Thursday, July 29, 2010

Liger + Tiger + Lion = BIG CAT RESCUE!

Liger, Tigers, Lions, Leopards, Cougars, Lynx, Ocelots, Servals, Sand Cats,...Big Cat Rescue located in Tampa Florida, is the world's largest accredited non profit sanctuary. Home to over 100 unwanted, abandoned and abused exotic big cats.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

New mining threat near Tadoba

New mining threat near Tadoba

Mazhar Ali, TNN, Jul 26, 2010, 04.15am IST

CHANDRAPUR: Even as the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has de-allocated the Lohara and Agarzari coal blocks which pose threat to the tiger corridors of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), the abode of around 45 tigers now faces a fresh threat from a couple of other mines proposed very close to the buffer zone boundary. The coal block allocated to Bander Coal Company Private Limited (BCCPL) in Chimur tehsil to the north of the tiger reserve threatens to cut off the only corridor connecting TATR to Melghat tiger landscape.

Conservationist Bandu Dhotre said that the union coal ministry has allocated coal block to the BCCPL, owned by Abhijeet group, wide a letter (13017/78/2008-CA-1) dated May 29, 2009, near Bander village, close to buffer zone boundary of TATR in Chimur tehsil.

The company has initiated the process of seeking mining lease for two of its mines - Bander opencast coal mine and Bander underground coal mine - located adjacent to each other. The company would require 1604.67 hectares (ha) of land for two mines.

This includes 395.67 ha of private land, 38.84 ha of revenue land and 1170.60 ha of forest land. The jungle area required by the company includes 501.19 ha of reserve forest area, 31 ha of FDCM forest and 637.97 ha of other forest land.

"The forest stretch required by the company forms the only corridor that connects Melghat tiger landscape with TATR through forests of Nagpur, Wardha and Bor sanctuary. This corridor has turned into a bottleneck forest patch due to human habitation, agricultural activities and bisecting roads on east, west and southern sides and hence has become extremely sensitive," Dhotre claimed.

He said that the coal block falls within 10 km range from the TATR boundary. The buffer area of TATR is demarcated only up to 7.5 km from the boundary of core area of tiger reserve on this side. Hence, the mining area seems to be outside of the buffer zone, but the mine boundary touches the periphery of the buffer area.

"The aerial distance of the proposed underground mine is 7.5 km from the boundary of core area of the TATR, while that of the open cast mine is 9 km. Almost the entire area falls within 10 km from TATR boundary, which ideally should be an eco-sensitive zone as per the guidelines of Supreme Court," Dhotre said.

"Even though the state government has not yet notified the eco-sensitive zone, the fact remains that any type of mining should not be allowed within such sensitive area," Dhotre claimed.

He said that in 1999, MoEF has rejected the proposal for the same block, citing its adverse impact on the wildlife around Tadoba.

"Now, after 10 years, when the corridor has become degraded and has shrunk, it will be highly irrational to reallocate this once-rejected block for coal mining," he said.

Dhore further said that the proposed mine falls under Bramhapuri forest division. "Man-animal conflict in the area in question is at its peak. Habitat degradation after mining will worsen the problem. Moreover, TATR management has identified this area as a threatened and degraded corridor, and has proposed its restoration under corridor conservation plan. Hence, it would be unwise to further degrade the area," he said.

Dhotre said that he has brought the issue into the notice of MoEF minister Jairam Ramesh in his recent meeting at Delhi.

"Ramesh claimed that his ministry has so far not received any proposal for environment clearance from the company. However, he assured that any project that would be hazardous for the forest, wildlife and tigers will not be sanctioned by his ministry," said Dhotre.

As far as present status of proposed mines is concerned, the company has moved the proposal to Bramhapuri forest division for forest clearance.

Meanwhile, conservator of forests and field director, TATR, Sanjay Thakre in his communication forwarded to chief conservator of forest (wildlife), field director has acknowledged that approving mines in the area will be highly detrimental for wildlife management.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tiger plans leap forward at Bali

Tiger plans leap forward at Bali

20 July 2010

In an important meeting in Bali last week, the 13 countries with tiger populations laid the groundwork for world leaders to come together at the vital Tiger Summit in Russia this September.

The global plan to double wild tiger numbers by 2022 moved a step closer last week as the 13 ‘tiger range’ countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam – held a preliminary meeting to put forward their own proposals for how to achieve this ambitious target.

