Want To Save Tigers? Better Have Your Numbers Straight.

Leave a Comment

  • New Book Provides Proven Methods for Monitoring Tiger and Prey Populations
  • The earth is currently home to less than 4000 wild tigers

(NEW YORK- December 12, 2017) A new book co-edited by tiger biologist Dr. Ullas Karanth of (WCS) Wildlife Conservation Society and Dr. James Nichols, an Emeritus statistical ecologist from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), provides an authoritative text on monitoring tigers, their prey, and many other similarly endangered species.

The volume is co-authored by 32 authors, from … Read More

Western Ghats Coffee Plantations Sustain High Bird Diversity in India

-  Announcements, -  Articles Leave a Comment

In a recent study, scientists have found that the coffee, rubber and areca agroforests in Karnataka support 204 bird species including 13 bird species found exclusively in the Western Ghats, highlighting the supplementary role of agroforests in conserving wildlife.

Highlights:

  1. One of largest scientific assessments of tropical birds in the world, covering an area of 30,000 sq km in Karnataka
  2. Coffee, rubber and areca agroforests found to support 204 bird species, including 13 endemic birds of the Western Ghats
  3. Coffee
Read More

Tourist Photographs Aid Tiger Research and Monitoring

-  Photo Feature, -  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

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

Are Green Businesses a Myth? CSR and Biodiversity Conservation

-  Announcements, -  Articles, -  Featured Article 1 Comment

This is an adaptation of an essay that was published in Conservation Biology titled ‘Common and Conflicting Interests in the Engagements between Conservation Organizations and Corporations’ by John G Robinson of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). In it the author examines the development of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices within the corporate community and looks at what drives conservation NGOs to engage with corporations, and the risks associated with that engagement.

Summarized for Conservation India by Prema Naraynen.

How are the Read More

Mapping Sloth Bear Distribution in India and in Western Ghats of Karnataka

-  Announcements, -  Articles Leave a Comment

Endemic to the Indian subcontinent, the Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus) inhabits tropical and sub-tropical habitats across India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Being the most common among the four species of bears in India, it is widely distributed from the foothills of the Himalayas to the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. With sloth bear populations in the Himalayan foothills and northeast India becoming isolated, the Western Ghats and central Indian landscapes now possibly harbor the largest populations.

Despite their … Read More

Statement of Concern by Tiger Biologists on the WWF-GTF Report

-  Announcements, -  Articles Leave a Comment

On Sunday, April 10th, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Global Tiger Forum (GTF) issued a report stating that the world’s wild tiger population was on the rise, and on track for a doubling in a decade. We do not find this report1 and its implications scientifically convincing.

  1. Having devoted years of our lives to trying to understand and save wild tigers, we believe their conservation should be guided by the best possible science. Using flawed survey methodologies can
Read More

Volunteering Can Help Save Wildlife

-  Announcements, -  Articles Leave a Comment

Participation of non-scientists as volunteers in conservation can play a significant role in saving wildlife, finds a new scientific research led by Duke University, USA, in collaboration with Wildlife Conservation Society and Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bengaluru.

The study has shown that citizen science projects greatly contribute to ‘increased environmental awareness among the general public’. It also reported direct impacts on conservation including – shift in formal profession by volunteers to become conservationists, initiation of new conservation organizations or groups, … Read More

Incident of a Man-Eating Tiger in Nagarahole, Karnataka

-  Announcements, -  Articles, -  Featured Article 3 Comments

News papers have been reporting the presence of a livestock killing tiger in agricultural fields and state forests outside the eastern boundary of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve over the last few days. Unfortunately on 25-August-2012 the tiger attacked a woman grazing livestock, killed, and partially ate her. On 26-August-2012 Forest Department staff managed to locate the tiger using domestic elephants, tranquilized it and moved it into captivity.

We have been carrying out long term monitoring of tiger populations in Karnataka using … Read More

Camera Trapping Reveals Exciting Secrets of Tiger Dispersal

-  Announcements, -  Articles, -  Featured Article Leave a Comment

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

Re-sighting of Collared Bar-headed Geese at Veer Dam, Maharashtra

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

It was indeed exciting when a collared Bar-Headed Goose bearing a dark orange collar “RT” was sighted and photographed at Veer dam in Maharashtra on 01 January 2015. This was the only bird with a collar amongst 193 individuals present. Apart from Bar-headed Goose, one Ruddy Shelduck had a collar but could not be photographed. Mumbai birder Adesh Shivkar and team also recorded a collared Bar-headed Goose (C6) on 13 Jan 2008 from Veer Dam.

The information was mailed to … Read More

Disease is Not the Most Urgent Threat to Wild Tigers

-  Featured Opinion, -  Opinion, -  Resources, -  The Featured Posts Leave a Comment

Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), a common disease among millions of street dogs in India, has infected wild tigers in some parts of the country, as reported in the media (CTV News, Salon.com). Given that conservation resources are limited, how should we treat this ‘outbreak’?

In the Western Ghats, where I have worked as a tiger researcher for the past 25 years (and been a conservationist for 50+ years), diseases such as distemper, mange, anthrax, foot and mouth … Read More

Replenishing Water Tanks in Wildlife Reserves: How Scientific?

-  Articles, -  Featured Opinion, -  Opinion Leave a Comment

A recent decision by the Karnataka Forest Department to replenish drying waterholes in Bandipur and Nagarahole Tiger Reserves with water brought in from outside using water tankers, has been opposed by several experienced conservationists, who have worked in these areas for several decades. Sometime ago, CI carried a letter to the PCCF (WL), Karnataka, from K.M. Chinappa, former Range Forest Officer, Nagarahole, and President, Wildlife First, and Praveen Bhargav, Trustee, Wildlife First. Here we present the views of Dr. K. Read More

Manual Review — ‘Monitoring Elephant Populations and Assessing Threats’ (edited by Simon Hedges)

-  Miscellaneous, -  Resources Leave a Comment

Monitoring Elephants the right way: A Synopsis of the Manual titled ‘Monitoring Elephant Populations and Assessing Threats’.

Elephants are social, group living mammals revered by people across diverse cultures in the world. Once widely distributed across a range of ecological conditions, currently distribution and abundance of elephants have both dwindled drastically throughout its range due to habitat loss, fragmentation and poaching. India holds the largest population of Asian elephants surviving today.

In spite of its conservation significance, elephant populations across … Read More

Field Survey of large mammals (transect surveys) and training program on their population monitoring methods — Call for Volunteers by WCS – India

-  Events Leave a Comment

Field Survey of large mammals and training program on their population monitoring methods 

Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program and its partner Centre for Wildlife Studies are conducting field training camps for monitoring large mammal populations for the field season 2013. These field workshops will be held at several reserves in Karnataka including Dandeli-Anshi, BRT, Bhadra, Bandipura and Nagarahole. Some of the methods taught will include:

  1. Estimation of large herbivore populations
  2. Relative abundance estimation of large carnivores using scat encounter rates
  3. Demo
Read More