Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tiger injures man in Kheri village

Tiger injures man in Kheri village

TNN, Aug 30, 2010, 12.40am IST

LUCKNOW: A man was injured by a tiger in Mailani range of South Kheri forest division early on Sunday morning. Forest officials could not locate the pugmarks as area is flooded due to rains. It was also not confirmed whether it was the same tiger which has taken eight lives since May this year.

The injured was identified as Rambhajan, a resident of Kuriyani village of Mailani range. He had a chance encounter with the tiger when he was going to his fields in the morning. The man was admitted to the local hospital and given medical aid.

Kuriyani is a village in South kheri forest division. It is about 10 km from Saraiyan village of Khutar range in Shahjahanpur where tiger was spotted on Saturday night, around 9, by locals. The forest staff had reached the spot but could not locate the pugmarks due to flooding in the area. The search operation was carried out near Kuriyani on Sunday morning. In the evening, tracking team resumed operation in Saraiyan village. Pilibhit DFO VK Singh said that the animal could have shifted location.

There is doubt emerging if it is the wandering "charger-tiger" which left the man injured in Kuriyani village. "Man-mauling tiger will not run away so easily, it could have dragged the man inside forest," said VP Singh, a wildlife conservationist camping in the area. Mailani forest has sizeable tiger population and Kuriyani is a village bordering the forest. Chance encounter with big cats is not a rare occurrence in the area. Search operations will continue to tranquillise and capture the tiger.

Meanwhile, elephants which have been brought from Dudhwa for search operation are present in Bilandapur forest beat of Khutar range of Shahjahanpur. The villagers there had not been allowing the elephants to move from the spot. "They are demanding search team to go inside forest, search for tiger and assure that big cat has moved out of the place," said a local forest staff. The local political figures are working to allay the fears of villagers.

The terai area is reeling under tiger fear. Since May 3, eight humans have been killed and partially eaten by a sub-adult tiger. Officials are presuming the same tiger to have struck on all occasions. The last human kill was made on August 26 in Bilandapur forest beat. No human kill or attach was reported in the area till early Sunday morning when Rambhajan was attacked and injured. The senior forest officials along with experts from wildlife organisations are on watch.

Baits have been tied inside forest patches where tiger was reported to be moving. Enclosures have been set and villagers are told not to venture into forest's periphery. The rains and flood is making the search operation difficult.



Tiger panel seeks report on forest road

Tiger panel seeks report on forest road


Guwahati, Aug. 30: The Delhi-based National Tiger Conservation Authority — the apex body for tiger conservation in the country — today asked the Assam forest department for a status report on the road-widening project on Balipara-Bhalukpong which cuts into the buffer area of the Nameri tiger reserve.

The tiger organisation was reacting to a report, “Road work threat to wildlife”, published in The Telegraph on August 21.

The member secretary of the tiger conservation authority, Rajesh Gopal, said a letter has been sent to the Assam forest department asking for information about the status of the project.

“We have received information in this office regarding a road-widening project in the buffer area of Nameri tiger reserve. It has been stated that the said area forms part of the Sonitpur elephant reserve and work is on without the mandatory clearance from the ministry of environment and forests,” Gopal said in his letter to the Assam forest department.

He said the forest department has replied that since today was a holiday in Assam, the information would be sent tomorrow.

Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, former member of the standing committee of the National Board of Wildlife and a member of Project Elephant Steering Committee, said: “What is important is to follow the procedure as mandated by existing laws with regards to forest clearance. The Forest Conservation Act 1980 clearly mentions that the state should get prior approval from the ministry of environment and forests if forestland is required to be used for non-forestry purpose.”

“Further, the area falls within the Sonitpur elephant reserve and also Nameri tiger reserve, stressing the fact that the area is of high importance for wildlife conservation. The ministry of environment and forests may kindly investigate the matter with the state government to uphold the sanctity of existing laws with regard to wildlife conservation,” Talukdar told The Telegraph.

Anwaruddin Choudhury, honorary chief executive of Rhino Foundation for Nature in Northeast India, said the proposed road should be of minimum width.

“The park authorities should ensure this as otherwise movement of animals would be affected. The National Tiger Conservation Authority has also constituted a committee to examine proposals of infrastructure development and other industries on projects falling in the buffer/corridor areas of tiger reserves.”

A source said the pressure on the forest department was immense from defence authorities to clear road projects such as this one, as they are of strategic importance.

The Balipara-Bhalukpong road is being widened for movement of heavy armoured vehicles to the Sino-Indian border in the wake of reported security threat.



Monday, August 30, 2010

Bhopal photo exhibition on tiger conservation

Bhopal photo exhibition on tiger conservation

2010-08-30 16:20:00

Wildlife activists organised a photo exhibition on tigers in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal city to make people aware of the importance of tigers in the eco system.

The exhibition sought to draw attention of people towards alleged carelessness of the State government to preserve tigers.

They claimed that a Jhurjhura tigress was found dead in the Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh in May. The reasons for her death are not yet clear.

"The main aim to organise this exhibition at this particular time is, that the killers of Jhurjhura, who was killed on May 18, are still free. The investigations are on since four months. When she died on May 18, she left three cubs behind with us," said Shahla Masood, Secretary of Uday organisation, which organised the exhibition.

"The administration, the forest officials said that they would take care of the three cubs. Ten days ago, even a cub died, and we do not know the reason for his death as well," she added.

The visitors said that this exhibition made them aware of the plight of tigers in India.

"The way humans have a right to live; tigers too have the full right to live.

They are a gift to us by nature. They are such a beautiful creatures. Their absence can misbalance our entire ecosystem, and we should understand that. They are a very important link in our ecosystem after us, and it is our duty to protect them," said Aruna Bandhavar, a visitor.

The activists claimed that there are around 254 tigers left in the state and the exhibition was also aimed at creating awareness among the wildlife officers.

As per a new survey there are just 1,411 tigers left in India, almost half the number since 2002 census. (ANI)



India to urge China to curb illegal trade in tigers

India to urge China to curb illegal trade in tigers

Priscilla Jebaraj & Ananth Krishnan
Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010

Two delegations from New Delhi to hold talks in Beijing

The fourth India-China financial dialogue to be held after a 3-year hiatus

Mechanism to share information on wildlife crime to be discussed

NEW DELHI/BEIJING: Defence ties between India and China may be strained in the wake of the visa denial row, but the two countries hope next week will see increased cooperation in both wildlife conservation and global financial issues as two delegations from New Delhi travel to Beijing.

On Monday evening, a delegation from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and the National Tiger Conservation Authority arrived in Beijing for a five-day visit, to urge Chinese counterparts to strengthen enforcement and curb illegal trade in tigers and other endangered big cats. Poaching in Indian forests is largely resorted to for meeting the raging demand for tiger parts in traditional Chinese medicine.

And, on Thursday, the fourth India-China financial dialogue will be held in Beijing after a three-year hiatus, during which the two countries will discuss coordinating their positions on the reforms of international financial institutions.

This week's dialogue, Indian officials said, would underscore the expanding breadth of bilateral relationship. The talks come even as Indian and Chinese officials looked to play down renewed tensions following China's decision to refuse a visa for the Army's Northern Command chief, Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal. Officials in both Defence Ministries said military exchanges would go ahead, despite specific disagreements, as would other areas of engagement.

During the first ever round of talks on wildlife conservation and management that will take place this week, India will urge China to continue its ban on any internal trade in tiger parts. Beijing was reportedly considering the lifting of the ban under pressure from “tiger farm” owners. Wildlife experts say China has fewer than 20 tigers left in the wild, but almost 5,000 on these farms, which cater for tourists and want to cater for the demand for tiger parts as well.

