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India Rishi Online
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( This post was last modified: 03-25-2017, 02:34 PM by Rishi )

(03-22-2017, 05:01 PM)Brehm Wrote: Thanks for clarification. The numbers indeed are missleading considering kazirangas size increase (i knew i rembered right, but was unsure) and corbetts core + buffer area combined.

Still, overall its an interesting article to read and its highlighting the need of intact buffer areas + corridors around the core zone of ranthambore. Kailadevi sanctuary is actually a mess according to the article. However, feel free to correct, if this should be also wrong.

@Rishi Just one sidenote, but from the map on point 1, how many reserves are there if ranthambore is left out? The whole western landscape does have for sure comparable climate, but ranth in particular seems to be the only reserve with a considerable number of tigers. If some nearby reserves in the centre are also reaching such high tempereatures than its anyway totally made up, but Rajasthan as India's hottest state actually does make it sound not so wrong to me.

Nah..Sariska (150km to the north-northwest) is much more scorched... It's right on the edges of Thar desert!!!..
Dry-deciduous greenery percentage in Ranth is also more than Thorny...

Anyways...You will see the Protected Areas marked in the map...Of that Mukundara is a designated Tiger Reserve (no tigers since '70s though, they intend to reintroduce).
Kuno-Palpur is said to be in the best condition right now (Ranth offshoot tigers are already eyeing it)..& if they manage to elbow out the "soon to arrive" lion-pairs, before they can familiarise & settle...Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project is done for!!!
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Austria Brehm Offline
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Sariska and Ranth are actually comparable throughout the year temperature wise. It depends on month, ranth is a bit hotter in the first and last quartal of the year, but sarsika hits most of the time higher temperatures in the second and third for example.

https://www.indianholiday.com/wildlife-i...mbore.html


https://www.indianholiday.com/wildlife-i...imate.html

But thinking about the repopulation of Sariska with tigers since the last 5 years, it should've been considered by the author anyways. However, this discussion gets a taste of hairsplitting imo, i think we should return B2T.

According to Kuno i agree, its already discovered and occupied by tress passing tigers. I still think it should be used as corridor to ranth for tiger conservation. And Sariska should (or other reserves isolated from other tiger reserves) be probably considered as new lion sanctuary. For that matter, the tigers there have to be relocated back to ranth, but tigers were whiped out there more than a decade ago anyway...
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India Rishi Online
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(03-25-2017, 02:13 PM)Brehm Wrote: Sariska and Ranth are actually comparable throughout the year temperature wise. It depends on month, ranth is a bit hotter in the first and last quartal of the year, but sarsika hits most of the time higher temperatures in the second and third for example.

https://www.indianholiday.com/wildlife-i...mbore.html


https://www.indianholiday.com/wildlife-i...imate.html

But thinking about the repopulation of Sariska with tigers since the last 5 years, it should've been considered by the author anyways. However, this discussion gets a taste of hairsplitting imo, i think we should return B2T.

According to Kuno i agree, its already discovered and occupied by tress passing tigers. I still think it should be used as corridor to ranth for tiger conservation. And Sariska should (or other reserves isolated from other tiger reserves) be probably considered as new lion sanctuary. For that matter, the tigers there have to be relocated back to ranth, but tigers were whiped out there more than a decade ago anyway...

I like the idea...Very mature, given the fact that Indian lions tend to get in much less conflict with people, in a fragmented habitat like Sariska it would have been the better option. 
Moreover it's more to the west & would be safer as well as heathier for both species!!!

Although at that time Kuno-Palpur was a better option, due to it being specially prepared..right now Sariska has caught up & is equally managed.
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Sri Lanka Apollo Online
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160 lions die in Gir in 2 years


The Gujarat Forest Department has admitted that more than 160 Asiatic lions have died in the Gir forest in the last two years since the 2015 census put their population at record 523.

