Saturday, 19 August 2017

All You want to know about Clouded Leopards

Clouded Leopards are Big Cat Predators that are endemic to South- East Asia's Tropical Rain Forests.

They essentially live on Branches of Trees that is why they are called "Arboreal". 

Here is some interesting information on them.

1) The clouded leopard: conserving Asia’s elusive arboreal acrobat

https://news.mongabay.com/2017/02/the-clouded-leopard-conserving-asias-elusive-arboreal-acrobat/

2)  A clouded future: Asia’s enigmatic clouded leopard threatened by palm oil
 
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/08/a-clouded-future-asias-enigmatic-clouded-leopard-threatened-by-palm-oil

 

Friday, 11 August 2017

World Elephant Day August 12, 2017

Today August 12, 2017 is World Elephant Day. On this Day, I remember all the Wild Elephant Herds that live in National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries from Orissa to Kerala in India.

I also remember the Savannah Bush Elephants that live in National Parks in Africa from Botswana to Kenya and the Forest Elephants that are midgets that live in Equatorial Rain Forests in Central Africa specially in Gabon and in the Republic of the Congo.

Asian Elephants that live in Wildlife Sanctuaries in India are endangered because of Habitat Degradation. The best places in India to see Asian Elephant Herds are Nagarhole National Park and Bandipur National Park in Karnataka respectively as well as Mudumalai Wildlife Reserve in Tamil Nadu and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala.

The Family Life of Asian Elephant Herds is really amazing. One can see firsthand how Sick and Elderly Elephants are taken care of by the Matriarch who leads them as well as by Younger Elephants in the Herd.

Asian Elephants are the Flagship Species of South India's varied forests specially in the Nilgiris.

In Africa, Savannah Bush Elephants and Forest Elephants face the terrible threat of extermination because of rampant poaching for their tusks.

This situation has assumed catastrophic consequences in Minkebe National Park in Gabon where 80% of the Forest Elephants have been exterminated by poachers.

Forest Elephants in Central Africa help the Forest to grow because of their unique digestive system which promotes the germination of plants in the Equatorial Rain Forests.

Botswana is the only country in Africa which seems to be a safe abode for Wild Savannah Bush Elephants. This Fact has been observed in Chobe National Park as well as in the beautiful and amazing Moremi Game Reserve which is at the entrance of the vast Okavango Delta.

Elephant Herds in Botswana are plentiful and can be seen engaging in a range of activities specially in the Okavango Delta. In the Delta, They like to swim and have a bath while keeping an eye out for Predators that are capable of preying on Baby Elephants.

Elephants in Botswana like to have a Mud Bath so as to keep Parasites away. They drink upto 84 Litres of water a day which their system constantly needs.

Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana is a Reserve with a high density of Elephants even though water is scarce.

Lastly, but not the least I would like to talk about Desert Elephants that live in the Northern Namibian Desert as well as on the Fringes of the Sahara in Mali in West Africa.

These Desert Elephants in Namibia and Mali are Hardy Elephants in the sense they can go without water for 3-4 days at a time. They also constantly face threats from poachers and could go extinct if poaching continues relentlessly.

 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

I Wish The Botswana Govt Would Sponsor Me For Botswana Citizenship and Botswana Passport

This is True.

I love Botswana immensely.

Botswana is the best country in Africa to live in as well as possibly one of the best countries in the world.

I wish to live in Botswana forever so that I can dedicate my whole life to saving Botswana's amazing wildlife such as its Elephant Herds, White Rhinos, and Cheetahs to name a few.

I hope Minister and Member of Botswana's Parliament Tshekedi Khama reads this blog post of mine.

My Favourite Game Reserves in Botswana are Chobe National Park, Mashatu Game Reserve, and Moremi Game Reserve to name a few.

Chobe National Park is home to Hundreds of Elephants that swim the mighty Chobe River at any given time.

The Khama Sanctuary is well known for its Precious White Rhinos and Moremi Game Reserve which is situated at the entrance of the Beautiful Okavango Delta is well known for its migrating elephants as well as Cheetahs that drown their prey in the swirling waters of the Okavango Delta before they consume it.

Mashatu Game Reserve is well known for its high density of Cheetahs and Cheetah Cubs that roam over 90,000 Acres of pure wilderness.

I constantly live for Botswana Citizenship and for Botswana Passport too.

It is my only reason for living in this world.

Botswana is a country that is up and coming in every sense of the word.

Apart, from its amazing wildlife it has numerous Diamond Mines that help it to earn a decent income.

Botswana is Pro- Wildlife in every sense of the word and is very conscious as a World Leader in the Field of Eco-Tourism.

Simply because of my Love for Botswana's Wildlife I wish to be a Citizen of Botswana.

From the age of 8, I have had a deep rooted love for African Wildlife from all perspectives.

I love Botswana Period.



Thursday, 3 August 2017

I wish to live among Snow Leopard Families in China or in Mongolia

Snow Leopards are my favourite Big Cats.

They are strikingly beautiful rare animals.

Their Fur is 5 Inches thick which is necessary to live in Hostile Cold Weather.

They are essentially quite harmless as far as Big Cat Predators are concerned.

There is no evidence to suggest that they have ever been Man -Eaters.

They essentially prey on Wild Goats and Wild Sheep found in the Alpine Ecosystem.

If they cannot find Wild Prey easily, they sometimes prey on Domestic Livestock.

I wish to live among Snow Leopard Families for a few months in the near future in Quinghai Province in China where Snow Leopards are fairly abundant or in the Tost Mountain Range in Mongolia.

Quinghai Province in China is a beautiful part of China with steep cliffs, gorges, and caves all familiar territory for Snow Leopards. It is specially beautiful when it snows there.

