Monday, January 31, 2011
MYSORE: The declaration of the Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple (BRT) Wildlife Sanctuary as a “tiger reserve” by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on January 24 has stirred up a hornet's nest.
Sources in the BRT Wildlife Sanctuary said that the official communication was received on January 27, and the total area of the tiger reserve will be 574.82 sq km. The area will be free of human habitation in view of protecting the endangered cat and funds will be released by the Centre.
The tiger reserve, according to conservationists, will help in protecting the estimated 35 tigers that inhabit the sanctuary, but the new status to the sanctuary has become a cause of concern for the 16,204 Soliga tribal people whose lives have for centuries been inextricably linked to this forest.
Thousands of Soligas were allegedly evicted forcibly when the area was declared as BRT Wildlife Sanctuary in 1974.Now, over 1,500 Soliga tribal people will be forced to make way for the tiger reserve.
According to sources, a 373-sq km zone in the heart of the forest has been declared a critical tiger habitat and eight ‘podus' (tribal hamlets) that fall within this radius will be relocated to a village outside the forest. Upset with the development, the tribal community is all set to launch an agitation.
They have planned to launch an indefinite strike in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner in Chamarajanagar from February 15 and fight till the Minister for Forests promises that they will not be evacuated from “their land”. Speaking to The Hindu, secretary of the Zilla Budakattu Abhivruddhi Sangha, C. Made Gowda said that regardless of their objection, the NTCA had declared BRT Wildlife Sanctuary a tiger reserve and nothing had been clarified on the future of the 1,500 Soliga tribal people, who according to forest officials, had to make way for the reserve.
“Forest officials who earlier assured us of not evacuating us from our podus are now saying that podus that fall within the tiger reserve will be relocated outside the forest. This is nothing but hoodwinking the tribal people,” he noted.
He regretted that though environmentalists, non-governmental organisations and rights groups in a petition to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) proposed to manage BRT Wildlife Sanctuary as a “Community Based Tiger Conservation Area”, the Ministry was not prepared to accept the proposal.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
With the support the of Asia Pulp & Paper, Sumatran Tiger Preservation Foundation (YPHS) is launching one of its largest operations to date, the relocation of up to six Sumatran Tigers to a vast, protected area where they can flourish. Following a detailed relocation analysis, the tigers will likely be moved to the 178,000-hectare Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu (GSK-BB) Biosphere Reserve in Riau province.
The operation is being fully funded by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), the leading corporate supporter of YPHS. The initiative is designed to ensure that the Sumatran tiger remains part of the Indonesian landscape.
The tigers in question have been sighted by villagers in Riau province of Sumatra. While tiger-human conflict has existed in Indonesia for thousands of years, the YPHS initiative is designed to protect both villagers and tigers by relocating the tigers to less populous areas that offer conditions where the animals can thrive.
“I hope Giam Siak Kecil will be a suitable home for at least some of the tigers,” said YPHS veteran tiger conservationist Bastoni (Indonesians often use a single name). “The signs are certainly encouraging so far. It will take at least three months for the assessment to be completed. In the meantime, we will work closely with communities in Riau to ensure that human-tiger conflict is avoided.”
The 178,000-hectare GSK-BB Biosphere Reserve in Riau province promises to be an ideal natural habitat for the animals, with an abundance of fresh water and food sources. Approved by the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere project, the reserve has also become one of the last remaining natural habitats for the tigers to be studied by universities, researchers and environmental groups. The Biosphere is supported by APP and its pulpwood suppliers.
For centuries, tiger encroachments into populated areas have largely been stopped by killing or hunting down the animals. Bastoni and YPHS are part of the Tiger Working Group (TWG), which acts as an intermediary when villagers come into conflict with tiger populations. The organization has developed programs to enhance tiger survival, including education and monitoring efforts to combat illegal logging and encroachment, tiger surveillance and research using radio collars and camera traps, and programs to reduce the risk of conflict by posting signs and erecting fences to separate tigers and humans.
APP and its suppliers also support the TWG.
Once the assessments are completed and found the area suitable for tiger habitat, and the tigers have been safely captured, YPHS intends to tag each tiger with a GPS-enabled device that will allow YPHS to track their movements and determine where the tigers live. The GPS enabled devices will help ensure that they can live sustainably in their new habitat.
Notes for Editor:
In 2009, APP and Sinarmas Forestry (SMF) proposed Giam Siak Kecil – Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve (GSK-BB) in Riau, Indonesia. It is the first biosphere reserve initiated by a private company to be approved by the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere project.
Located in the Bengkalis and Siak Districts of Riau Province, Indonesia, the GSK-BB is described on the UNESCO MAB website as “a peatland area in Sumatra featuring sustainable timber production and two wildlife reserves, which are home to the Sumatran tiger, elephant, tapir, and sun bear.”