This included death of 95 lions from April 2015 to March 2016, and another 67 from April last year to date. What was more shocking of the 95 deaths recorded last year was that 25 died unnaturally, including of electrocution by coming in contact with live wires put up by farmers to save their crops from herbivorous animals, and falling into wells left open by farmers in their fields, the department revealed in a reply to a query under the RTI Act.

Almost all unnatural deaths were recorded in the areas outside the protected sanctuary zone in the periphery of the villages falling within Gir forest as under pressure of increasing population and shortage of prey, a number of Asiatic lions fanned outside the sanctuary zone and into the habituated villages. The wildlife experts said some of the carcasses of the lions were found in such highly decomposed conditions that it was even difficult to ascertain the exact causes of their death.

The high death rate of the lions concerns environmentalists who have urged the state government to expand the protected zone to cover the wastelands and some other areas in the periphery, particularly because the state government was opposed to the idea of shifting a few species to Kuno-Palpur forests in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh to create a second home for the Asiatic lions.

Meanwhile, a man-eater sloth bear, which had strayed out of the forest areas in Danta in Banaskantha district in north Gujarat and killed three persons besides injuring four others, was killed by sharp-shooters in a joint operation by the foresters from Danta, Gir Sanctuary and even Delhi who were rushed to the area this afternoon after the locals raised the alarm.




http://www.tribuneindia.com/mobi/news/nation/160-lions-die-in-gir-in-2-yrs/380445.html
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United States Pckts Offline
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Of 95 lion deaths in a year, 25 were unnatural?
That % seems fairly normal, I don't have the numbers to back it up but from what I see in tiger and other big cat deaths, usually half seem to be unnatural, so a quarter doesn't seem as bad to me.
"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
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India Rishi Online
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(03-26-2017, 07:18 PM)Pckts Wrote: Of 95 lion deaths in a year, 25 were unnatural?
That % seems fairly normal, I don't have the numbers to back it up but from what I see in tiger and other big cat deaths, usually half seem to be unnatural, so a quarter doesn't seem as bad to me.

Actually considering the super high density of them in Gir, 95 deaths is a fairly nomial number...
Also, very less of the unnatural deaths are due to direct retialatory poisoning..Kudos to the Gujratis!!!
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Sri Lanka Apollo Online
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( This post was last modified: 03-28-2017, 09:52 AM by Apollo )

Forest staff, lions face hostilities of people staying near Gir

Lion tracker Dharmendra Vala, who was allegedly killed early this month in Gir-East division for not allowing illegal lion show, is a glaring example of how the ground staff of forest department are facing hostilities of people living in the fringe areas of the protected Gir forest. Same is the case with the endangered lion which is at the receiving end of local villagers.

According to sources, there are over two dozen instances in the last three years, wherein forest officials have been assaulted or cases have been lodged against them when they went to protect forest and wildlife.

Moreover, the farmers' outfit has openly warned forest officials that they will not be responsible if lions die in their farms after being electrocuted or due to unnatural causes. "They tell us to cordon lions inside the sanctuary. Government has entertained many 'illegitimate' demands from people around Gir. Now, people, who are accused under Indian Forest Act and Wildlife Protection Act, lodge false counter complaints against forest staffs," an officer alleged.

"As a result of assault and fabricated plaints against forest guards, foresters, range forest officers (RFO) and assistant conservator of forests (ACF), morale of the ground staff in Gir, considered as one of the best in the country, has gone down significantly," said a forest officer, against whom a complaint has been filed by local a villager.

"Neighbours of lions in Gir are turning hostile. They consider lions as a source of income through illegal lion shows. Those who try to prevent them have to face the music. Some villagers do not even hesitate to kill the lions," said a senior forest official, on condition of anonymity.


"A few months ago, a team went to rescue a lioness that was surrounded by villagers, after it killed two bullocks close to the Gir Sanctuary. The mob gathered at the spot pelted stone on forest staff. People in the mob were armed with axes and other sharp weapons and wanted to kill the lioness. We could hardly save the lioness and in the process six of our staff members were hurt by the mob," he said.