I would like to set up base camp near Quinghai Province so that I can observe and study Snow Leopards in greater detail. My Ultimate Aim is to write a Coffee Tabler on Snow Leopards that live in various Mountain Ranges in China.

In particular, I would like to study the Predator - Prey Relationship in Quinghai Province.

If China is not a workable option, I would like to live among Snow Leopard Families in the Tost Mountain Range in Mongolia which is covered by a significant part of the Gobi Desert.

Snow Leopards are my best friends in the world. Since, I am a Big Cat Lover I do not fancy Human Company a lot.

Wild Animals like Snow Leopards are my Kith and Kin. 

 

Saturday, 29 July 2017

World Tiger Day 2017 July 29

Today is World Tiger Day.

On this day we remember Iconic Tigresses of the past like Machli of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in the State of Rajasthan in North - West India.

We also remember Iconic Tigresses that are still living like Katrina of Bor Tiger Reserve from Maharashtra State and Collarwali of Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh State.

Tigers are Flagship Species of Temperate and Sub- Tropical Forests from Siberia to India.

In Siberia, Tigers are the biggest in size but face a lot of threats most specially from Poachers for their body parts.

In the Indian Subcontinent, Tiger Families face a multitude of threats like Habitat Degradation and relentless poaching for their body parts to be made into "Tiger Wine" or to be used as Aphrodisiacs in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The State of Uttarakhand in North India and the State of Karnataka in South India are veritable "Tiger Strongholds". They have the best Tiger Habitat and are Game Rich Forests with lots of prey.

Sumatran Tigers are the smallest of all Tigers in the world and are currently "Critically Endangered".

Sumatran Tigers are constantly losing their homes to Agriculturists, Pastoralists, and Mining Companies in Indonesia. Poaching them makes the situation worse than it already is.

The Tiger Population in India is key to the "Mushrooming of the Species".

70% of the World's Tigers live in India.

Tigers need to be protected in India like no tomorrow if they are to exist for many generations to come.


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Snow Leopards -- Precious Felines of Asia's Snow Bound Mountains

Introduction :

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing about Snow Leopards and their Conservation.

Bound to Craggy Cliffs, Snow Leopards have always been present at "Low Densities" but what is shocking is their "Mass Slaughter" by Poachers in recent years in India, China, and Mongolia.

The Daily Mail -- A British Tabloid reported in March 2017 that Poachers in India kill 45 Snow Leopards a Year.

That is "Terrible". It is bad enough that there are only 500-600 Snow Leopards at the most in the Wild in India specially in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jammu and Kashmir to mention a few.

These Wild Cats continue to be killed for their "Magnificent Coats" worth a fortune in the Black Market and for their Bones which are promoted as "Tonics" in South - East Asia.

Their Prey :

Snow Leopards prey on Herbivorous Hoofed Wildlife such as Ibex, Argali, Urial Sheep, Blue Sheep, as well as Goat Antelopes known as Gorals and Serows as well as Tibetan Antelopes, numerous Gazelles, Musk Deer etc.

Snow Leopards are a "Key Indicator" of the well being of the Alpine and Sub- Alpine Ecosystem.

They influence the numbers and whereabouts of "Hoofed Herbivorous Herds" over a long period of time.

Thus, It can be said that the Snow Leopard is a "Keystone Species" in more ways than one.

Conclusion :

It has to be said right here and now that Snow Leopards control the number of Wild Sheep and Wild Goats that otherwise might overrun and overgraze Grasslands within Snow Bound Mountains.

Is there a Future for Wild Snow Leopards particularly in India ??

Going by reports concerning their poaching, It does not seem like. Yet, Snow Leopards have that uncanny ability to survive in dire circumstances.

Only Strict Conservation and Strict Protection can protect them for future generations to come.

We should have a "Vested Interest" in keeping Snow Leopards alive simply and solely for the reason that they control the population of Wild Herbivores.

Credits :

Out of the Shadows by Douglas Chadwick
Pages 114-120, National Geographic Magazine
June 2008, Vol -213, N0-6

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

SriLankan Leopards -- Big Cat Predators of the Emerald Isles

Introduction :

The SriLankan Leopard is one of 8-9 recognized Subspecies of Leopard.

It is an Apex Predator in the Island of Sri Lanka, meaning to say it has no natural foes that compete with it for food.

The SriLankan Leopard has existed for Thousands of Years in Sri Lanka making it "Endemic" to the Island. It is a distinct species as compared to Leopards elsewhere.

Biologists now say that the SriLankan Leopard living in Yala National Park in Sri Lanka is the biggest of all Leopards that exist on Planet Earth.

SriLankan Leopards have a presence in all National Parks and Forest Reserves in the Island, but it is in Yala National Park where their "Density" is the highest.

This is probably due to the fact that in Yala National Park, Prey in the form of Spotted Deer is available in plenty.

Prey :

The SriLankan Leopard has the most varied diet, A Big Cat Predator can have.

In Sri Lanka's South, namely in Yala National Park -- Herds of Spotted Deer make up its diet.

But, that is not to say it cannot tackle bigger prey like Water Buffalo.

This shows us that the SriLankan Leopard has a "Unique Position" at the top of the food chain in the Forest Ecosystem in Sri Lanka.

There are currently 900 SriLankan Leopards in the Wild on the Island of SriLanka.

Threats :

The Biggest Threat to the safety of SriLankan Leopards is Poaching and Habitat Degradation.

Poisoning of Leopards is quite common in areas with High Human Habitation.

This must stop immediately.

