Yearly Tiger Census in Sunderbans

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Phase IV of the tiger estimation exercise will see Sunderbans gaining more sample sites and also yearly estimation of tigers. Currently, camera traps have been laid in only 100 sq kms. In the new format, three more sites covering upper, lower and middle Sundarbans have been suggested and the new protocol will use 25 pairs of double sided cameras per 100 square kilometres and a minimum trapping effort of 1000 trap nights per 100 sq km. Distance sampling protocols may … Read More

Mega World Bank Project to Conserve and Develop Sundarbans

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A mega project is being undertaken by the World Bank, to conserve the biodiversity of the Sundarbans and to develop the regio socio-economically. This is based on a recommendation from the planning commission of India. The project will be completed by the end of the year. The State minister for Sundarbans Affairs has said that steps will also be taken to develop the site as a major tourist destination. There is concern from environmentalists though that the region is already … Read More

Leopard Enters Siliguri Village; Policemen and Forest Guards Injured

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A leopard that strayed into a village near Siliguri injured policemen and forest guards who tried to tranquilize it. Five other villagers were also injured. The leopard eventually died in the evening after being brought to a veterinary center at Sukna. Villagers spotted the leopard in the morning and raised the alarm. The leopard was startled and when the villagers started chasing it around, it tried to flee and injured five villagers in the process. The forest department officials reached … Read More

Signs of Gharial revival in Hooghly; Breeding group identified at Purbasthali

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In good news for the seriously threatened Gharial, better than thought before numbers of the reptiles have been counted in the Hooghly. The Gharial population has now been estimated to be around 250 in a 500 km stretch of the Hooghly from Farakka to Tribeni. The population is also apparently breeding, as new born members have also been spotted. The species was considered extinct in that region for about 60 years. The study was done by iRebel, an NGO that … Read More

Railways and West Bengal govt. to declare Railway stretch as ‘elephant corridor’

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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

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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

Sundarbans — Danger in the Delta

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Man, tiger and cattle battle for survival where the land, river and sea meet.

This is not a pretty travelogue, though there is no place more exotic and wilder than the Sundarbans. Because nowhere else is the man-animal conflict—one of the biggest issues confronting wildlife conservation—as acute or as complex as in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve, where people and “man-eating” tigers are engaged in a prolonged, bitter battle for survival.

Occupying 2,585 sq. km of the … Read More