There is a fear that lifting the ban will allow the sale of parts of poached wild tigers under the guise of parts from the farms.

Another item on the agenda will be a recent controversial move by China to register the skins of all big cats. While some have warned that this could also allow the trade in illegally poached animals under cover of legal trade, India is merely seeking more details for now. The two countries will also discuss ways to set up a mechanism to share information on wildlife crime, and coordinate enforcement efforts.

This week will also see the fourth round of the bilateral financial dialogue being held in Beijing, when Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla, along with officials from the Reserve Bank of India, meets Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao. The dialogue was set up following Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India in 2005. The last round was held in December 2007.

The dialogue, officials said, would give both sides an important opportunity to exchange notes on the global financial situation, as well as their roles and objectives in reforming the international financial architecture.

On the agenda were coordination of tariff policies and macroeconomic policies, global financial regulatory reforms, as well as coordination of policies on multilateral fora such as the G20 and BRIC, they said.



Russia and China Set Up First Ever Transboundary Protected Area for Endangered Amur Tigers

Russia and China Set Up First Ever Transboundary Protected Area for Endangered Amur Tigers

WWF-Facilitated Agreement is Good News in Fight to Save Endangered Species

Washington, DC (Vocus) August 30, 2010

Chinese and Russian officials have agreed to set up a first ever protected area for endangered Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, between Jilin province in China and neighboring Primorsky province in Russia.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) facilitated the agreement, which will help Chinese and Russian wildlife authorities establish a transboundary cooperative conservation network and partner to restore the endangered species. It marks another important milestone during the Year of the Tiger in 2010.

Destruction and fragmentation of habitat, poaching and lack of prey have reduced the number of wild Amur tigers. It is the largest of all the tiger subspecies with an estimated total population of about 450. Of these, 20 tigers have been periodically spotted within the borders of China’s Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.

“A new transboundary protected area would provide a wider and healthier habitat for Amur tigers and other endangered species, such as the Amur leopard, musk deer and goral,” said Yu Changchun, Director of Conservation Department of Jilin Forestry Department at the event.

Jilin and Primorsky provinces will increase information sharing on the protection of the two big cat species, adopt identical monitoring systems for tigers and their prey, conduct joint ecological surveys and develop plans to launch an anti-poaching campaign along the border.

“While tigers—the species at the top of the ecosystem—are better conserved through the agreement, other species, the forest habitat and all the biodiversity resources will also benefit from this protected area,” said Dr. Zhu Chunquan, WWF-China’s Conservation Director.

In addition to promoting the transboundary protected area, WWF-China successfully helped establish a protected area for tigers in Jilin. It is also working with northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, another important home to Amur tigers, to bring it under the fold of the transboundary protected area. If this plan comes to fruition, the protected area for Amur tigers and other threatened species will double.

“This agreement is a great boost for Amur tiger habitats in Russia and China. Since both countries play a crucial role in terms of global tiger recovery, a future transboundary network would represent a big step in WWF’s global tiger conservation effort,” said Dr. Sergey Aramilev, Biodiversity Coordinator for Amur Branch of WWF-Russia, which is also involved in promoting the agreement. “There’s a lot of work to be done to implement this agreement, such as making sure it receives proper government funding, but this is a major step forward nonetheless.”

About World Wildlife Fund
WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more.



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Big Cat Rescue AdvoCat News August 2010

The  AdvoCat  Newsletter
Big Cat Rescue August 2010

in this issue:
Help Takoma the Bobcat
Bucs Club Seats Raffle
"Most fun event I've..."
AdvoCats Make a Difference
Grrreat Videos to Enjoy
HUGE Enrichment Donation
Cat Behavior Classes
Catera & Sophia Pass On
Bobcats & Blue Martinis
Inside Big Cat Rescue

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

TIGERS ♥ to Paint !!

Tigers, Leopards, Lynx....BIG CATS like to paint too! The cats had grr-eat fun creating purr-fect paintings we will auction off at our annual fundraiser the "Fur Ball"

Monday, August 23, 2010

SNOW LEOPARD stalking and attacks!

Snow Leopards are apex predators and have amazing camouflage, allowing them to get up close to their prey, before their final pounce and attack!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Declining tiger population, encroachment at Namdhapa Park

Declining tiger population, encroachment at Namdhapa Park

PTI, Aug 20, 2010, 05.40pm IST

ITANAGAR: Declining tiger population and encroachment at the Namdapha National Park, the only one in the world to have four species of big cats, in Arunachal Pradesh's Changlang district, has been a major cause of concern for forest department officials here.

The number of tigers at the park, which is home to tiger (Panthera Tigris), leopard (Panthera Pardus), snow leopard (Panthera Uncia) and clouded leopard (Neofelis Nebulosa), have been declining.

According to the 2001-2002 census, there were 11 wild cats in the park, but 2006 census showed only four.

Department sources, however, claimed that the 2006 census by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) was incorrect as it was done in selected areas of the tiger reserve. The next census is scheduled in October.

Besides, the decline in tiger population, the reserve experienced large scale encroachment from the mid-eighties by Lisus, a tribe originating from China, who are good tiger hunters.

"The reported decline in tiger population is mainly due to encroachment in the buffer zone of the park by 84 families of Lisu tribes from across the border," Principal chief conservator of forest (environment & forest) and head of forest force B S Sajwan said.

"Though there is no report of supply of tiger parts to China, but we can't rule out such possibilities," Sajwan said.

The Namdapha authorities adopted every possible option to evict the encroachers, but because of shortage of forest guards it could not be done.



Tiger carcass found near Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand

Tiger carcass found near Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand

2010-08-19 21:10:00

Wildlife wardens and officers of the Forest Department found carcass of a tiger in Ramnagar range close to the Jim Corbett National Park here on Thursday.

Villagers spotted the body in Syat Van Panchayat of Ramnagar division in the early hours of the day and they informed the forest officials about it.

The body was found half-decomposed and yet intact.

According to Ramashankar, Sub Divisional Officer of Ramnagar Forest Division, the tiger might have died while it tried to cross the stream that was in full flow and collided with rocks in midstream.

"It was found today early morning in a stream. It seems like while crossing the sewage due to fierce water flow, it collided with rocks and the current of the stream that led to its death," said Ramashankar.

He also mentioned that the body parts have not been damaged and there is no bullet mark as well which in turn rules out any mischief by poachers.

"According to the length, it seems to be a full grown tiger of four to five years. Looking at the body it seems to be a male tiger, yet it has not been clarified. All body parts are safe," added Ramashankar.

As per a new survey there are just 1,411 tigers left in India, almost half the number since 2002 tiger census.



Six deer die on way to Sunderbans

Six deer die on way to Sunderbans

Animal deaths in transit

Calcutta, Aug. 19: Six spotted deer died early this morning when they were being translocated to the Sunderbans from Parmadan deer park in North 24-Parganas.

Locked inside small wooden enclosures, 25 deer, in four trucks, were being taken to Godkhali ghat, around 80km from Calcutta, from where they were to be taken to the core area of the Sunderbans forest to be released in the wild as prey to the tigers.

On reaching Godkhali ghat, officials discovered that six deer had died in transit.

A post mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of their death. Senior officials of the department said a variety of factors could be responsible for the death of the deer.

According to Atanu Raha, principal chief conservator of forests, the tyre of one of the trucks had got stuck in slush on Basanti Highway, which caused a delay of four to five hours in transportation.

“A lot of factors could have caused the death of the deer. They are a faint-hearted creature. They could not take all the jerking when forest department officials were manoeuvring the truck out of the slush and could have died of heart failure.

Moreover, it was very hot and humid on Wednesday. The delay in transportation along with heat could have caused the deaths,” said Raha.

