Wednesday, 8 October 2014

AFRICAN ELEPHANTS ARE FACING A GRAVE CRISIS

Introduction :

It is extremely distressing to know what is happening in Africa these days specially since 2012 namely the mindless slaughter on an unprecedented scale of African Forest Elephants and Savannah Elephants from Kenya in East Africa to Gabon in Central Africa and from Gabon in Central Africa to Mozambique in South-East Africa.

Most African Countries seem to be quite indifferent about the plight of Elephants in their respective countries.

Facts regarding the mass slaughter of Elephants :

In countries like Kenya and Tanzania, African Savannah Elephants are slaughtered for their ivory by poachers on foot and from the air. In Tanzania in East Africa, 10,000 Elephants are killed each year for their ivory by organized poacher gangs.

In Gabon, in the Central African Republic, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in the Republic of the Congo more than 1,000 Elephants are slaughtered every year for their ivory in each of these countries.

Forest Elephants who are found exclusively in the Equatorial Rainforests of Central Africa and West Africa are facing a "Dire Crisis" as a result of widespread poaching over the last 10 years.

Their numbers have declined drastically from 200,000 in 2004 to less than 80,000 today. They are critically endangered  specially in Gabon.

This unethical war on Africa's Elephants is getting from bad to worse with every passing day, week, and month primarily because of the skyrocketing price of Ivory in the International Illegal Market.

1 Kilo of Ivory is worth 1000 U.S. Dollars.

According to Dr. Mike Chase who is from the Botswana based "Elephants without Borders" or E.W.B. "Local Extinction" is a reality for many countries in Africa where poaching of elephants is rampant.

Good News regarding Elephant Herds:

However, there is a "Silver Lining" to every dark cloud even amidst the mass slaughter of Elephants in Africa.

There seems to be only "One Country" in Africa that is concerned about "Elephant Poaching". That Country is Botswana. For many years now, Botswana has been a pioneer in "Wildlife Conservation".

In particular, Botswana is a pioneer in "Elephant Conservation". The number of Elephants in Botswana speak for themselves. There are 130,000 African Elephants today in Botswana.

In this regard, Chobe National Park in Northern Botswana is a "Precious Jewel" as far as Elephant Conservation is concerned. Chobe National Park is truly "Elephant Country" and "Elephant Paradise" in more ways than one.

There are approximately 70,000-80,000 Elephants in Chobe National Park today. Chobe National Park is said to have the highest concentration of Elephants in Africa mainky due to tight restrictions on poaching.

In this connection, it must be said that Botswana is home to the largest remaining population of African Elephants in the world also called "Loxodonta Africana".

This is largely thanks to "Government Backed Conservation and Protection Programs" which means poaching in Botswana is the "Least" as compared to other African Countries.

Apart from Chobe National Park in Northern Botswana, the beautiful "Okavango Delta" plays host to 50,000 Elephants in the dry season. The wetlands of Botswana are a veritable stronghold of "Bush Elephants".

Botswana is an anomaly in Southern Africa. It is a relatively stable, peaceful, and prosperous country nestled between Namibia and the Republic of South Africa.

Botswana has emerged as a "Terrific and Peaceful Haven" for vast herds of Savannah Bush Elephants.

Conclusion :

Let us do our utmost in supporting the Government of Botswana in saving Bush Elephants from Organized Poacher Gangs and from Extinction.

The Snow Leopard: Ghost of the Mongolian Mountains

This is an excellent article from the Mountainous Wilderness of Mongolia.


Snow leopards face the threats of poaching, habitat loss and diminishing prey. In remotest Mongolia, a research team is keeping tabs on this iconic and elusive species. 

The trail bike kicked up a plume of dust as it approached across the high desert steppe of south-west Mongolia. Orjan Johansson dismounted, unclipping the body protectors that made him look like the action hero of a computer game. 'There was a leopard in the valley last night,' he said. 'I put my finger in the pee this morning and it was wet.'

Nobody said anything, we just thought it: if the traps had been built yesterday, we might have got one. We might have joined the tiny number of people alive on this planet who have seen a snow leopard in the wild. This most elusive and mysterious of big cats comes along only slightly more often than a unicorn, and if you are not prepared you can regret it for the rest of your life.

Read the full article here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/8207266/The-snow-leopard-ghost-of-the-mountains.html

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Out of the Shadows





The elusive snow leopard steps into a
risk-filled future.

