Tiger Wanders 280 kms Through Karnataka Forests in Search of Territory

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On May 1, a young male tiger which had strayed into a betelnut plantation in gama and was stoned by a mob, attacked and killed a man before it was tranquilized by the forest officials. On May 7th, the tiger was released into the Bhadra tiger reserve. Analysis of the photographs of the tiger’s release by the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS), a wildlife NGO which had been camera trapping in Karnataka for around two decades, showed that the tiger … Read More

MOEF Press Brief — Annual Intensive Tiger Monitoring Will Kickoff in November

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The annual tiger monitoring exercise will kickoff in November and will include Simlipal and Satakosia. The MoEF has made this announcement following a three day workshop where experts deliberated on the Best Management Practices in Tiger Conservation. The November census is titled Phase IV of the National Tiger Estimation Programme. The annual monitoring will be done by the respective Chief Wildlife Wardens of the reserves. The methodology will be determined by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and NTCA. Simlipal, … Read More

BR Hills and Kudremukh to Become Tiger Reserves

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Union Minister for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh said that the government had approved two more tiger reserves in Karnataka. BR hills in Chamrajnagar district and Kudremukh in Chikmagalur district would become the country’s 40th and 41st tiger reserves. This takes the number of tiger reserves in Karnataka upto six.… Read More

Battle Looms Over Land For Sigur Elephant Corridor in the Nilgiris

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The people of Sholur Panchayat (near Mudumalai Tiger Reserve) are furious over a recent High Court order that gave permission to the forest department to acquire their land for an Elephant Corridor. The region is home to tribals such as Kurumbas and Irulas living in Bokkapuram, Moyar, Vazhaithottam and Mavanallah who would be dislocated by the ruling. The ruling came in response to a petition filed by advocate ‘Elephant’ G. Rajendran. Activists on both sides of the picture are making … Read More

Assamese conservationist Firoz Ahmed wins prestigious award

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M Firoz Ahmed, a Wildlife Biologist working with Aaranyak in Assam, has been awarded the prestigious Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award 2011.

Firoz is currently conducting research on tigers, prey animals and their habitats in Orang, Manas and Kaziranga National Parks supported by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. He is also involved in community-based conservation of wildlife in Assam and is a passionate environment educator.

The Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award is given annually to wildlife conservationists, researchers and managers … Read More

Karnataka Forest Department seeking Tiger Reserve Status for Kudremukh National Park

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The Karnataka State Forest Department is seeking a Tiger Reserve Status for the Kudremukh National Park (KNP). Recently, the Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple Wildlife (BRT) Sanctuary was given the tiger reserve status by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). Union Minister Jairam Ramesh has also recently directed the state government to submit a proposal to declare KNP as a tiger reserve and also to shift machinery and infrastructure of the Kudremukh Iron Ore company that is lying inside the park. There … Read More

Lessons from Voluntary Resettlement in the Western Ghats

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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

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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.

Preamble:

The Government of India has requested funding from the Global Environment Facility for a new … Read More

Agriculture land close to BRT Tiger Reserve handed over for Industrial Purposes

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The Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) has handed over 410.44 acres of land to Bannari Amman Sugars. The land is said to be within 1 km radius of the BRT Tiger Reserve and also on a part of an Elephant Corridor. According to a Supreme Court order, non-forest activities cannot be taken up within 10 kms of a protected area (eco-sensitive zone). The forest department has made it clear that no work can be undertaken without an approval from … Read More

Voluntary Resettlement from Bhadra Tiger Reserve, Karnataka

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Devappa was born when the Jagara Valley was a hunting ground of the British. When he was small, the valley had elephants, gaur, and tigers. Within it were villages such as his, sparsely distributed with few people.

In 1951, this 198 sq km area was declared Jagara Valley Game Sanctuary. The population of the villagers inside the reserve was low and the extraction of forest resources was more for self-subsistence than for the market.

In the sixties, a reservoir was … Read More

Masinagudi’s Developmental Aspirations Puts Pressure On Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

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Residents of around 14 hamlets in the Masinagudi Panchayat observed bandh on March 9th, protesting against lack of clearances from the forest department for developmental activities. Many hamlets, being adjacent to reserve forests have been identified as elephant corridors or as tiger reserves. According to the president of the Forum against Harassment by the Forest Department, the demands include the setting aside of GO 145 (identifies Mudumalai Tiger Reserve core area as 321 sq. km) and implement GO 50 (where … Read More

Elusive Bharatpur Tiger Tranquilised; Relocated to Sariska

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Tiger T-7, an elusive and habitual wanderer was lured by the recorded calls of female tigers and tranquilized by Wildlife Institute of India’s P.K. Malik. A team comprising of Keoladeo Field Director Anoop K. R., and Sariska Field Director R.S. Shekawat, have been after the cat since February 14th. The Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Mr. Jairam Ramesh had announced last month that T-7 would be relocated to Sariska. T-7 is the sixth tiger to be relocated … Read More

Tribute — Fateh Singh Rathore, India’s ‘Tiger Man’ Dies

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The Tiger Man, Fateh Singh Rathore, died at his home in Sawai Madhopur on March 1st, 2011. He had been suffering from lung cancer. He was 72. Fateh Singh Rathore’s legacy is the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve which he helped create in 1973 and spent almost forty years protecting and campaigning for. He was Field Director of Ranthambore and made the park world famous for its tigers. He was a vocal critic of India’s conservation policies and made enemies in the … Read More

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

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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