World tiger experts and representatives from NGOs were also at the meeting, which was a prelude to the big Tiger Summit to be held in St Petersburg, Russia, from 15-18 September 2010.

WWF’s Tiger Programme leader, Michael Baltzer, says: “These 13 countries coming to the Bali meeting and agreeing some key plans is a strong indication that they are ready to make commitments and be held accountable for their efforts to save tigers. And it sets clear goals for how to do that.

“There’s still work to be done in the coming weeks, but this has been a crucial meeting.”

WWF-Indonesia’s CEO, Dr Efransjah, adds: “Hosting this meeting in Bali – where the Balinese tiger went extinct in the 1940s – is a symbol of Indonesia’s commitment to help with this global effort to protect tigers and bring them back from the brink of extinction.

“We commend Indonesia for its leadership at this meeting, and ask for the same level of commitment and passion leading up to and during the Tiger Summit.”

What was decided at the Bali tiger meeting

The 13 countries presented individual national plans for protecting tigers. These plans will be put into a Global Tiger Recovery Programme – essentially an overarching plan to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022 – which will then be considered and approved by high-level government ministers at the Tiger Summit.

The governments also agreed to elements for a Leader’s Declaration, a document that will include joint commitments by the 13 tiger range states.

This Declaration will include agreements such as:

tigers are key to healthy ecosystems

tiger conservation efforts are primarily a national responsibility, but “financial and technical support of the international community ” is still needed

the 13 governments will collaborate on issues that affect tigers across borders, including ensuring the uninhibited movement of tigers and the management of joint tiger conservation areas

increased enforcement efforts will be made to eradicate poaching, the main cause of tiger loss, and to reduce the trafficking of tiger parts

there will be better identifying and better protection of key tiger habitats, such as critical breeding areas

protection efforts will be improved by more systematic patrols of tiger areas, and protecting their prey

You can…

Help us double tiger numbers
Find out more about our work to protect tigers

World tiger population declines to 3200

World tiger population declines to 3200

Bali, July 12, 2010

Tigers are on the brink of extinction because only about 3,200 tigers are left in the world today, a report has said.

The still existing ones included six sub-species: Sumatran, Bengalese, Amurese, Indo-Chinese, South Chinese, and Malayan tigers, said the report released by the Indonesian Forestry Ministry yesterday, a day before delegates of 13 countries met for talks to save tigers here today.

The main threats facing the tigers around the world included damage of natural habitats, drastic decrease of natural predators, hunting and illegal trading, as well as conflicts between tigers and people living in the tigers’ habitat, the report said.

The Bali meeting, that would officially be opened by Minister of Forestry Zulkifli Hasan, was held before the World Tiger Summit in St Petersburg, Russia, from September 15 to 18, 2010.

In their a joint press statement, Chairman of the HarimauKita (Our Tiger) Forum Hariyo T Wibisono and Director of Bio-Diversity Conservation Harry Santoso said there are now only about 400 Sumatran tigers left.

These Sumatran tigers account for about 12 per cent of the world’s tiger population, making Indonesia a key country for tiger conservation in the world, they said.

“Ironically, the habitats of these Sumatran tigers have declined up to almost 50 per cent over the past 25 years.

About 70 per cent of their remaining habitats exist outside the conservation areas.”

Wibisono said the remaining habitats were located in 20 separated forests. This condition was vulnerable to the remaining tigers because they were not in good protection.

“To save these endangered Sumatran tigers, the entire stakeholders in Indonesia need to work together in taking concrete and effective conservation measures,” he said.

If not, the Sumatran tigers would follow the fates of Javanese and Balinese tigers, Wibisono said.

In paving the way for the Sumatran tiger conservation efforts, Executive Director of WWF-Indonesia Dr Efransjah said the remaining natural habitats should be saved.

The critical forest areas need also be restored and sustainable development-strategies should be put in place so that the tigers have enough habitats, he said.

“How to minimize potential conflicts between tigers and people should also be a common agenda for related parties,” he said.

Saving forests and Sumatran tiger habitats are relevant to the Indonesian government’s commitment to reduce carbon emission from deforestations and forest degradation, Efransjah said.

Male tiger relocated to Sariska

Male tiger relocated to Sariska

TNN, Jul 21, 2010, 01.23am IST

SARISKA (Jaipur): After a gap of nearly two years, a tiger was relocated from Ranthambore National Park to Sariska by road on Tuesday. The male tiger, T-12, was tranquilised on Tuesday around 11 am and put in a cage on a canter before being taken to Sariska. This was the first relocation by road as all the three tigers in the past were shifted to Sariska using an IAF helicopter.

