Thursday, 28 July 2016

Wild Indian Elephants -- Is Anyone concerned about them at all ??

I am gravely disturbed and distressed about the death of several wild indian elephants from Assam in North East India to Orissa in Eastern India and from Jharkhand in Central India to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in Southern India.

As, a 'Global Wild Elephant Lover' and Freelance Wildlife Writer -- I believe it is part of my duty to create awareness about the plight of wild elephants in various parts of India.

However, what disturbs me the most is the ''Gross Indifference'' by Humans who live in various urban cities in India to the plight of wild elephants particularly in Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.

In Assam, more than a Dozen Wild Elephants were run over and horrendously killed by callous super fast trains in Karbi Anglong District in Assam as well as near Guwahati -- the State Capital of Assam between January 2010 and August 2010 respectively.

Similarly, in Jalpaiguri District in West Bengal 7 Wild Elephants were mowed down by a callous goods train in September 2010.

To make matters worse, some baby elephants along with their mothers have been dragged by these callous trains all along rail lines in Assam; till they were left in a disfigured state. These incidents took place in Assam in January and March 2010 respectively.

In Orissa, between 20-40 Wild Elephants were slaughtered en masse by organized poacher gangs in collusion with illegal ivory traders in Similipal Reserved Forest in the month of April 2010 and May 2010 respectively.

The carcasses of many of these pachyderms were discovered by environmentalists and wildlife conservationists during the annual census which was conducted in Similipal in the month of April and of May 2010.

We still do not know the actual number of Wild Elephants that were horrendously slaughtered in Similipal in April 2010 simply because of the remote wilderness that surrounds Similipal Biosphere Reserve.

In Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Tuskers are routinely shot dead by vile poacher gangs specially in and around Bannerghatta National Park as well as in reserved forests that surround Mysore.

No one seems bothered about the death of Wild Elephants in Similipal or in Assam or anywhere else for that matter. Most Urbanites seem to be only concerned about money and going to the latest pub or night club. Those who are interested in the safety of ''Wild Elephants' are few and far between.

It is extremely sad that wild elephants in many parts of India are being slaughtered for their ivory.

Therefore, I appeal to anyone and everyone to raise this issue about the plight of wild elephants in India with any concerned Government Official.


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Wild Maharashtra -- A Tiger Paradise

1) Tadoba Tiger Reserve :

This Tiger Reserve situated in Eastern Vidarbha has one of the best forest tracks in India.

It's one of the few tiger reserves in Maharashtra where the chances of spotting a Tiger are high.

A Deciduous Forest right in the centre of India -- Tadoba is also home to Spotted Leopards, Sloth Bears, Four-Horned Antelope, Wild Dog, Flying Squirrel, and Porcupines.

In 2010 and 2012, A Large Number of Tiger Cubs were spotted in a number of forest ranges in Tadoba.

For Example : Three Tiger Cubs were spotted near Devdoh Forest Range in 2010. This was the second sighting in as many months.

The Birth of 11 Tiger Cubs to Three different Tigresses in 8 Months has proved that the State's Oldest National Park has rich wildlife habitat specially with regard to prey for Tigers and is the perfect breeding place for Tigers.

This seems to be a good sign with regard to the long term future for Tigers specially in Vidarbha.

Devdoh is the Park's perennial water source, located on the boundary of Tadoba and Moharli Forests.

A Tigress who had marked this area as her territory delivered a number of Tiger Cubs in the Summer of 2010.

Tadoba Tiger Reserve was the first tiger reserve in the country to spot as many as 32 Tiger Cubs since January 2010.

2) Melghat Tiger Reserve :

This Tiger Reserve is situated in the Amravati District in Maharashtra's Vidarbha Region.

This Tiger Reserve is home to around 50 Tigers and an equal number of spotted leopards.

Note :

99 Tigers and 96 Leopards were spotted in one day at different tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries all across the State of Maharashtra in 2012.

During this time, 45 Adult and Sub Adult Tigers were spotted in Tadoba Tiger Reserve while 22 Tigers were spotted at Melghat Tiger Reserve in Amravati District.

As many as 7 Tigers and an equal number of leopards were spotted in Nagzira Tiger Reserve in Gondia District.

This proves amply that Maharashtra is a Tiger Haven in more ways than one.

