B2 (1997-2011)

B2 (1997-2011)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Wild Tiger Pictures - T24

The dominant male from Ranthambore national park (Jan, 2012)

I am sad to announce WildTigerWatch will no longer be active. Tigers have been my passion for the last few years. Unfortunately, I have not gotten much time to continue this blog. Thanks to the readers for your support and Good luck to you all. Long live tigers and its jungle !

Friday, 3 February 2012

Nandhor Valley, Uttarakhand springs pleasant surprises

Uttarakhand’s picturesque Nandhor Valley is located at the heart of the Terai Arc Landscape - an 800km long stretch of fertile land that lies along the Himalayan foothills bordering Nepal in India. The TAL region, fed by the rivers flowing down the Himalayas, teems with forests on one hand but is threatened by an ever increasing human population on the other.


(Large male, One of the four individuals camera trapped in the Nandhor valley during the recent monitoring exercise carried out by WWF-India)

TAL map
The Nandhor valley, with an area of about 1800sq. km and bound by Gola-Ladhya and Sharda rivers, is spread out in Haldwani, Terai East and Champawat Forest Divisions. Among the wildlife corridors here are Gola, Kilpura-Khatima-Surai and Boom-Bhramdev. The vegetation of the Nandhor valley forests comprises a mosaic of dry and moist deciduous forests with traces of temperate forests towards the higher elevation areas. This landscape still holds potential for the conservation of tigers, as it has nearly 1000 sq. km of tiger habitat that needs better protection. This area is well connected with the forests in Nepal across the River Sharada on the eastern side and it continues till the eastern part of Sukhlaphanta Wildlife Reserve.

According to Joseph Vattakaven, Tiger-Coordinator, WWF-India,Tigers once had a wide distribution across the Nandhor valley; however, they have been exterminated through much of their previous range due to various causes driven by adverse human impacts. But with protection and connectivity in place, tigers will rebound and provide us with a wonderful opportunity to increase their numbers

To find out how the tiger is faring in the area and to see if there is a potential for tigers to reoccupy these forests, WWF-India initiated a study. The chief aim of this ongoing study is to determine prey - predator presence in the region in Nandhor valley, which is one of the potential tiger areas in the TAL India.

Occupancy surveys and camera trapping completed in parts of Chakata and Nandhor ranges of Haldwani forest division have revealed tigers in both the ranges with multiple captures of four tiger individuals being recorded. Worth mentioning here is a large male previously photographed by WWF-India in September 2011 which was recaptured by the camera traps in Nandhor Range. Another good news is the camera trapping of a tigress with her two sub-adult cubs, which shows the great potential of the area as a breeding ground for tigers. Among the other significant species caught on the cameras are the Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and Serow (Naemorhedus sumatraensis), which are usually found at higher altitudes.

According to Rekha Warrier, biologist working with WWF-India’s field team in this exercise,Surveys in Amlakheda were slow owing to rain and a paucity of survey trails but we found tiger signs all along the Nandhor. It seems 2 to 3 new individual tigers might be operating in the area. Following the conclusion of our trapping efforts along the road, we hope to extend camera trapping into the Nandhor valley in February, when Session 5 of camera trapping will be initiated and concluded.”

The future

The study found out that the roads and drainages close to the Gola River showed signs of extensive disturbance by humans. According to Joseph,”This landscape can house a breeding population of 40-50 tigers, but poaching by local communities of prey species and occasionally tigers is potentially a major cause of absence of tigers in this area.”

According to Dr. K.D. Kandpal, Coordinator, WWF-India, TAL-Kaladhungi Field Office,Nandhor valley is governed by the three forest divisions of Haldwani, Terai East and Champawat (Boom Range). This is a potential site where we could see tiger numbers doubling in coming years. Two priority corridors namely Kilpura-Khatima and Boom-Bhramdev of TAL fall in Nandhor. WWF-India is committed to the long term conservation of these forests. In this direction, a patrol elephant was also provided to the forest department to help keep a better eye on these forests. If stringent protected is continued, Nandhor can serve as a source population for tigers across boundaries in the Himalayas (Indo-Nepal).