Conclusion :

These Magnificent Mammals are mostly arboreal that is they live on trees and are usually nocturnal and solitary with the exception of Females with Cubs.

Both Sexes of Leopards are "Highly Territorial" but territories of Males tend to overlap with some Females.

The Breeding Season of SriLankan Leopards is usually from May to July and the litter size is usually 2-3 Cubs.

The need of the Hour in SriLanka is strict conservation with regard to this Big Cat Predator and specially strict protection in unprotected areas throughout the length and breadth of Sri Lanka.

Credits :

1) Meet the Leopards of Sri Lanka
    By Chrissie Goldrick
    Australian Geographic
    December 05, 2013

2)  Lankan Leopard in the Spotlight
      By Himal Kotelawala






Sunday, 9 July 2017

Arabian Leopards -- Flagship Species of the Persian Gulf

Introduction :

Arabian Leopards were once found in plenty from Saudi Arabia to Oman and from Oman to Israel.

Today, They are restricted to "Protected Areas" in Southern Oman.

In Southern Oman, They can be found in Fair Numbers in "Jabal Samhan Nature Reserve" -- A Rugged Mountain Range comprising of plateaus and rocky paths where temperatures in Summer hover around 46 Degrees Celsius.

The "Arabian Leopard" is one of the Big Cat Predators that is extremely "Rare and Elusive".

The Arabian Leopard is considered to be a Beautiful and Magnificent Animal -- All in One.

It is 4 Feet 4 Inches Tall and considered to be one of the smallest leopards still living on Planet Earth.

Male Arabian Leopards are usually around 25-35 Kilos in Weight, While Female Arabian Leopards are around 20 Kilos in Weight.

The Habitat that Arabian Leopards prefer is Arid- Mountainous Areas with Oasis that have Permanent Drinking Water.

Prey of Arabian Leopards :

Arabian Leopards are the "Apex Predators" in the Arabian Desert Region. They prey exclusively on Desert Dwelling Gazelles as well as on Ibex that are found near Oasis in the form of "Mini- Herds".

What is most beautiful about Arabian Leopards are its black rosettes on its creamy yellow coloured skin. Isn't that Outstanding !!

Between 1997 - 2000 Camera Trap Images revealed that there were 15 Leopards at Jabal Samhan Nature Reserve as a Breeding Population.

They consisted of 9 Female Arabian Leopards, Five Male Arabian Leopards, and most interestingly a Cub.

Threats to Arabian Leopards :

The Biggest Threat to Arabian Leopards are "Habitat Degradation" and Poaching for their Skins by the local population. Often They are killed by local herdsmen when their livestock are killed and eaten by Arabian Leopards.

Conclusion :

Arabian Leopards need to win over the Hearts and Minds of the Local Population not only in Oman but elsewhere where they are found. They Should not be seen as Pests but rather as a vital part of the ecology of that region.

Credits :

The Last Lair of the Leopard
By Anna McKibbin



Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Help Save The Last Saharan Cheetahs from Extinction

Introduction :

Deserts cover a large portion of the Earth's Mass.

There are Herbivorous and Carnivorous Species that live in Desert Areas, making some Deserts a "Potential Bio-Diversity Hotspot".

There are many species that live under "Harsh Conditions" in Desert Regions.

In an Environment, like the Sahara Desert in West Africa and North Africa "Low Precipitation" is the norm.

Herbivorous Prey are normally found in the Sahara Desert in small numbers.

Ditto is the case for Big Cat Predators that live on the periphery or in the Sahara Desert itself.

The Last Saharan Cheetahs :

One such Big Cat Predator that is rare, elusive, and found in the Sahara Desert is the "Saharan Cheetah".

It is a "Critically Endangered" Big Cat Predator mostly found in the Desert Regions of Algeria and Mali.

That, there exists Saharan Cheetahs in the Sahara Desert and in the neighboring Sahel Region is new to Scientists and Wildlife Biologists.

This Saharan Cheetah is a "Resilient" Big Cat Predator living in extremely harsh conditions where Herbivorous Prey and Water are hard to find.

Scientists, say that there are roughly 200 odd Saharan Cheetahs most of whom who live in Southern Algeria and in Mali.

The remainder live in arid areas of the Saharan Desert in countries such as Niger, Benin, and Burkina Faso.

Saharan Cheetahs in Algeria and Mali have been found to be active almost completely at night when temperatures in the Desert are at their lowest.

Saharan Cheetahs have been found preying on 2 Kinds of Desert Dwelling Gazelles.

They are Dama's Gazelle and Dorca's Gazelle. This has been conclusively established by Camera Traps.

Conclusion :

Saharan Cheetahs desperately need our help today. Let us do something constructive for them.

Credits :

1) The National Center for Biotechnology Information on the Saharan Cheetah.

2) Daily Kos -- "Ghost in the Sand Dunes, The Cheetahs of the Sahara.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Help Save Rare Desert Elephants of Mali

Introduction :

The Republic of Mali which is situated in Western Africa is a Landlocked Country of over 1 Million Square Kilometres.

Vegetation ranges from "Desertification" in the Northern Half of the Country to Savannah Grasslands in the Southern Half of the Country.

The Climatic Conditions in the Northern Half of the country is "Scanty Rainfall". There is a Wet Season in the Southern Half of the Country which commences in June and ends in October.

The Dry Season from February to June is the Driest and Hottest Time of the Year with temperatures crossing 40 degrees celsius on a daily basis.

Elephants in West Africa :

African Elephants had a large range in Western Africa stretching from Coastal Forests in the Ivory Coast right to the heart of the Sahara Desert.

The Destruction caused by widespread poaching to Elephant Populations has been extremely shocking to say the least.

