There is a world somewhere between reality and fiction. Although ignored by many, it is very real and so are those living in it. This forum is about the natural world. Here, wild animals will be heard and respected. The forum offers a glimpse into an unknown world as well as a room with a view on the present and the future. Anyone able to speak on behalf of those living in the emerald forest and the deep blue sea is invited to join.
--- Peter Broekhuijsen ---

  Gardening, Afforestation & Agro-forestry
Posted by: Rishi - 07-02-2020, 10:23 AM - Forum: Human & Nature - No Replies
After I got on Twitter few months ago, I had followed almost all of the Indian Forest Service officers who are there... I soon figured that most of their posts are related to afforestation & deforestation mitigation & soil or watershed management.


So I'm creating this thread to share the treasure troves here... Gardening can be covered too for those who are interested.

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author
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  Animal Corridors, Movement & Range Expansion
Posted by: Rishi - 06-29-2020, 02:27 PM - Forum: Projects, Protected areas & Issues - Replies (2)
Sahyadri Tiger Reserve used by 8 tigers: Forest department
Although devoid of breeding tiger population which became locally extinct, the tiger is a was originally meant to accept the transients overflowing from Aadhar Tiger Reserves in the southern part of Sahyadri-Konkan Conservation Landscape


*This image is copyright of its original author

The Maharashtra forest department said the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (STR) was being frequently used by 8 tigers. Nestled in the rugged terrains (350m-1,250m altitude gradient) of northern Western Ghats, STR spread over 1,166km² area is western Maharashtra’s only tiger reserve, comprising Chandoli National Park and Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary. It was declared a tiger reserve in 2008, butwith no permanent resident population. 

V Clement Ben, chief conservator of forest, Kolhapur and former field director of STR said, “Based on secondary data collection including scat analysis and model-based predictions for prey base per square km, we have identified the presence of eight tigers in STR. While the number is more than what the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had assessed in 2014 (five-seven tigers), this is not a resident tiger population. These are dispersing tigers but the data indicates habitat improvement and increase in prey base, thus allowing more tigers to move through this landscape.”

The details were shared by Ben after a research paper was published on Saturday in CATnews, a newsletter which is a component of the Species Survival Commission of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). While camera trap images of the tiger were captured in May 2018, the research paper jointly conceived by the state forest department and Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun was published after 25 months.

“STR is suitable to carry the capacity of resident wild tigers akin to tiger reserves in Vidarbha,” said Ben, a contributing author of the paper. He added, “This ecosystem can now sustain wild tiger population if translocation is experimented.”





WII scientists said there was a fear that tigers had become functionally extinct in this region since there were no photographic records since 2011. “Even though there are no resident tigers in STR currently, the one documented four times in camera trap images (May 22-24, 2018) had also dispersed through this region,” said Ramesh Krishnamoorthy, corresponding author of the paper and principal investigator, WII. He added, “Conservation efforts have led to an improvement in prey population, reduced human disturbances, and enhanced protection of fragmented forests.”

Currently, the data indicates the nine animals (wild boar, deer etc.) per sqkm. “It needs to be at least 15 or 16 to have a healthy resident population,” said Ben.

The findings of the research paper were part of the 10-year-monitoring and habitat development exercise of STR which started in 2016. A review of experimental tiger translocation would be taken later this year. “It can commence by releasing one male and one female,” added Krishnamoorthy.

The narrow boundaries of the reserve have fragmented forest cover owing to human habitation in the buffer as well as core areas. The reserve has dense and open forests, scrublands, barren areas, water bodies, and agricultural lands making it a unique ecosystem.

“Now, our attempt is to have social acceptance from villagers to be relocated from the core STR areas, and concentrate on habitat development to increase tiger presence,” said Krishnamoorthy who welcomed the forest department’s latest decision to declare the 29.53 sqkm area in Dodamarg, Sindhudurg as Tillari Conservation Reserve. “The protected area will act as a stepping stone for tiger source population from sanctuaries in Goa and Karnataka. We must also realise that while developing a conducive environment for more tigers at STR, protecting the entire Sahyadri range is crucial for the water security and recharge capacity for western Maharashtra,” he said.

Recently the Tillari Conservation Reserve was declared Upar a small patch of forest land that would act as a north-south corridor to bypass some mining areas;
(06-24-2020, 09:42 PM)BorneanTiger Wrote: Maharashtra reserves forest for elephants who came from Karnataka, in the area of Tillari in Sindhudurg District

A government notification said 2,953.38 hectares of forest land in Sindhudurg would be a "reserved forest" for "conservation of tiger, elephantand leopard". The 38-km-long Dodamarg wildlife corridor that connects Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary in Maharashtra to Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka frequently witnesses elephant and tiger movement.

Tilari is a forest located in the hilly ranges of Konkan-Western Ghats corridor:

*This image is copyright of its original author

Finally out!.. An interesting paper on Status of tiger in Sahyadri Tiger Reserve & connectivity issues in the larger Sahyadri landscape between Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka.


Recent record of tiger from Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, Indiahttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/342491630_Recent_record_of_tiger_from_Sahyadri_Tiger_Reserve_India
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  Keystone species and trophic cascades
Posted by: Sully - 06-29-2020, 08:18 AM - Forum: Projects, Protected areas & Issues - Replies (2)
Here is an interesting paper I read a couple months ago on the keystone role of Bison in tallgrass prairie

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267855130_The_Keystone_Role_of_Bison_in_North_American_Tallgrass_Prairie

and here is the most famous example of a trophic cascade 





I have recently finished the book "Serengeti Rules" (I highly recommend it) and will be posting parts from it in this thread about multiple trophic cascades with an explanation of the keystone species and their roles which tie ecosystems together.
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  Interspecific conflicts, no canids of felids
Posted by: Shadow - 06-15-2020, 03:13 PM - Forum: Terrestrial Wild Animals - Replies (17)
I created this thread for many interesting conflicts, which happen without participation of canids or felids. Here should be posted video clips showing what happened or if photos, not only some random photo with text like "rhino and buffalo fight". If only a photo or photos, then there should be also a good description about it what happened. How it started and how it ended up. If someone wants to post only some random photo, then seek some other thread, there are threads for excellent photos etc. Put here only things, which show or tell what happened.

Anyway in this thread can be put practically all interspecific conflict situations, also between domesticated animals, which haven´t had really a good thread before. But as said, to keep postings interesting, no random photos only!

I start with a video, which had a gem, imo, and surprised me.

Watch from 1:25 to 1:45, that was quite a knockout! I almost spilled my coffee :) There is also that situation leading to what is on thumbnail of this video. Right before this situation, which impressed me the most.




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  Literature Thread
Posted by: Sanju - 06-15-2020, 01:13 PM - Forum: Miscellaneous - Replies (1)
A Close Call in Muktesar

*This image is copyright of its original author

Distant Danger by John Seerey-Lester

The long search for the man-eating tigress was coming to an end and the hunter was poised to bring a permanent halt to the killer’s reign of terror. After a trek lasting three days, he was finally going to come face to face with his deadly quarry. He knew that the slightest disturbance in the bush could cause the tigress to flee.

That day and on previous days, Jim Corbett had a team of some 30 beaters working hard to flush and drive the tigress toward him. They were not having much luck and were about to call it a day and try again the following morning when Corbett’s attention was drawn to a distant field adjacent to a village.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Man Eater of Kumaon by John Seerey-Lester

He couldn’t believe his eyes. The elusive tigress was casually walking toward them about 400 yards away. Corbett looked for some cover and a good position from which to take his shot. Meanwhile, the big cat started down a ravine toward a narrow stream. Corbett quickly made his way to where he hoped to get a shot before or after she crossed the water, but there was insufficient cover.

As the tigress began to climb over the crest of the hill, Corbett knew he’d have to move fast if he was going to cut her off before she disappeared. Determined not to lose his chance, he had no other option but to race headlong through a tunnel of thorn bushes that tore at his skin and clothes.
With blood trickling down his face, the hunter eventually scrambled out the thorns and found a vantage point above the ravine where he expected to see the tigress feeding on the carcass of an old bullock he had put there the day before. As he crawled up to the rim, he was relieved to hear bones cracking below him, which meant the tigress had found the kill.

During the early half of the 20th century, Jim Corbett was one of the most famous hunters of man-eating tigers and leopards. Born in 1875 of Irish ancestry in the small Himalayan town of Nainital in the Kumaon area of northern British India (now the State of Uttarakhand), Edward James Corbett soon became dedicated to ridding Indian villages of the killer cats.

During his long hunting career, he never slayed a tiger or leopard unless it was killing humans. It’s estimated that the cats he killed were responsible for the deaths of some 1,200 men, women and children.
Around the mid 1920s, Corbett had been called to Muktesar, a small picturesque settlement in the shadow of the Himalayas. Apparently a troublesome tigress had taken up residence in the forest area near a Veterinary Research Institute specializing in fighting cattle diseases.

The tigress had quickly graduated from attacking livestock to killing humans. At least 24 people had been killed by the tigress and something had to be done about her. Like most man-eaters, the big cat had probably suffered an injury that caused a change in her diet from wild animals to humans, a much easier source of prey.
The tigress was terrorizing and endangering the lives of the villagers as well as workers at the institute. Because it was a Government-run facility that was doing important work, it became a priority to find someone who could resolve the situation.

Corbett was called in, though at first he was hesitant; he worried that he might be stepping on the toes of the sportsmen who lived around the institute and who had tried unsuccessfully to kill the tigress. But after hearing the horror stories of how people had been brutally slain, he signed on for the task.

Corbett always required physical evidence of an attack or to be taken to the site of the tragedy. Upon his arrival, he was shown where a local woman had been cutting grass for her cattle when the tigress pounced, striking her with a fatal blow and then crushing her skull. The woman’s death was instantaneous, but surprisingly, the cat chose to seek refuge elsewhere instead of feeding on the corpse.

Two days later, a man had found the woman’s body, still clutching a clump of grass in one hand and a sickle in the other. The man was also killed by the tigress, which had been lying in wait not far away. For some reason, the tigress fed on the man, but had decided to leave the woman untouched.

A day later, she killed a third villager without any provocation, which elevated her to the top of the wanted list.
Now Corbett was within striking distance of bagging the big cat, unless something unexpected happened. From his vantage point above the tigress, he watched as she left the kill and began to move out on to open ground. Suddenly he was startled by a sound behind him; it was one of the beaters who had retrieved Corbett’s hat that he’d lost during his run through the thorn tunnel.

Corbett thanked the beater, then motioned for him to keep quiet. The tigress was close by, climbing up the opposite bank and walking along the top toward a hill where she would soon be obscured by a thicket of poplar saplings, each about six inches thick. Although he could only see a shadow of the cat moving through the trees, Corbett decided to take the shot.
The blast from his rifle echoed through the valley as the bullet hit a sapling near the cat’s head. The tigress reacted instantly, swinging around and charging down the hill toward Corbett, who realized he was trapped with his back to a sheer 50-foot drop to the stream below.

When the cat was only two yards away, Corbett leaned forward and fired his last bullet, which struck the tiger at the base of her neck. The impact of the 500-caliber bullet pushed the tigress off course, but her momentum carried her past Corbett and over the cliff to where she fell into the stream with a huge splash.

As the villagers and beaters cheered from the cliff-top, the dead cat was hauled up from the stream and laid on a bed of straw for all to see. An hour later, by the light of lanterns and in front of a growing crowd, which by then included several local sportsmen, Corbett skinned the tigress. He found that one of her forelegs had some 50 porcupine quills imbedded under the pad, which had become ingrown. This was obviously what had turned the cat into a man-eater.

https://sportingclassicsdaily.com/a-clos...-muktesar/
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  Asiatic lions outside India
Posted by: BorneanTiger - 06-08-2020, 10:28 PM - Forum: Lion - Replies (2)
Today, the Asiatic lion (which was considered to be a subspecies of its own, with the scientific name Panthera leo persica, before being subsumed by the Cat Specialist Group in 2017 to the Northern lion subspecies (Panthera leo leo), due to its genetic closeness with lions in northern parts of Africa, including the Barbary and West African lions) is found either in the wilderness of Gujarat State in Western India, in and around Gir Forest, or in captivity. Previously, it is recorded to have had a huge range extending from India or South Asia (including what is now Pakistan) in the east, to Anatolia (the Asian part of Turkey) in the west, and Transcaucasia (or "South Caucasus", including Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) and Central Asia (including the oasis' region of Khwarizm) in the north, barring lions which historically occurred in southern Europe (including Greece, there's another threadfor that): https://www.wdl.org/en/item/17720/view/2/342/, https://archive.org/stream/journalofbomb...2/mode/2uphttps://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov2...2/mode/2up

Let me first start with depictions of this population of lions in the book of Heptner and Sludskiy (1972), note the belly-covering manes: https://archive.org/stream/mammalsofsov2...2/mode/2up