Foresters also gave examples of another type of hostility, where in Ghodhavadi settlement village, forest ground staff were transferred for no fault of theirs.

"A senior forest officer pulled up ground staff in presence of villagers in Ghodhavadi village. The support of a senior forest officer prompted villagers to dig 11 bore wells within hours inside the sanctuary area, which according to law is illegal," said a forest official, adding that those who break environment laws get state cover and those who protect it, get punished.

"Call it an irony of sorts, as no officer including from the IFS officer, wants to work in Gir. This is a serious matter and government needs resolve the issue, especially for the ground staff," added another forest official.




http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/forest-staff-lions-face-hostilities-of-people-staying-near-gir/articleshow/57780219.cms
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Italy Ngala Offline
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Poachers account for 53 of 131 leopard deaths across India in 2017
Updated: Mar 18, 2017 21:01 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times

The leopard that was run over on the Mumbai-Pune expressway on Saturday.(HT Photo)

*This image is copyright of its original author

Since the start of the year, 131 leopards have died across the country. Of these, 40% were killed by poachers. Wildlife activists said that while conservation efforts were largely focused on tigers, other big cats also needed protection.

The Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) said that 53 leopards were killed by poachers while 78 died of natural causes or in accidents. Uttarakhand had by far the highest number of deaths with 31, followed by Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh with 14 each. Himachal Pradesh had 13, Karnataka 10, and Rajasthan 8.

“After tabulating the data, we found that approximately two leopards have died every day year this. It is alarming that leopards are still killed for the illegal wildlife trade and that poachers are still active,” said Tito Joseph, programme manager, WPSI.

Leopards are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. According to a nationwide census conducted in 2015 — the first ever leopard census in India — there are approximately 12,000 to 14,000 leopards in the country. In 2016, there were 436 leopard deaths recorded – 282 died in accidents or of natural causes and 154 were killed by poachers. WPSI data also shows that poachers have killed 1,523 leopards since 2007.

WPSI compiled the data using information from police stations and wildlife sanctuaries within and outside protected forest areas. “Our field officers take stock of all deaths and the information is sent to our head office in New Delhi daily,” he said.

Vidya Athreya, a wildlife biologist, said, “Large-scale poaching continues but is swept under the carpet. There is a need to formulate policies regarding animals such as leopards that live outside protected areas.”

The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) said gangs of poachers target leopards for their skin and teeth. “The figures are alarming. The problem of leopard poaching has resurfaced. We have found metal wires or trap snares, mostly outside protected forest areas and sanctuaries,” said M Maranko, regional director, WCCB.

On February 1, the Karnataka forest department recovered and dismantled 121 snares from a 17-km stretch along the Nagarahole National Park boundary. “In most cases, villagers and tribals who are supported by organised poaching gangs tie domestic animals near their villages in to lure leopards. Once they figure out the leopard’s trail, they place snares and kill the cat. Its skin and teeth are sold for $10,000-plus on the international market,” said Maranko.

He added that there was an urgent need to make forest officers aware of poaching techniques and to increase patrolling. “The reason Uttarakhand saw the most leopard deaths is that the terrain makes vigilance difficult. Poachers use this to their advantage. In Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, forest officers need to keep watch over areas that are not protected,” said Maranko.

Experts said the issue of leopard conservation needed more attention. “Leopards are easy targets for poachers. As efforts to save tigers have been ramped up, poachers have started targeting leopards instead. People are less tolerant towards leopards as they have heard of cases in which the big cats have attacked and killed livestock,” said Krishna Tiwari, a wildlife researcher and conservationist.
"Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." C. Darwin
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Italy Ngala Offline
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( This post was last modified: Yesterday, 02:19 AM by Ngala )

In Big Win For Big Cats, China Approves National Park Larger Than Yellowstone
The park will be home to two of the world’s most endangered big cats.
03/10/2017 12:29 pm ET | Updated Mar 12, 2017
By Dominique Mosbergen 

The Amur tiger almost went extinct in China in the 1990s. Now, the government is establishing one of the world’s largest sanctuaries for big cats in an effort to revive the subspecies.