The forest department has come in for strong criticism from within the department itself. “It seems like a case of negligence. The vehicles could have been driven slowly. When the truck was stuck in the slush, they could have disembarked the deer and then manoeuvred the truck. Since it was very hot, the deer could have been taken on some other day when the temperature was not so high,” said a senior forest department official.

Forest secretary, K.S. Rajendrakumar, said if any lapses are found, the department would take appropriate action. “It is not a very serious incident. But if we find any lapses, the guilty would be punished,” said Rajendrakumar.

From Godkhali the deer were suppose to be a taken to a camp in the core area for acclimatisation after, which they were to be released in the wild.

According to Raha, it is a normal practice to let off the deer in the wild whenever their population in the deer-park increases. And such trans-location might cause a casualty of 20 per cent.

“For the last two decades deer are being trans-located to the Sunderbans from the deer park and the same procedure of transportation is adopted every time. And every time a few deer die during the process due to their faint hearted nature. A casualty rate of 20 per cent is not very alarming,” said Raha.

According to wildlife experts there might be a shortage of food for the tigers in Sunderbans for which transporting these deer to the forest area is very important. “Though no scientific study has ever been conducted on this subject but it is always wise to have a constant supply of food to the big cats in the wild,” said a wildlife expert in the city.

According to forest department officials, three deer, among 51, that were kept aside for release in the Sunderbans, at the Parmadan sanctuary, had died yesterday before the transportation took place.



Proposed tiger reserve in Pilibhit hits a roadblock

Proposed tiger reserve in Pilibhit hits a roadblock

Manjari Mishra, TNN, Aug 20, 2010, 03.59am IST

LUCKNOW: The proposed tiger reserve in Pilibhit, second in UP after Dudhwa, seems to have hit a roadblock. Though cleared in principle in 2008 by the Union ministry of environment and forest and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the project could be on hold till serious concerns raised by local politicians are addressed, government sources told TOI.

The reserve, which is expected to cover roughly 1,000 square kilometre area, appears to be jinxed right from its inception, sources pointed out. "First, tense relationship between the Centre and the state led to a delay and now the issue of displacement and rehabilitation of inhabitants in 15 villages within the demarcated core area (27,569 hectares) of the reserve has forced a rethink on the part of government authorities," they said.

The reserve, as per the blueprint prepared by the department, will directly affect 625 families - roughly 4,000 inhabitants who depend totally on forest produce for their living. Once the pocket is declared a core area, the inhabitants will be forced to move off. Apart from this, the life in about 100 villages on the periphery will also come to a halt as post government notification there will be restriction on movement and activity impacting their day to day lives.

Most importantly the project could mean closure or regulation of district and state highways, particularly the Puranpur-Khatima and Puranpur-Pilibhit stretch. Both are the main arteries in the region and any interference could spell big nuisance to the local populace. The issue will lead to a public outrage - a prospect which has made the local MLAs extremely wary about the upcoming reserve. Worried about the impact on the vote bank, these leaders, therefore, want either a re-routing or alternation in the draft, sources claimed.

After losing the Jim Corbett park to Uttarakhand 10 years ago, UP government had been striving to set up a second tiger reserve in the terai region. Then, two tiger census in 2003 and 2005, which indicated presence of more than 30 tigers in the belt running through Pilibhit, Kishanpur sanctuary and Khutar range in Shahjahanpur had raised its hopes. Moreover, the reserve forest has sufficient prey base and minimal human presence; it fulfils all the parameters set by Project Tiger for the purpose.

The first proposal was sent by the UP government in 2006 and the formal nod came after two years. "But for this hurdle it would have come through by the year end. However, the ticklish issues raised by local politicians who have joined hands could mean considerable remapping and re-routing. This, sources said, will take a long time.



Tigers kill two persons in Sundarbans

Tigers kill two persons in Sundarbans


Sundarbans (WB), Aug 22 (PTI) Two persons were killed in separate tiger attacks today when they went to catch crabs in Sundarbans Tiger Reserve in South 24-Parganas district, a senior forest official said. "Ranjit Roy, a middle-aged person of Annpur village in Gosaba block, was attacked by a Royal Bengal Tiger in Panchamukhani-II mangrove forest opposite to the village this afternoon," Field Director of Sundarbans Tiger Reserve, Subrat Mukherjee, told PTI. He had gone with a group of fishermen after obtaining permission from forest department to catch crabs, he said. Another fisherman, Samir Mandal of Emilybari village, was killed when a Royal Bengal Tiger pounced on him late yesterday when their group was catching crabs in the creeks of Panchamukhani-IV forest in the Sundarbans. The locals in Annpur burst crackers to drive away tigers from the other side of the forest. The tigers often swim across the rivers, separating the forest with human-inhabited deltas, to target livestock in villages.



Tiger attacks forest official in Ranthambore

Tiger attacks forest official in Ranthambore

Rachna Singh, TNN, Aug 21, 2010, 05.09am IST

JAIPUR: The Ranthambore Tiger Reserve witnessed its fourth attack on a human by a big cat in the past four months. This time, the victim was a 50-year-old forest ranger Daulat Singh Shaktawat, who was seriously injured and had to be airlifted to Jaipur for treatment.

Last Tuesday, a tiger had killed a 22-year-old man, identified as Hemraj Gujjar, at Gopalpur village. Friday's incident took place at Bhuri Pahadi village on the sanctuary's outskirts, where the tiger is said to have strayed.

According to reports, the tiger had entered the village and killed a calf around 4.30 am. Soon, over 200 forest officials reached the spot along with the police and government officials. The tiger attacked Shaktawat, who was assigned the task of tranquilising the big cat to rule out an attack on humans, when he went too close. The forest official, who is admitted at SMS Hospital in Jaipur, is stated to be stable. However, there are deep scars in his right eye. "There is no threat to his life but he has suffered injuries in his eye bone, which could be serious," said Dr RK Nejaw, head of the hospital's surgery unit.

Meanwhile, the tiger was still hiding near the same village till late Friday evening.

A huge police force, forest guards, district officials were stationed on the spot to ward off a possible attack on villagers. "We have put up floodlights in the entire area and villagers have been told to remain indoors until Saturday morning," said Sawai Madhopur collector Siddharth Mahajan. He added that over 120 cops and forest officials were keeping watch on the tiger's movements, while expert tranqulizers had been called from Jaipur so that the tiger could be moved back to the core area.

Balindu Singh Parmar, a hotelier who witnessed the incident, said, "Since the tiger was hiding in three-feet-high millet crop, it was difficult for officials to ascertain whether it had been tranquilized. When Shaktawat tried to get as close as 15 feet, the tiger leapt and attacked him." The tiger almost took the ranger's head in its mouth. There are two canine marks on Shaktawat's nose and one around his head. "Another ranger, Hukum Chand Meena, flung a bamboo stick making the tiger withdraw and hide in the fields," said Dharmendra Khandal from the NGO Tiger Watch.

The visibly tired tiger, however, attacked another person who tried to get too close. The villager from Uliyana, Babu Lal Meena, sustained minor injuries. "The tiger looked tired as villagers had been pelting stones at it from hillocks. We can't really figure out if the tiger too is injured but it may be able to escape the mob only during night," said Khandal.



Needed: Wildlife rescue centre at Chanda

Needed: Wildlife rescue centre at Chanda

Mazhar Ali, TNN, Aug 23, 2010, 05.09am IST

CHANDRAPUR: The absence of a proper facility where stressed and injured animals rescued from the wild could be treated was once again felt after an ailing tigress died of prolonged illness and senility in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) a few days back.

Despite the recommendation of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to shift the tigress to a suitable facility where constant attention of a veterinary officer would be available, TATR officials failed to find such place for the critically ailing beast anywhere in Vidarbha.