Credits and References :

1) 99 Tigers spotted  in one day during Census
    by Pradip Kumar Maitra
    Hindustan Times May 15, 2012

2) Spotted 3 Cubs in Vidarbha's Reserve
     By Pradip Kumar Maitra
     Page 12 HT Nation
     Hindustan Times July 2010

FYI -- Maharashtra is the State in Western India of which Mumbai is its Commercial Capital.


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Madhya Pradesh -------- Destination Wildlife

1. Kanha Tiger Reserve -- Kipling Country :

Kanha is truly the "Jewel" of Madhya Pradesh as far as Tiger Reserves in India are concerned. It is a rich Sal Forest which is home to the hardground Barasingha also known as "Swamp Deer" and also home to Majestic and Magnificent Royal Bengal Tigers for a number of decades.

Kanha is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Asia. It is one of the first Project Tiger Reserves in India. The Natural Splendour of Kanha was created in 1974 under Project Tiger. The Park is one of the few remaining habitats in India of the rare hardground barasingha.

It is spread over 950 Square Kilometres and is outstanding for its natural beauty. It is renowned worldwide for its extensive bamboo forests and rolling savannah like grasslands.

Kanha is often called "Kipling Country" as the natural splendour of Kanha had bewitched Rudyard Kipling to write his now famous "Jungle Book" in the 19th Century.

Kanha Tiger Reserve was also the location for a famous "BBC Natural World" Wildlife Documentary which was shot at Kanha a number of years ago.

It is called the "Tiger" and it is narrated by David Attenborough and it takes you through Families of Tigers that have grown up in Kanha for a number of years.

Kanha is also famous for being the first wildlife sanctuary in India where a famous American Wildlife Biologist, namely Dr. George Schaller conducted a scientific study on Tigers and on Tiger Habitat in the 1960's.

There were 100 Tigers in Kanha as per the census conducted in 2014-2015.

2. Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve -- Big Cat Paradise :

Bandhavgarh is a small national park where the density of tigers is the highest in Central India, so sighting the Big Cat in the wild is almost certain.

Bandhavgarh covers an area of 448 square kilometres and is situated in Shahdol District among the outlying hills of the Vindhya Ranges.

At the Centre of the Park, is Bandhavgarh Hill rising 811 metres above sea level.

Surrounding it,  are a large number of smaller hills separated by gently sloping valleys. These Valleys end in small swampy meadows locally known as "Bohera".

The Tiger Reserve in Bandhavgarh is graced with an ineffable quality, a vast purity about it. Sal - dominated Forests blessed by fragile to tough topography hold pristine bamboo groves, life giving grasslands.

Golden Green Foliage drapes tropical valleys and meadows along the Charanganga River. Quietly lapping streams -- the Tiger's precious watering holes ripple forth serene circles.

Unique, Humbling, this is sacred space. One is fully alive here. Bandhavgarh was home to famous tigers such as Charger and Sita in the 1990's. The Deciduous Landscape which encompasses Bandhavgarh is home to numerous species of deer, sloth bears, jackals, and foxes.

Bandhavgarh's 276 Bird Species, 39 Species of Mammals, and 515 Species of Plants make it a carbon sink to beat back climate change.

According to the 2014-2015 Census, there were more than 40 Tigers in Bandhavgarh.

3. Pench Tiger Reserve -- Land of Mowgli :

Pench Tiger Reserve located in Seoni District in Madhya Pradesh is 80 Kilometres from Nagpur City. It was the setting of Rudyard Kipling's famous book "Jungle Book".

Rudyard Kipling based Mowgli on William Henry Sleeman's pamphlet "An Account of Wolves nurturing children in their dens" which describes a wolf - boy captured in Sant Baori village of Seoni in 1831.

Many places mentioned in Jungle Book have been identified as actual locations in Seoni-- River Wainganga with its gorge, Kanhiwara village, and the Seoni Hills.

One can see groups of spotted deer whose present population is over 20,000, Sambhar Deer, Wild Boars, Jackals, and Owls when visiting Pench.

Pench Tiger Reserve consists of tropical dry deciduous teak forests interspersed with bamboo trees which provide perfect camouflage for Majestic Bengal Tigers.

In the Book "Tiger Fire" by Valmik Thapar, there is an outstanding photo of a Tigress walking with 5 Sub -Adult Tiger Cubs in a Forest Range in Pench. That Picture will remain forever etched in my memory.

As per the Tiger Census in 2014-2015, there were 40 Tigers in Pench.

Credits and References :

The King and I
By Prerna Singh Bindra
Published by Rupa Books