Tiger hunting wild boar

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Wild Tiger Pictures

Bamera male

Tiger from bandipur


Tiger from Panna reserve (2006) from extinct genetic pool

Young Tigress from Ranthambore,


Tigress from Kanha

Tigress from Bandipur

Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve Video:
Tiger attack in jim Corbett

Tiger Dynasty - Sariska Tigers in BBC Documentary

A young tigress is chosen to found a new dynasty. Airlifted from her home in an Indian park to life in a new reserve, Baghani the tigress must fight with leopards for territory and learn to hunt dangerous wild boar. Also released is Rajore, a hot blooded young male. For two years every aspect of their lives are followed by the camera. Will they mate and start a family, or will they be killed by poachers?

Watch Herehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01bqwwl/Natural_World_20112012_Tiger_Dynasty/#

Life of five endangered tigers in the rugged hills of Rajasthan’s Sariska reserve captured by an Indian cinematographer is being shown in Britain as part of a special BBC series on endangered wildlife.

The introductory episodes titled Tiger Dynasty was launched on Wednesday.

The documentary, filmed by acclaimed wildlife cinematographer S Nallamuthu, tells the story of five translocated tigers from Ranthambore National Park, also in Rajasthan, to Sariska Tiger Reserve, an expanse of 800 sq km in the picturesque Aravalli range.

The extermination of Sar­iska’s tigers by poachers had come to light in 2004.

Nallamuthu says of the five translocated tigers he is fond of Baghani, a tigress portrayed in the documentary. “I have been filming her with my good friend and field assistant, Hemraj Meena, since she was a cub,” he says.

When the Rajasthan government and the Wild Life Institute of India decided to translocate her, I wanted to follow her journey. In a sense we both began our journey in a similar fashion — blindfolded,” Nallamuthu said.

Days went by before I even caught a glimpse of this magnificent tigress,” he said of the tigress after her translocation to Sariska.

In 2010, Nallamuthu had made the Tiger Queen, a moving tale of rivalry and betrayal in a tiger family in Ranthambore. It was India’s first full length wildlife film shot in a high definition (HD) format. The film shows Machli, the tigress, who ruled the fort for over a decade, was overthrown in a battle by one of her daughters.

Baghani, portrayed in Tiger Dynasty, is one of her daughters.

Today, the population of prey animals in Sariska went up in the absence of major predators. Leopards, another key predator in the food chain, began to make a comeback into areas where the tigers had once ruled. They are their main competitors in Sariska today.


Tiger in Mudumalai Reserve

Tiger captured for first time using northeastern India wildlife corridor

New Delhi - The New Year brought a new surprise for wildlife monitoring teams near northeastern India’s Kaziranga Tiger Reserve, as a tiger was captured for the first time using one of the important wildlife corridors south of the famous park.


The Karbi Anglong landscape south of Kaziranga has been used by wildlife for generations during peak monsoon periods when the Reserve itself if flooded. Camera traps set up by WWF’s Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong Conservation Programme (KKL) caught the tiger in late December using the Kanchanjuri corridor.

As the communities and tourism activities in the already heavily populated region south of Kaziranga grow, the area’s four main wildlife corridors, including Kanchanjuri, continue to be squeezed by human activity and infrastructure. In addition to the tiger, the photos also captured important and endangered wildlife such as elephants, common leopards, wild boar, barking deer and even a melanistic leopard, commonly called a black panther.

The discoveries have led WWF-India to reiterate its long term support for these vital wildlife corridors. The WWF KKL team has been working with communities in the region since 2005, and has been documenting wildlife using the corridors since initially setting up camera traps in June 2010.

The Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape, in the far northeastern Indian state of Assam, is one of 12 priority landscapes in which WWF focuses its tiger conservation efforts. Kaziranga Tiger Reserve has the world’s highest density of Bengal tigers. Animals migrating from Kaziranga during floods to the Karbi Anglong hills to the South use specific forested strips or ‘corridors’ running across National Highway 37 to reach higher ground. Four main corridors are currently intact – Kanchanjuri, Panbari, Haldibari and Amguri.