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  Which is the most naturally beautiful country in the world?
Posted by: sanjay - 06-08-2020, 02:20 PM - Forum: Miscellaneous - Replies (5)
The world is definitely beautiful.. And I have heard there are lots of place which has splendid looking views and make you feel happy. You will love its presence.
We know every country has few places which is quite spectacular, But according to you which country as whole is beautiful ?
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  Thanks for the welcome
Posted by: Nate121 - 06-07-2020, 12:58 PM - Forum: Lion - No Replies
Thank you for the welcome @Lycaon ? Yes Iv seen so many pictures and information here here i haven’t seen anywhere else. Keep up the great work guys.
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  Spinosaurus aegyptiacus
Posted by: DinoFan83 - 06-04-2020, 05:37 AM - Forum: Dinosaurs - Replies (8)
Spinosaurus (meaning "spine lizard") is a genus of spinosaurid dinosaur that lived in what now is North Africa during the upper Albian to upper Turonian stages of the Cretaceous period, about 112 to 93.5 million years ago. This genus was known first from Egyptian remains discovered in 1912 and described by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer in 1915. The original remains were destroyed in World War II, but additional material has come to light in the early 21st century. It is unclear whether one or two species are represented in the fossils reported in the scientific literature. The best known species is S. aegyptiacus from Egypt, although a potential second species, S. maroccanus, has been recovered from Morocco. The contemporary spinosaurid genus Sigilmassasaurus has also been synonymized by some authors with S. aegyptiacus, though other researchers propose it to be a distinct taxon. Another possible junior synonym is Oxalaia from the Alcântara Formation in Brazil.
Spinosaurus was possibly the largest of all known carnivorous dinosaurs, nearly as large as or even larger than other theropods such as Tyrannosaurus, Giganotosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus. The latest estimates suggest weights of 8.99 to 13.66 tonnes for the 3 known adult specimens (MSNM v4047, NHMUK R-16421, and NMC 41852), with the average size of them being 15.37 meters and 10.74 tonnes. It could have reached lengths of 14.4 to 16.6 meters as an adult. The skull of Spinosaurus was long, low and narrow, similar to that of a modern crocodilian, and bore straight conical teeth with no serrations. It would have had large, robust forelimbs bearing three-fingered hands, with an enlarged claw on the first digit. The distinctive neural spines of Spinosaurus, which were long extensions of the vertebrae (or backbones), grew to at least 1.65 meters (5.4 ft) long and were likely to have had skin connecting them, forming a sail-like structure, although some authors have suggested that the spines were covered in fat and formed a hump. Spinosaurus's hip bones were reduced, and the legs were very short in proportion to the body. Its long and narrow tail was deepened by tall, thin neural spines and elongated chevrons, forming a flexible fin or paddle-like structure.
Spinosaurus is known to have eaten fish, and most scientists believe that it hunted both terrestrial and aquatic prey. Evidence suggests that it was highly semiaquatic, and lived both on land and in water as modern crocodilians do. Spinosaurus's leg bones had osteosclerosis (high bone density), allowing for better buoyancy control, and the paddle-like tail was likely used for underwater propulsion. Multiple functions have been put forward for the dorsal sail, including thermoregulation and display; either to intimidate rivals or attract mates. Spinosaurus lived in a humid environment of tidal flats and mangrove forests alongside many other dinosaurs, as well as fish, crocodylomorphs, lizards, turtles, pterosaurs, and plesiosaurs.
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  Ancient Jaguars
Posted by: OncaAtrox - 06-04-2020, 04:11 AM - Forum: Pleistocene Big Cats - Replies (25)
A lot is known about the ancient lions and tigers, but jaguars have a very intriguing fossil record as well. In here we are to post information and new discoveries regarding ancient jaguar species and subspecies.


Panthera onca mesembrina, Pleistocene of South America

Skull:


*This image is copyright of its original author



The size of P. o. mesembrina:

"Body Mass estimation. The size of the m1 in the felid is the classic best gauge of body mass (Legendre and Roth, 1988, VanValkenburgh, 1990). We calculated the body mass (BM) of F. o. mesembrina using the m1 measurements, following the proposal of VanValkenburgh (1990) with the formula:


*This image is copyright of its original author


We determinated a body mass of 231.21 kg for “Panthera onca mesembrina”. This value is well within of the range of the males of Panthera atrox (Wheeler and Jefferson, 2009), whereas the values are much smaller in Panthera onca (Christiansen and Harris, 2005, Prevosti and Vizcaíno, 2006). Further, this body mass is within the range of largest felids, such as Smilodon fatalis and S. populator (Christiansen and Harris, 2005).

Recently, Prevosti and Martin (2014) made a mass calculation of “P. onca mesembrina” based on some unpublished fossil remains. They obtained values between 190 kg to 243 kg, based on the length of m1 of different individuals (see Prevosti and Martin, 2014: Supplementary data 1). It is worth mentioning that the living P. onca shows values near 100 kg (102 kg sensu Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002), and exceptionally upper values of 158 kg (Seymour, 1989). Further, the large extinct North American jaguar P. onca augusta, was 15 to 20% larger than living jaguar, being less than 190 kg (Seymour, 1989).

In this way, the mass calculation for “P. o. mesembrina” obtained by Prevosti and Martin (2014) and present paper points that the Patagonian Panthera was a felid that duplicates the size of living or extinct jaguars.

Additionally, based on body mass determination, it is possible to calculate the focused prey size of “P. o. mesembrina” on the basis of the following formula (Hemmer, 2004):



*This image is copyright of its original author
"
Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar...8317301094


*This image is copyright of its original author

Reconstruction by Roman Uchytel
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