Q: If a project comes up in an area likely to be notified as a PA, will (or can) it be stopped if it gets notified while the project is in progress?

-  Ask CI Leave a Comment

Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee, Wildlife First:

Notification of a Sanctuary is a two step process:

  1. A preliminary notification is issued under Section 18 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and
  2. 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

Forest Officer Found in Possession of Elephant Tusks – Demand Action!

-  News Leave a Comment

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

Betraying India’s Wildlife

-  Opinion, -  Resources 2 Comments

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

Q: Is Baiting Crocodiles Illegal?

-  Ask CI Leave a Comment

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

Q: 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, Karuvannarayar, is 18 kms from the Forest Checkpost and the Masi Temple is close to 45 kms deep inside the Moyar valley. Liquor flows freely, animal sacrifice is rampant, plastics, tree felling, open air cooking in dry scrubland is causing enormous stress. The land otherwise is a haven for wildlife with the highest density of tigers reported here. The Forest Department is a mute spectator. Kindly advice.

-  Ask CI Leave a Comment

We requested Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee of Wildlife First, to field this question. Since many PAs are plagued by similar problems, we think that his answer has wide relevance and so we decided to publish a detailed answer in our articles section.Read More

Birdwatchers Help Nab Waterfowl Poachers in Siruthavur Lake Near Chennai

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

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

Q: How can I stop a tourism-centric hotel project being planned in the heart of a wildlife sanctuary by a State Tourism Department together with the Forest department? The project is in its early planning stage.

-  Ask CI Leave a Comment

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
Read More

Duck Hunting At Karenahalli Kere, Bangalore

-  Photos

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

Tiger Poacher Sentenced To Five Years Imprisonment

-  News Leave a Comment

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

Be a Conservation-friendly Wildlife Tourist, Nature Lover or Photographer

-  Resources, -  The Ready Reckoner, -  Toolkit 2 Comments

(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

An Injured Stump-tailed Macaque Infant, Dzulekie, Nagaland

-  Photos Leave a Comment

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

Environment Ministry Seeks Restoration of Night Traffic on Highways Through Bandipur

-  News 1 Comment

The Karnataka High Court had banned night traffic, between the hours of 9 PM and 6 AM, through the two national highways that cut through Bandipur Tiger Reserve. The Karnataka Forest Department had provided evidence that wildlife including elephants and tigers were being regularly killed after being run over by vehicles and were also being driven out of the forest due to sound and light disturbance. Based on these evidences, the High Court had passed the order. However, the Ministry … Read More

Sariska Poacher Finally Convicted, Gets Maximum Imprisonment

-  News Leave a Comment

Alwar, June 20, 2011: In a landmark judgement, the Court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate – II, Alwar, Rajasthan convicted noted wildlife poacher Juhru and his associates, Tayyeb, Ramzan, Noora and Jiwan Das, sentencing them to a maximum imprisonment of seven years and a fine of Rs 50,000, in a case related to tiger hunting in the Sariska Tiger Reserve in 2005.

According BS Nathawat, ACF Sariska Tiger Reserve, the hunting took place in Routkhola beat of Akbarpur range, … Read More