WWF India is continuing to document tiger and wildlife migrations, and will intensify its efforts with communities in the region to ensure thriving corridors and protection of the species that use them.


Tass tigress seems headed towards home territory

NAGPUR: The radio-collared Tass tigress, which was trapped in a drainage well and released in its original habitat post treatment on November 27, seems to be heading back towards its home territory Bhiwapur.

By December-end, the tigress had traversed almost 35 km and had gone close to Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR). It was hardly 15 kms away from the park boundary. After a long stay in Brahmapuri forest division, it was expected that it may settle down in the area but didn't.

S K Khetarpal, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) for wildlife, Maharashtra, who is closely monitoring the tigress, said the animal might be heading towards its old territories and clusters recorded on February 2, show it was heading towards Paoni.

"I feel the tigress might be returning due to presence of other resident tigers in the area where it went. In the past two months, it must have travelled over 80 kms," Khetarpal said. He said a team monitoring the animal said that the tigress was intelligent and had crossed railway line, nullahs and state highway during its return journey as well. It hides itself well in the bushes from people.

The tigress was rescued on October 13 from an open drainage well adjoining Tass forest in Bhiwapur range. It was released in its original habitat after treatment on November 27. Prior to its release, it was believed that the tigress was a resident of Ranmangli and hence should be released there only. Tigers, however, are great wanderers and often traverse long distances to find territory or mate.

In 2009, a radio-collared tiger had travelled 250 kms from Kanha to Pench. Similarly, last year, a radio-collared tigress from MP Pench had reached Mansinghdeo sanctuary in Maharashtra.


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Wild Tiger Pictures

T24 (Dominant male of Ranthambore)

T25 mating with T17


(Credit for previous 4 pictures to www.tigersintheforest.co.uk)

Langda Munna from Kanha 

Wagdoh Male from Tadoba

Tigers thriving in Ramnagar Forest Division, Uttarakhand

WWF-India’s conservation initiatives document area’s tigers

A sight to behold amidst Uttarakhand’s River Kosi

As it nears the end of its journey inside Uttarakhand, River Kosi flows down the foothills of the Himalayas separating the Corbett Tiger Reserve from the forests of Ramnagar Forest Division to its east. The sight of fresh water skirting weather beaten boulders with dense forests on both sides makes a picturesque scene. Scenic splendour apart, this wilderness is key to tiger populations of both the above administrative units of forests as it is a critical corridor for the big cats to move freely between one another.

 Though there have been frequent documentations of pugmarks and eyewitness accounts by visitors to the area on the presence of tigers, a team from WWF-India’s Kaladhungi office of the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) have, probably for the first time, photo documented a tiger traversing the river bed near Chukam village in the Ramnagar District. Debmalya Roy Chowdhury, Project Officer, TAL, shares an eyewitness account of this rare sighting. “It was almost 11 o’ clock forenoon of 31 October, 2011. I was with Chandar Singh Negi (Assistant Project Officer) and Tara Thaplial (Field Assistant), all very tired after a six kilometre walk on the bed of River Kosi under a scorching sun. We were about to reach one of the camera trap points along River Kosi, where WWF-India has been conducting the Kosi Corridor Monitoring Study for past two months. Just after crossing the river bed, Tara screamed out “Sir, tiger-tiger.” I looked up. How I felt at the moment of what I saw ahead is very hard to describe in words. There was a huge, mature male tiger walking along the river bed in that broad daylight attempting to move into the Corbett Tiger Reserve. The big cat was few hundred metres away from us. After a few seconds of being perplexed, I started clicking its photographs. The tiger spotted us and tried to take cover but realising there being none it turned back towards our camera point in the island and disappeared in the jungle. This sighting made us get over our tiredness and we followed it’s pugmarks up to our camera point. This was the most memorable on foot sighting of tiger I ever had in my life and probably the best direct evidence to document the functionality of River Kosi corridor.”