The ailing tigress, named Zarina, was kept in TATR and was treated by a team of veterinary doctors from Nagpur and Chandrapur. An NTCA team comprising expert wildlifers monitored her condition. Zarina stayed in the small squeeze cage for one-and-a-half months. After examining the condition of the tigress during treatment, the NTCA team had ruled out her release into the wild.

But she needed to be shifted to a place where constant attention of a veterinary officer was available. Her weak health was a constraint for long journey. The authorities looked for facilities like Maharajbagh Zoo, Seminary Hills in Nagpur and Rambagh in Chandrapur, but none was found suitable. A written statement issued by TATR said Maharajbagh zoo was unable to receive Zarina because of restriction under zoo regulations and inadequate veterinary care facility. Absence of suitable enclosure, vicinity to children's park and residential area were constraints for shifting her to Rambagh area in Chandrapur. Even Seminary Hills at Nagpur did not have suitable enclosure and has high disturbance level.

Thus, all three locations were ruled out and Zarina was kept in a small squeeze cage and treated in TATR. "We have strongly recommended establishment of wildlife rescue centre in Chandrapur district in our report forwarded to NTCA. Man-animal conflict in Chandrapur district is high and the case of Zarina was not the first one. Hence, a permanent facility is badly needed in Chandrapur," said member of NTCA team and senior conservationist Kishor Rithe. He claimed that such a facility would also provide employment to over two dozen local people.

Rithe, however, lamented the lack of political will in building of such a facility. "When it is some other developmental issue, politicians are hyperactive in pushing the project. However, when it comes to wildlife protection, politicians are least interested," said Rithe. He appealed to the MLAs and MP in the district to take up the issue.

Notably, the issue of building rescue centre for wildlife in Chandrapur in pending since 2008. More than two dozen predators, including many tiger cubs, were captured in forests of Chandrapur and shifted either to Maharajbagh zoo in Nagpur and elsewhere during last two and half years.

Former forest minister Babanrao Pachpute had assured then MLA Shobhatai Fadanvis in legislative assembly to build a wildlife rescue centre during winter session of 2008. It is almost two years now, but the forest department has failed to build the facility so far.

Chandrapur forest circle has forwarded a proposal to build a wildlife rescue centre here a couple of months back. CF, Chandrapur circle, GRK Rao agreed that there is a proposal of building a wildlife rescue centre in Chandrapur.

"We have marked a land aside Rangers College here for the rescue centre. The facility will have large enclosures and other amenities to treat and nurse at least eight wild animals at once. The proposal has been forwarded to PCCF office and its clearance is awaited," said Rao.



Friday, August 20, 2010

Circus Life..."Captive" Entertainment

Circus Life...Step Right up to the Greatest Show of Exploitation on Earth!

USDA only requires that a cage for a wild animal be large enough that the animal be able to stand and turn around in the cage.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rising population increases man-tiger conflict

Rising population increases man-tiger conflict

Rachna Singh, TNN, Aug 19, 2010, 03.33am IST

JAIPUR: Human intervention in the tiger reserve is proving costly with a third man being mauled by the animal in Ranthambore in four months.

In fact, several efforts by the government towards tiger conservation and for creating a sustainable habitat for the animal have failed to yield result despite several crores spent on the project. The project has not helped the villages around the reserve.

According to Dharmendra Khandal, conservation biologist, Tiger Watch, an NGO: "There is very large grazing pressure on the reserve. July to October is the most problematic period since most of the cattle of nearby villages move into the reserve forest. The villagers also persistently attempt to invade into the core area. Besides, due to heavy grazing pressure it has not been possible to constitute core areas for Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary and Kailadevi Sanctuary. The recurrent conflict with villagers regarding grazing in the Ranthambore National Park has also alienated the villagers from the management."

According to Project Tiger Reserves, funded by the Centre,, "There were 3,177 cattle units in four villages in the core and around 25,000 cattle units in 19 villages in the buffer as per 1991 census. There were around 1.43 lakh cattle units in 332 villages within five kilometre radius of the reserve. The growth rate has been approximately 2%. Besides, there were 1,210 people in four ges in the core and 3,055 people in 19 villages in the buffer as per 1991 census. There were around one lakh people in 332 villages within 5 km radius of the reserve. The growth rate has been approximately 2.8%."

But over the years, human population around the park has increased manifold. If earlier the villages outside had a lot of pastureland for cattle, now all that is encroached upon by the villagers or land dealers.

"The first step by the government should be to clear the pastureland in Ranthambore. The changed trend in the last few years is that villagers who had one or two buffaloes now on individual basis own about 100-150 goats that are more economically viable. And they all go grazing in the forest," said Khandal.

According to estimates, nearly 300-500 bighas of pastureland in the villages that has been encroached upon. Add to that, some prominent hotels have also been allotted land. Even Monday morning after the incident, about 1,500 cattle were in the park grazing.

Now talking of wood felling, the government distributed 10,000 gas cylinders among the villagers almost nine years ago to stop villagers from chopping wood for fuel.

"These were provided at a subsidy of Rs 300 inclusive of the gas stove. But the villagers sold it out for Rs 1,000-1500 and still frequent the National Park to collect wood for fuel," said Khandal. As an alternative, biogas was thought to be a substitute. But out of the 560 bio gas plants about 100-150 are not functional and the existing ones fall extremely short for a growing population of about 1.5 lakh villagers.

The over 100 cr Eco-development Project (GEF-World Bank) implemented in 2003-04 also failed to change the way communities live around the park. As a part of the project Village Eco-development Programme' from the 36 villages about 20-22 village eco-development committees were made. Part of the project money was used to build walls around the park to check the menace of grazing and wood-cutting. "But they are mere psychological barriers now. The villagers intentionally left gaps in the walls to walk in and out of the forest," said a hotelier.

And with things as they stand, villagers will continue to frequent the park and despite forest guards, chances of a mishap cannot be ruled out.



Monday, August 16, 2010

Private forest safari vehicles face ban in Karnataka

Private forest safari vehicles face ban in Karnataka

Published: Monday, Aug 16, 2010, 8:56 IST
By Bosky Khanna Place: Bangalore Agency: DNA

Tourists staying in private resorts and hotels will soon have to stand in queues to use vehicles of the forest department or Jungle Lodges to go on safaris in tiger reserves.

This follows a proposal by the state wildlife board to ban the entry of private safari vehicles in tiger reserves.

The board made the suggestion after reviewing the increasing pressure of tourist vehicles on forest land. The state government is expected to implement the decision soon.

Private resort firms are unhappy and say this will affect eco-tourism and their business. Shiva Kumar, manager of Tusker Trails, a private resort in the fringes of Bandipur tiger reserve, said “This is a wrong decision. Tourists usually don’t opt for government vehicles as they are not generally good.”

Ashwin Pinto, operations manager of Cicada Resorts, Bandipur, saidtourists preferred the services of private resorts to government agencies.

“This decision, if implemented, will also hamper tourist operations. During peak season, we receive around 800 guests,” he said.

But experts said the ban was necessary to cap the mushrooming of private resorts in the fringes of forests.

Wildlife board committee member and assistant director of Wildlife Conservation Society-India Programme Sanjay Gubbi said their aim was to phase out the increasing number of vehicles inside forest areas.

In Kabini, for instance, the entry of vehicles is restricted to 21. The aim is to put such curbs on all national parks and sanctuaries, depending on the road distance for safari and the forest’s carrying capacity.

Increasing vehicular pollution had affected the health of wild animals, experts said.



