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
This photographer made this image of illegal sand mining activities going on the Shimsha river bed near Kokkare Bellur (see location below). This could destroy the sanctuary for the Spot-billed Pelicans and Painted Storks which depend on the fish from this river.
This image of sand mining in the Cauvery river captures the norm rather than the exception: across the length of the river, and its tributaries (like Shimsha), sand is being gouged out at a pace that is hundreds … Read More
On 21st December, 2011, an adult tiger was found dead at a place called Chekkadi in Tirunelli Village just two kilometers from the boundary of Wayanad Sanctuary in Kerala. The tiger was caught in a strong wire snare skillfully laid between two trees just beyond a thick hedge. Preliminary investigations by the Forest department have revealed that the land belongs to one Beerabahu a resident of Apparapara Village who is absconding. A case has been registered and investigations are … Read More
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
On 21st December, 2011, an adult tiger was found dead at a place called Chekkadi in Tirunelli Village, just two kilometres from the boundary of Wayanad Sanctuary in Kerala. The tiger was caught in a strong wire snare skillfully laid between two trees just beyond a thick hedge. A case has been registered and investigations are underway. Conservation India carried a note on the ‘Legal Aspects of Tiger Mortality’ along with a picture sourced from local sources. This picture was … Read More
A major report on securing the future for the Elephant in India was today submitted to the Minister of Environment & Forests. The report lays out a comprehensive action agenda for protecting elephants in the wild and in captivity, and for addressing human-elephant conflict. The Minister welcomed the Report and promised speedy implementation of the major recommendations.
The Executive Summary is posted here. The full report can be downloaded from the MOEF website here.
Securing a future … Read More
A slightly different version of this article appeared in the Hindu dated May 7, 2013.
The recent Supreme Court judgment on lions (Centre for Environmental Law WWF-1 v. Union of India and others, Supreme Court, 2013) has called for completely new standards for endangered species conservation to be set in the country. It has asked for lions to be re-introduced to Madhya Pradesh (Intervention Application 100, Biodiversity Conservation Trust of India through Faiyaz Khudsar in writ petition 337, 1995). It … Read More
This image highlights the serious problem of Indian Bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus) poaching during the monsoon. We came across a paddy farmer near Jog falls, Mavingundi, Karnataka, who had collected nearly 30 bullfrogs and kept them in a bucket waiting to hand them over to a guy from Goa who was supposed to come and collect the frogs for the Goan Bar/Restaurant market. They are sold as ‘Jumping chicken’ there. We immediately rescued and released them plus reported the poacher to … Read More
Most urgent! Write to the Minister of Environment & Forests urging him to constitute a CREDIBLE National Board for Wildlife. The few minutes you spend on this could make a huge difference to India’s precious protected areas. Act now!
All development projects, such as roads, dams, mines, power plants etc. that are proposed in or within 10 kms of a Sanctuary or National Park have to be examined and cleared by the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), a Statutory … Read More
In the last four days there have been two important convictions in wildlife cases in Uttarakhand – both cases were WPSI assisted seizures – and one important arrest.
The first case involved the seizure of a tiger skin and a full tiger skeleton, one otter skin, a turtle carapace and a steel trap on 30 January 2009 in Fatehpur Range of Ramnagar Forest Division, which adjoins Corbett Tiger Reserve in the nothern state of Uttarakhand. The tiger was killed by … Read More
Pulicat Bird Sanctuary, spanning northern Tamilnadu and southern Andhra Pradesh is the 2nd largest brackish water ecosystem in India. Hundreds of thousands of migratory waterfowl throng the lake from October to April, including large numbers of Greater and Lesser Flamingos. Efforts are underway through national conservation bodies such as Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural history (SACON) to declare it as a wetland of international importance and obtain for it the status of … Read More
On the morning of 28th November, when Balaji Rayadurgam, Karthik Ramamurthy and I went birding on the outskirts of Chennai, we heard gunshots. Closer inspection revealed that the shots were being fired by 2 poachers, who were coming out a field with a gun in hand and a bag. We caught them red-handed and snatched the weapons and the bag, anticipating birds inside. But we were taken by surprise as there was something else — a jungle cat — which … Read More
Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee, Wildlife First:
Notification of a Sanctuary is a two step process:
- A preliminary notification is issued under Section 18 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and
- A final notification is issued after settlement of rights etc under Section 26 A
However, if the area proposed for notification is already a Reserved Forest, then a final notification can straight away be issued under Section 26 A.
In this question, tt is not clear whether … Read More
Bangalore-based conservation NGO, Wildlife First, has written to the Chief Wildlife Warden of Karnataka demanding immediate action against a senior officer of the Karnataka Forest Department who was found in possession of elephant tusks in his house. The Central Bureau of Investigation found the tusks during an anti-corruption raid. Wildlife First’s letter to the Chief Wildlife Warden is attached for viewing.
Those who are concerned about this are encouraged to email the Chief Wildlife Warden requesting that immediate action be … Read More
Shekar Dattatri co-authored this article, which originally appeared in the Oct 2011 issue of GovernanceNow.
Poor governance, replete with farcical meetings, subjective and improper application of the law, and unilateral decision-making, mars the functioning of the National Board for Wildlife, the apex body on conservation. The new Union Environment Minister must take urgent corrective action to restore the Board’s credibility, and protect India’s precious natural heritage from the relentless pressures of development.
Forests and wildlife in India are governed … Read More
Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Trustee, Wildlife First:
Doubts have been raised as to how feeding of Crocodiles by the resort near Dandeli Tiger Reserve constitutes an offence under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA). Here’s a short explanation on the correct legal position:
Sub-section (36) of Section 2 defines a wild animal which includes any species listed in Schedule I to IV and found wild in nature. Crocodile is a wild animal listed in Schedule I, Part II of … Read More
Two and half of hours of drama unfolded at the Siruthavur lake this morning (3rd June 2012). Five of us from the Madras Naturalists Society (MNS) had come to watch and photograph birds in Siruthavur lake, 40 km from Chennai in Tiruvallur district. The lake was full of birds when we arrived around 7 AM. Just as we reached the lakeshore we heard gunshots. We saw grey herons fall followed by egrets. The shots lasted for half an hour or … Read More
This photo was taken in Padwa village, Koraput, Odisha (Orissa) in Dec 2011. These village boys found immense pleasure in killing the egret for the pot using marbles. … Read More
Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Trustee, Wildlife First:
- The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA) makes no distinction between a private and a government tourism company. So a State Tourism department is not exempted from the provisions of the WLPA. (Link to the Wildlife Protection Act).
- Section 29 of the WLPA prohibits any kind of destruction or diversion of habitat within a Sanctuary without a permit and no such permit shall be granted unless it is for the improvement of
At around 11 a.m. on the Bangalore Bird Race Day, Suma Rao, Gayathri Naik, Garima Bhatia, Jainy Maria and I were birding at Karenahalli kere, one of the lakes off Kanakapura Road, just past Somanahalli in the outskirts of Bangalore. Our attention was focussed on a flock of about 30-35 lesser whistling teals, when we heard a gunshot, and the entire flock took to the air. Right across the lake from us, we could see a lone injured duck flapping … Read More
Jiwan Das, an associate of the notorious poacher Juhru was sentenced to five years imprisonment by a court in Alwar, Rajasthan. He is accused in six cases of tiger poaching. The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has assisted in the prosecution related to a case pertaining to the poaching of a tiger in Sariska on May 24, 2003. Jiwan Das was also fined Rs 40,000. Proceedings are also ongoing against two of his accomplices. Jiwan Das has also been sentenced … Read More
(With inputs from Praveen Bhargav and Ramki Sreenivasan)
Merely visiting a wildlife reserve or being a wildlife photographer does nothing to save wildlife. In fact, uncontrolled visitation by tourists and ‘nature lovers’ is leading to the degradation of reserves and the ‘wilderness experience’ that one craves. But we can offset the impact of our visits (somewhat) by becoming conservation watchdogs.
The number of people visiting wildlife reserves for recreation is increasing rapidly, thanks largely to an upwardly mobile middle class … Read More
In a recently concluded Nagaland Biodiversity Survey, team members Dipti Humraskar and Swapna Reddy found this injured stump-tailed macaque infant with a village girl (in a nepali settlement 15kms from Dzulekie). A boy, aged approximately 14 years, who caught the infant claimed that he saw a troupe of about 20 macaques near his house. He aimed at the troupe with his catapult. The infant somehow fell down or was mistakenly dropped by the mother while escaping and was captured by … Read More