The amazing findings of River Kosi corridor

Adding substance to the above documentation are the earlier findings by WWF-India in 2011. As part of the National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Institute of India’s all India tiger estimation exercise WWF-India was involved in camera trapping and the subsequent estimation of tigers in the Ramnagar Forest Division including River Kosi corridor. The results were astonishing – both the positive findings as well as the challenges faced by the tigers. According to Joseph Vattakaven, Tiger-Coordinator, WWF-India,”Our study lead by tiger biologist Meraj Anwar revealed that Ramanagar Forest Division has the highest density of tigers outside a Protected Area anywhere in India and perhaps the world. We obtained a high tiger density of over 15 tigers per 100 sq. km. In fact this density is higher than that of many well known Tiger Reserves in India.” The detailed findings were published in Status of tigers, co-predators and prey in India, 2010.*

Adds Joseph, “We have initiated a detailed study on the pressures River Kosi corridor is currently facing. Our intensive camera trapping study that is ongoing shows that tigers are dispersing via the River Kosi corridor but the unchecked mushrooming of resorts in the corridor is the single biggest cause for concern. Also, the fact that these tigers are in a non PA increase the urgency for measures to protect them as the protection they currently get is far less than the adjoining the Corbett Tiger Reserve.”

Another interesting finding of this study is what looks like the first photographic evidence of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) from this area. WWF-India is continuing its work for these forests through its office at Kaladhungi under the Terai Arc Landscape programme.

* Y.V.Jhala, Q.Qureshi, R.Gopal, and P.R.Sinha (Eds.) (2011). Status of the Tigers, Co-predators, and Prey in India, 2010. National Tiger Conservation Authority, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. TR 2011/003 pp-302


Male tigers do double up as mothers for their cubs

JAIPUR: Wildlife enthusiasts may have finally found an answer to the longstanding question if male big cats reared their cubs whose mothers were dead. Pictures taken at the Ranthambore National Park on Saturday evening by wildlife conservator and photographer Balendu Singh show that the male tigers do double up as mothers for their cubs.

"These are pictures of the T25 tiger looking after the two cubs that he fathered," said tiger expert Valmik Thapar, as he announced to enthralled audience at the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) that this doubtful behaviour of the wild cats now stood confirmed in the Ranthambore forests. "This was unheard of in the tiger literature of the world. Only the female tigers were known to raise the cubs, but T25 has shown that the males also do it," Thapar asserted.

Until now the tiger was 'suspected' to be playing a 'doting dad' to the two cubs after their mother died in February 2011. The state wildlife authorities, too, had been keeping a watch on the tiger and the orphaned cubs since June 2011 when first indications were picked up that T25 could be doubling up as mother.

Thapar and Jaisal Singh, another wildlife enthusiast and avid photographer, took the audiences at the JLF session on "Tiger Tales from Ranthambore" on a video and pictorial journey to the Ranthambore of 1970s and 1980s when the reserve area boosted of greater number of tigers. "It was a time when I spotted as many as 16 different tigers in a single day at Ranthambore," said Thapar, recounting from the 1980s, while former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, theatre and film actor Sanjana Kapoor and the Bhutan queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuk listened among the audiences.

Thapar highlighted how the Ranthambore tigers 'stopped shying' of humans and roamed around freely once 12 villages within the national park were relocated between 1976 and 1979. "Tigers are emotional and react to situations," Thapar said, as he explained the changed behaviour of the tigers.

The wildlife expert hit out at the state governments, especially the bureaucrats, for having a rigid attitude and carrying on with the "British traditions" in wildlife matters. "The conditions have come to a level where the governments and NGOs now live in world of mutual distrust and where the tiger is the sufferer ultimately," Thapar said on passionate note. Raje, though, later tried to explain the political and financial constraints of the governments on such issues.


Black panther sighted for first time in Kaziranga

The first sighting and camera trap of the melanistic common leopard (Panthera pardus), popularly called black panther, at Kaziranga Tiger Reserve by World Wildlife Federation has excited the scientific community as such species were believed to be found only in the Western Ghats of Karnataka.

The black panther, which was believed to be sighted only in Anshi-Dandeli wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka, has now been sighted even in Assam’s forests where a camera trap by WWF on December 27, 2011 established the existence of this animal in the forests of the North East for the first time. In addition, a Royal Bengal tiger has been camera trapped there.

