B2 (1997-2011)

B2 (1997-2011)

Friday, 29 April 2011

Wild Tiger Pictures

"Star Male" from Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

Male tiger from Kanha

B2 and his Sub-adult cub

Old tigress Machli

T-17 from Ranthambore

Elephant and Tiger in Nagarhole

Wild Tiger Pictures ("Wagdoh male")

Wagdoh male from Tadoba Tiger Reserve. He is One of the huge male tigers from Central India.

Wagdoh male & Mugger crocodile

Wagdoh male With Tigress

Protecting tiger corridors impossible: Ramesh

NAGPUR: The tiger population going up in the state from 103 in 2006 to 169 in 2010 may be good news but the bad news is that there can be no policy to protect corridors required for the tigers to disperse for a viable population.

Talking to TOI on Wednesday, Union minister for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh said protecting corridors was impossible as all development would come to a standstill. "We cannot come out with a policy on corridors," Ramesh stressed.

Today, tigers are facing the biggest threat from shrinking and fragmented corridors between protected areas (PAs) connecting each other. Against this backdrop, Ramesh's statement is disturbing. This is despite the fact that environment minister himself admitting that one-third of the tiger population resides outside protected areas (PAs).

Corridors between Kanha-Nagzira-Pench, Navegaon-Nagzira, Tadoba-Melghat are under threat from encroachments, road widening, mining, power and other developmental projects. Ramesh admits that biggest threat is coal mining for a number of power projects. "But let me tell you that the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is not only for protecting tigers but also forests. Tiger is just a symbol รข€” if tigers are gone, so will forests," he stated.

Ramesh felt there would be a lot of hue and cry if a policy on corridors was formulated. According to a study by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), there are 89 villages in the Nagzira-Navegaon corridor, which further extends to Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur and Indravati Tiger Reserve in Chhattisgarh. A similar situation prevails in Tadoba-Andhari corridor where there are equal number of villages.

At present, there is no status to corridors between Kanha, Pench, Navegaon and Nagzira, which is roughly 15,000 sq km. After protected areas (PAs), corridors are the main pockets through which genetic breeding takes place. These are the best conservation units for dispersal of tigers.


Baby boom: One more R'bore tiger gives birth

Anindo Dey, TNN, Apr 27, 2011, 12.26am IST

JAIPUR: It is baby boom time at Ranthambore National Park. After confirmation of tigress T-8 giving birth to two cubs last Saturday, it is now the turn of tigress T-19.

Reports are the tigress was spotted on Monday evening with a swollen mammary gland suggestng suckling cubs. Tigresses do not bring out their cubs in the open till they are about three to four months old and it is only after this they venture out with their mother.

"Last evening we were out on a tour and we spotted T-19. Her mammary glands were swollen though her stomach had not. All of us, including my jeep driver, concluded that she must have given birth to cubs recently," said tourism minister Bina Kak who is currently on a visit to the park.

In fact, even the cubs of T-8 were first spotted by some visitors who informed state forest department officials. In this case too officials were unable to throw any light. "It is only after we click the cubs along with their mother can we give any confirmation of birth. Currently we cannot say anything. Even in the case of T-8 it was only after we took a picture of the tigress with her cubs were we able to confirm the birth," the officials said.

In the absence of the cubs being photographed, not much was forthcoming on their numbers. However, even if just two cubs are born the count of newborns at the park since September 2010 will reach 16. "Among the tigresses who have given birth so far are T-5 which eventually died leaving behind the two newborns, tigresses T-13, T-31, T-8 with two cubs each and tigresses T-11 and T-26 with three cubs each," said R P Gupta, DFO, Ranthambore.

Officials are much elated over the births and feel this negates conservationists who have been crying foul on the move to relocate tigers from a breeding population to Sariska.

"It just so happened that there was a year when no births took place. But the very fact we have so many newborns this year suggest that the population of tigers have not been disturbed despite the fact that some of the tigers were relocated to Sariska," officials said.

However, along with the elation also came worries of a territorial fight when the cubs grow up. Ranthambore is already bursting at its seams with at least 31 tigers reported in the last census done by the Wildlife Institute of India ( WII). Cases of territorial fights and tigers straying outside the park are increasing.

The only hope seems to be a corridor between Ranthambore and the Mukundra hills that the state has planned and making other sanctuaries around more habitable for wild animals.


Road-building plans threaten Indonesian tigers

JAKARTA, Indonesia

Indonesia is preparing to greenlight the construction of several highways through a park that has one of the world's few viable populations of wild tigers, conservationists warned Thursday.

The move would be especially alarming, they said, because it would come just months after the government signed a deal in Russia promising to do everything possible to save the iconic big cats from extinction.

There are about 3,500 tigers left in the wild worldwide. The Kerinci Seblat National Park, which spans four provinces on Sumatra island, is home to an estimated 190 of them -- more than in China, Vietnam, Nepal, Laos and Cambodia combined.

"We need to do everything possible to stop this," said Mahendra Shrestha of Save the Tigers in Washington D.C. "It would be disastrous to one of the core tiger habitats in Asia."

The plans for four roads through the park would open up previously inaccessible land to villagers and illegal loggers, divide breeding grounds and movement corridors, and destroy vulnerable ecosystems.

Shrestha said it makes a "mockery" of the agreement signed by 13 countries that still have wild tigers to preserve and enhance critical habitats as part of efforts to double populations by 2002.

The 1.4-million hectare Kerinci Seblat park, which is divided by the Barisan mountain range and fringed by oil palm plantations as far as the eye can see, also is home to critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros, elephants, clouded leopards, sun bears and more than 370 bird species.