The site also has potential to serve as a testing ground for carbon dioxide sequestration in the context of international carbon trade mechanisms. The area is managed jointly by local government, NGOs, industry, the scientific community and environmental experts.
SMF, APP’s exclusive pulpwood supplier, is an active member of the working group currently managing the area and APP has contributed significantly to the development of GSK-BB as a Biosphere Reserve and provided operating and management funds. The GSK-BB area will be used for conservation, research activities and sustainable economic development.
The GSK-BB Biosphere Reserve area consists of:
- A Core Area of 178,722 hectares. 70,271 hectares were conservation area set aside by APP’s pulpwood supplier, 108,451 hectares are National Reserves.
- A Buffer Zone of 222,425 hectares comprising APP’s pulpwood supplier’s plantations.
- A Transition Area of 304,123 hectares, that incorporates plantations, agriculture, fishing, farming and community settlements.
Yayasan Pelestarian Harimau Sumatera (Sumatran Tiger Conservation Foundation/YPHS) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to protect and conserve the population of the Sumatran Tiger. The vision of YPHS is the sustainable conservation of the Sumatran Tiger and achieving a community that can live peacefully with wildlife for conservation purposes.
YPHS’s main programs are identifying the habitat of the Sumatran Tiger, managing human-tiger conflict, treating and relocating conflict tiger back to its habitat, building community’s awareness of the importance of protecting the Sumatran Tiger and explaining ways and ideas to raise the population of the Sumatran Tiger.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Place: Lucknow Agency: PTI
There could be a good news for the wildlife lovers as the preliminary analysis of the ongoing census of tigers in the forests of Uttar Pradesh indicates that their numbers might have increased.
The tiger census, which is presently going on through the camera-trap-method has shown an upward trend, though the complete results will be available in March only, chief conservator of forests, Uttar Pradesh BK Patnaik said.
The census work in Dudhwa national park and Pilibhit is complete, while it was underway in Katariyaghat and Kishunpur and as per the reports available, the number of the wild cats appears to be on the rise, he said.
As per the 2007 census, there were 110 tigers and 208 leopards in the state forests, while the number of tigers in the country stood at 1,400.
The tiger density in Uttar Pradesh is one tiger per 25 sq kms, as against around 10 to 11 sq kms in Uttarakhand, sources said, attributing this difference mainly to better forest cover ensuring easy availability of herbivores.
Sources in the state forest department said that the camera trap method is likely to give a more accurate number of tigers present in the forests.
Cameras are installed at strategic points, like water bodies in the forest area, where the tigers go for water, in their respective territories and a computer analysis is carried out to ascertain their presence.
Though there has been concern over the rise in the cases of man-animal conflict in Uttar Pradesh forest areas, with at least three cases reported this year itself from around the Katarniyaghat wildlife sanctuary, efforts are on to take the help of people living on the fringes of forests, besides NGOs to create awareness.
As many as 16 human lives have lost in these conflicts since the beginning of 2010.
Because of rising incidents of man-animal conflict, the department is also working on constant monitoring, grassland development management and means to minimise human/ cattle presence in the forest areas by providing alternate sources of energy and livelihood to the people residing on the fringes of forests, he said.
The 70 kms long railway track running through Dudhwa and Katarniyaghat forests has brought in more trouble to the tigers. Several cases of the wild cats being run over by trains have been reported in the past years, though the speed limit has been fixed at 30 KMPH.
The department has been writing to the Railways to find out a permanent solution for it but to little avail till now, sources added.
New Delhi, January 29, 2011
Uttarakhand government is in dock for pumping over 25 bullets in a tiger at Corbett national park with environment minister Jairam Ramesh seeking a report and BJP MP from the state Tarun Vijay expressing "displeasure". A tiger, declared as man-eater, was killed near Sunder Khat village on January 27, in a second encounter after being shot about 16 days ago. In between, no effort was made to track down the elderly tiger and tranquilize him, as required under the National Tiger Conservation Authority guidelines.
"I have sought a report on the incident," Ramesh told HT, when asked about the concern expressed by wildlife experts over the barbaric manner in which the tiger was killed.
P K Sen, a NCTA member and former director of Project Tiger said, no effort was made to understand why the animal had turned man-eater and tranquilize him. A tiger in Pilibhit range, who had killed eight people in 2010, had stopped attacking humans after returning to his natural habitat. The World Wide Fund for nature had tracked the entire journey on 20 cameras put in the range.
"The drastic act Corbett was under political and local pressure," Sen said, which was confirmed to some extent by S Chondolia, Chief Wildlife Warden of the state. "The victims were from poor families and disadvantaged. We could not have allowed it to continue," Chondolia told HT.
But, BJP Rajya Sabha member Tarun Vijay had branded these 342 families as encroachers on land for tigers, which the state government had failed to vacate. "The Corbett was not about man-animal conflict but human selfishness and greed in conflict with peace-loving and solitude-seeking tigers," he said on Friday.
Tiger experts also pointed out that the killing took place with the help of experts and the animal was left in pain for over 15 days. "The first bullet on January 11 had damaged the testicles of the animal but no effort was made to end the agony fast," said Brijendra Singh, an NCTA member. No specialized hunters were called and forest department guards shot the tiger.
Ramesh has asked NCTA member secretary Rajesh Gopal to conduct an inquiry and submit a report after experts said that the authorities protocol was not followed while killing the animal.
"Section 11 of the Wildlife Protection Act gives power to the Chief Wildlife Warden to declare an animal a beast and destroy it," Chandolia said, claiming that the NCTA guidelines for fully followed.
Man-animal conflict is in rise in Uttarakhand where tiger population is believed to have increased by about 15% since the last census in 2007 and their habitat shrunk. "Our maps show that corridors which helped tigers to move from one habitat to another and their buffer areas have either been destroyed or encroached," said a ministry official.
Watch Joseph the lion eat a whole rabbit in around 9 minutes (Time Lapse)
Whole prey is an important part the diet we feed our cats, as you can see they eat everything including the bones, stomach contents and fur. This provides great nutrition and a nice change of diet for the cats at their favorite time of day....DINNER TIME!
Friday, January 28, 2011
New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) BJP MP Tarun Vijay today lamented the killing of a tiger by forest officials in Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand and suggested the state government to create a "buffer zone" to facilitate the free movement of big cats.
Vijay also asked the BJP-ruled state to relocate the encroachers outside the sanctuary.
Forest officials had killed a "man-eater" tiger yesterday after a half-eaten human body was recovered in the national park. Earlier this month, a tigress, suspected of killing four women in two weeks, was shot at by the hunters but managed to escape.
Vijay, who represents Uttarakhand in the Rajya Sabha, said in a statement that the encroachments in Corbett make the movement of tigers uncomfortable on their land and they find the encroachers as easy prey.
He demanded "immediate creation of a buffer zone in this area and also relocation of the encroachers to safer areas".
Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), January 29, 2011
A 20-year-old female elephant has been killed by a tiger in the Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR), a forest official said.
The half-eaten body of the pachyderm was found by a forest patrolling team on Friday morning, Uttarakhand Chief Wildlife Warden Srikant Chandola said.
“The killing of elephant calves by a tiger is a common incident in jungles, but this is a very rare incident when the tiger has attacked and killed an adolescent elephant,” he added.
LUCKNOW: The man-eater in the Corbett national park had lost the fear for humans. According to officials, it was over-exposure to human population, which had probably made the tiger fearless.
This was evident from the ever reducing time gap between the killings. On November 12, Nanda Devi was attacked in daylight in Corbett, when she was returning to Sundarkhal village with two other women. The villagers recovered her partially eaten body later.
The second killing was made in Ramnagar forest division after more than a month on December 29. The woman Kalpha Mehra was mauled to death at Chukam village near the eastern boundary of the Corbett national park, when she had gone to collect fodder from the forest. The body was partially eaten by the tiger. The third killing came less than a week after the second one.
In all, there has been six killings in Corbett and Ramnagar forest division. Four of them took place in January alone. Uttrakhand forest department claimed that it had shot down the man-eater on Thursday. The big cat was striking in Sunderkhal, Garjia and Dhikuli ranges of Corbett and Ramnagar. The people killed by the tiger had gone inside forest area. Officials claimed that biotic pressure on forest is increasing. "Sunderkhal has at least 342 families living," said one of the officers.
The officers also said that the tiger was perhaps not ill or suffering from deformity that could have made it a man-eater. There were evidences that the big cat was also killing its natural prey. "Though we can not say, if it was still killing wild animals after being shot at on January 11," said an officer. The officers had shot at it, when it came back to its prey in the late evening. "It was the sound of cracking bones and rupturing flesh that made us realise that the tiger was eating its prey," said an officer. Since it was dark, and though officers fired at the feline, it escaped. But the blood stains found at the place made officers believe that the big cat was injured.
The officers also shared that the tiger had gone elusive, the known trait of a man-eater. It had also grown clever and knew how to avoid being trapped. There had been occasions, when it had come close to a cage set up at the place, but was never caught.
LUCKNOW: A day after Uttarakhand forest officials shot a tiger claiming it had killed six people in and around Kumaon's Corbett Reserve, doubts are being raised if the big cat felled on Thursday was a man-eater.
The Corbett authorities who had earlier claimed that the man-eater was a tigress, on Friday said the feline shot by Ramnagar forest officials was a "rare specimen with female characterstics". With deformity in both its hind claws, the pug marks of the tiger made them look like that of a tigress. "Whatever doubts have arisen, could be because of this assumption of ours," said Corbett park warden U C Tiwari on Friday adding, "it was a tiger with female characteristics."
The contention was outrightly rejected by wildlife experts. "The pug mark impressions are very distinct and are impressions of paws and not claws," said former director of Dudhwa G C Mishra. He added that this leaves little chance of a goof up. "We are yet to come across a tiger with "female characteristics," he said.
"If they have killed a wrong tiger and a man-eater is still at large, killings (of men) will take place in some 15-20 days," he warned.
Former director, Project Tiger, R L Singh said: "I agree that pug marks are misleading evidence, but I have never ever come across a tiger with any of its claws like that of a female. Though the cubs can have their claws look like that of a female, the Corbett tiger was an old one."
LUCKNOW: The man-eater tiger at the Corbett National Park, which was shot down on Thursday was a rare specimen. It was a tiger with 'female characteristics'.
The big cat had deformity in both its hind claws. The pugmark impressions made the claws look like that of a tigress. No wonder, forest officers maintained that it was a tigress, which had been killing and eating men in the vicinity of the national park since November. "Whatever controversy has risen could be because of this assumption of us," said UC Tiwari, warden of Corbett National Park.
The tiger killed by Uttarakhand forest department on Thursday was old, slightly more than 9-years of age. The postmortem of the carcass on Friday found human flesh in its stomach. Ramnagar forest officers had shot down a tiger after the mutilated remains of 27-year old Puran Chand were recovered from Sunderkhal area of Ramnagar. The man was the sixth victim of a tiger in the area in last three months. But, barely a day after the tiger was killed, voices from certain quarters allege that forest officers had shot down the wrong feline.
When asked if forest department has erred, RK Mishra, director, Corbett national park said, "I don't think so. We did not confirm ever that it was a tigress behind the killings." The officer said that the department has the biggest evidence to prove that it has shot down the right tiger. "The tiger was shot down, while it was close to its prey," said Mishra. On the night of January 11, when officers had shot at the big cat, then too it had returned to its prey (killed in the morning) and was eating it. Secondly, man-eaters get elusive and this one was behaving in the exact manner. Sunderkhal area has three other pairs of big cat.
"All the human killings have taken place within a distance of one kilometre, which shows that it was the same tiger, which struck on Wednesday and before," said the director. The first killing took place in Corbett on November 12. "We got the first pugmarks then. But the area has at least 200 people roaming around it all the time and it is not possible to get clear pugmarks," he said.
Explaining the `established protocol of wildlife', Corbett officers said that there are two ways to differentiate between a male and a female tiger. "We differentiate on the basis of genitals and if we have not seen the big cat, it is on the basis of pugmarks," said Tiwari. The pugmark identification is an indirect evidence. "In this case, the big cat was not spotted ever and hence indirect evidence was used," he said.
In case of tigers, pugmarks of only the hind legs are obtained. "This tiger had pointed nails in its hind claws," said Mishra. Also when lines are drawn around the pugmark impression of females, lines form a rectangular shape whereas in case of males, lines form a square shape. "For this tiger we got a pugmark impression of 13x10 cms for hind claws, looking like a pugmark impression of a female," said the park warden. The female's toes are slender and elongated while that of males are oval.
The tiger was shot down at least 15 to 20 metres away from where it had killed the man on Wednesday. It did not leave the area and was guarding the prey. "The big cat was otherwise healthy," said Tiwari. Even its deformity was not of the order that could have disturbed its normal life or made it a man-eater.
Paritosh Kimothi Dehradun
A tiger was shot on Thursday in the Garjia area of Corbett National Park over the remains of a fifth human allegedly killed in an encounter with a wild animal.
Though park authorities claim that the slain big cat is the one responsible for human deaths in the national park during the past two-and-a-half months, questions are being raised about this theory. So far, authorities had been claiming that a tigress was responsible.
After discovery of the human remains near Garjia, a Forest Department team headed by the Ramnagar Divisional Forest Officer Ravindra Juyal was combing the area when a male tiger was sighted.
After the tiger was found near the human remains, villagers cordoned off the area to trap it and put pressure on authorities to shoot the feline. The Sanyukt Sangarsh Samiti blocked traffic on National Highway 121 from 8 am to 2:30 pm in protest.
The departmental team and police personnel fired up to 12 rounds, killing the big cat.
However, samiti president Munish Kumar said the villagers would continue the protest till the tigress believed to be responsible for the deaths of four women was killed. He said the last human killed was eaten by a pair of tigers so killing one tiger did not resolve the conflict in the area.
Park director Ranjan Kumar Mishra confirmed that a tiger had been shot by forest department personnel on Thursday. Wildlife activists, on the other hand, believe that the tiger has been killed unnecessarily due to public pressure, without the man-animal conflict being resolved in the area.
The remains of the fifth human allegedly killed by a tiger in Corbett National Park were discovered on Thursday morning in the Garjia area.