*This image is copyright of its original author

In yet another example of a “green revolution” in the country, Chinese officials have approved plans to establish a sprawling national park in the northeastern corner of the country. It will be a sanctuary for two cats endemic to the area that have dangled dangerously close to extinction: the Amur leopard and the Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur tiger.

The park in the provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang will be part of China’s brand-new national park system and will span 5,600 square miles — an area 60 percent larger than Yellowstone National Park. A comprehensive plan and pilot for the park is expected to be rolled out before 2020. 

Environmentalists are celebrating the news. 

Dale Miquelle, a conservationist with the Wildlife Conservation Society and a big cat expert, said the sanctuary will be one of the largest big cat reserves in the world.

“China’s commitment represents an extremely important step in recovering both subspecies in northeast Asia,” he wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.

The park will be located in the Chinese provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin, the latter of which borders both North Korea and Russia. In this photograph, taken in Jilin’s Hunchun area, lands from all three countries can be seen. The land with a lake on the left is Russia, the land in the middle is China, and the right side of the Tumen river is North Korea.

*This image is copyright of its original author

The ‘World’s Rarest Cat’

The Amur leopard and tiger are among the most endangered big cats on Earth.

In 2007, the Amur leopard’s global population in the wild plunged to less than 30. The International Union for Conservation of Nature said at the time that the animal had gone locally extinct in China and the Korean peninsula, two areas that had once been in its range. Only a tiny population of the leopard remained in Russia’s Primorsky province, researchers said, adding that the survivors were facing “numerous threats, including encroaching civilization, new roads, poaching, exploitation of forests and climate change.”

The Amur tiger had faced a similarly dire future decades earlier. Hunting and other human activities decimated populations of the Amur tiger, once found in abundance in parts of Russia, China and the Korean peninsula. In the 1940s, only about 40 Amur tigers were believed to have existed in the wild. 

Amur tiger cubs play in the snow.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Like the leopard, the surviving tigers were found mostly in northeastern Russia, where some conservation measures were introduced under Soviet rule. 

It was a different story in other areas. By the early- to mid-1900s, the Amur tiger was assumed extinct in South Korea (the tiger’s status in North Korea is unknown). Populations in China had dropped to fewer than five animals around the same time, Miquelle said.

Of all the world’s leopards, the Amur is the most endangered.

*This image is copyright of its original author

But in the intervening years, both big cats have made a steady comeback in the region. 

In the 1990s, China stopped logging in the area where tigers and leopards roam, and banned civilian gun ownership, which helped reduce the threat of hunters. The government also created Hunchun Tiger Leopard Nature Reserve in 2002, a small patch of habitat along the Sino-Russian border.

Thanks to these measures — together with efforts undertaken by Russia and the work of conservation groups like World Wildlife Fund and WCS — populations of both the Amur leopard and tiger appear to be recovering. The WWF said in 2015 that the Amur leopard population ― the “world’s rarest cat” ― had doubled since 2008. Almost 60 were counted in Russia, while up to 12 were spotted in adjacent areas in China.

The Amur tiger has enjoyed an even more impressive recovery. Today, approximately 400 of them live in the wild, mostly in Russia. But more than 30 are believed roam in the forests of northeast China, and conservationists say there are signs that the population in the country is slowly increasing.

Some human settlements in northeast China, like Hunchun city in Jilin province (pictured), functions as an important corridor linking cat habitats in China and Russia. The Chinese government says it hopes the new national park will help mitigate the conflicts that can arise when humans and animals live in such close proximity. 

*This image is copyright of its original author

The Tiger Ate My Dog

For all the good news, though, neither cat’s survival is assured. Several issues, including human-animal conflict, still threaten both creatures.

