Conflict Big Cats to be Termed as Dangerous and not as Man-eaters, their Elimination only by Dept. Staff

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With wildlife veterinarians calling upon the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to revamp the prevailing guidelines/SOP to deal with conflict big cats (tigers and leopards), certain changes have been brought in the procedures to be followed by the tiger range states in India from November 11, 2019. This puts an end to hiring of hunters / sharp shooters for capture operations of big cats as also calling conflict tigers as ‘man-eaters’ and finally, leaving major decisions to skilled wildlife vets … Read More

Wild Seve — Empowering People and Fostering Tolerance for Wildlife

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India’s Bandipur and Nagarahole National Parks are home to the highest densities of tigers, leopards and elephants globally. People living adjacent to these parks frequently experience crop and property damage, livestock predation and occasionally are injured or killed. As a result, the traditional tolerance that rural communities of India have for wildlife can get eroded due to continued financial losses they incur.

Wild Seve is a novel conservation initiative developed by WCS Scientist Dr. Krithi Karanth in collaboration with the … Read More

Religious Festivals Inside Protected Areas

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CI recently received this very pertinent question (in our ‘Ask CI’ section) from Suraj Kumaar of Coimbatore: “I would like to know what kind of rights for worship are provided to tribals and forest dwellers (villagers) inside PAs? We have been recording the temple festivals inside Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary over the last two years and the situation is one of absolute mayhem. Between 70,000 to 1,50,000 visitors, over 700 buses, trucks visit two temples deep inside the sanctuary. One temple, Read More

Tourist Photographs Aid Tiger Research and Monitoring

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Conservation India carried a photograph on 9th November 2016 of a tigress making a wild pig kill in Nagarahole. All tigers have stripes that are unique, just like human finger prints. To identify this tigress and trace its history, a WCS team of researchers working under my guidance rapidly matched patterns of this tigress against 850 other wild tigers, whose images are in our long-term camera trap database, maintained as part of a long-term monitoring of tiger populations in the … Read More

The Six Percent Solution — a New Recipe for Saving Wild Tigers

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21 leading conservation biologists from across the world have proposed that since it might be far too expensive and far too difficult to save all wild tigers, we should focus a major part of our efforts and expenditure on 42 selected sites that show the greatest promise. Here’s CI’s distilled version of the original paper titled Bringing the tiger back from the brink – The six percent solution.

Current approaches to tiger conservation have not succeeded in slowing the decline … Read More

Camera Trapping Reveals Exciting Secrets of Tiger Dispersal

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On 1-5-2011, Forest officials of the Shimoga Wildlife Division, had safely captured a male tiger that strayed into Gama village near Shikaripur. A decision was made by the Forest Department, based on consultation with WCS senior scientist and NTCA member Dr. Ullas Karanth, to release the tiger in Bhadra Tiger Reserve, rather than hold it in perpetual captivity. This decision was based on the fact that the tiger was estimated to be of dispersal age (about 3 years), healthy and … Read More

Expand Reserves, Involve Locals in Tiger Tourism — On Record Dr. Ullas Karanth

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Originally an engineer, Ullas Karanth decided to become a professionally trained wildlife biologist. A Senior Conservation Scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Dr Karanth has adjunct teaching faculty status at the National Centre for Biological Studies, Bangalore (part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research), and at the Department of Wildlife Biology, University of Minnesota. He has conducted pioneering long-term research on the ecology of tigers and other large mammals. Dr Karanth was elected member of the Indian Academy … Read More

Q: Is it necessary that a buffer area of a Tiger Reserve should geographically surround the Core? Dandeli-Anshi Tiger Reserve of Karnataka has got very little notified buffer. There is a good forest patch which is adjacent/surrounding the Core but not included in buffer, please guide.

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Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Trustee, Wildlife First:

A buffer need not surround the Core. Any forest area adjacent to a Tiger Reserve can be notified as a buffer area, including areas that form a viable corridor connecting to another Reserve. For example, a notified Reserved Forest or wooded government land could be declared as a buffer area. After the recent Supreme Court Order the process to notify such areas is on and you could present your suggestions to the Field … Read More

Q: I would like to know what kind of rights for worship are provided to tribals and forest dwellers (villagers) inside PAs? We have been recording the temple festivals inside Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary over the last two years and the situation is one of absolute mayhem. Between 70,000 to 1,50,000 visitors, over 700 buses, trucks visit two temples deep inside the sanctuary. One temple, Karuvannarayar, is 18 kms from the Forest Checkpost and the Masi Temple is close to 45 kms deep inside the Moyar valley. Liquor flows freely, animal sacrifice is rampant, plastics, tree felling, open air cooking in dry scrubland is causing enormous stress. The land otherwise is a haven for wildlife with the highest density of tigers reported here. The Forest Department is a mute spectator. Kindly advice.

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We requested Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee of Wildlife First, to field this question. Since many PAs are plagued by similar problems, we think that his answer has wide relevance and so we decided to publish a detailed answer in our articles section.Read More

Over Fifty Tigers Dead This Year: WPSI Report

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Statistics collated by the Wildlife Protection Society Of India (WPSI) indicate that 51-tigers have perished so far in 2011. Uttarakhand leads the states with 14-deaths followed by Karnataka with six and Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh with five each. A tiger killed by policemen using AK-47 machine guns outside Kaziranga National Park in Assam on Monday (5th Nov. 2011) is the latest in that list.

The WPSI Wildlife Crime Database has records of over 19,100 wildlife crimes involving more than 400 … Read More

Coal Mining Destroying Critical Tiger Habitat Around Tadoba Tiger Reserve

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New Delhi, 22 November, 2011: Coal mining poses a serious threat to tigers in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur region, near the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) and must be reined in. This is the verdict of a Fact Finding Mission to the area organized by Greenpeace India, consisting of wildlife experts Praveen Bhargav and Biswajit Mohanty and environmental lawyer Rahul Choudhary.

The team released its findings and recommendations in a report titled “Undermining Tadoba’s Tigers” at a press conference in New Delhi. … Read More

Rampant Mining Poses Threat To Tadoba Says Expert Wildlife Panel

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Rampant coal mining in Chandrapur and its surrounding areas in Maharashtra pose a grave threat to tigers. A fact-finding team, comprising of Praveen Bhargav, Biswajit Mohanty and environment lawyer Rahul Choudhary, released its findings and recommendations in a report titled, “Undermining Tadoba’s tigers” said that no new mines should be given forest clearance in the region and further expansion of mines in operation should be stopped. The team has visited the area in September of this year, interacted with villagers, … Read More

Conservationists Win Legal Battle in Bhadra Tiger Reserve

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In a tough legal battle conservationists, succeeded in stalling two projects that would have upset the ecologically fragile eco-system buffering the Bhadra Tiger Reserve in Chikmagalur district.

One was a 124 windmill project to be set-up by Karnataka Renewal Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) subleased to BB Hills Wind Farm Development for a period of 30-years on the Bababudangiri Hills and the other was a resort-cum-spa, promoted by Bangalore-based Brigade Hospitality Services, in collaboration with the Singapore-based Banyan Tree Hotels and … Read More