The big cat -- the second male to be relocated to Sariska -- was carefully selected after DNA tests to ensure that it was not a sibling of any tigers already been moved to Sariska. The tests were conducted following apprehensions that the animal could be siblings to two females and one male already been relocated to Sariska and hence may not be able to produce any offspring.

"We have done DNA tests of scat samples of the tiger in Bangalore. It is not a sibling to any of the tigers already in Sariska. We are planning to relocate yet another tiger from Ranthambore in the coming days," said Union minister for forests and environment Jairam Ramesh. State forest minister Ramlal Jat was also present.

Jairam said that after the relocation of the fifth tiger, wildlife experts would be consulted to decide whether more tigers should be relocated from Ranthambore. The minister though hinted of the same so as to reduce the pressure of a rising population in Ranthambore but with Madhya Pradesh refusing to part with any tiger, there is hardly any other option.

Meanwhile, security had been beefed up along the route for the tiger's six hour journey from Ranthambore to Sariska. The tiger was given water every half an hour on its journey, said an official. "Originally, we had planned the relocation for Wednesday and an IAF helicopter was informed accordingly. But this morning when we set out for our usual tracking, we found the tiger in an ideal spot for tranquillising and therefore changed our plans. Since the helicopter could not be made available immediately, we charted out the road route for the tiger," said an official.

The animal was tranquilised and shifted by Dr Parag Nigam and his team from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Dehradun.

The five-and-a-half year old tiger was shifted from the Kundalka area of Ranthambore. It would be kept inside an enclosure for a few days in Sariska before letting it out. "We have also fitted a satellite radio collar on it for monitoring its movement," the official added.

Monday, July 19, 2010

NDA cadets run to support ‘Save Tiger’campaign

NDA cadets run to support ‘Save Tiger’campaign

Posted: Tue Jul 20 2010, 05:25 hrs

True to the spirit of military training to face the challenges, 1,900 cadets of the National Defence Academy (NDA) clad in their squadron colour T-shirts, participated in the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) sponsored X-Country run on Sunday. The special significance of the run was NDA’s tie up with WWF on ‘The Save Tiger’ movement. The event that started at 6 am was flagged off by a senior officer at NDA. “The cadets covered over 16 km of cross country run before concluding the event that sported the message ‘Save Tiger’. The prize distribution ceremony was sponsored by WWF,” said Bhagirath Dey, spokesperson, NDA. A yearly affair, this was the first time the run was organised with the mission to spread a message. “The run was followed by a signature campaign, wherein the cadets signed on a banner conveying their support to the movement. Infact, WWF is planning to go to various parts of the country with the signature campaign conveying the support of the academy to people from different regions,” added Dey. One of the important highlights of the event was a photo exhibition organised by WWF.

Six tiger skulls seized in Sumatra

Six tiger skulls seized in Sumatra

July 19, 2010

Conservationists believe there are fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild.

JAKARTA — Indonesian police have arrested two men on Sumatra island with six tiger skulls and other parts from the critically endangered species, an official said Monday.

The two were held Saturday in Pekanbaru city of Riau province as they picked up a package containing the skulls, five pieces of skin and bones, the provincial conservation agency head Trisunu Danis Woro said.

"It seems that the tigers have been killed a few days ago," he told AFP adding that the package was delivered from Aceh province on the northern tip of the island.

"The men are not the main actor. Someone has ordered them to pick up the package," he said.

There was no mention on the package of the sender's identity and police were still hunting the culprits behind the poaching network, he said.

Conservationists estimate there are fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild because of habitat loss and poaching.

In June Indonesian police arrested a man who allegedly poisoned and skinned an endangered Sumatran tiger in a state-owned zoo.

Representatives from 13 "tiger-range countries" met last week in Bali and drew up a declaration in a bid to save the big cats from extinction.

Nations pledge to double tiger count by 2022

Nations pledge to double tiger count by 2022

New Delhi, July 18, 2010

To save tigers from extinction, 13 nations which are abode of the endangered big cats have pledged to get their act together to double by the year 2022 the number of the felines from the present 3,200 in the wild.

A decision in this regard was taken at a recent meeting in Bali, Indonesia, by the countries along with the World Bank’s Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) to develop a concrete plan to reinvigorate the tiger count.