A number of settlements, like Hunchun city in Jilin province, are located within the animals’ range. Hunchun, which borders Russia and North Korea and has a population of over 200,000, functions as an important corridor linking cat habitats in Russia and China, Mongabay reported last year. 

Residents in the area have expressed concern that the animals have been getting a little too close for comfort. 

Last July, an Amur tiger reportedly wandered into a residential area near the city’s downtown and ate two dogs in one day. One resident told Xinhua in August that six of his cattle had been picked off by tigers in just a few months. Another resident said she had stopped venturing into the mountains to pick mushrooms and wild vegetables out of fear. 

Government officials have said that the planned national park should help ease some of these tensions. A spokesperson for Jilin’s Forestry Department said last year that there are plans to “relocate some existing communities [and] factories from inside the national park area, so as to avoid conflicts between wildlife and human activities.”

The department has also said that it will establish a monitoring and rescue center for wild tigers and leopards, as well as other scientific and research facilities, in tandem with the national park. 

Fan Zhiyong, species program director with WWF Beijing, said that he hopes the park will not just be boon to the endangered cats in the region, but will also play a critical role in protecting the unique biodiversity of the northern temperate zone as a whole.

He told Xinhua that he expects the park will also promote greater cooperation between Russia and China for wildlife protection in the region.  

An amur leopard.

*This image is copyright of its original author

China’s ‘Ecological Civilization’

The idea of a “national park” is a new one in China. 

China has established many protected areas over the years, including thousands of nature reserves covering more than 500,000 square miles, but the system has lacked regulatory cohesion and suffered from inefficiency and mismanagement. 

The Chinese government said in 2015 that it wanted to develop a national park system that would meet international standards. It partnered with the Paulson Institute, a Chicago-based research center, to do so. The government announced it would start with a series of pilot national park projects in nine provinces over a three-year period. The goal, officials said, would be to address the governance and policy shortfalls of the current system of environmental protection, while also extending conservation efforts to other habitats and ecosystems. 

President Xi Jinping announced in 2013 that China would roll out a series of environmental reforms to achieve this vision of an “ecological civilization,” one that could embrace economic progress while also committing to environmental sustainability.

It seems the world’s biggest polluter is on track with its plan. 

In addition to the national park network, China has become the world’s biggest global investor in green technology. The country also plans to introduce the world’s largest national cap-and-trade program this year. China has also shown an increased commitment to conservation, including, after years of pressure from activists, a ban on ivory.
"Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." C. Darwin
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: Yesterday, 06:59 AM by peter )

Very good news, Ngala! China is changing.

The new National Park is not that far from the alleged former Imperial Hunting Reserve of the old rulers. It was a large and well-stocked reserve, that included the upper part of the Sungari River. The reserve was well protected for a number of centuries. This, according to some, was the reason the animals were larger than average. 

At 5600 square miles, the new reserve is large. It's a good start, but the Chinese know that poaching still is a problem. They also know that many forests are quite empty. In order to improve the situation, humans and animals need to be separated and they also need to improve in the management department. Tourism also wouldn't be a good idea right now. When they could keep it up for a century or so and enlarge the National Park to the north and northwest, the forest will recover.   

Enlarging the National Park in the near future is instrumental. Amur tigers, largely as a result of the situation, need a lot of room. In order to give you an idea: the 500 tigers in southeastern Russia have about 160 000 square km. at their disposal! This is a region three times the size of The Netherlands. And 500 tigers is about the utmost the region can have.

If the Russians add 45 000 -50 000 square km. and the Chinese follow their example, they will have created a sanctuary that could compare to the old Imperial Hunting Reserve. A bit further north it would be, but it looks promising in all respects. If everything works out as planned and they can keep it up, there could be about 1 000 adult Amur tigers in 20-40 years from now. I don't know if the region south of Lake Baikal has been considered, but that would be the next step. That and a strict policy on dentists interested in big game, I mean wildlife.
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Nearly extinct tigers found breeding in Thai jungle
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/...SApp_Other

*This image is copyright of its original author
"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."
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