The Current Population of Desert Elephants in the Gourma Region of Mali stands at 300 and rapidly declining because of rampant poaching in 2015 which resulted in the untimely death of more than 50 Desert Elephants for their "Precious Tusks".

Desert Elephants of Mali's distant "Gourma Region" bordering the country of Burkina Faso also situated in West Africa is the northern most "Elephant Population" in existence since the total extermination of Mauritania's Elephants in the 1980's.

FYI -- Mauritania is a country based in West Africa.

Desert Elephants of Mali are the only remaining population of Elephants once found in plenty across the Sahel Region in West Africa.

Conclusion :

A French School Teacher by the name of Bruno La Marche did an extensive study of these Desert Elephants where he found that they lived in relative harmony with Nomadic Touareg Pastoralists.

Desert Elephants of Mali are "Unique Elephants" as they are highly adapted to the Harsh Desert Conditions. They can go for many days without water due to their unique adaptation of the Local Environment.

Note :

Let us take a stand right now against the rampant and widespread poaching of these Desert Pachyderms.

Credits :

Research Gate -- Ranging Behavior, Population Status, and Recent History of Desert Elephants of Mali.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Botswana -- The Land of Giants

Despite their large size, African Bush Elephants walk through the Bush in Botswana softly -- Animals that are highly intelligent as well as strong and gentle.

With its immense floodplains and extremely dry Kalahari Sands -- Northern Botswana is home to the biggest African Elephant Herds in the world.

Often at Sunset, one can watch Family Herds with their young calves making use of their trunks to swim across the mighty Chobe River.

The Dry Season from May to November induces large groups of African Elephants to get to the Chobe River for drinking and bathing. They come in such immense numbers that it gives wildlife tourists to see these Pachyderms in a variety of ways -- namely in the water, on land, and up close and personal.

Adult African Elephants eat at least 140 Kilos of Grass, Fruits, and Vegetables found in the wild.

They drink up to 220 Litres of water every day.

But, what is the best thing to watch in Chobe National Park and in the adjoining Okavango Delta is Elephants taking a Mud Bath. This Mud Bath not only cools down the elephant when it is extremely warm but keeps nagging parasites away.

In Northern Botswana -- One can see various sex segregated herds of elephants like Herds led by Grandmothers and Bachelor Herds led ably by Patriarch Elephants.

Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve, and Mashatu Game Reserve are some of the places in Botswana to see these amazing herds.


Saturday, 17 June 2017

Snow Leopards -- Charismatic Felines of Russia's Altai Mountains

Introduction :

The Snow Leopard is so "Rare and Elusive" that its often known as a 'Ghost' that moves between Mountain Range and Mountain Range.

But, in the Altai Mountains in Southern Siberia one often comes across this Magnificent and Beautiful Big Cat Predator.

In Sailyugem National Park in Russia's Altai Republic -- Camera Traps that are sophisticated and modern are keeping track of these wild cats.

These Camera Traps are installed on Ridges where these beautiful cats can often be seen travelling for prey such as Ibex and Musk Deer.

In Sailyugem National Park, Snow Leopards are found in inaccessible and remote cliffs where winter temperatures can plunge to 45 degrees below zero.

Camera Traps help Scientists and Biologists identify single snow leopards from their unique system of Rosettes on their grey fur.

The Snow Leopard is venerated as an animal sent by God by the simple people of the Altai Republic.

Snow Leopard Paintings and Engravings can be found all over the mountainous areas of the Altai Republic.

In Russia, an estimated 70-90 Snow Leopards are thought to exist in the wild specially in and around cliffs and ridges in Southern Siberia.

Snow Leopards live in remote parts of Russia untouched by Man and His Destructive Developer Ways.

Snow Leopards in Southern Siberia face a multitude of threats today.

The most important being 'Poaching' for their skins and bones which are most desired in Far East Traditional Medicine.

Zero Tolerance towards poaching of Snow Leopards must be observed.

Conclusion :

To ensure, a healthy population of Snow Leopards in Russia -- We must first ensure that they have a good "Prey Base" most notably Ibex, Musk Deer, and Argali.

These are Antelopes/Mountain Sheep/Mountain Goats that provide a regular meal for Snow Leopards -- "Rain or Shine".

Credits :

1) Russia's Rare Snow Leopards find protection in Camera Traps by Alec Luhn
       The Guardian Newspaper, March 2017

2)  Stunning Rare Footage reveals Elusive Snow Leopards
        National Geographic, April 2017
       


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Rare Big Cat Predators of the Northern Namibian Desert

Introduction :

Namibia is a Country situated in South -West Africa. It is a Hot and Dry Country which has a border with South Africa and Botswana respectively. Namibia has a number of Wildlife Parks and Game Reserves encompassing the Northern Namibian Desert -- A Place full of sand dunes and not much life.

Desert Lions are rare Big Cat Predators that live in the hostile Northern Namibian Desert and adjoining Skeleton Coast, an equally hostile and formidable habitat for any wild denizen.

Desert Lions were recorded living along the Skeleton Coast and Northern Namibian Desert in the early 20th Century. They were considered to be in plenty between the Kunene River and the Kuiseb River along regions and mountains that abut the coastline of Namibia.

In 1967, the formidable Skeleton Coast Region was declared a National Park and sightings of Desert Lions were recorded. In the early 1980's, Desert Lions were observed on Beaches along Namibia's Skeleton Coast feeding on Beached Whales and Seals.

Namibia's Unique and Rare Desert Lions live in the seemingly hostile Namibian Desert where Herbivorous Prey like Springbok and Oryx are not many.

However, over the past few decades the population of Springbok and Oryx has been growing albeit slowly.