The plan is expected to serve as a road map for tiger conservation to be adopted by world leaders at the first global summit on tigers this September in St Petersburg, Russia to be attended by Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam besides the host country.

The striped cats, whose count has declined by a whopping 97 per cent from over a lakh in the 20th century, continue to face threats due to increasing demand for their skin and body parts in the global market.

The officials at the meet agreed to prepare a national action plan comprising a Global Tiger Recovery Programme for adoption at the Tiger Summit, according to a statement from the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

It includes providing skills and equipment to rangers and law enforcement officials to combat poaching and illegal trafficking of tigers.

The global blueprint for tiger protection would be backed by joint commitments to better conserve key tiger habitats across range countries and to step up enforcement to eradicate poaching and end trafficking in tiger body parts.

“We welcome this plan for decisive global action to save wild tigers and hope that it translates into real protection for tigers on the ground,” said IFAW president Fred O’Regan.

Expressing concern over their dwindling population, he said, “It’s time to stop these magnificent animals from vanishing before our eyes.”

The proposed declaration will commit tiger range States to strengthen national legislation and law enforcement to combat crime directed against tigers and increase systematic patrolling to safeguard tigers, their prey and habitat.

“Governments must increase the number of anti-poaching teams and improve national systems for wildlife protection if we are to succeed in saving tigers from extinction,” said Masha Vorontsova, Director of IFAW Russia.

Aligned with the draft plan for adoption at the Tiger Summit this September, IFAW is spearheading campaigns in China and throughout Asia to reduce consumer demand for tiger body parts, including bones, skin, and even whiskers.

To mobilise support for the tiger’s cause, the organisation plans to engage children around the globe to greet participants of the St Petersburg Tiger Summit while video messages will be gathered from youths calling on world leaders to take action to save the animal.

BOBCAT KITTENS Vs Rats/Chicks/Mice!

BOBCAT KITTENS - Episode 4, since last time we have switched the kittens from their milk diet to solid food (whole prey). They have exploded in size and have been having lots of fun in their inside environment!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wild tiger kills man in Indonesia's Aceh

Wild tiger kills man in Indonesia's Aceh

(AFP) – 19 hours ago

BANDA ACEH , Indonesia — A cocoa farmer was mauled to death by an endangered Sumatran tiger as he worked alone in his plantation on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a local official said Thursday.

The 48-year-old man, identified as Cut Hasan, was last seen by other farmers on Monday, the head of Geumpang village in Pidie district, Syaiful, told AFP.

The partially eaten body was found Wednesday several dozen metres from the plantation area, which lies 180 kilometres (110 miles) east of the provincial capital of Banda Aceh.

"The tiger broke his neck and shattered his skull. His abdomen was ripped open and there were multiple claw and canine marks on his body's parts," he said.

Human-animal conflicts are a rising problem as people encroach on wildlife habitats in Indonesia, an archipelago with some of the world's largest remaining tropical forests.

There are fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, according to the environmental group WWF.

Conservationist Didi Wuryanto said in March that up to 30 human deaths last year were attributed to tiger attacks.

According to the Geumpang chief, several villagers have seen two tigers roaming the village but the attack was the first such incident in the area.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tiger, tiger, burning out: What is killing Russia's critically endangered Amur tigers?

Tiger, tiger, burning out: What is killing Russia's critically endangered Amur tigers?

By John Platt
Jun 25, 2010 07:00 PM in Basic Science

It may not be long before we witness the extinction of one of the world's six species of tigers, the Amur (or Siberian) tiger (Panthera tigris altaica). As we have previously reported, Amur tiger populations have dropped precipitously in recent years to around 250 animals, and the species faces a genetic bottleneck that puts it at risk of inbreeding. Now, a mysterious illness has started spreading through the Amur population, causing the death of four adult tigers and several newborns in the past 10 months.

"We may be witnessing an epidemic in the Amur tiger population," Dale Miquelle, director for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Russia Program, told the Guardian.

The as-yet-unidentified disease seems to affect tigers' ability to hunt wild game. Left in a weakened and hungry state, the four infected tigers had started coming into human territory in search of easy food. They had to be shot as potential threats to people.

The most recent death was a 10-year-old female named Galya, which had long been tracked and studied by WCS Russia. At her healthiest, Galya was estimated to weigh 140 kilograms. When she was shot, she weighed just 90 kilograms. Galya had recently abandoned her three-week-old cubs, all of whom were found dead with no food in their bellies.