When a snow leopard stalks prey among the mountain walls, it moves on broad paws with extra fur between the toes, softly, slowly, "like snow slipping off a ledge as it melts," Raghu says.

"You almost have to turn away for a minute to tell the animal is going anywhere. If it knocks a stone loose, it will reach out a foot to stop it from falling and making noise." One might be moving right now, perfectly silent and perfectly tensed, maybe close by. But where? That's always the question. That, and how many are left to see?

Raghunandan Singh Chundawat has watched snow leopards as often as anyone alive. The New Delhi biologist studied them closely for five years in Hemis High Altitude National Park in Ladakh, the largest, loftiest district of northern India, and carried out wildlife surveys in the region over nine additional years.

We're in the 1,300-square-mile park this evening, setting up camp in a deeply cleft canyon near 12,000 feet. It's June, and the blue sheep have new lambs.

We keep one eye on a group crossing a scree slope, the other eye on the cliffs at its top. Leopards are ambush hunters that like to attack from above. While the common leopard of Asia and Africa relies on branches and leaves for concealment, the snow leopard loses itself among steep jumbles of stone. This is exactly the kind of setting one would favor. But I'm not holding my breath. Raghu has sighted only a few dozen in his whole career.

Read the Full Article Here : http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/06/snow-leopards/chadwick-text

 

Saving More Than Just Snow Leopards

An Excellent Article on Snow Leopard Conservation. Snow Leopards are endangered throughout their range.



THE cold and rugged mountains of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and China seem an unlikely place to find a flourishing combination of new community institutions and international diplomacy. Few people live there. Those who do are mostly desperately impoverished livestock herders. They have been largely isolated from the rest of humanity on these enormous mountains where the Indian subcontinent once crashed into Asia, buckling the earth’s crust and raising peaks over 20,000 feet.
 
However, despite its isolation — or perhaps because of it — something fascinating has been happening in this cold mountain landscape. Communities are coming together to manage this fragile and unforgiving place, where people scrape a living from sparse alpine pastures. At the same time, neighboring countries are finding ways to cooperate across borders that in recent history have become almost as hostile as the rugged terrain. As odd as it may seem, a big cat is helping to lead the way .

Read The Full Article Here : http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/02/opinion/saving-more-than-just-snow-leopards.html

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Walking with Elephants




Walking in the footsteps of African elephant bull Jabu made us feel more closely connected to elephants than ever before. Working together with Sanctuary Retreats, Living With Elephants gave us the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend time with a trio of orphaned elephants in the Okavango Delta. Despite their large size, elephants walk through the Botswanan bush with a soft tread, intelligent animals that are both strong and gentle.

With its lush floodplains and dry Kalahari sands, northern Botswana is home to some of the world’s biggest elephant herds. Situated on the edge of Chobe National Park, we spent a night at Chobe Chilwero and went on a sundowner cruise amongst the largest remaining elephant population on the planet. At sunset, we watched a family herd with their young calves using their trunks as snorkels to swim across the Chobe River.

Read more here http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/04/25/walking-with-elephants/

Rangers Risk their Lives to Save Forest Elephants

This is an excellent article on Conservation of Forest Elephants from the wilds of Cameroon.




Deep inside Cameroon's Lobeke National Park a team of conservationists venture into the lush rainforest, weaving their way through the bush's narrow paths.Tasked with patrolling the immense park, these eco-guards are on a mission to protect its pristine habitat and the life that resides within. Ever alert, they push deeper into the woods to prevent any illegal activities that could put Lobeke's fragile ecosystem in danger.

Amongst the park's wide array of creatures, there's one species that's particularly vulnerable.
"The major threat is elephant poaching for ivory," says Zacharie Nzooh, who joined the World Wildlife Fund more than 10 years ago.

"There was a big elephant population here," he recalls. "When I first arrived here in 2002, I saw 35 elephants at once. But progressively, despite the efforts put in place to fight poaching, the elephant population continues to dwindle. So we steadily saw their population fall -- [from] seeing 35 elephants on one occasion to seeing only four, three, two or one elephant at a time."


Monday, 10 February 2014

A Voice for Elephants

Check this article out.

Botswana has some of the last remaining free-roaming populations of wild animals on the planet.

Massive breeding herds of elephants are known to move thousands of kilometres across the country’s wild lands, through private farms, national parks, towns and deep into neighbouring countries too. It’s a picture of Africa that one reads about in the history books.