So far, authorities had been claiming that a tigress was responsible for the human deaths and that it had been shot by department personnel on January 11. However, this tigress was believed to have recovered from the single bullet wound and killed a fifth human, according to former honorary wildlife warden of the national park and member of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) Brijendra Singh.
Mishra said a crowd of hundreds of villagers had prevented a post-mortem of the feline on Thursday. As veterinarians have said that the examination should not be conducted in the dark, the post-mortem will now be conducted on the morning of January 28, he added.
According to official sources, two men on a scooter stopped briefly on a jungle path on January 26 while one of them went to the woods to relieve himself. This man, identified as 25-year-old Puran, was visiting his relatives in the Sunderkhal area and was missing since then. Only his legs were discovered in the Garjia area on the morning of January 27.
Dehradun, January 27, 2011
A male tiger was shot dead on Thursday afternoon in Ramnagar forest division, post protest from villagers of Sunderkhal adjoining Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR).
A man-eating big cat reportedly killed a 27-year-old young man late on Wednesday evening. As a result, Sunderkhal villagers not only blocked National Highway 121 (Ramnagar-Ranikhet) on Thursday morning but also pelted stones at forest officials.
Facing huge pressure, forest staff immediately undertook combing on elephants to trace the man-eating tiger. Within few hours combing staff found a tiger near the spot where body parts of victim were recovered. Giving no second thought, they shot the animal dead.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Ravindra Juyal division forest officer (DFO) Ramnagar informed, "The tiger was found in Devijaudkhatta where victim's body parts were recovered. We immediately shot the animal dead before it could take more lives."
Wild Life Experts have expressed shock over the way tiger was killed on Thursday.
"The tiger was about 7 years old and was shot 25-30 times. It is barbaric," noted Brijendra Singh member National Tiger Conservation Authority.
Notably, a fortnight ago forest authorities gave orders to kill a man-eating tigress that killed a woman of Sunderkhal village. The decision was taken when agitated villagers staged protest and demanded immediate eviction of the animal.
In great hurry, forest department then shot a tigress but couldn't recover its body. It was assumed that the animal must have been injured, though not dead. However, the fresh killing of tiger has raised several questions on forest department.
When the orders to kill man-eating tigress were given by forest authorities, how can they shoot a tiger dead on the basis of same notification? Why has the department failed to recover the body of the injured tigress?
It is learnt that within a period of two months, the fifth human death was reported on Wednesday due to tiger attack.
"No fresh orders were given to kill the man-eating tiger. We carried forward earlier orders of killing," Ravindra Juyal added.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
LUCKNOW: A man was killed by a tiger in Ramnagar forest division. This is the fifth human killing in Corbett by a big cat. The forest officers have reached the spot, said a forest staff at Ramnagar forest division.
The man was killed on Wednesday evening, said the staff. The officers, on the other hand, said they could share more about the incident once the primary investigation gets over.
The big cat killing humans in Corbett is an adult tigress. The tigress is a man-eater. It has killed three humans since November in Sarpduli range under Garjia forest area of Corbett national park.
The officers, however, were not sure whether the fourth human, whose body was found about 5-6 kms away from Garjia forest was also killed by the tigress.
The tigress was shot at on January 11 by forest officers. The feline was injured in the operation. The officers said that blood stains at the spot made them believe that the tigress was injured.
The Sarpduli range of Garjia forest area has considerable human interference. The presence of Garjia temple near Corbett national park also makes it a busy place.
The locals have already risen in resentment against the park authorities after the killings.
On the other hand, tigress has completely lost the fear for humans. That is evident from the time period which kept on reducing between the killings. The second killing came more than a month after the first one. The third killing was made after a gap of just a week.
Monday, January 24, 2011
First there were LION BURGERS, know we have LION TACOS, this abuse as to stop!
An Arizona restaurant known for serving tacos made from exotic meats is taking advanced orders for a particularly rare delicacy - LION MEAT !!
Boca Tacos y Tequila, a Tucson Tex-Mex restaurant plans to put lion on its menu for one night only February 16th, provided enough diners express interest in chowing down on the big cat.
WAYS TO HELP STOP THIS...
Please send an email or call the FDA to let them know that regulations should be passed prohibiting "threatened" species from being served as food products.
FDA email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FDA phone: (949) 608-3530 Arizona Consumer Complaint Coordinator
SIGN THE PETITION HERE: http://animals.change.org/blog/view/lion_tacos_on_the_menu_in_arizona
Friday, January 21, 2011
The tiger in Sahyadri sanctuary, captured by the forest dept’s trap camera, recently.
Posted On Friday, January 21, 2011 at 06:31:52 AM
For decades, the presence of tigers in the Sahyadri wildlife sanctuary had remained, at best, only speculation. No more, though. A report from the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad has confirmed the presence of a tiger, proof finally that tigers exist in Sahyadri sanctuary.
