wednesday … Read More
Seven elephants die after speeding train hits herd
Incident once again raises questions over movement of trains along the elephant corridor.
Seven elephants of a herd died after being hit by a goods train in the Banarhat area of Jalpaiguri district (West Bengal) on Wednesday night.
While four were killed on the spot, the rest died on Thursday. The dead include a sub-adult and two juvenile elephants, Divisional Forest Officer (Wild Life II) Sumita Ghatak told The Hindu over telephone.
The incident has once again raised questions over … Read More
Lost tiger population discovered in Bhutan
A “lost” population of tigers has been caught on camera living in the mountains of Bhutan, a discovery that could be crucial for the big cats’ survival. Their discovery has stunned experts, as the tigers are living at a higher altitude (~4000m) than any others known and appear to be successfully breeding. Their presence in the Bhutan highlands has been confirmed by footage taken by a BBC natural history camera crew.
Creating a nature reserve around the tigers could connect … Read More
The Elephant Task Force Report — A Critique by Sanjay Gubbi
With an estimated 26,000 elephants India is home to half the world’s population of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). These pachyderms are spread over a geographical area of about 110,000 sq km, sixty percent of which have been declared as 32 Elephant Reserves (ER).
A different concept from the conventional Protected Areas (PAs), ERs consist of a mixture of land categories. PAs (30%), Reserved Forests (40%) and private lands (30%) form the land tenure of ERs. Securing this landscape in pursuit … Read More
Killing Softly, But Surely
Spread before me is a grassland — a seemingly unending sea of golden grasses gently swaying in the wind, looking not unlike waves rising and falling to the rhythm of the wind. Out of this azure landscape, something, a bird, shoots straight up in the air some two metres high, but before I can catch and ‘paint’ the picture in my mind’s eye, it’s gone…then, a few furlongs ahead, another one emerges, leaps, a hen-sized bird–shimmering black body, silvery white … Read More