Desert Lions get all the nutrition and water they want from the Herbivorous Prey that they hunt and kill.

In 1998, there were only 20 Desert Lions left in the wilds of the Northern Namibian Desert. Today, there are 125 left in the Namibian Desert.

This is thanks to Community Conservation Programs and the foresight of One Man -- Dr Philip Stander.

His Objective is simple. To increase the population of Desert Lions and to successfully monitor them through Satellite Technology. He considers the increase in Herbivorous Prey to be an equally important factor in Desert Lion Conservation.

Conclusion :

It is my Hope and Prayer that Desert Lions will exist for many more years to come in the Harsh Namibian Desert.

Credits :

1) Zambezi Safari and Travel Company -- Desert Lions of the Kaokoveld, Namibia.

2)  The Escape, Australia : On Namibia's Skeleton Coast a pride of rare desert lions is slowly growing by Tony Park November 27, 2015.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Clouded Leopards -- Beautiful Big Cat Predators of South Asia and South East Asia

Introduction :

Clouded Leopards are "Charismatic Felines" who are primarily found in Tropical and Sub - Tropical Rain Forests in North- East India and in some Forested Areas of North Bengal.

In India, Clouded Leopards are exclusively found in Dense Forested Areas in the States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Nagaland.

Clouded Leopards are elusive and are masters of the art of camouflage. They primarily live on trees and hunt only in the night. They are essentially "Arboreal".

That is to say, they spend all their time and sometimes when hunting for natural prey on Trees and on branches of trees.

In South - East Asia, Clouded Leopards are found in Tropical Rain Forests in Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia and in East and West Kalimantan in Indonesia.

A few Clouded Leopards are even found in Nepal.

Clouded Leopards are Beautiful Big Cat Predators because of their Greyish-Yellowish-Blackish Fur with Black Spots all across the Body.

Clouded Leopards found in South - East Asia are magnificent because of their Rich Black and Yellow Fur.

Eating Habits :

Since, Clouded Leopards live on trees for most of the day -- It has been documented by Wildlife Conservationists that these Clouded Leopards kill a wide range of Monkeys which they eat on a day to day basis.

They normally kill and eat Rhesus Macaque Monkeys who also live on trees and are thus easy victims as "Prey" for Clouded Leopards.

Other than this, it has been documented by Wildlife Biologists studying Clouded Leopards that Clouded Leopards are capable of killing and eating a variety of Deer Species most notably Hog Deer and Barking Deer.

Breeding Behaviour :

The Home Range of most Male Clouded Leopards seems to overlap with Female Clouded Leopards in several forested areas of South East Asia.

Breeding between Male and Female Clouded Leopards seems to be seasonal in South East Asia and in North East India's Forests.

The gestation period of Female Clouded Leopards seems to be 3 Months according to Wildlife Biologists that have studied them up, close, and personal.

The average size of a Clouded Leopard's Family of Young Ones seems to be between 3-5 young cubs.

Male and Female Clouded Leopards are sexually mature when they are 2-3 years of age.

Conclusion :

Clouded Leopards today are threatened by Poaching and Deforestation all over their range.

The Skin and Bones of Clouded Leopards are in much demand in Illegal Markets that thrive in South East Asia.

Let us take a stand right now to save these Beautiful Big Cat Predators of South East Asia and North - East India.

Credits and References :

Wikipedia on the Clouded Leopard

Friday, 26 May 2017

Ian Khama -- My Role Model and Hero in Life

It has to be said right here and now that Botswana is blessed to have Ian Khama as its President.

Ian Khama is the best Conservationist minded President Botswana has ever had.

Africa is a Blessed Continent to have a "First Class Statesman" in Ian Khama.

A Little about him now :

Ian Khama was educated in the United Kingdom completely and graduated from Sandhurst Military School -- A Prestigious Institute in the United Kingdom.

Some years ago, Ian Khama returned to Botswana to head its armed forces. He has been twice elected and voted in as the President of Botswana by the people of Botswana.

Ian Khama is deeply concerned about the health, safety, and welfare of various wild denizens in Botswana but specially Vast Elephant Herds, White Rhinos, and last but not the least Cheetahs.

To protect them, He instituted and created the Botswana Defence Force or BDF in short to protect wildlife effectively in Botswana.

Ian Khama lastly is also concerned about the economic prosperity of Botswana, namely its Diamond Mining Business and Beef Export Business.

It is due to him that Botswana is an Upper Middle Level Income Country.

I like him a lot as He is a "Strict Disciplinarian". 


Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Okavango Delta -- A Haven and a Magnet for Wildlife

Introduction :

Unlike other sweet water rivers in Africa, the Okavango does not enter any ocean on its 1,000 KM plus journey from its source in the Mountains of Angola to where it spills all over into a vast wetland like region further in the interior of Northern Botswana.

Around 90 % of the waters in the Okavango Delta, evaporate and are continuously replaced by annual rainy weather in the Angolan Mountains and also much further south in Botswana.

The Delta's Wetlands spread over 28,000 square kilometres all in the heart of the extremely hot and dry Kalahari Desert.

The annual floods which occur when it is dry in the Okavango Delta attract wild denizens from far and close specially migrating Savannah Bush Elephant Herds and various herds of Zebra from neighbouring African Countries which share a border with Botswana.

From what is happening at the Okavango Delta Year in and Year Out -- countless species of animals depend on this water source.

The various channels and islands that comprise the vast Okavango Delta are a veritable stronghold of Wild Denizens specially Mammals.

The large patchwork of islands, channels, and Floodplains of the Okavango Delta are a seasonal refuge for thousands and thousands of Elephants, Buffaloes, Wildebeests, and various kinds of Antelopes.