The town of Kasane borders the Chobe National Park in the North of Botswana, and regularly sees all kinds of wildlife pass through, including lion, buffalo, hyena and even the rare sable antelope. This is one of the few places where human infrastructure still grows within these functioning ancient wildlife home ranges

Read More here :

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/12/12/elephant-crossing-urban-wildlife-corridors-could-save-africas-free-roaming-elephants/

Wild Elephant Habitat in the Western Ghats in South West India is in grave danger

This is with regard to the article "Paradise Lost" by Chetan Chauhan published in Sunday Hindustan Times dated 2-2-2014.

I am a Global Wild Elephant Lover and Wildlife Writer and I believe it is my duty to create awareness about the plight of Wild Elephants in various parts of India specially in the Western Ghats. It is shocking to know that the Central Government is totally indifferent about protecting wild elephant habitat in the Western Ghats but is instead trying to market "The Ecologically rich Western Ghats" to Companies that will foster development by destroying it completely.

Recent events in South Maharashtra and Western Maharashtra will illustrate my point. Some weeks back, wild elephants were found in Kolhapur; they had come from Dandeli Forests in Karnataka. This happened because their natural habitat in Karnataka has been taken over by Developers and by Mining Companies.

Wild Elephant habitat is constantly being encroached upon in the Western Ghats specially in the States of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.This must stop.

Asian Elephants are the "Flagship Species" in the Western Ghats specially in Karnataka. Their Genetic diversity is best seen in the Bandipur and Nagarhole Forests. The Asian Elephant is the "National Heritage Animal" of India.

We need to awake from our slumber and protect these mighty Pachyderms and their habitat as soon as possible.


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

An Excellent View on Botswana's Elephants


Crossing the road can be dangerous -- even if you're the largest land animal on the planet.

Thousands of elephants roam Chobe National Park in northern Botswana, a wildlife haven that's home to one of the highest elephant concentrations in Africa. Right next to the vast park lies Kasane, a small town situated on the banks of the Chobe river. Here, humans live side by side with large herds of migrating elephants that wander through the area in search of food and fresh water -- and this has created a lot of tension.

Tadoba Tiger Reserve - The best Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra and in the world

Tadoba Tiger Reserve which is located in Chandrapur district in Eastern Maharashtra is 160 Kms from Nagpur. It is without a doubt, a best kept secret of India.

Tadoba Tiger Reserve is 626 square kilometres long and consists of dense teak and bamboo forests and a river which flows through it. It has plenty of herbivorous prey for tigers specially Gaur- Indian Bison, Sambhars, spotted deer, and barking deer to mention a few.

The birth of 38 Tiger Cubs from 2010 till today proves that Tadoba Tiger Reserve has the finest Tiger habitat not only in Maharashtra but in the world. The State's oldest national park has rich wildlife habitat and is the perfect breeding place for Tigers.

The presence of a large number of tigers in Tadoba more than 100 at the latest count seems to suggest that this is a good sign for the conservation of Tigers particularly in Vidarbha.

Devdoh which is the park's perennial water source on the boundary of Tadoba and Moharli Forests is home to a large number of Tiger Cubs and Tigress's. At the Devdoh Forest Range and Moharli Forest Range one can see breeding tigress's in all their beauty and glory.

Tadoba Tiger Reserve is a "Game Rich Forest" and can be called "Tiger Country" in more ways than one now in 2014. 

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Introduction

My name is Eustace D'sa.  I am a Wildlife Writer and Wildlife Blogger. I am passionate about saving Wildlife specially "critically endangered Mammals".

This Blog is dedicated to all Global Wild Denizens who live in various National Parks in Africa, South Asia, Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

In particular, this blog is focused on conservation of Kalahari Bush Elephants who live in Botswana, Forest Elephants who live in Gabon in Central Africa, Desert Elephants who live in Namibia, Polar Bears who live in the Canadian Arctic, Royal Bengal Tigers who live in various parts of India, Kangaroos who live in Australia, and Black and Brown Bears who live in various parts of Europe and North America.

Today, Africa is turning out to be a horrendous place for Elephant Herds more like a nightmare. From Kenya to Zimbabwe, African Elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory. This Blog will try to create awareness about African Elephants and where they live.

Safe places for African Elephants will be promoted by this Blog. This Blog will also promote groups that foster wildlife conservation in the wildest places on earth.