What was merely a belief so far has finally been confirmed. The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad has verified the presence of a tiger in the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, located in the Chandoli-Koyna forests, spread across Satara and Kolhapur districts in western Maharashtra.
Speaking to Pune Mirror on Thursday, M K Rao, conservator of forests (Kolhapur Range), said, “We had sent seven samples of wild animal faeces to the CCMB for analysis. While six samples were found to be of leopards, one was confirmed to be that of a tiger.”
Pune Mirror is in possession of a rare, hitherto unpublished photo of a tiger captured through a “pilot” camera installed by the forest department inside the 741 sq km reserve, three months ago. This was confirmed by the forest authorities, though they refused to disclose the exact location where it was captured in the interest of tiger preservation.
“The picture is from the reserve landscape, but I cannot confirm the location,” Rao told Mirror.Rao said that the forest department is now preparing to conduct a census using infrared cameras to ascertain the exact number of tigers in the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve-the first tiger reserve in Western Maharashtra, created in January 2010.
The State Wildlife Department, along with National Wildlife Research Institute (NWRI) Dehradun is chalking out a plan to install 20 cameras at various locations in the reserve area that will serve as trapping cameras.
“A waterhole census was held last year, but it is not foolproof, hence the trapping method with infrared cameras will be implemented now. We have even finalized the 20 locations for the purpose,” Rao added.
The cameras are expected to help the authorities take a headcount of tigers and their prey, besides record details of their movements. Though it was believed that the region had a tiger presence, there has been no official information on the exact number of tigers in the Chandoli and Koyna region till date. The belief was based entirely on the rare sighting of a tiger by locals in the past few years.
Rao said there was a need for following a foolproof method before confirming a tiger presence and their exact numbers. “After the waterhole census last year, we collected the faeces samples using the Line Transect Method for ecological sampling as it is more accurate. The samples sent to Hyderabad were collected through this method,” he said.
Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary and neighbouring Chandoli National Park, together form the Sahyadri Tiger Project. According to data collected from the latest census conducted in 2006, the reserve is home to eight tigers and
Rohan Bhate, an environmental activist and wild life photographer from Karad, said he was sure there were more tigers in the region than the forest authorities would like to confirm. “There have been pug marks, faeces, and nail marks on trees, which confirm there are tigers out there.”
The area covered by the tiger project includes 423 sq km in Koyna, which was declared a sanctuary in 1985, and 317 sq km in Chandoli, a national park. Besides the tiger and leopards, other birds and wild animals, and even a unique species of Koyna Toad (Toad-Bufo Koyanansis) lives in the biodiversity-rich forest of Koyna.
Tigers have rarely been spotted in these two wildlife sanctuaries in recent decades. In fact, when the area was declared a tiger reserve, its opponents ridiculed it saying there were no tigers there.
Sahyadri Tiger Reserve
• First reserve in western Maharashtra and fourth in the state after Melghat, Tadoba-Andhari and Pench
• The Chandoli National Park was formed in 2004 while Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary was formed in 1985.
• According to the 2007 census, the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve is estimated to have eight tigers and 66 leopards
• Centrally Sponsored Plan Scheme ‘Project Tiger’ approved in August 2010
Sahyadri has Tigers!
For the first time in decades, a full-grown tiger in all its feral splendour was sighted in Sahyadri sanctuary. Pune Mirror brings you an exclusive report on the sighting by forest officials
NAGPUR: From 40,000 tigers hundred years ago, today India is down to just 1,411. No wonder. Latest study by Traffic International, the wildlife trade network in 11 of the 13 tiger range countries, reveals that India is most vulnerable when it comes to tiger skin and body parts trade.
The study 'Reduced to skin and bones', an analysis of tiger seizures from 11 tiger range countries in a decade (2000-2010), reveals that in addition to habitat loss and degradation, human encroachment, excessive poaching of key prey species and illegal trade in tiger parts were greatly contributing to the rapid decline of tigers in the wild.
"The study included all seizure information available from January 2000 to April 30, 2010. No data were recorded from Cambodia and Bhutan and hence these countries were omitted," said Samir Sinha, head, Traffic India. A total of 481 seizures were analysed, suggesting a minimum of 1,069 (annual average 104.2) and maximum of 1,220 (annual average 118.9) tigers killed for their parts and derivatives. The vast majority of these seizures took place in India (276), followed by China (40), Nepal (39), Indonesia (36) and Vietnam (28).
Monday, January 17, 2011
Alwar, Jan 17 (PTI) Two more persons were today arrested by a forest deapartment team in Sariska for their alleged involvment in the killing of a translocated tiger in the national park last year. "Bhagwanya and Kailash Gujjar were involved in the killing of ST-1 in November last year. They were caught from near Tehla village," an official said, adding the duo were being interrrogated. ST-1, one of the five tigers translocated to the reserve, was poisoned to death and the carcass of the big cat was found on the night on Novermber 14 in Sariska. The forest officials had earlier arrested the main accused, Parsadi Gujjar, last month.