The Okavango Delta was recently named as an outstanding World Heritage Site. This is a great achievement for Botswana's Natural History.

The Okavango Delta is truly one of the last sanctuaries for Mammalian Wildlife on the African Continent.

It is quite usual to see Giraffes dashing between islands in the Okavango Delta as is the case with Herds of Wild Buffaloes.

It is important to state here that the waterways, lagoons, and islands that comprise the Okavango Delta are a perfect habitat for large groups of Hippos.

Moremi Game Reserve which comprises 40 % of the Okavango Delta is home to the Big Five -- namely Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino, and Buffalo.

Rhinos in particular are making their presence felt in the Okavango Delta.






Sunday, 7 May 2017

Big Cat Predators of Chobe National Park, Botswana

The Savuti Marsh Area in Chobe National Park in Northern Botswana is home to one of the largest densities of Big Cat Predators not only in Southern Africa but in the whole of Africa.

A) Cheetahs :

The Cheetah is found in fair numbers in Northern Botswana's Savuti Marsh Area which encompasses the Okavango Delta.

They hunt for prey regularly during the first few hours of the Sun rising and during the last few hours of the Sun going down.

Their Prey includes Impala and Springbok as well as other kinds of Gazelle which are found in plenty in Chobe National Park.

Cheetah Males can often be seen singly or in groups of 2 while hunting prey. Cheetah Brothers are a common sight in the Okavango Delta's Savuti Marsh Area.

B) Leopards :

Leopards are found in plenty in woodlands that encompass the Okavango Delta and Savuti Marsh Area in Northern Botswana.

Leopards in the Savuti Marsh Area of Chobe National Park have a diverse diet of prey which includes Impalas, Springboks, and Nyalas wherever they are found.

Other Gazelles also form a substantial part of their prey.

Leopards normally hunt alone in the Savuti Marsh Area with Leopard Cubs not seen in the company of their Mothers during hunts.

C) Lions :

Lions are feared and formidable predators found in and around the Savuti Marsh Area of Chobe National Park.

Their preferred prey species include Zebras, Wildebeests, Buffaloes, Impalas, and Nyala to mention a few.

Sometimes, smaller prey species like Warthogs are regularly killed and eaten by Lions.

Finally, Lions hunt in the company of Prides they live among.




Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Humpback Whales of the Atlantic Ocean -- Giants of the Deep Sea

Introduction :

It is distressing to know that a large number of Humpback Whales on the Atlantic Coastline of the U.S. East Coast are dying or getting beached from North Carolina to Maine.

The root cause of their deaths must be investigated as soon as possible. Atlantic Humpback Whales are Precious Whales in more ways than one.

They are well known for their singing repertoire during the breeding cycle. Singing is mostly done by Males. Their Songs are distinct and unique as compared to other sounds made by them.

Their Songs usually last 10 minutes, but can go on for hours sometimes. The singing male has been seen surfacing to breathe between repetitions of the song.

All Males at a "Breeding Region" usually sing the same song to attract females though changes to the song can occur during the course of the breeding season.

Humpback Whales are the 5th largest of the Baleen Whales and are usually stockier than other whales.

They normally weigh anything from 25-30 Tonnes.

In the North Atlantic Ocean, Humpback Whales are thought to form discrete clusters of Pods in and around their feeding grounds which is usually near the Gulf of Maine, Newfoundland, Labrador etc.

The Humpback Whale Migration is thought to be the largest among any mammals. They can be considered to be "Long Distance Trekkers".

Some reasons for their long distance migration include "Predator Avoidance" specially avoiding Sharks and Orcas also known as Killer Whales. Another reason for their long distance migration includes abundance of food and warm water in their breeding grounds.

Conclusion :

One of the biggest threats to Atlantic Humpback Whales is "Pollution". Specially, dumping of Industrial Waste on the High Seas and in Estuaries which flow into the Ocean resulting in the ingestion of "Contaminated Prey" ultimately resulting in the death of Dozens of Humpbacks.

Let us promise to keep Oceans which are the Homes of Humpbacks free of Industrial Waste.

Credits :

The Humpback Whale Research Foundation 


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Help Save the Iconic Tigers of Vidarbha

It is with a heavy heart that I write about the painful accidental death of Srinivas -- An Iconic Young Tiger and Offspring of Jai -- The Iconic Tiger of Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary near Nagpur.

Bittu another son of Jai faces a similar fate in the wilds of Vidarbha.

It is sad to say that more attention in India is given to the Conservation of Lakhs and Lakhs of Cows, but only "Lip Service" is given to the conservation and safety of Tigers throughout the length and breadth of India -- The State of Maharashtra included.

Wild Royal Bengal Tigers are a precious symbol of Wild India.

Cows do not need conservation and safety, but Wild Tigers most definitely do.

There are only less than 2,000 Tigers left in the Wild today in India.

It is appalling that the authorities concerned all over the country seem to have become "Mute Spectators" to the rampant poaching of tigers.

In the Field of Wildlife Conservation, Botswana -- A Country in Southern Africa should be a role model for India.

Botswana is a pioneer in the field of Elephant and White Rhino Conservation. Wildlife is well protected in Botswana because of strict Government Protection and Conservation Programmes.

India needs to imitate Botswana asap if its serious about Tiger Conservation.



Friday, 10 March 2017

Northern Right Whales -- Magnificent Whales on the brink of extinction

Introduction :

Northern Right Whales are Whales that are magnificent in more ways than one. Their Social and Family History is rich with examples of caring, helpfulness, co-existence, and leadership through the thick and thin of life.