WWF’s Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong Conservation Programme (KKL) has been, since 2005, working to document the above corridors by initiating conservation activities involving communities around them.

The Kaziranga Tiger Reserve, with its additions to the National Park area over the years, is 1,033 sq-km large and is spread over the districts of Nagaon, Sonitpur, Karbi Anglong and Golaghat. Being a mosaic of grasslands, woodlands and water bodies makes it an ideal habitat for many threatened mammals and birds, including the great Indian one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis), Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris), wild buffalo (Bubalis bubalis), Asian elephant (Elephas maximux) and eastern swamp deer (Rucervus duvaucelii ranjitsinhi).

Fertile soil

The mighty River Brahmaputra flows across the northern boundary of Kaziranga, flooding the park during monsoon. In the process, it enriches the soils and washes out the water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) from many wetlands. This helps rejuvenate the eco-system. However, the floods also lead to migration of Kaziranga’s wild mammals to the adjoining hills of Karbi Anglong located to its south.

The migrating animals use specific forested strips or ‘corridors’ to cross over to higher grounds across the National Highway 37.

There are four such corridors currently intact - Panbari, Haldibari, Kanchanjuri and Amguri, which are vital links between the flooded park and the higher grounds in Karbi Anglong.

WWF, which initiated the conservation programme, deployed camera trap in June 2010 to get photographic evidence of animal movement. By the end of 2011, a range of animals were observed to be using the corridor, with elephants being the most captured. Other captured animals include wild boar, barking deer, jungle fowl and common leopard.

This is the first time ever this mammal (black panther) has been recorded in the checklist of mammals of Kaziranga and the first for Karbi Anglong district too,” said a source from WWF.


These records indicate the active use of the corridor. There are several myths prevailing regarding the black leopards and some scientists believe them to be a separate species.


Sunday, 8 January 2012

14 tigers caught on camera in India and Bhutan Border

- India and Bhutan meet to discuss Manas tiger count
Guwahati, Dec. 27: Fourteen tigers have been captured in Manas, straddling India and Bhutan, on cameras that scanned 650km of protected area.

Reports of the joint camera trapping were discussed at a meeting at Bansbari in Manas today, attended by officials from both Manas National Park and the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. 

Officials from WWF and representatives from two NGOs, Aaranyak and ATTREE, who had helped in camera trapping, were also present in the meeting. 

Four tigers have been identified as “common”, meaning they were spotted in both countries. Of the 14 tigers, seven are male, six female while the gender of one has not been ascertained. 

There could be more tigers as only three ranges have been surveyed,” Firoz Ahmed, a member of National Tiger Conservation Authority who is also associated with Aaranyak, told The Telegraph. 

Fourteen tigers is a good enough figure considering the prey base and the situation,” he added.
Royal Manas National Park field director Tenzing Wangchuk said today’s meeting was important as one finally has an idea about the number of tigers. 

“The figure will improve, as we were not able to work in all the ranges,” he said. 

A document prepared by WWF on the Transboundary Manas Conservation Area says the importance of this region for tiger conservation cannot be overstated. 

It is one of our greatest hopes for tiger recovery and doubling the number of tigers here is a goal we cannot only attain but surpass,” the document says. 

By working together, through a coordinated approach to conservation, India and Bhutan can substantially increase the number of tigers in a landscape that is large enough to accommodate them without exacerbating human-tiger conflicts,” it says. 

The trans-boundary Manas conservation area straddles the Indo-Bhutanese border from the Ripu and Chirang reserve forests in India in the west to Bhutan’s Khaling wildlife sanctuary in the east. 


Wild Tigers of Tadoba

Resident Male Tiger "Yeda Anna" also called as "Tedi Puch"

Young Mating pair

Emerging super star - The Young Subadult tiger Ookhan

The biggest of all - The Wagdoh male

Wild Tiger Pictures

Bamera Male

Tiger Camera Trapped in Manas Tiger Reserve (Bhutan)

Tiger Camera Trapped in Chitwan Tiger Reserve (Nepal)

Raja - Male Tiger from bandipur

Subadult Male Tiger from Bandhavgarh



Poachers with poached tiger in Malaysia