Declare Nagzira as tiger reserve, urge conservationists

Declare Nagzira as tiger reserve, urge conservationists

TNN, Aug 13, 2010, 06.38am IST

NAGPUR: With the high-powered state and NTCA committee expressing itself against diversion of land for expansion of Adani Power Maharashtra Limited (APML) in Tiroda, the old demand of declaring Nagzira a tiger reserve has emerged strongly from local naturalists as well as wildlife conservationists.

Greens from Bhandara and Gondia districts told TOI it was a decade-old demand and they would once again push for Nagzira as a new tiger reserve. The individuals and groups said they would now request MoEF ministerJairam Ramesh and PCCF (wildlife) to declare Nagzira as a tiger reserve.

"The 152 sq km Nagzira is rich in wildlife and has tigers. If adjoining Umarzari forest under the FDCM is added, it can be the best tiger reserve in the state. There are several natural water bodies and a habitat ideally needed for wild cats. The biggest advantage is that there are no villages to be relocated in Umarzari area," stressed Rajkamal Job, former honorary wildlife warden and chief of Bhandara Nisarg Mandal.

He felt that Adani power plant at Tiroda should not be expanded as it fell within critical distance of Nagzira and would be detrimental for it. Mukund Dhurve, chief of Gondia Nisarg Mandal, echoed the same feeling.

"If the reserve comes through, it will boost wildlife tourism in Gondia. Gondia-Bhandara MP Praful Patel should take initiative to convince Ramesh to declare Nagzira as state's 5th tiger reserve. We will write to the respective authorities," he opined.

Dhurve claimed presence of six tigers in Nagzira but a tiger reserve with appended area viz. Nagzira, Chorkhamara, Umarzari, Koka and Amgaon had potential to accommodate at least 18-20 tigers. He felt that four-laning of NH-6 had already caused damage to Nagzira-Navegaon corridor and expansion of Adani power plant should not be allowed at any cost.

On September 8, 2009, Ramesh has written to chief minister regarding submission of proposal of Nagzira tiger reserve. "There is a strong case to declare Nagzira a tiger reserve. We will renew this demand with Patel.

The Adani plant is close to the sanctuary from south side but whether it will affect Nagzira is a matter of study. Yet, it should be upgraded as a national park and subsequently a tiger reserve. The move will bring in more funds for tigers," said Sunil Dhote of Nagzira Foundation, Gondia. Prof Ashok Gaidhani of Global Nature Club, Sakoli, said repeated requests to create Nagzira tiger reserve had fallen on deaf ears.

"Administrative and political will is needed. We will push the demand once again with the committee going against Adani expansion," he said. "There should be a public hearing for further expansion of the power project where we will express views," he added.



Sunday, August 15, 2010

Govt to set aside 30 million ha for rare species

Govt to set aside 30 million ha for rare species

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta Tue, 08/10/2010 9:27 AM National

The government plans to set aside 30 million hectares of protected forests for habitats for endangered species in order to prevent their extinction.

Forestry Ministry Zulkifli Hasan warned that the shrinking number of rare species, such as the Sumatran tiger, the Javanese rhinoceros and the orangutan was due to habitat infringement by private companies and local communities.

The minister said the government would also allocate 43 million hectares of primary forest for the rare species.

“Primary forests cannot be converted; they should be declared a buffer area,” Zulkifli said as quoted by Antara news network on Monday.

He said that in 2005, the government had established 535 forest and marine conservation areas.

“But, the management of nine of the conservation areas has been handed over to the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry,” he said.

Indonesia is home to a vastly diverse collection of flora and fauna, many of which are found in Indonesia’s tropical forests.

Indonesian loses more than 1 million hectares of forest per year to deforestation, which is the primary threat facing the country’s endangered species.

Minister Zulkifli said conflict of interests over forest usage had damaged biodiversity protection efforts.

Speaking at a workshop on national nature conservation day, Zulkifli said that the Sumatran tiger now numbered around 400, down from 800 in 2005 and that the Javan tiger was extinct.

Indonesia previously had three sub-species of tiger, two of which — the Bali and Javan tigers — were declared extinct in the 1940s and 1980s, respectively.

The ministry earlier said that Indonesia needed at least US$175 million to double the population of wild Sumatran tigers to 800 by 2022.

The money would be used to address the main threats to the tigers from habitat destruction, lack of prey and poaching to the illegal trade of tiger products.

The number of wild tigers worldwide is now 3,200, down from an estimated 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century.

Of the nine tiger sub-species that once roamed the Earth, only six still remain: the Sumatran, Bengal, Amur, Indochinese, South China and Malayan tigers.

Several conservation organizations have declared 2010 the Year of the Tiger.

The population of Sumatran elephants in Indonesia has plummeted to about 2,000 from around 8,000 in 2000, Zulkifli continued.

Another threatened species is the orangutan, of which an estimated 1,000 were killed in 2006 by massive forest fires and habitat loss.

The government said that in the last 35 years, about 50,000 orangutans have died due to deforestation and habitat loss.

About 90 percent of orangutans live on Borneo and Sumatra.

It is estimated there are 6,667 orangutans in Sumatra, mostly in the Leuser ecosystem, and 54,567 in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo.

The remaining 10 percent are in Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature said the orangutan species native to Kalimantan was endangered. Orangutans in Sumatra are critically endangered.



Tiger kills teen in rubber plantation

Tiger kills teen in rubber plantation

05:59 AEST Wed Aug 11 20104

A teenager was killed by an endangered Sumatran tiger as he worked on a rubber plantation on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, an official said Tuesday.

Riau province conservation agency head Danis Woro said 18-year-old Ahmad Rafi died after being mauled in the Rokan Hilir district on Monday.

"This is the first tiger attack in Riau this year," Woro said. "The area used to be a tiger habitat but now it has become a plantation area."

Human-animal conflicts are a growing problem in the archipelago, as forests are destroyed for timber or to make way for palm oil, forcing animals such as tigers and elephants into closer contact with people.

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



Saturday, August 14, 2010

No tourist entry inside core tiger territory

No tourist entry inside core tiger territory

TNN, Aug 15, 2010, 04.18am IST

LUCKNOW: Tourism will have to be kept out from tiger havens. The National Tiger Conservation Authority's (NTCA) latest instructions to field directors of tiger reserves could be a reaction to what MP government had ordered recently -- opening tiger reserves, sanctuaries and all parks to tourism to the extent that tourists do not have access to the forest guard posts deep inside a tiger area.

The letter issued by Rajesh Gopal, member secretary, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), on Thursday, reads: "Patrolling camps/chowkis/watch towers inside a tiger reserve (core as well as buffer) should not be used for accommodating tourists or facilitating tourism. As these structures have been constructed under Project Tiger, for the sole purpose of accommodating the frontline field staff (at places with wireless), it needs to be ensured that they are solely used for patrolling/anti-poaching work."

The letter has reached officials at Dudhwa. "Tourism inside core area or any such part of reserve where tiger population is based cannot be allowed," said an official. The humans and external influence will disturb tigers which are known to be "reclusive". Even if a tiger population is thriving in certain pockets of a buffer area, it should be sealed against human interference. Besides, human interference in core area can also jeopardise safety of humans entering it, leave alone disturbance to the big cats.

NTCA highlights the concern. "Tourists allowed to patrol in critical tiger habitat areas will not only disturb tigers but also jeopardise safety of tourists. Besides, exposing tourists to sensitive patrolling routes/paths/spatial presence of animals and patrolling strategy will make habitat vulnerable by exposing such details which may be confidential for apprehending poachers," states the letter. It might, however, be difficult to check that no poacher disguised as a tourist enters the core area.

The tourism zone within a tiger reserve is demarcated in the management plan. Any change in it can be made only by permission of chief wildlife warden of the state. Also, since reserves get their funding from the Central government, the Centre will have an over-riding effect. Dudhwa reserve has about 110 sq km area identified as tourist zone. The new management plan is getting ready for the next 10 years. To keep up with the increase in flow of tourists, some new tourist spots might be identified. Though officials said it was too early to confirm that.