The disease was first observed in a male tiger last year. Galya and two other female tigers believed to have carried the disease had been in contact with the male.

These may not be the only tigers affected. "We are extremely concerned about the possibility of an epidemic that could be sweeping through this region," Miquelle said. "Animals we have studied extensively, and known well, have demonstrated radically changed behavior, which is extremely disconcerting."

Already facing major danger from poachers, who kill an estimated 30 to 50 Amur tigers a year, this disease represents a threat the tigers may not be able to survive. "The addition of disease-related deaths to existing sources of mortality could push this population over a tipping point," Miquelle told the Guardian.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Malaysia to probe killing of tiger

Malaysia to probe killing of tiger

(AFP) – Jun 22, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian wildlife authorities said Wednesday they are investigating the killing of a three-year-old tiger as the country battles to double the population of the endangered species.

The tiger was killed in northern Perak state Tuesday after a villager claimed it attacked his poultry and asked a member of the government's volunteer force to shoot the animal, The Star newspaper reported.

The killing comes as Malaysia tries to double its tiger population to 1,000 by 2020. There are only 500 wild tigers left in peninsula Malaysia, a sharp decline from an estimated 3,000 in the 1950s.

"We have lodged a police report. The man should have informed us and let us set up a trap to capture the tiger alive," said Shabrina Shariff, state wildlife department director.

"We don't want to kill our tigers, we are supposed to preserve and conserve them," she told AFP, adding the department is carrying out its own probe and will prosecute if the investigation shows any wrongdoing.

In February, a tiger that injured a tribesman in the same state was found dead with gunshot, spear and snare wounds.

Under Malaysian law, poachers face up to five years in jail. Tiger skins and body parts are in demand across Asia where they are used in traditional medicines.

Tiger kills man in Uttar Pradesh

Tiger kills man in Uttar Pradesh

2010-06-24 11:00:00

A tiger killed a man in a village adjoining a forest area in Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh, an official said Thursday.

The partially eaten body of Bulakiram, 55, was recovered Wednesday evening from the fields on the outskirts of Akora village, which is near Deuriya area of the Pilibhit forest reserve.

'Pugmarks found at the site indicate that the man was attacked by a male, adult tiger,' said Divisional Forest Officer V.K. Singh.

'Significantly, the Deuriya area of the forest reserve is not considered as tigers' territory. Field investigations carried out following the incident now indicate that two tigers are present in Deuriya,' Singh told IANS over telephone from Pilibhit, some 250 km from Lucknow.

Bulakiram had left his house Tuesday to collect wood and had been missing since then.

It's the third such incident in the district in the last two months.

As per the last census, Pilibhit forest reserve was home to 36 tigers.

Rela man wrong in shooting tiger

Rela man wrong in shooting tiger

Thursday June 24, 2010

IPOH: The Perak Wildlife Protection and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has wrapped up its probe on the killing of a three-year-old tiger, saying that the Rela member was in the wrong to shoot the animal.

He should not have taken action on his own, Perhilitan director Shabrina Mohd Shariff said.

“Everything must be done according to the law.”

She said the case had now been forwarded to the office of the Deputy Public Prosecutor for further action.

On Tuesday, a villager of Kampung Ulu Damaq in Selama, alerted a Rela member about a tiger which had apparently killed poultry, besides foraging for food at a nearby forest reserve.

The Rela member subsequently used a shotgun to kill the 120kg beast.

In Kuala Lumpur, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said that the villagers should have alerted Perhilitan promptly when they first spotted the tiger to ensure their safety and that of the tiger’s.

Expressing his outrage over the shooting of the tiger, he said the reason for killing the animal was unacceptable.

“We can rear poultry or buy them in the market but not tigers. Tigers must be protected,” Dr Chua said, adding that the animal also had a very special place in the Malaysian culture.

“We (MCA) have received many calls from the public expressing their unhappiness and outrage over the shooting (of the tiger),” he said in a statement yesterday.

Malaysian Nature Society communications head Andrew Sebas­tian said the villagers should have contacted Perhilitan first to seek their expertise and not act on their own.

“They cannot simply shoot and kill any tiger on sight. Tigers are endangered and protected species,” said Sebastian yesterday.

He said the Rela member who shot the tiger should also know about guidelines on firing their guns.

“Were there any warning shots to scare the big cat away?” he asked.

Sebastian said the society was in full support of Perhilitan.