CHAMARAJNAGAR: Even as locals and tribals are demanding that Biligiri Ranganathswamy Hills be declared a tiger reserve, one person sustained injuries in an attack by the big cat.
G Vasantharaju, a resident of a tribal hamlet, was travelling downhill on his two-wheeler, when the tiger attacked him. But he escaped with minor injuries and is admitted to hospital at Yelandur. This is first time that a human has come under attack by the big cat at the forested area, once dominated by slain brigand Veerappan. Some one year ago, a tiger had killed a person at Gopalswamy hills near Bandipur national park.
But wildlife activists said there is no need to worry about tiger attacks, terming Vasantharaju's incident an isolated case. There is no history of humans being attacked by tigers at B R Hills, said H P Ashwin, a wildlife activist working on a tiger project in the forest area. Tribals are in the forested area but there are no instances of any attack, he pointed out, adding that they do not face any threat.
They said tigers generally don't become man hunters unless they are too infirm and can't hunt.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Saturday, January 08, 2011
LUCKNOW: A second killing in as many days inside the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, near Bahraich on the Nepal border, has set alarm bells ringing in the state forest department. The latest victim is a 55-year-old man, who was killed in a village situated inside the sanctuary on Friday.
Jagmal's partially eaten body was recovered from a dense forest on Saturday. The incident took place in Jamunia village, situated inside the sanctuary and is almost adjacent to the core area, an ideal tiger habitat.
Earlier, on Thursday, another villager Saligram, 60, was reportedly killed by the tiger when he had gone to work in his sugarcane field. The forest area from where Jagmal's body was recovered is about 12 km from the place where Saligram's body was found. ''The pugmarks found around Saligram's body were that of a tigress," said Katarniaghat range officer M K Shukla.
LUCKNOW: The man-animal conflict has once again raised its ugly head. A 60-year-old man is the latest casualty to the big cat.
According to officials, the incident took place in Katarniaghat on Thursday morning. The fact that the body was intact and not consumed by the big cat gives some sense of respite to forest officers in the area.
"This is not a case of man-eating," said MK Shukla, Range Officer, Katarniaghat. 60-year-old Saligram, resident of Belahanpura village, was killed at around 10:30 on Thursday morning, when he had gone to work in his sugarcane field. The man had gone alone to the field.
The pugmarks found around the body appear to be of a tigress. In all possibilities, the tigress was already present in the dense sugarcane field, when the man reached the spot and was attacked by the tigress in retaliation.
The man had injury marks on his neck and died of excessive bleeding. A compensation of Rs 10,000 was released immediately to his family. Another Rs 1 lakh as compensation will be given by the state government once the formalities are done. The incident took place in compartment 4 of Sadar beat near Girijapuri barrage. The incident of this nature has not occurred in the area in recent past.
But the villagers have been alerted to follow precautions while venturing into sugarcane fields, especially when alone. When men move in groups, they mostly alert the tiger of their presence and in that case the big cat will avoid coming close to them.
Katarniaghat has a sizable population of big cats, both tigers and leopards. The tigers being present in sugarcane field is a common phenomenon in terai belt. Mostly, tigress with cubs are present in the fields. The killings taking place during the day are mostly the ones where tigers charge in retaliation when they are consciously or unconsciously disturbed.
In most of the incidents, where tigers have killed men in the recent past, big cats have not ventured out of the forest area. On the contrary, men have entered forests and got killed.
The officers said that since tigers live in the core area of the forests, they do not venture out of forest unless they turn into compulsive maneaters.
The forest department has increased the vigil in the area in order to avoid even the remotest chance of a similar incident happening again. The area has some villages in its vicinity.
Friday, January 07, 2011
Lucknow, Jan 7 (IANS) Union Minister for Corporate and Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid Friday expressed the need for opening core areas in wildlife parks to tourists.
Speaking at the 'Billy Arjan Singh Memorial Convention', organised by NGO Tiger and Terrain on the noted wildlife enthusiast's first death anniversary here, Khurshid said that opening of core areas to tourists would go a long way in curbing poaching.
He, however, noted that 'entry to core areas must be strictly regulated and some criterion need to be laid down to allow such entry'.
Wildlife enthusiasts at the convention earlier sought to draw the minister's attention to the fact that the core areas of wildlife parks and sanctuaries had turned into the safe haven for poachers.
'Since there were not enough functionaries and those too inadequately equipped, core areas remained unfrequented even by the staff, with the result that poacher gangs could easily slip in and carry out their nefarious activities,' Tiger and Terrain secretary Kaushlendra Singh said.
His views found favour with the minister, who is himself a wildlife enthusiast.