In keeping with NTCA's reiteration that provisions under section 38V of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, should be implemented for ensuring inviolate status of critical tiger habitat, UP has done its bid. On June 9 this year, government issued a notification on the same. Total 1093.79 sq km area, including 490.29 sq km of Dudhwa national park, 203.41 sq km of Kishenpur wildlife sanctuary and 400.09 sq km of Katarniaghat wildlife sanctuary, have been notified as critical tiger habitat of Dudhwa. It will be kept inviolate for conservation of tigers without affecting the rights of STs and such other forest dwellers.



Poacher held with tiger's claw in Uttar Pradesh

Poacher held with tiger's claw in Uttar Pradesh

2010-08-14 23:50:00

A poacher was nabbed with a tiger's claw near a forest area in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur district Saturday, officials said.

Dinesh Kumar, was nabbed by a team of forest officials, who found him moving suspiciously near the Dudhwa forest reserve, some 200 km from Lucknow.

'The claw recovered from him is of a sub-adult tiger,' Divisional Forest Officer Shailesh Prasad told reporters in Lakhimpur.

'Our officials are trying to gather more information related to the illegal wildlife trade from the man, who has been booked under multiple sections of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA),' he added.

According to sources, the man has admitted that he has been into the illegal wildlife trade for nearly last five years.

Dudhwa, one of the country's largest tiger reserve, had 106 tigers as per the last census



Friday, August 13, 2010

COUGAR Species Spotlight

Cougar/Mountain Lion/Panther/Puma/Grey Ghost, whatever these cats are known by, they are very unique animals. Watch the video to learn more about this cat and the problems it is facing in the wild.Cougar/Mountain Lion/Panther/Puma/Grey Ghost, whatever these cats are known by, they are very unique animals. Watch the video to learn more about this cat and the problems it is facing in the wild.Cougar/Mountain Lion/Panther/Puma/Grey Ghost, whatever these cats are known by, they are very unique animals. Watch the video to learn more about this cat and the problems it is facing in the wild.Cougar/Mountain Lion/Panther/Puma/Grey Ghost, whatever these cats are known by, they are very unique animals. Watch the video to learn more about this cat and the problems it is facing in the wild.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Myanmar triples size of northern tiger reserve

Myanmar triples size of northern tiger reserve

(AP) – August 5, 2010

BANGKOK — Myanmar has tripled the size of the world's largest tiger reserve in an effort to save the endangered species, which now numbers less than 3,000 in the wild, a conservation group said in a statement seen Thursday.

The entire Hukaung Valley — a remote area of northern Myanmar about half the size of Switzerland — is now a protected tiger area, the government announced Tuesday.

"Myanmar now offers one of the best hopes for saving tigers in Southeast Asia," said Colin Poole of the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society. "The newly expanded protected area in the Hukaung Valley will be a cornerstone of tiger conservation throughout this iconic big cat's range."

As many as 100,000 tigers roamed the wilds of Asia as recently as 100 years ago, but in the past few years alone some tiger populations have been completely eliminated, mostly by poachers and human encroachment on their habitat.

Illegal hunting in the Hukaung Valley as well as gold mining and large-scale agriculture have decimated wildlife, and as few as 50 of the big cats remain in the area, the society said, noting the valley had the potential to hold several hundred tigers.

"Scientists and conservationists believe that tigers can make a comeback if the most critical threats to their existence, poaching of the cats themselves and their prey, are addressed effectively and immediately," the statement said.

The Myanmar government designated 2,500 square miles (6,475 square kilometers) of the valley as a wildlife sanctuary in 2004, and Tuesday's increase brings it to about 8,450 square miles (21,885 square kilometers).

Conservationists and government officials are meeting this fall at a "tiger summit" in St. Petersburg, Russia, to make firm commitments to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022.



Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Q: Do TIGERS like catnip??

Ever wondered if big cats like TIGERS, LIONS & LEOPARDS like catnip? 

We always get this question from tour guests, so we thought we'd find out!

Monday, August 02, 2010

White Tigers Are All Inbred and Crossbred

Dr. Dan Laughlin states, “…every white tiger in the U.S. is not only the result of repeated inbreeding of genetically defective animals but, even worse, is a hybrid or crossbred animal. Thus, anyone involved in breeding and/or exhibiting white tigers is doing a great disservice to honest conservation and preservation efforts to save the five remaining and endangered subspecies of tigers barely clinging to survival…”

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Legendary Actor Dick Van Dyke Named Tiger Ambassador by World Wildlife Fund

Legendary Actor Dick Van Dyke Named Tiger Ambassador by World Wildlife Fund

Films “Texting for Tiger” Video Encouraging Donations to Save Tigers from Extinction

For Release: Jul 22, 2010
Dan Forman
(202) 495-4546

WASHINGTON – July 22, 2010 – Actor Dick Van Dyke has been named an official Year of the Tiger Ambassador by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and will help the organization promote tiger conservation. With as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild, Van Dyke will help WWF raise awareness and funds for tiger conservation with the goal of doubling wild tiger populations by 2022.

“Who would have thought that I might outlive one of the most majestic species to ever walk the planet,” stated Van Dyke. “When I learned that tigers, which numbered close to 80,000 when I was born in the 1920’s, were closing in on extinction, I was stunned.”

The latest celebrity to aid WWF’s efforts in bringing back tiger populations, joining previously announced supporters Leonardo DiCaprio and Ethan Suplee, Van Dyke recently filmed a video spot encouraging people to donate $10 towards tiger conservation by sending a text message from a cell phone with the word “TIGERS” in it to the number 20222.

Watch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUZsRWNZyZQ

“It’s amazing -- just a few years ago we had to pull out the checkbook and mail off a check to donate money,” stated Van Dyke. “Now, just by texting ‘TIGERS’ to 20222, we can donate $10 towards protecting tiger habitat and cracking down on poaching. It couldn’t get any simpler.”

Today on Capitol Hill WWF experts Sybille Klenzendorf, managing director of the Species Conservation Program, and Crawford Allan, director of TRAFFIC-North America, will participate in a congressional briefing, sponsored by Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), to discuss the state of wild tigers and current efforts to ensure their survival.

Klenzendorf and Allan will also discuss how the U.S. can aid in doubling tiger populations over the next decade, including sending a high-level representative from the Obama administration to this fall’s Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and World Bank President Robert Zoellick. Other issues to be talked about include the need for stricter U.S. laws regulating captive tigers -- there are more tigers in captivity in the U.S. than in the wild around the world -- and increased U.S. funding and technical support for tiger conservation in Asia.

Tiger populations are shrinking fast, as the species is severely threatened by habitat loss and poaching. Their skins, bones and other body parts are used in many cultures as medicines, talismans, status symbols and clothing. But tigers can thrive if they have strong protection from poaching and habitat loss and enough prey to eat.

This is the first time WWF has used mobile fundraising and all of the donations received will be earmarked directly for tiger conservation. In addition to “Texting for Tigers,” WWF is encouraging people on Facebook and Twitter to spread awareness about the current plight of tigers. Supporters can use WWF’s Facebook application to add a tiger mask, tiger stripes or paw prints to their profile pictures and tag all of their tweets with #savetigersnow.