“We hope that there would be strict punishment for the Rela member if there was any wrongdoing,” he added.

‘Won’t force villagers out of tiger reserves’

‘Won’t force villagers out of tiger reserves’

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Email Author
New Delhi, June 25, 2010

Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh on Thursday said there would be no forceful relocation of villagers from the 39 tiger reserves in the country even if the process takes a decade to complete. Around 48,000 families are to be relocated from the core tiger areas for which the Centre has provided Rs 600 crore. The relocation is, however, moving slowly due to resistance from the villagers.

“The villagers have to be relocated to protect tigers," Ramesh told forest officials and NGO representatives from tiger reserves around the country. “For that, the villagers will have to be convinced that the deal being offered is good.”

Most forest officials are convinced the deal being offered is beneficial both for tigers and villagers. “Around 70 per cent of villagers in Sariska and Ranthambore have agreed to move out of core tiger areas,” said R.N. Mehrotra, Chief Conservator of Forest, Rajasthan.

Although Rajasthan is ahead of other states in the relocation process, finding land to resettle the villagers is still a challenge for the state government. Most of the NGOs representatives at the two-day national consultation on relocation said there was no transparency in implementation of the process. “The guidelines for relocation have not been provided in local languages. In most cases, it is in either English or Hindi,” said a NGO representative.

But Sariska, which lost all its tigers in 2004, has been able to relocate most of the villagers and is ready to get a tiger couple by mid-July.

“As soon as there is soon rain, we will relocate the tigers from Ranthambore,” Mehrotra said.HT Correspondent

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Bobcat Kitten FAIL

Midnight, Rain & Storm are three orphaned Bobcat kittens, find out more here:

Thursday, July 08, 2010

July 2010 AdvoCat Ezine with Big Cat Rescue News

The July 2010 issue of the Big Cat Rescue AdvoCat has stories about new tour times, the death of a beloved tiger, how concerned citizens are making the world a safer and more humane place and how a liger and an ocelot were given extraordinary vet care.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Ocelot Ear Surgery at Big Cat Rescue

When PurrFection the Ocelot developed a hemotoma on her ear she needed emergency surgery to alieviate the swelling.  It's been raining for days on end and we didn't want her to suffer so Big Cat Rescuers braved the weather to get her the vet care she needed.  When you operate a sanctuary for big cats it is a non stop committment.  That means feeding, cleaning, enriching and providing top notch vet care no matter how miserable the weather.  Watch this video of the day in the life of Big Cat Rescuers.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Sariska may see two more tigers this rainy season

Sariska may see two more tigers this rainy season

Sunny Sebastian
The Hindu
Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Sunday, Jun 27, 2010

JAIPUR: Call them monsoon tigers, for this time round too the rainy season will mark the arrival of tigers in Sariska. As soon as the season's first showers lash the slopes of the mighty Aravallis, another pair of wild tigers would be shifted to Sariska Tiger Reserve from Ranthambhore National Park. The twosome—a male and a female—would join the group of one male and two females which have already made the Sariska woods their home since the first ever tiger re-location in the country two years ago.

“The temperature has to come down. We cannot release the tigers if the temperature is above 40 degrees C. The ideal situation to carry out the exercise is the rainy season,” says the Chief Wildlife Warden of Rajasthan, R. N. Mehrotra.

“Now that the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests has given clearance for another round of re-location, we have started the preparations. It can happen some time in the first fortnight of July,” Mr. Mehrotra reveals.

Environmentalists and tiger lovers are happy about the end to the impasse over tiger-shifting as after an unsavoury controversy over the wisdom of bringing together the tigers from the same gene pool the National Tiger Conservation Authority had started acting tough on the issue. Though still positive about the re-introduction of the tiger population in Sariska – after the reserve lost all its tigers some time in 2004-05-- the Authority had asked the State forest officials to catch the young tigers which have been straying outside the Ranthambhore Park.

The change in the attitude of both the Authority and Union Minister Jairam Ramesh appears to be due partly to a recent report from environmentalist Aparajita Datta of the Mysore-based National Conservation Foundation which termed the attempt to catch the tigers outside the Park “difficult” due to their elusive nature as well as the tough terrain they are stalking. Ms. Datta, also a member of the National Tiger Conservation Authority, suggested depending on the knowledge of the field staff as the basis for the selection of the “suitable pair”.

