Kudremukh voluntary relocation: From rough weather to smooth sailing

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Kudremukh voluntary relocation: From rough weather to smooth sailing
(June 12, 2018) A unique relocation package in Kudremukh National Park came with its own set of challenges.His teeth all stained with the constant chewing of betel leaf and areca nut, hair grey at a relatively young age, and a vast amount of information that he displays as he talks, the 40-something Sudhakar Shetty from the Kerekatte enclosure in Kudremukh National Park is one person who will give you different reasons for moving out of the park.Sudhakar Shetty in his new house © Manish Machaiah/WCS IndiaB...


The vanishing wilderness

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(June 05, 2018) On World Environment Day, can we pause a bit to explore ways in which natural habitats can be conserved without negative impacts on any species?Cheetal herd in Ammavayal land after the people moved out. ©Arul BadushaVast stretches of fallow land, deep in the forest, where paddy was once grown, have now turned pastures for cheetal, sambar and few wild pig. Congregating in large numbers they bask in the evening sun. It has been four years since the humans left this stretch of the forest in Am...


Koppal: Why this biodiverse region needs to be conserved

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(June 01, 2018) Fallow land in Koppal, North Karnataka ©Meghana SankaYellowing grass lines the roads, extending into the horizon, and far away a curious face appears – one blackbuck, joined by others, looks up to see why we are visiting them. Assured we mean no harm, they resume their jumping.These grasslands often categorized as “wastelands”, are home to a wide number of species; both herbivores and carnivores. Blackbucks, striped hyenas, sloth bears, leopards, civet cats, rusty spotted ...


Wide-eyed in Wonderland

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(May 29, 2018) From close encounters with wildlife, the writer comes to realise some hard truths and mistaken notions about the animals.Written by Mrunmayee AmarnathMrunmayee at the start of a line transect walkMy door to ‘Narnia’ opened with the ‘Line transects’ I took part in. Besides the exciting encounters with wildlife, they carry me to an enchanting world where every blade of grass, plant, tree and animal speaks to each other. I watch in rapture, understanding a bit of it but unfa...


Bringing the roar back to Telangana

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(May 25, 2018) MEET OUR STAFF: IMRAN SIDDIQUIConducting identification of herbivore pellets.Imran Siddiqui's journey, from visiting zoos to becoming a wildlife expert, speaks volumes of his one-track dedication and passion.Perseverance could well be his middle name. Imran Siddiqui’s career chart beginning with selling poultry to raise money for wildlife, to becoming the man instrumental in getting Telangana its first tiger reserve, is one for the best-sellers.Today, this young man who followed his passio...


Sighting a prehistoric animal in the forest

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(May 22, 2018) One of our volunteers from our line-transect surveys pens his account of an incredible sighting of the shy, nocturnal Indian Pangolin, which is also one of the most trafficked mammals on the planet.Camera-trap photo of a pangolin. © Ullas Karanth/WCSIt was relatively a pleasant morning and a usual drive back to our base camp after the Line Transect Survey conducted by WCS India.This survey is done to estimate the prey population which is crucial for the survival of predators. As usual,...


Know your elephants: Identifying the giants of Kaziranga

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(May 18, 2018) An Assam Forest Department – WCS India initiative 'Know Your Elephants' seeks to create a photographic database of individual elephants in Kaziranga National Park.Every elephant is distinct. Their facial features, personality, ability to reproduce, tendency to disperse, propensity to raid crops, are different. Just as we subconsciously use facial features to distinguish one person from another, we can, in a more systematic and explicit manner, use morphological features to individually ide...


Tackling fear – the key instigator in human leopard conflicts

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Tackling fear – the key instigator in human leopard conflicts
(May 09, 2018) Waking with a leopard sleeping by your bed may not be everyone’s dream come true. But what a banana trader in Mysuru experienced earlier this year could be the shape of things to come, as wildlife habitats continue to shrink. While panic is the first response, it is not the best. According to leopard experts, the animal too is in a state of heightened panic and the best option is to make way for it to leave.Traditionally many forest tribes and communities coexisted with leopards and tigers...


Chia: The Super Crop helping reduce man animal conflict

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Chia: The Super Crop helping reduce man animal conflict
(May 03, 2018) In 2008, 60 tribal families from the DB Kuppe range of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve voluntarily relocated outside the forest to the Sollepura relocation centre through a government funded relocation program. Inside the forest, the tribals were hunter gatherers, but when they moved out, they had to familiarize themselves with the art of agriculture. Despite initial difficulties, with time they slowly learned, practiced and are now proud first-generation farmers.Chia being grown as a second crop in So...


Pesose: Of folktales and reality deep inside Kali Tiger Reserve

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(April 26, 2018) A long time ago, deep inside the Kali Tiger Reserve, in a cave high up on the hill outside the village of Pesose, a villager entered, only to never return. Perplexed and concerned, the villagers discussed amongst themselves. “Would he have gone to stay there as a sadhu?” one asked, while another questioned, “Do you think there is a ghost in there who might have consumed him?”The discussion went on for a few days, before one brave villager took on the challenge to go explo...


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