The Elephant Task Force Report — A Critique by Sanjay Gubbi

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With an estimated 26,000 elephants India is home to half the world’s population of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). These pachyderms are spread over a geographical area of about 110,000 sq km, sixty percent of which have been declared as 32 Elephant Reserves (ER).

A different concept from the conventional Protected Areas (PAs), ERs consist of a mixture of land categories. PAs (30%), Reserved Forests (40%) and private lands (30%) form the land tenure of ERs. Securing this landscape in pursuit Read More

Biligiri Rangana Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRT) forest staff expose ungulate poachers’ racket

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The Forest Department squad of Biligiri Rangana Temple Wildlife Sanctuary (BRTWLS), pursuing fleeing poachers, has bumped into a well-knit racket into ungulate (hoofed animals) poaching, which has been active for the past five years. Three persons have been arrested in this connection.… Read More

Notorious Wildlife Trader Sansar Chand Convicted today by a Delhi Court

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In a landmark judgment today, the Court of Addl. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (Special Acts) held notorious Wildlife trader Sansar Chand guilty of illegal possession and trade of one Leopard skin. This case dates back to 17.7.95 when Sansar Chand was caught red handed in possession of one Leopard skin which he was carrying in a green coloured canvas bag and was coming from Pahari Dheeraj.

According to the case of the Prosecution upon a secret information a raiding party comprising … Read More

Frontline of a New War: Environmentalists Under Threat

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‘Amit Jethwa shot dead’ read the SMS received at about 9 pm on July 21st. I did not know him personally, but I knew Amit,  activist, and warrior for any ecological cause — be it the case of an elephant being treated cruelly in a circus or illegal mining in Kodinar bordering Gir or protesting against a shipyard that would impact the nesting of olive ridley turtles. It was a sleepless night, and I spent most of it trying to … Read More

Notorious Tiger Poacher Dariya convicted

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New Delhi: In a major victory for tiger conservation in India, notorious tiger poacher Dariya and his wife Bhagwati were convicted under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 today by Justice A.K. Dwivedi, Judicial Magistrate First Class in Sihora, Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh. The trial of this case has been pending for more than 21 years. The prosecution of this case was conducted on behalf of the Forest Department by Advocate Ms Manjula Shrivastava, a lawyer of the Wildlife Protection … Read More

Mandate of the Standing Committee of the NBWL

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The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) is constituted by the Central Government under Section 5 A of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA). The National Board may, at its discretion, constitute a Standing Committee under sub-section (1) of Section 5B. The Standing Committee shall consist of the Vice-Chairperson (Union Minister in charge of Forests and Wildlife) the Member Secretary and not more than ten members to be nominated by the Vice-Chairperson from amongst the members of the National Board.

The … Read More

Tiger skin seized in Kolhapur, and Tiger dead in Anamalai TR, Tamil Nadu

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A tiger skin was seized in Kolhapur, Maharashtra on 1 June 2010, in an operation by the Panhala police. Three people were arrested, all residents of Kolhapur in Maharashtra. The skin was allegedly obtained from a contractor and is said to have bullet marks on it. The adult tiger was apparently killed three years ago. A fourth accused was arrested yesterday.

On the same day, 1 June 2010, a ten year old male tiger was found dead in Anamalai Tiger … Read More

Twelve Tiger poachers convicted

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Allahabad: In a landmark judgment, Additional District Judge Hon. Satyanarayan Agnihotri convicted 12 tiger poachers under the Wildlife Protection Act in an Allahabad court today. The poachers, who belong to Katni in Madhya Pradesh, have been sentenced to 3 years rigorous imprisonment and have been fined a sum of rupees 10,000. Ten of the twelve convicted were women.… Read More

The Kudremukh Saga — A Triumph for Conservation

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December 31st, 2005 was an environmentally historic day that went virtually unnoticed, even by most environmentalists.  It was the day on which a landmark judgment of the Supreme Court of India took effect, bringing the curtain down on a mining operation that was causing havoc in the Western Ghats of Karnataka.  The Supreme Court’s order was all the more remarkable because what was closed down was no two-bit operation but a massive, government-owned, export-oriented, profit making mining operation of the Read More

Sansar Chand discharged in Tiger bone Case

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In a blow to the wildlife conservation movement in India, notorious wildlife trader, Sansar Chand, allegedly involved in possessing and trading skins of tigers, leopards and other animals, was discharged today by a Delhi court, after the prosecution failed to prove his guilt in a case dating back to 1993.

This case was registered against Sansar Chand on 30th August 1993 when a huge cache of illegal wildlife goods were siezed at Majnu-ka-Tila and nearby areas in Delhi. The seized … Read More

Tiger poacher convicted to 3 years rigorous imprisonment

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New Delhi: A court in Khatima, Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand had sentenced notorious tiger poacher Birbal alias Totha Ram, a resident of Panipat to three years rigorous imprisonment and fine of rupess 10,000 in connection with the seizure of 12ft long tiger skin on August 2004.

The staff of Terai East Forest Division, Uttarakhand with the assistance of Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) had arrested bawariya poacher Totha Ram with a tiger skin from Banbasa in 2004. … Read More

The Myth of Harmonious Co-existence

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A version of the article appended below was published as a lead Op-Ed in The Hindu, India’s National Newspaper, on August 13, 2005. It was written specifically to contest the views in a new bill that was being debated in the Indian Parliament, giving ‘forest dwellers’ permanent land rights within India’s tiny and shrinking forest areas, particularly, National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Tiger Reserves. The lobbies advocating the Forest Rights Act are also pressing for modern amenities to be provided Read More

Indian Tiger is Tibet’s Second Skin

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Armed with a spycam, Belinda Wright entered Tibet posing as a buyer of tiger skin. To her horror, she not only found the endangered animal’s skin openly sold on the streets but also used as clothing by Tibetans.

Tibet is every bit as magical as I expected it to be. Its desolate and wind swept plains, mist-covered mountains, and stoic and friendly people, exceed one’s dreams. But Tibet also broke my heart when I visited its villages and towns in … Read More