For more information on WWF’s campaign to save tigers please visit www.worldwildlife.org/tigers

A one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Messaging & Data Rates May Apply. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of WWF by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at www.hmgf.org/t. You can unsubscribe at any time by replying STOP to short code 20222; Reply HELP to 20222 for help



Record number of tiger attacks attributed to loss of habitat

Record number of tiger attacks attributed to loss of habitat

50 people killed last year, highest annual total in past 100 years

By Anisur Rahman, Correspondent Published: 00:00 August 1, 2010

Dhaka: Bangladesh earned a name for being the home of Royal Bengal Tigers along with neighbouring India but this year, the big cats killed the highest number of people this century, a phenomenon feared to be caused by loss of their habitats.

"We are witnessing a growing trend of deaths caused by tigers. Fifty people died last year, the highest number of deaths we recorded in the past 100 years, while the figure was 24 in 2007," forest conservator Tapan Dey told Gulf News.

He said the loss of big cat habitats and food sources in southwestern Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest which is the habitat of the last 440 Bengal Tigers, according to a 2004 survey.

Dey's comments came two days after Bangladesh joined the World Tiger Day celebrations promising effective steps to save the endangered big cats while it planned for an effective presence in the 13-nation Tiger Conservation Summit in St. Petersburg in September to plan out urgent measures to save the species.

"I will attribute the phenomenon (growing number of deaths) on human intrusion in Sundarbans . . . men are not good food for big cats but are easy prey, while the tigers are quickly losing their main food there because of poaching," chief executive of Bangladesh Wildlife Trust Professor Anwarul Islam told Gulf News.

Islam, also a senior professor of zoology department of the premier Dhaka University, said nearly 450,000 families live around the Sundarbans, a stretch of 6,017 square kilometres of forest "while their interactions with tigers are growing day by day causing the higher death rates."

He said the Trust recently carried out a survey on 800 families living around the Sundarbans. Nearly half of them admitted they had tasted the deer meats at last once in the past year.

"The survey reflects how the tigers are losing their main food source," he said. The last survey by the forest department and UN Development Programme (UNDP) in 2004 estimated the number to be around 440, while in Indian side of the Sundarbans the tiger population was around 270.



PM issues action plan to save tiger

PM issues action plan to save tiger

Added At: 2010-08-01 7:24 PM
Last Updated At: 2010-08-01 7:31 PM
THT Online

World Bank has pledged USD 9,00,000 to Nepal to conserve tigers, now an endangered species all around the world.

KATHMANDU: Caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on Sunday issued a directive to draft a detailed plan of action for a tiger conservation project to be launched with the financial assistance of World Bank.

PM Nepal’s instruction came at the first meeting of National Tiger Conservation Committee held today in the capital.

A major donor agency of Nepal, the World Bank has pledged USD 9,00,000 to Nepal to conserve tigers, now an endangered species all around the world.

During the meeting, PM Nepal stressed on the need to promote conservation efforts for tigers and the expansion of its habitat, adding adjustments should be made in the existing laws if required.

Apart from the Prime Minister, also present in the meeting were Home Minister Bhim Rawal, Forest and Soil Conservation Minister Dipak Bohara, Environment Minister Thakur Prasad Sharma and Law Minister Prem Bahahdur Singh.

High level government officials and representatives from WWF Nepal and National Nature Conservation Fund, among others were also present.

Today’s meeting, assessing the national level efforts made so far in tiger conservation, described the results to be satisfactory.

The meeting also concluded that Nepal has been successful in meeting the commitments expressed in the 15-point Kathmandu Declaration, issued amid an international workshop on conservation of tiger last November. The workshop was presided over by the Prime Minister.

Government statistics reveal that there are now 155 tigers in Nepal, up from 121 last October. Today’s meeting also concluded that Nepal is likely to have 250 tigers by 2015, an estimated target the country had planned to achieve by 2022.

Today’s meeting decided to take initiatives towards establishing a secretariat for networking conservation efforts in South Asia and engaged in groundwork regarding the agenda Nepal expects to raise in upcoming international conference to be held in St Petersburg in Russia later this September.

A cabinet meeting held last Baishak had formed an 8-member committee on conservation of tiger. The committee is led by Prime Minister, with ministers for home, defence, finance, law, forest,



Nepal-India ink pact to combat illegal trade in animal parts

Nepal-India ink pact to combat illegal trade in animal parts

Published: Thursday, Jul 29, 2010, 19:30 IST
Place: Kathmandu Agency: PTI

Nepal and India today inked a key pact to conserve biodiversity and combat illegal trade in wild animals coinciding with the first International Tiger Conservation Day.

"As Nepal and India are facing similar challenges in conserving the biodiversity, including the tiger, the signing of the joint resolutions gives us the responsibility to take the lead role in protecting tigers and showcasing to the world that together we can make a huge difference," said inister for forest Dipak Bohara, who was present at the function in the capital.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which aims to conserve biodiversity and strengthening ecological security in the trans-boundary region, was signed by Gopal Prasad Upadhyaya, director general, department of national parks and wildlife conservation, Nepal and SPYadav, DIG and joint director, national tiger conservation authority, ministry of environment and Forest, India.

"After signing the MoU with China in June to control illegal trade we expect to enter into a similar agreement with India in the near future," Bohara said.

Besides having a common boundary, Nepal and India are facing similar challenges of tiger conservation, joint director Yadav pointed out.

India and Nepal had excellent working relations in the past and the formalisation of this relation is another milestone, he said.

As the combined population of tigers in Nepal and India is more than half of the world population, joint efforts are essential for the conservation of tigers, he pointed out.

The bilateral pact was an outcome of the 4th Nepal-India Consultative Meeting on trans-boundary Biodiversity Conservation at the ministry of forest in Kathmandu, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

The signing of the pact is a step forward towards strengthening bilateral cooperation and trans-boundary conservation, said Upadhyaya.

India's three national parks and conservation areas Dudhwa Katrnighat, Balmiki and Sohelwa with the combined tiger population of 150 have been connected to Nepal's national parks. Thus joint efforts between the two neighbouring countries are essential for better conservation of tigers and checking illegal trade in tiger parts, accoding to experts.

The pact is a key step towards the signing of the MoU on biodiversity conservation between the two countries, according to experts.

The pact stresses on bilateral and regional cooperation including establishing a joint monitoring mechanism for interaction and intelligence sharing and exploring funding opportunities with special focus on the protected areas of the Terai Arc Landscape in both Nepal and India.



Nepal Marks Tiger Day For Raising Protective Awareness

Nepal Marks Tiger Day For Raising Protective Awareness

July 29, 2010 13:29 PM

KATHMANDU, July 29 (Bernama) -- On the occasion of the World Tiger Day on Thursday, the Nepali government is organising various programmes across the country to raise awareness on tiger conservation, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Forest Ministry said the events are aimed at doubling the population of the endangered cats by 2020.

According to a tiger census conducted last year, a total of 121 breeding tigers live in protected areas in the country.

Meanwhile, the government is preparing a country profile to be presented at the Head of States Tiger Summit scheduled to be held in September in St. Petersburg, Russia. The current status of tiger will be discussed and shared among tiger range countries on the occasion.

As a part of tiger monitoring, a team formed by the government is working in three major tiger habitats in the country.



Nepal has 155 adult tigers, 5% of world population

Nepal has 155 adult tigers, 5% of world population

PTI, Jul 29, 2010, 05.02pm IST

KATHMANDU: The number of adult tiger has reached 155 in Nepal's forests, an increase of 28% over last year's population, a top official has said.

The tiger population grew after tiger census was conducted in the Chure area of Chitawan National Park, which was skipped during last year's census, according to Coordinator of the Tiger census 2010 Bivash Pandav, an Indian national, who is working under World Wildlife Fund Nepal office in Kathmandu.

The number of adult tiger has reached 155 in Nepal's forests which is an increase of 28%, announced Gopal Prasad Upadhyaya, director general of Department of National Park's and Wildlife Conservation.

