Q: What are the advantages and hazards of radio-collaring wild animals, particularly elephants?

-  Ask CI Leave a Comment

Answer from Shekar Dattatri of Conservation India:

Radio-collaring of animals is a tried and tested method of studying free-ranging wild animals that has been in practice for several decades. It is primarily used for tracking the movement and activity patterns of the tagged animal, with the signals being sent to a handheld device or to a computer via a satellite. It is often the only method that is available for studying the movement and activity patterns of a secretive species … Read More

Wildlife Tourism – New Study, New Revelations

-  Articles, -  Featured Article 2 Comments

Wildlife tourism has averaged 15% growth in India, mirroring many countries. This growth is reflected in the increase in visitors to many Indian protected areas. Krithi K. Karanth, Ruth DeFries, Arjun Srivathsa and Vishnupriya Sankaraman examine the attitudes and perceptions of visitors to three of India’s most popular and well known National Parks and Tiger Reserves, namely Nagarahole, Kanha and Ranthambore.

These are the highlights of their study from a forthcoming paper in the journal Oryx.

  • Wildlife tourism
Read More

India Adopts a New Refined Protocol to Monitor Tigers

-  Articles, -  Featured Article Leave a Comment

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

To Dart Or Not To Dart — Demystifying Wild Animal Immobilization

-  Opinion, -  Resources 1 Comment

The first wild leopard immobilization I undertook was in 2003. A female leopard had been trapped in a foothold snare outside Otur near Junnar in Pune district and she had to be rescued. By the time I reached from Pune, she had been trapped for more than 12 hours, was exhausted, dehydrated, and in a critical condition.

The immobilization was uneventful: within a few minutes the animal was rescued from the trap and shifted to the nearby Forest Department (FD) … Read More

The Leopards of Mumbai

-  Articles, -  Featured Article 1 Comment

Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in the north of Mumbai seems to have always been associated with leopards attacking humans. However, a little delving into the patterns of attacks finds that conflict is a recent phenomenon. The attacks began around the nineties and took on its worst form in 2004, when in a single month in May, nineteen attacks on people were reported. Now again, post-2006, there have been no attacks on humans.

Recently the Forest Department of SGNP (headed … Read More

Leopard Trapped In Well, Maharashtra

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week 1 Comment

This leopard chased a village dog and fell into a percolation well in Takli Dokeshwar village, Ahmednagar district. These percolation wells which dot the landscape are at ground level without a parapet wall (and mostly surrounded by shrubbery) and it is common for leopards to fall in them. The leopard (named Ajoba by the study team; codenamed 5863) was captured with the help of a ladder (that led to a cage) and then fitted with a GPS+ collar. It was … Read More

Presence of Scientific and Conservation Researchers Leads To Reduced Poaching

-  News Leave a Comment

A project by the Max Planck institute for evolutionary anthropology has studied the impacts of researchers in Tai National Park in Ivory Coast. Three over-harvested species, the red colobus monkey, the diana monkey and Maxwell’s duiker were studied. The results were striking — high densities of red colobus monkey’s could be seen within long-term study sites, but no signs of poaching were found within or in a band of habitat around the site. The same results were obtained by statistical … Read More

WCS Discovers Healthy Snow Leopard Population In Afghanistan

-  News Leave a Comment

  • Camera trap surveys show surprising numbers of elusive big cats in Wakhan Corridor in northeastern Afghanistan
  • With USAID support, WCS is working with Afghanistan communities on conservation to benefit wildlife and human livelihoods

NEW YORK (July 13, 2011) – The Wildlife Conservation Society has discovered a surprisingly healthy population of rare snow leopards living in the mountainous reaches of northeastern Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor, according to a new study.

The discovery gives hope to the world’s most elusive big cat, which … Read More

Translocation of Swamp Deer Planned in Manas National Park

-  News Leave a Comment

In accordance with suggestions given by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (WHC), the forest department is planning to increase the population of swamp deer in Manas National Park. Translocation of swamp deer from Kaziranga into Manas is planned as a three year project. Kaziranga has around 1200 swamp deer, whereas Manas has only 20. Eleven rhinos have been translocated from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary into Manas since 2008 and the translocation has been deemed successful.

The recovery plan has been prepared on … Read More

Journey of a Leatherback Turtle: Andamans to Indonesia

-  News Leave a Comment

A Leatherback Turtle — the biggest, most endangered and the deepest swimmer among seven turtle species known worldwide — clocked more than 2,000km in 145 days. The turtle (tagged 103335) began her journey from the Little Andaman islands on the rim of the Indian Ocean in January and, on Saturday, was spotted near the Indonesian coast.

In 2008, a team from Bangalore’s Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES) of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore initiated a long-term monitoring programme … Read More

Patterns of Large Mammal Extinctions in India

-  Articles, -  Featured Article Leave a Comment

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,
Read More

Why the ‘Pugmark Census’ Used to Monitor Tiger Populations Failed

-  Articles, -  Featured Article Leave a Comment

In 2003, some highly respected conservationists got together to write a paper for an international journal, in which they laid bare the loopholes in the pugmark method of counting tigers in India. Shortly thereafter, in an extraordinary sequence of events, newer and more advanced methods were used to assess the tiger population, which resulted in the shocking denouement that there were only about 1411 tigers in India. Read on to discover how the scientists rated the old ‘pugmark census’.

The … Read More

Using Multiple Sources of Information to Estimate Tiger Densities

-  Articles Leave a Comment

In landscapes where wildlife occurs in low densities, gathering information from a single data source often does not permit accurate estimation of population densities and abundance. In such cases, using multiple data sources may allow us to overcome ecological and logistical constraints to estimate densities of elusive carnivores such as tigers. In particular, innovative spatially explicit capture-recapture modeling approaches integrate information from photographic capture-recapture and genetic data to derive more robust estimates of tiger densities in India.

Authors A. M. … Read More

Are Indian Tigers Key To Saving The Species?

-  Articles, -  Featured Article Leave a Comment

A study by Samrat Mondol, Ullas Karanth and Uma Ramakrishnan confirms that India’s tigers have higher genetic variation — and are thus the most robust in terms of survival of the species. Conservation India summarizes the findings of the the study from the original scientific paper.

Wild tigers historically occurred across 30 present-day nations ranging from Armenia to Indonesia (from west to east), and the Russian Far East to the southern tip of India (north–south). The range encompassed a variety … Read More