Ranjit Bhargava, who has been honoured with Padmashri for his wildlife conservation work, stressed on the need for diversion of a rail track and a highway from a 25 km stretch of Uttar Pradesh's Dudhwa National Park, the second largest wildlife reserve after the world famous Corbett Park in Uttarakhand in north India.
Former Uttar Pradesh chief conservator of forests Gian Chand Misra expressed deep concern over the dwindling numbers of deer, which is the favoured food of tigers.
Most speakers felt that the official tiger count was 'highly inflated'. However, Misra was of the view that fudging of tiger figures would come to an end once the modern counting system based on DNA match is introduced in all the parks.
LUCKNOW: Tiger and Terrain Trust held its meeting on Friday to discuss the recommendations of Billy Arjan Singh Memorial Convention held recently. The meeting discussed issues related to protection and conservation of tigers.
The main speakers who participated in the meeting included D Ranjit Bhargava, former president of the trust; G C Misra, president of the trust; Mini Narain, founder member of the trust, and Raghvendra Singh.
The main issues discussed in the meeting were related to diversion of railway tracks from Dudhwa National Park, restriction on the movement of heavy vehicles on state highway passing through Dudhwa, effective management of Suheli barrage, early implementation of work plan for Dudhwa National Park, putting solar fencing along the external border of the wildlife areas etc.
Union minister of state for corporate and minority affairs (independent charge) Salman Khurshid, who was the chief guest at the meeting, said that he would discuss these issues with Union minister for forests and wildlife Jairam Ramesh and request him to meet the members of Tiger and Terrain Trust so that steps could be taken for the early implementation of the suggestions of Billy Arjan Singh Memorial Convention.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Khulna, Jan (bdnews24.com) – A wood and honey collector has been killed by a Royal Bengal Tiger in the Sundarbans at Koira Upazila in Khulna, forest department officials said.
The victim was identified as Mohammad Asadul, 32, of Bagali village under the Upazila.
Forest department's Kalabogi station officer Mohammad Jahidul Islam said a group of 7-8 wood and honey collectors, locally known as Bawali, went to Sormukho canal area of the forest to collect Golpata, leaves of a kind of small trees, with a valid pass a week back.
A Royal Bengal Tiger attacked and took away Asadul while he was cutting Golpata on Friday night, Jahidul told bdnews24.com.
On information, the forest department employees went into the forest and retrieved his mutilated body on Saturday morning.
Jason Burke in Delhi guardian.co.uk, Friday 31 December 2010 17.37 GMT
Environmental officials in northern India have issued an order for a tiger that has attacked and killed three women to be shot on sight.
A specialist team has been dispatched to track down the animal in the world-famous Corbett national park, seven hours' drive north of Delhi.
There have been angry protests by local people at the gates of the park, an increasingly popular tourist destination, since the body of the tiger's most recent victim was found.
Devki Devi, 35, was attacked earlier this week when she and 12 other women went out to collect cattle fodder near their village, said Anil Baluni, the vice-chairman of the Uttarakhand forests and environment advisory committee. The others managed to get away.
Such attacks are rare but regular occurrences in India where repeated drives to preserve the country's tiger population have failed to stem poaching and deaths from natural causes linked to pressure on the animals' habitat.
The number of tigers in India is disputed, but is thought to be approximately 1,500, half of what it was 20 years ago. Some 150 live in or around the Corbett national park, which lies on plains at the foot of the Himalayas.
The fact that the tiger, a female, killed two other women in separate incidents last month and appears to have eaten much of the body of its latest victim will have been important in convincing authorities to issue the order to use lethal force, said Samir Sinha, a former deputy director of the park.
"These kinds of decisions are never easy and never taken lightly. It is only when human life is threatened. Shooting will be the last resort. An attempt will first be made to capture the animal or to tranquilise it," Sinha said.
The area around Corbett national park is a hub of poaching activity. Widespread corruption, demotivated staff and ill-equipped police have allowed networks which kill tigers to order to thrive, campaigners say.
Jairam Ramesh, the Indian environment minister, recently expressed concern over the number of tourist lodges constructed around India's 38 tiger reserves. Many are built in flagrant breach of planning restrictions. The government is considering restricting tourism activities by increasing prices at the reserves and limiting the number of visits.
Quarrying and roadbuilding adds to pressure on the tiger as does India's booming population.
Villagers head deep into the tigers' natural habitat in search of firewood or animal fodder. At the same time prey for the tigers is becoming more and more scarce. The government is considering restricting tourism activities by increasing prices at the reserves and limiting the number of visits.
Last month, local villagers poisoned a tiger with pesticide in the Sariska reserve, the closest tiger habitat to Delhi. Two senior forest officials were suspended for dereliction of duty. The tiger was one of several relocated to Sariska after the entire population of the reserve was poached several years ago.