Though this not an increase in tiger population in actual term, but the number has also not declined in the region, he said. In Chitawan National Park located in central Nepal alone, 125 tigers were recorded.

Last year only 91 tigers were found when the census was carried out only in the lowland of the tiger reserve.

The total adult tiger population of 155 (124 to 229) was arrived at after adding other tiger populations from Bardia, Shuklaphanta and Parsa reserves.

The census was done through the latest process of camera trapping which required 3,582 human days and 170 elephant days, according to experts at WWF Nepal.

The monitoring of tiger was done from December 7, 2009 to March 22, 2010. As per the census it is estimated that the tiger area of Nepal has 6.53 adult tigers in 100 km area, which is a good population for breeding purposes, say experts.

WWF Nepal has provided Nepal government with $51,351 to carry out the tiger census. This means Nepal is home to nearly 5 per cent of tiger in the wild worldwide which is estimated to be 3,200.

There are 13 tiger range countries in the world including Nepal, India, China and Myanmar. The tiger range
countries have been working together to conserve the endangered wild animal tiger, to make the number double or around 7,000 in next Year for Tiger 2022.

Nepal government is also committed to double the tiger population to 250 by the year 2022, said minister for forest Dipak Bohara. The government is committed to control poaching, increase tiger habitat and prey animals with a view to double the tiger population in the next 12 years, he said.



Dhaka, Delhi join global move to save tigers

Dhaka, Delhi join global move to save tigers

Dhaka, July 30 – Bangladesh and India, home to the famous Royal Bengal tiger, will attend the 13-nation Tiger Conservation Summit in St. Petersburg in September to plan out urgent measures to save the species.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina may attend the meeting of the Tiger Range Countries (TRC) – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam, The Daily Star reported Friday.

Currently, half of the entire Royal Bengal tiger population of over 2,000 is in 56 forest areas in India.

The tiger is treated as one of the most critically endangered animals fast disappearing from the world. If all the six sub-species are taken togther, there are estimated to be just about 3,200 tigers left, down from around 100,000 in 1900. Experts, however, predict tigers will be extinct in the next century if strong measures are not taken to save them.

The Balinese tiger, Javanese tiger and Caspian tiger have already become extinct. Now there are six sub-species: Amur, Indochinese, Malayan, Royal Bengal, South China and Sumatran.

Despite frequent natural calamities, worsening environment and growing salinity in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh is the only country now that claims the number of tigers has recently risen in the forests.

The Bangladesh part of the Sundarbans, a stretch of 6,017 sq km of forest, is officially home to 450 tigers.

The last pugmark survey by the forest department and UN Development Programme (UNDP) in 2004 estimated the number to be around 440, including 21 cubs.

Since 2000, tigers have killed 193 people, while 29 tigers were lynched and some others were found dead in Bangladesh’s forests, according to official records of the forest department.



High-tech tracking on for man-killing tiger

High-tech tracking on for man-killing tiger

TNN, Aug 1, 2010, 12.59am IST

LUCKNOW: If not the first ever, it is at least a rare practice of high-tech tracking of a man-killing tiger that Pilibhit forest officials have taken up. The forest department is getting help from the wildlife organisations which are providing the department the needed expertise and the `cameras' which can incessantly click for 60-odd days.

The sub-adult tiger which made its first killing on May 3 and latest on July 27 has been lying inactive for past some days. Jamuna Prasad of Dilawarpur village in Ghundchai beat of Deoria range of Pilibhit forest division was killed by the man-eater on July 27.

On Saturday, forest department decided to change the position of eight web cameras which were installed at the killing sites on July 25. "We will now install cameras every 2 km," said divisional forest officer (DFO) Pilibhit VK Singh. The entire Deoria range of 712 sqkm will be divided into 25 grids, each of four sqkm area. A camera will be installed at every grid to locate the tiger.

It was on July 25 that the tiger was clicked by the cameras. It has remained elusive since then though it struck again two days after. The cameras click automatically moment the animal passes by. Every two days the camera trappings are downloaded. The trappings so far have given some clue on the tiger. "It is not at all injured but we cannot say what is making it to kill men," said DFO.

The tiger since May 3 has killed five men and preyed on them partially. It struck on June 7 and 23 and July 25 and 27. However, all the victims had gone to the forest as their bodies were recovered from about 5 km inside the forest area. This is, in fact, the reason why the forest officials are hesitant to brand the big cat a `man-eater'.

Though tiger is not compulsively seeking a human prey, vigil is on in the area to trap it before it makes another kill. The precautionary measures will be followed during the monsoon period. The villagers who enter the forest will be treated as tresspassers. On Saturday, two tresspassers were caught by the forest staff.

An awareness campaign too is underway in the area. Villagers are being informed about the tiger's presence and the precautions they should take.



Man-killing tiger in Pilibhit keeping forest dept on toes

Man-killing tiger in Pilibhit keeping forest dept on toes

TNN, Jul 31, 2010, 01.01am IST

LUCKNOW: Pilibhit forest division is in news again. Deoria range of the division is gripped with fear of a man-killing tiger. Though forest officials have not labelled it as a man-eater, yet. The stray big cat has killed and partially eaten five men, at different points of time, over a period of past three months.

The sub-adult tiger made its first killing on May 3. It struck again on June 7, killed and partially ate a 50-year-old man, Ved Prakash of Parewa Turraha village of Pilibhit. The body was lying about 1 km inside forest area. The right arm of the man was eaten by the big cat. On its third appearance on June 23, the tiger killed Bulaki Ram. On July 25, it killed Shyamlal and on July 27, it killed Jamuna Prasad.

Forest officials came into action after the fourth incident was reported on July 25. "We got eight web cameras installed in Deoria range," said V K Singh, DFO, Pilibhit. The camera was installed at 5.10pm and it was within 10 minutes that the first snap of the tiger was clicked by one of the cameras. "We got sure of tiger's presence in the area," said Singh.

The killing on July 25 took place in Deohana beat of the range and July 27 killing happened in Ghundchai beat of the range. There is an aerial distance of about 2 km between the two beats. However, when the tiger killed Jamuna Prasad on July 27, the incident was not clicked by the cameras. But cameras will continue to be in place.

Almost all the killings have taken place in the daytime because victims had gone to the forest area to either collect firewood or grass. Besides, monsoon is also the season for `katarua' mushroom in Pilibhit forests. Villagers collect the mushroom and sell them for Rs 70 to 80 per kg in markets. Bundles of grass, firewood and bags with mushrooms have been recovered from site of killings. Besides, the men have all been attacked while they were squatting on the ground and tiger mistook them to be quadrupeds.

As far as eating men is concerned, tiger has not eaten the men immediately after killing them. Though it has partially eaten all the bodies, it has eaten them a day after the killing. "When men had gone to search Jamuna Prasad in the morning, they had seen tiger eating the man's leg," said Singh. The approaching men, however, had scared the tiger away.

It is a case of man intruding into tiger's territory as all bodies were found lying deep inside the forest. Hence, it does not make any sense in branding the big cat a man-eater, said DFO. However, this has not lessened the seriousness of the incident for the forest department.

The forest department has created three teams headed by range officers to educate and inform villagers about the presence of tiger in the locality. Each team has 9 to 12 members. The teams will hold meetings with villagers and educate them about taking precautions. "We also have decided to get strict," said Singh.

The people who are found entering the prohibited area of forest will be detained for trespassing. Though, they will be allowed to go after initial warning. On second occasion, they will be charged a fine of Rs 250 and on third occasion, they will be arrested, produced in court and sent to jail for 14 days. This effort will continue for a month-long period.

Apart from this, informative posters have been put up at PHCs and primary schools. Deoria range spreads across 712 sq km and has 36 villages on its periphery. All the villages are under watch.