Hog Deer Discovered from Mirzapur for the First Time

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A hog deer that was reportedly being chased by stray dogs was handed over by the villagers who rescued it to the Mirzapur Forest Division on 12th May, in Kolana village near Adalahat (Dist. Mirzapur, U.P.) The animal was later taken to the Range Officer, Chunar Forest Range, Shri S.P. Ojha, and was kept under the medical supervision of a veterinarian. The animal, which was initially mistaken for a chital, was later identified as a hog deer (Hyelaphus porcinus) with … Read More

Sightings of Adult Gharial in Mirzapur stretch of River Ganga in Uttar Pradesh

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A Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) has been sighted on multiple occasions at different locations in the Mirzapur stretch of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh. It was first reported by two fishermen (Naresh Sahni and Ravindra Sahni) at Shitladham ghat, Adalpura (Chunar) while they were fishing around 4 pm on 26th February, 2020. According to them, the Gharial was old, and may weigh approximately 200 kgs.

In another sighting, on 29th February 2020 near Shastri Bridge, Mirzapur, it was basking on a … Read More

Uttar Pradesh’s first Sloth Bear Conservation Reserve Proposed in Mirzapur Forest Division

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A first of its kind, and Uttar Pradesh’s first Protected Area dedicated to Sloth Bear may come in Mirzapur Forest Division. The proposal for 408 sq.km. Conservation Reserve is backed by the first ever wildlife inventory using camera trap survey conducted in three forest ranges- Marihan, Sukrit and Chunar under Mirzapur Forest Division, Uttar Pradesh. The report titled “Wildlife Inventory and Proposal for Sloth Bear Conservation Reserve” published in July 2019 is authored by Vindhyan Ecology and Natural … Read More

Hispid Hare, Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh

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This image of the globally endangered Hispid Hare (Caprolagus hispidus) may have some conservation significance considering that this is one of the first wild images taken from northern India.

The hispid hare is a lagomorph in the Leporidae family (hares and rabbits). It is identified by its distinctively short ears and, unlike other members of the Leporidae family, short and stout hind legs barely exceeding the length of the forelegs. The animal is rarely seen due to its extremely shy … Read More

Bleeding the Chambal Dry

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Reckless water hoarding, diversion, sand mining and fishing are killing a pristine river that once used to recast its vast ravines every flood. Jay Mazoomdaar on the curse of the Chambal.

This article originally appeared in Tehelka, 8 March, 2013.

In a culture where rivers are worshipped, the Chambal, by all means mightier than the Yamuna, would be slighted as a tributary of the latter. Unsurprisingly, no great cities or shrines came up on its banks. This traditional isolation fostered … Read More

Sloth Bears of Mirzapur: A Study from the Vindhyan Landscape of Eastern Uttar Pradesh

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“Jim Corbett had shot all his man-eaters in Nainital. But I am sure there must have been more tigers in and around Mirzapur than in all the tarai districts put together……” These are words of Y.D. Gundevia, District Collector of Mirzapur in the 1940s, in his book ‘In the Districts of the Raj’. His predecessor, Lord Wyndham, who was Collector of the district for more than 30 years, was a very good friend of Jim Corbett. Mirzapur is the place … Read More

Trade of Endangered Caracals Busted in Mirzapur, UP

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The captured animals must be reintroduced into the wild at the earliest after ascertaining their origin, and a thorough investigation should be undertaken to destroy this illegal wildlife crime racket and culprits punished as per law.

The elusive caracal (Caracal caracal), arguably the rarest cat in India, is one of the least known mid-sized carnivores in India, in terms of its ecology, distribution or behaviour. There are few people in India who can claim to have seen one … Read More

Sarus Cranes in Intensely Cultivated Floodplains

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Sarus Cranes (Grus antigone) in north India and other locations occur in landscapes with very high human populations and intensive agriculture. Their successful breeding is dependent on remnant wetland patches. Traditional agricultural practices help them to persist on the otherwise disturbed lands. Alongside the struggle to maintain wetlands amid a burgeoning human population, the changes in rainfall patterns, likely driven by global climate change, are new challenges that cranes here face. … Read More

Tales From the Bush — An afternoon Along the Orai

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The Orai River originates in the Churia hills (known as the Shivaliks in India) and enters the Terai of lowland Nepal near Bardia National Park. It then flows for a distance of nearly 30 km along Bardia before meeting the Karnali River near Kothiaghat. After this confluence, the Karnali flows for another three kilometres or so before entering India, where it becomes known as the Girwa – probably one of the most beautiful rivers in India. The Girwa has abundant … Read More

Observation on Roadkills in Dudhwa National Park

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This picture highlights roadkill of a Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) observed inside Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh. The metal road that lies on the Indo-Nepal border is about 26 km long from Dudhwa gate to Gauri Phanta (Last village on India’s side) and is open to vehicular traffic from approximately 6 am to 7 pm. The road is quite busy during the day with large transport trucks, tempos and buses crossing the International border from either side.

During our … Read More

Gharials On The Chambal

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The Chambal river (here on the MP-UP border) is under severe pressure from human activity like sand mining and agriculture. The National Chambal Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary, is a 5,400 sq. kms. protected area for critically endangered Gharial Crocodiles, the Red-crowned roof turtle, the endangered Gangetic Dolphin and vulnerable bird species like Indian skimmer, Sarus Crane, Pallas’s Fish Eagle and Indian Courser.… Read More

Langur Pet, Taj Mahal

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I saw this langur captured and used as a pet. I found this guy at the Taj Mahal, Agra. He was sitting on this bench behind the Taj structure overlooking the river. This was photographed on 29th December 2012.

The Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA) prohibits any person (other than a recognized zoo including a rescue centre) from keeping any wild animal (species listed in Schedule I to IV) in captivity without the previous permission in writing of the Chief Wildlife … Read More

Red Fox and Langur Road Kill on Nainital-Kaladhungi Road

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While returning from Nainital in November 2010, I came across these road kills. The langur was first killed by a vehicle. Some time in the night, while a red fox mother with her grown up pup (a female) were presumably scavenging on the kill, they met with the same fate as the langur. I took this photograph early in the morning on the Nainital-Kaladhungi road that used to be a bridleway until three or four decades ago. There are several … Read More

Agriculture That Benefits Wildlife

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The tallest flying bird in the world – the Sarus crane – thrives in the intensely cultivated floodplains of Uttar Pradesh. Can the birds withstand the pressures of a country on the fast track to development?

The fertile Gangetic floodplain has supported dense human population for centuries—much of the land is cultivated, having been converted almost entirely to small-holder farmer systems at least 300 years ago. Despite these pressures, the world’s largest known breeding populations of sarus cranes and black-necked … Read More

Sarus Crane Nesting Sites Decline In Uttar Pradesh

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There has been a large decline in the number of nesting sites observed in Etawah district in Uttar Pradesh. Wildlife activists and forest officials are trying to ascertain the reasons. It appears to be a hidden conflict between farmers and the birds. Analysis shows that 64 percent of the land owned by farmers happened to be in wetlands. Only 36 percent was outside of wetlands. Shortage of agricultural land, inappropriate land management practices and poverty are said to be reasons … Read More