It also has more than 4,000 plant species.

The Forestry Ministry, which would have to sign off on any deal and request parliamentary changes to Indonesian law on protected land, has remained tightlipped about the plans except to say building roads for development in protected areas is illegal. "It's still just a proposal," ministry spokesman Masyhud, who goes by one name, told The Associated Press.

Still, conservationists are worried because regional leaders -- who increasingly hold sway in the nation of 237 million -- are pushing the plans. With no visible pushback from the central government, the regional leaders may have little problem bulldozing through their proposal.

Provincial officials in Jambi, Bengkulu and West Sumatra argue that four roads up to 40 feet (12 meters) wide are needed in the park to serve as "evacuation routes" for people in the event of volcanoes, earthquakes, flooding and other natural disasters.

"We fully understand the importance of this national park and will do everything to make sure that the environment is not destroyed," said Nashsyah, head of Bengkulu's development planning board, adding that a comprehensive study still needs to be done to educate all parties about the project.

Two-thirds of the tigers in the Kerinci Seblat park are adult females.

It is one of the few places where populations have actually grown over the last five years, thanks largely to untouched habitat and anti-poaching patrols that have helped protect one of the few genetically viable populations left in the world.

There already are four roads through the park. The construction of new, larger highways would bring in tons of heavy equipment, chain saws and hundreds of workers for months on end.

"These roads would further fragment tiger communities and disrupt their movement corridors," said Zen Suhadi of Indonesia's most prominent environmental group, Walhi.

"That's our main concern."

He is among 350 conservationists from dozens of different national and international nongovernment groups that have banded together to argue that the plans would turn Kerinci Seblat into a mishmash of forest blocks putting both tigers and their habitat at risk.

If approved, they say, it would open the way for road building in every protected area in Indonesia.

"We've called on the government to reconsider the plan," said Hariyo Tabat Wibisono, chairman of the local tiger conservation group, Forum HarimauKita. "But we hear it's already gotten the green light."


Monday, 25 April 2011

Wild Tiger Pictures ("Wagdoh male")

"Wagdoh male" with his mating pair near Teliya Dam in Tadoba tiger reserve. This male is One of the huge males from central Indian forests.

This male and his enormous size reminds me the famous tiger of panna named "Madla" who was known for his great size.

Sighted: A new home for tigers

(NEW HOME: This camera trap picture shows T 8, the first tigress to litter in Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary adjoining Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan, along with her cubs.)

JAIPUR: A hitherto little noticed Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary has crowned itself with glory in the annals of tiger conservation in the post-Project Tiger era in the country by playing host to a new tiger family. The comparatively small — just 250 sq km — sanctuary, situated south of the much more famous Ranthambhore National Park (RNP), now takes the cake for the third known breeding ground for tigers in the wild in Rajasthan after RNP and Sariska Tiger Reserve.

Tigress T 8 was sighted with two cubs this weekend at Chiri Kho along Sawai Madhopur-Bundi Road. The feline, a migrant from RNP, has been staying in Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary -- not known to be a place favoured by tigers so far– for two to three years. “It is a breakthrough. Tiger breeding is crucial indication both in terms of habitat improvement and prey base. It is the result of good management practices,” said a jubilant Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, R. N. Mehrotra, talking to The Hindu on Monday.

“Breeding takes place at very few places in India. A new area in tiger breeding is a very positive sign, especially when it happens outside the Project Tiger area,” said Rajpal Singh, Member of the Rajasthan Board for Wildlife. “Good tiger breeding is taking place in Rajasthan despite prophets of doom who had predicted some time back that Ranthambhore would not have tiger cubs as the atmosphere was not conducive for breeding,” he pointed out.

“This has come as very encouraging news as we have been busy shifting forest villages out of Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary to get it ready for the proposed Rajiv Gandhi Biosphere Reserve,” Mr. Mehrotra informed. The inhabitants of two villages, Hingdwar and Kalibhat, are in the process of moving out of the area. “The birth of cubs in the new area is also indicative that the degraded forests hold good potential. These forests can bring back the life cycle which existed earlier,” he asserted.

The areas south of Ranthambhore showing a clear indication of regeneration of flora and fauna is also a sure sign that the present experiments are in the right direction. Though the report of an expert team which conducted a survey on the proposed biosphere reserve is to be ready only by May 15, the tribe of tigers flourishing beyond Ranthambhore is opening up a lot of probabilities in conservation initiatives in the Hadauti (Kota) region.

“The Ranthambhore tigers have reached the doorstep of Lakheri forests. In a year or two we will be regenerating Bundi forests as well,” a confidant Mr. Mehrotra affirmed. “As for the Rajiv Gandhi Biosphere Reserve, it will encompass an area of 2,000-2,500 sq km from Karauli to Jhalawar,” he said.

As for the frolicking young tigers, Rajasthan will have more of them. “Rajasthan now has about 16-17 tiger cubs — the maximum number in any State. I am sure there will be more in the next three months,” Mr. Rajpal Singh said predicting a cat population explosion in the near future.


Saturday, 23 April 2011

Wild Tiger Pictures

Huge Male tiger from Kaziranga national park

Bamera Male

"Wagdoh male" from Tadoba - One of the large males from central india.

Large male tiger from Corbett Tiger Reserve

Male tiger from Kabini (Nagarhole)

Camera Trap Picture of Male tiger from Rajaji National Park

Tigress from Bandhavgarh

Tigress from Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary