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Tiger Directory

Canada Shardul Offline
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The total tiger population of Uttarakhand is about 360, of which 200 odd are in Corbett tiger reserve. Ramnagar, lansdowne forest divisions, nandhaur valley are not included in CTR but also have tigers. Corbett's tiger density is comparable to kaziranga, whereas the herbivore density there doesn't seem anywhere comparable to kazi. 

Kanha's buffer is about 1100 km2 out of 2040 km2 total area. The buffer is not agricultural land, it is reserve forest that also has natural prey. The entire kanha pench corridor has presence of wild prey like gaur and sambar.

Jim Corbett mentions in maneaters of Kumaon how wild buffaloes used to inhabit this region. The historical range of indian rhino has been described as far west as present day Pakistan and Terai has always been a big part of its range. So it stands to assume that rhinos inhabited this region centuries ago. In fact AJT Jonsingh did a study on re introduction of rhinos in corbett's dhikala grasslands. You must remember that wildlife in our country has been hunted for centuries and species were wiped out of much of their range even before we had natural history books being made. To think that rhinos/buffaloes always only lived in assam and gangetic floodplains, would limit their potential re introduction sites. We need more areas that can accommodate these animals. As @Jimmy mentioned earlier, Nepalese government is trying to introduce wild buffaloes in Chitwan and I think it would be nice if we also did the same. Afterall, corbett and chitwan are both part of the terai, even if at opposite ends.

The Indian government has laws against introduction of alien species, not native species. Otherwise, why would they want to relocate lions to kuno? Rhinos have come tback to Dudhwa, then why not Corbett? It is one of the best managed reserves in the country and it would be fantastic for the rhinos.

PS: Please don't use caps or too many smileys or exclamation marks in your sentences. Makes it difficult to read.
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India Rishi Offline
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( This post was last modified: 05-17-2017, 12:34 PM by Rishi )

(05-16-2017, 11:21 PM)Shardul Wrote: The total tiger population of Uttarakhand is about 360, of which 200 odd are in Corbett tiger reserve. Ramnagar, lansdowne forest divisions, nandhaur valley are not included in CTR but also have tigers. Corbett's tiger density is comparable to kaziranga, whereas the herbivore density there doesn't seem anywhere comparable to kazi. 

I don't have data how many are nomadic tigers, how many are shared or how many has territorial overlap..so i won't comment on it.
( http://wildfact.com/forum/topic-wildfact-library ) the very 1st book has your prey density data...

Quote:Kanha's buffer is about 1100 km2 out of 2040 km2 total area. The buffer is not agricultural land, it is reserve forest that also has natural prey. The entire kanha pench corridor has presence of wild prey like gaur and sambar.


Yes, kanha has some buffer forests, but also ~50% of the buffer ise cultivated lands..especially that big white wedge in the map.
Check out ISRO's landuse/landcover data here> ( http://bhuvan.nrsc.gov.in/state/MP ) or if you just zoom-in in Satellite image (ISRO's one's much sharper than GoogleMaps) mode, you can see the fields.

Quote:In fact AJT Jonsingh did a study on re introduction of rhinos in corbett's dhikala grasslands. 

Ok..that one i didn't know. Thanks for the info!
In the wild, expect the unexpected, as we humans haven't really much clue of what to expect.
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India $uSpiciou$ Offline
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( This post was last modified: 05-17-2017, 01:10 PM by $uSpiciou$ )

(05-16-2017, 10:37 PM)Rishi Wrote:
(05-16-2017, 08:55 PM)Shardul Wrote: Hi @$uSpiciou$ 

I have always wondered how Corbett is able to support 200+ tigers when it is about the same size as kanha and the only large prey there is Sambar? Could you shed some light on that? Also, why don't they try to introduce large bovines like buffalo and gaur, or even rhino? The dhikala grasslands should be able to support a large number of them.

It doesn't...Corbett had 200 tigers living in the Tiger reserve & buffers & adjoining corridors of Lancedowne& Ramnagar ranges, the total area being more than 2000sq.km. Still the highest density in the world (not anymore)

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


Kanha on the other hand, has a core plus some buffer forests of hardly 1000 sq.km odd area..rest of the buffers were designated of farms & fields (white in map) that the tigers cross & kill cattle in, for ease of management & releasing compensation money. It houses 90+ tigers...makes sense.

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


PS: CORBETT NEVER HAD RHINOS OR BUFFALOS IN RECORDED HISTORY.
INDIA HAS STRICT LAWS AGAINST INTRODUCTION OF SPECIES.

Well "Rishi" has very well explained the geographical part. Now i will shed some light on how the system works in Corbett in a more simpler manner. Corbett as of today is only considered the area in and around the city 'Ramangar'. Now this is the core area and part of the national park. but the extended forest goes all the way upto many sides including cities like Nainital, Pithoragarh, Ranikhet, Khatima etc. The basic difference between Corbett and any other national park in India is that the whole Kumaon Region (Uttrakhand is divide into Kumaon and Garhwal Hilly Regions) was once fully surrounded by tigers and they actually kind of owned it. So although the forest cover has decreased yet for tigers that will be their homes anyways.

Let me give you an example. When I was a kid(12-13 years ago) I saw not one but many tigers very near to nainital on the main road. Here is the interesting part . Not one tiger i saw was nervous ever while crossing the road. This means that they were not out of their teritorry infact they lived there. My dad explained me all these concepts. Later on my friends from nearby cities shared the same experiences. Now I am talking about places like pithoragarh and beyond too which is like 3000 m above sea level and people knew about tigers living there too.

Also since the whole terrain is hilly or grassland so even though human population has increased yet there are some hilly patches where you cannot build anything.these act as the routes to connect the outer zone of corbett to the core zone. Even till today tigers are sighted far away from Corbett.

And that's the reason there are so many tigers because the national park is like that. the hills connect it perfectly and make channels for tigers which not always humans can reach and so they still are widely spread out.

Another very interesting example I will give. There is temple in a remote area little but not too far away from core Corbett area near ramanagar. The temple is completely open in the middle of little patch of forest but between that temple and Corbett there is human habitation. I went there with my dad like 8 years ago. The sadhu there clearly told that the temple was regularly visited by a pair of tigers who lived there in the forest. Not once did they harm anyone but they always visited the temple. They even showed me pugmarks so I am assuming that was for real.  

Anyways I hope this clears the query why corbett still holds so many tigers. To realize how corbett is spread out one has to visit the state and see how the hills acts as perfect decoy to connect tigers and give them more space in and around the park. Rishi explained the whole things perfectly and I hope this basic explanation from my side can make things a bit clear even further.


Could you shed some light on that? Also, why don't they try to introduce large bovines like buffalo and gaur, or even rhino? The dhikala grasslands should be able to support a large number of them. - Rishi is right on the money again with this.  translocating tigers from Corbett to Rajaji ( both parks are in Uttrakhand State) is proving to be such a daunting task and has face so much criticism. Here to introduce fauna that hasn't been there for a long time is simply another thing. Yes the grassland can support everything but the laws are too strict plus the Forest department in no way take such a huge risk when already Corbett is struglling with a huge problem of forest cover loss and poaching.
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India Rishi Offline
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(05-17-2017, 09:33 PM)Pckts Wrote: Here's another map of Kahna Zones that was posted at our lodge. 


*This image is copyright of its original author

JACKPOT!!!!! 

@Shardul @$uSpiciou$ ( @sanjay i can't tag $uSpiciou$ ) See here..this is the perfect map...
The yellow ones are forest beats (beat camps shown as dots) & green ones are revenue villages. 
Blue is the Phen Sanctuary that is Kanha Tiger reserve's satellite core.
In the wild, expect the unexpected, as we humans haven't really much clue of what to expect.
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Canada Shardul Offline
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(05-17-2017, 10:18 PM)Rishi Wrote:
(05-17-2017, 09:33 PM)Pckts Wrote: Here's another map of Kahna Zones that was posted at our lodge. 


*This image is copyright of its original author

JACKPOT!!!!! 

@Shardul @$uSpiciou$ ( @sanjay i can't tag $uSpiciou$ ) See here..this is the perfect map...
The yellow ones are forest beats (beat camps shown as dots) & green ones are revenue villages. 
Blue is the Phen Sanctuary that is Kanha Tiger reserve's satellite core.

I know all that. A tiger reserves' buffer area is usually a mix of protected forests and reserved forests or even a wildlife sanctuary. In terms of level of protection, here's the heirarchy:

1) Tiger Reserves
2) National Parks
3) Wildlife Sanctuary
4) Protected Forests
5) Reserve Forests
6) Revenue Forests

A tiger reserves buffer area allows some level of human interaction, it varies from reserve to reserve. It might be the Corbett's buffer has much lower human inhabitation than others, essentially providing more inviolate habitat for tigers. But that would mean no access to domestic livestock. The presence of plenty of domestic cattle on top of their usual prey is one of the reasons Bandhavgarh had the highest density of tigers at one point. If Corbett has 200+ tigers flourishing on just chital and sambar, it is a good news actually, it shows how adaptable tigers are and presence of really large prey like buffalo or gaur is not an essential factor in their survival. If it is simply a case of tigers being spread over a very large area, then I would like to know number of tigers in the core, buffer and adjoining areas of corbett, broken down. Ramnager had about 25 IIRC, lansdowne had similar, so it would still mean almost 200 in CTR itself.
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Canada Shardul Offline
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@$uSpiciou$

My question was more about prey density and how the habitat is able to support a huge carnivore population without the presence of large ungulates. The situation as you are describing seems similar to tiger reserves in western ghats who are all connected by forest covers, but there they are spread over a much larger area, and the habitat seems to support plenty of large prey.
What you are saying is that tiger numbers in corbett are spread over the adjoining areas and the per sq km density is not all that great. Which would belie all the claims that were made when the last census results put corbett's tiger density on par with kaziranga.

Regarding re-introduction of species, it is not against law, it is just a matter of political will. India's protected area network was established just a few decades ago and most big mammals had been locally exterminated from their historical range. Till now I have not seen any major reintroduction program, which is baffling since forest corridors have rapidly shrunk making natural dispersal almost impossible. Most rhinos and buffaloes are concentrated in Assam, all lions in Gujarat, elephants only in the extreme north, east and south. And they are trying to bring back the cheetah! It seems other animals hold no value, nothing to do with laws. And you don't need to form special protection units for the newly introduced animals. The same protection force in kazi protects both tigers and rhinos.
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India Rishi Offline
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(05-19-2017, 04:55 AM)Shardul Wrote: @$uSpiciou$

My question was more about prey density and how the habitat is able to support a huge carnivore population without the presence of large ungulates. The situation as you are describing seems similar to tiger reserves in western ghats who are all connected by forest covers, but there they are spread over a much larger area, and the habitat seems to support plenty of large prey.
What you are saying is that tiger numbers in corbett are spread over the adjoining areas and the per sq km density is not all that great. Which would belie all the claims that were made when the last census results put corbett's tiger density on par with kaziranga.

I've provided you with the preybase density data source in #917, check it.

Also..Ranthambore with similar prey species as Corbett, the Chital-Sambar-Nilgai combo, has 62 tigers in ~400 sq.kms (Kailadevi is sparsely populated by tigers, i don't know if any female is residing there even).

What @$uSpiciou$ & i were trying to say is that, Corbett shares the spillover tigers with it's buffers like Ramnagar & Lancedowne, who lives in Corbett's fringe forests & avoids venturing further inward fearing residents. Actually when they say 200 tigers in Corbett, they don't really say if that includes those living in what is called Corbett Forest Complex(#915).
In the wild, expect the unexpected, as we humans haven't really much clue of what to expect.
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India Rishi Offline
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(05-19-2017, 04:55 AM)Shardul Wrote: Regarding re-introduction of species, it is not against law, it is just a matter of political will. India's protected area network was established just a few decades ago and most big mammals had been locally exterminated from their historical range. Till now I have not seen any major reintroduction program, which is baffling since forest corridors have rapidly shrunk making natural dispersal almost impossible. Most rhinos and buffaloes are concentrated in Assam, all lions in Gujarat, elephants only in the extreme north, east and south. And they are trying to bring back the cheetah! It seems other animals hold no value, nothing to do with laws. And you don't need to form special protection units for the newly introduced animals. The same protection force in kazi protects both tigers and rhinos.

As far as reintroduction is concerned, you seem to know more than me.

Still, 200 years absence of a species, should have some effects on the equilibrium of the ecosystem & a reintroduction is a complex manoeuvre with a high failure/f౧ckup rate & the whole system needs to resync.

However, we are steadily gaining experience & expertise in the field & it might just happen someday when most rhino habitats have reached their carrying capacity, like Gorumara & Jaldalara has..& WB govt is considering shifting some to historical habitats like Buxa Tiger Reserve.
In the wild, expect the unexpected, as we humans haven't really much clue of what to expect.
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