Their numbers have yet to recover from 5 centuries of relentless mass slaughter. Perhaps 500 of these Whales exist in the deep oceans that cover the earth.

They go about swimming from the waters of Boston's and Cape Cod's Coastline to give birth to young ones off the South Eastern Coast of the States of Georgia and Florida respectively.

Whalers from various countries in the Far East have been slaughtering these Whales for decades for their oil, meat, bone, and baleen.

Very often, Northern Right Whales in the recent past have been killed by large Merchant Navy Ships on the High Seas.

This has occurred even in areas where they breed regularly.

Another Problem for them is getting entangled in Fishing Nets of Fishermen who make a living on the High Seas.

Breeding and Eating Habits :

Female Northern Right Whales are ready to produce young whales between the age of 8-10 years. The average weight of Northern Right Whales is between 35,000 - 70,000 kilos.

Most Male and Female Northern Right Whales are between 10-15 metres in length.

Their diet mostly consists of various kinds of Sea Plankton, Krill, and Schools of small fish like herring.

Conclusion :

Northern Right Whales that are mostly found all along the Eastern Sea Board of the United States face a multitude of threats.

The most common being collisions with Deep Sea Trawlers and getting caught in Gill Nets and various kinds of fishing nets.

Only "No Fishing Zones" in their immediate calving and feeding areas can save them for posterity.

Credits and References :

1) Northern Right Whales : A striking case for more help
     National Geographic Magazine January 1998, Vol - 193 No -1

2)   Northern Right Whales -- DNA Bank at Trent University

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Humpback Whales -- Gorgeous Ocean Mammals

Introduction :

Whales are Mammals that live their entire lives in the vast oceans that cover the earth.

As they are Mammals, they give birth to young ones just like Humans do. Their Life -Span is also similar to Humans.

Humpback Whales have bodies that are well geared to move through vast oceans. Their Bodies are constructed in such a way that helps them to survive in oceans where the currents are fairly strong.

Humpback Whales have extremely strong fins that help them to move through vast amounts of water in the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean.

Since, Humpback Whales are Mammals they need to come to the surface of the water regularly to breathe.

Eating and Breeding Habits :

The average Humpback Whale feeds mostly on Krill and on small fish like Herring. They eat about 500 Kilos of small fish and krill every day in order to maintain body weight.

North Pacific Humpback Whales spend their time breeding in the coastal waters around Hawaii.

Humpback Whales start arriving in the waters around Hawaii from early October and their numbers rapidly rise by February and March.

Humpback Whales that are young mothers usually have their first calf when they are between 8-10 years old. Calves that are just born are around 10-15 Feet in Length.

Humpback Whales that live and breed in the Pacific Ocean are "Pseudo Opera Tenors of the Pacific" because of their seeming sorrowful songs they sing to each other during the breeding cycle.

Conclusion :

It seems like Humpback Whale Populations are generally doing well but yet there are areas of concern.

As, their populations increase there is the possibility of accidents because of collision with Humans on the High Seas namely in the form of deadly accidents with Merchant Navy Ships and getting caught in Fishing Nets of Deep Sea Trawlers.

The need of the Hour is to have a strict "No Fishing Zone" in the Pacific Ocean where Humpback Whales live and breed.

Credits and References :

Humpback Whales of South Eastern Alaska



 

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Bryde's Whales -- Giant Mermaids of the Indian Ocean

Introduction :

Bryde's Whales that live in and around the Indian Ocean belong to the Family of "Baleen Whales" which includes a number of "Rorqual Whales" such as Blue Whales.

Bryde's Whales have been observed in the recent past in Pods of 4 Whales each off the Coastal Waters of Ratnagiri District in Maharashtra State in the company of "Behemoth"  Blue Whales.

Bryde's Whales are frequently found in warm tropical and sub-tropical Oceanic Waters.

They feed on a variety of Fish found in the Open Ocean like Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, and specially Krill which makes up a major proportion of their diet.

They normally weigh anything between 10 Tonnes -40 Tonnes. They are normally 13-16 metres in length when they are fully grown adults.

Bryde's Whales that are Male are normally smaller in size than Females. This can be observed all over their range in the Indian Ocean.

Bryde's Whales have between 40-70 Pleats around the region of their bodies that expand when they are feeding on Shoals of Fish and Krill.

Breeding Behaviour :

Male and Female Bryde Whales are physically mature when they are between 10-12 metres in length.

Male Bryde Whales are thought to be 10 -15 years of Age while Female Bryde Whales are thought to be between 8-10 years of age. Female Bryde Whales give birth once every 2 years and Calves are born in the Summer Season.

Conclusion :

The Biggest Challenge with regard to protecting Bryde's Whales in the Indian Ocean is protecting them from Ocean Going Merchant Ships which accidentally collide against them in the open ocean.

Another Danger is protecting them from Industrial Pollutants that are released in the open ocean.

Credits and References :

Whale of a View
Wednesday December 14, 2016
Hindustan Times, Mumbai

 

Monday, 16 January 2017

Botswana, My One and Only Love

Yes, That's True. Botswana is my one and only love.

It is my favourite "Safari Destination" in the world.

In my humble opinion, There is no country like Botswana in this Universe. The less said about other countries the better.

The extent to which the People of Botswana, Politicians included love "Wildlife" is unfathomable. The Future for Wildlife in Botswana seems quite rosy.

Sir Seretse Ian Khama -- the present President of Botswana is an ardent Wildlife Lover and Champion of Animal Rights.

17% of Land in Botswana has been reserved exclusively for Wildlife. This itself, is an indication that Botswana is Pro- Wildlife, Pro-Environment, and Pro-Nature.

Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta are strongholds for Vast Elephant Herds. While Tuli Game Reserve is a stronghold for the Endangered Cheetah.

Kalahari Gemsbok National Park is Home to Dozens of Big Cat Predators like Lions, Spotted Leopards, and Cheetahs.

Kalahari Gemsbok National Park is "Big Cat Predator Paradise". Desert Antelopes which roam the Kalahari Desert are "Natural Prey" for these Big Cat Predators.

If the Cheetah has to successfully survive in Africa, Botswana is the best country in terms of Wilderness Areas for it with plenty of Wild Game in the Grasslands, Wetlands, and Arid Desert Regions of Botswana.

 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

My Plan

I have a Plan vis -a vis  African Elephant Herds that live in Botswana.

I would like to write a Book on the Free - Ranging African Elephants that wander through Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta, and last but not the least in Moremi Game Reserve as well as in Tuli Game Reserve.

I would like to do this by living in "Kasane" a Town in Northern Botswana. This Book will be a Coffee Tabler on the Elephants of Northern Botswana.

It will be called "Elephant Paradise". This is a title that aptly describes the current situation in Botswana.

African Elephant Herds mean the world to me. I believe that they are part of my "Extended Family".

They have the best Social Family System in the world. In Botswana, African Elephant Herds are treated on par with Human Beings.

While living in Botswana, I would like to get to know the "Matriarchs" that lead these vast elephant herds on a personal basis.

I pray and hope that I will be granted Honorary Citizenship by the Government of the Republic of Botswana simply because of my "Immense Love" for Botswana's Wild Denizens.

 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Jaguars -- Big Cat Predators of the Amazon River Basin

Introduction :

Jaguars are Big Cat Predators that are native to South America specially in the Amazon River Basin. They can be found in fair numbers in Brazil's Pantanal Region.

The Pantanal Region is a Bio-Diverse Stunning Tropical Wetland that covers a large part of the Amazon River and its tributaries. Jaguars are the main Big Cat Predators in this region.

They are the most aquatic of all Big Cat Predators that survive in the world today. They are known to swim across large stretches of the Amazon River and its Tributaries.

Eating Habits :

Jaguars eat a wide variety of Prey that are found in the Amazon River Basin. Their Chief Prey is a Rodent Like Animal known as the "Capybara". Capybaras are found in large numbers throughout the Pantanal Region that extends from Brazil to Bolivia.

Breeding Behaviour and Habitat Conservation :

Jaguar's breeding behaviour is believed to be seasonal. Males and Females meet one another of the opposite sex during seasonal changes in their territories.

The normal size of a Jaguar Litter is normally 3 -4 Cubs at the most. Cubs gain independence after a 2 year stay with their Mother.

The Habitat of Wild Jaguars is mostly Wet Tropical Land in the Amazon Forest River Basin and Dry Savannah Woodland in other parts of South America.

Conclusion :

It is of utmost importance to stop the Hunting of Jaguars by Livestock Herders.

This is because Jaguars are the "Apex Predators" of the Amazon River Basin and help to maintain a Fine Balance between themselves and Herbivorous Fauna.

Moreover, Jaguars are one of the few Big Cat Predators that do not prey on Humans. Their Habitat needs to be saved from Livestock Herders as well as them too.

Credits and References :

1. On the Trail of Brazil's Most Elusive Predators
    By Sarah Marshall, Travel Writer
    14 September 2016
    Courtesy : The Telegraph

2. Jaguar Spotting in Brazil : Gorgeous Cats among the many creatures found in Vast Pantanal Wetlands
By Anita Den Dikken
Postmedia News
July 7, 2016




 

Monday, 2 January 2017

Iranian Cheetahs -- Big Cat Predators on the Brink of Extinction

Introduction :

Yes, That's Right. I am talking about Asiatic Cheetahs that live in Iran.

They are on the brink of starvation because of the lack of natural prey.

Unfortunately, there are only 50 of them left in the wild in Iran.

It is sad to say this, that some wildlife lovers all across the world are more interested in saving Mega Fauna and Mega Herbivores like Rhinos rather than saving "Critically Endangered" Asiatic Cheetahs that live in the Desert Region of Central Iran, a species that needs our immediate attention.

Eating Habits :

Asiatic Cheetahs that live in the Central Iranian Desert Region prey almost exclusively on various kinds of Desert Antelopes, specially desert dwelling gazelles.

The Desert Antelope that forms a large part of the diet of Asiatic Cheetahs is the "Arabian Oryx".

Arabian Oryx are medium sized antelopes found in Desert Areas from Oman to Iran.

Breeding Behaviour :

Female Asiatic Cheetahs are ready to conceive when they are 2 years old. They usually give birth to Cheetah Cubs at any point in the year. The average size of a litter is usually 4 Cubs.

After a gestation period of 3 Months, Cheetah Cubs are usually born. They are protected by their mother in a cave which is usually situated in a cliff of a rocky mountain.

Unlike African Cheetahs, Asiatic Cheetahs that live in Iran have a coat that is not very long. This has helped them to adapt to the Harsh Winters and Harsh Summers in Central Iran.

Conclusion :

We need to act now to save Asiatic Cheetahs that live in Central Iran. Wildlife Conservationists need to impress upon the Iranian Government in Teheran about the need to save this "Charismatic Feline" from total extinction.

Efforts should be made to increase this Wild Cat Population.

If necessary, Desert Antelopes like the Arabian Oryx need to be introduced in large numbers for the daily sustenance of these Asiatic Cheetahs.

Credits and References :

All You need to know about Wild Cheetahs

http://www.arkive.org/cheetah/acinonyx-jubatus/image-G113716.html