“She has recommended the selection of a pair from the 10-odd young tigers identified by us already. They have to be young, transient in nature and unsettled,” says Mr. Mehrotra. As far as possible the attempt would be to carry out the genetic analysis of the chosen tigers so that the new ones are not related to the three tigers already in Sariska.

The first tiger—a male—was airlifted from Ranthambhore and released in Sariska on June 28, 2008. The second, a female, was moved to the new area through the same process in July the same year. The third, another female feline, was flown in in February 2009. All three have lived happily since then but the only complaint seems to be that there are no little ones snorting around even when the couple re-located to the Panna tiger reserve in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh much later has multiplied.

Though dates are not official yet, July 4 could be an ideal day to watch out for the tiger to burn bright in Sariska once again!

CBI probe ordered into seizure of tiger parts in Guwahati

CBI probe ordered into seizure of tiger parts in Guwahati

Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, June 23, 2010
First Published: 19:36 IST(23/6/2010)
Last Updated: 19:41 IST(23/6/2010)

The government has ordered a CBI probe into the seizure of 20 kg of tiger parts and skeletons worth Rs 5 crore from Guwhati airport, which were allegedly meant for flourishing traditional medicine market in China and Far East Asia.

Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh has directed a CBI investigation while expressing concern that Guwhati in the Northeast has become a major hub for smugglers to tranship wildlife products to neighbouring countries, as indicated by frequent seizures.

Rajesh Gopal, member secretary of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), said, "It is a serious issue having national and international ramifications. CBI has been asked to probe into backward and forward linkages thread-bare in the case."

Since the seizure was made by the Customs Department, the Centre considered the case fit for CBI investigation instead of handing it over to Assam government.

The huge haul of tiger parts recently as well also a few months ago from the airport has put a question mark on the country-wide conservation measures being initiated to save the big cat in forests.

"Untill the poachers are reined in and demand for tiger parts is curbed, the big cats in forests would remain vulnerable, notwithstanding various steps taken for its safety.

"This is perhaps the biggest seizure of tiger parts in recent times," Gopal added.

NGO expands endangered species postcard campaign

NGO expands endangered species postcard campaign

Last updated: 6/25/2010 9:20

Wildlife At Risk (WAR) has expanded their postcard awareness campaign with three new rare animals in need of protection following the success of the endangered Rhino postcards released early this month.

The organization is handing out postcards featuring endangered species in Vietnam to raise awareness of the perils of wildlife trafficking.

The new postcards, emblazoned with images of elephants, tigers and bears, are being handed out for free to anyone interested, the Ho Chi Minh City-based organization said in a press release on June 21.

Each postcard includes information about the species geared toward making readers think about the conservation of creatures that are on the brink of extinction, WAR said.

“Only if we act immediately, will our children and grand children observe the rhino, elephant, tiger, bear and hundreds of other endangered species in the wild with their bare eyes.

Let’s start by spending one minute remembering the innocent animals that have already been slaughtered and think seriously about protecting these species,” said Do Thi Thanh Huyen, Wildlife Education Coordinator for WAR.

WAR is distributing the free postcards at its office: 202/10 Nguyen Xi Street, Ward 26, Binh Thanh District, HCMC until June 30.

The organization reported that more than 4,000 bears, mostly Moon Bears, are being held captive for bile exploitation in Vietnam.

The situation is more critical for the tigers as there are only about 30 Indochinese tigers left in the wild due to intensive hunting, trading and deforestation. Scientists have warned that wild Indochinese tiger could be extinct in Vietnam by the next Tiger Year, or 2022, if we do not act immediately to protect the tiger.

According to WAR, the elephant postcard is printed in memory of the seven elephants that died in Vinh Cuu Nature Reserve in the southern Dong Nai Province over the past few months.

According to the Management Board of the Nature Reserve, and many conservation specialists, the elephants were poisoned by the farmers when they came near crops seeking food. Local authorities are investigating the cause of the elephants’ deaths.

In the past decade, populations of the Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) in Vietnam have been declining dramatically due to deforestation and the illegal ivory trade.

WAR’s distribution of wildlife postcards follows a similar campaign launched on June 7 to distribute postcards printed in memory of a Javan Rhino that died in Vietnam’s Cat Tien National Park in April to raise awareness of wildlife conservation efforts.

R.I.P Snorkel the Tiger ...

As a cub, Snorkel spent his early years forced to pose as a prop with people for their photos. Then he ended up caged for years at a family circus.Luckily, he found a true safe haven at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL.