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RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 12-03-2014

5 arrested with tiger, leopard skin 



*This image is copyright of its original author


Five persons were arrested and two tiger skins and two leopard skins worth lakhs of rupees seized from them in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district, police said on Sunday. 

The alleged wild life traders were apprehended late last night at Gyani Chowk under Kanker police station limits when they were heading towards Raipur to reportedly sell the smuggled big cat skins, superintendent of police R N Dash said. 

They were carrying wildlife body parts in an SUV which has been seized, he said. The exact market value of two tiger and two leopard skins is yet to be ascertained. The arrested wildlife traders claimed it to be of around Rs 50 lakh in international market, the SP said. 

Those nabbed have been identified as Ros Immanuel, Domar Singh Sethiya, Budhram Poya, Sukhram Poyam, natives of Bastar district and a nearby region and the driver Manishankar Rai of Umarkot (Odisha), the SP said



http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/raipur/5-arrested-with-tiger-leopard-skin/articleshow/45329322.cms

 


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 12-04-2014

Bandipur's tiger boom spells doom for those on the fringe



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Read the full article on the link below
http://www.rediff.com/news/special/bandipurs-tiger-boom-spells-doom-for-those-on-the-fringe/20141202.htm


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 12-05-2014


*This image is copyright of its original author

 


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 12-06-2014

These young village women are fighting to save India’s endangered tigers



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I saw them filter noiselessly through the forest, their camouflage outfits blending perfectly into the foliage of the Pench Tiger Reserve. Moments later they were gone, swallowed by the jungle.

I marvelled at the ease with which they moved, searching the game trails for human footprints, lethal jaw-traps and snares. After decades of dogged demands, we actually have a trained anti-poaching team in place, dedicated exclusively to protecting tigers in a geography that had been losing cats to the poaching trade faster than cubs were being born.

A handful of these special teams had been set up simultaneously in 2012, including the one I was with in Pench, Maharashtra this year.




Fighting poachers, changing traditions

The women of the Pench Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) we had just caught sight of would only return to home base six hours and 18 kilometers later. Entirely funded by the National Tiger Conservation Authority of India, the task assigned to the STPF that day was to sanitise the southern boundary of the tiger reserve.


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I wondered how these young village women—their average age was 23— born into a traditionally patriarchal society, had managed to dedicate their lives to protecting tigers. It was far from easy. Applications were invited from those living across Maharashtra and only one in every ten girls was picked after a rigourous selection process that involved running 16 kms in under two-and-a-half hours and then going through an aptitude test.

The job is not without risk either.

A male colleague, S. D. Shendre, 24, was recently shot and almost died when he took on four poachers single-handedly in Pench. While all four were arrested, the STPF knows they are up against a $25 billion global trade in wildlife contraband, with umbilical links to the ruthless narcotics, human trafficking and arms trades.




A hard fight

The crusade to save Pench, a forest spread across 1,921 sq. km between the Indian states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, has been long and hard.

Twenty five years ago, there was a well-equipped mafia that picked off wild species, unchallenged. Additionally, callous irrigation engineers and thousands of workers that had been trucked in to build the Totladoh hydroeletric dam, had laid claim to the forest, egged on by droves of small and big-time politicians. The reservoirs extended across 70 km and drowned precious wildlife areas.



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Thousands of workers also took it for granted that they could settle there permanently. However, after protracted court battles, the irrigation colony was demolished and today tigers with cub are permanent residents where once cinema halls, markets, traffic and garbage ruled.

Yet, poachers continued to have the run of the forest.

It took another 10 years to actually get functional STPFs in place. And the impact of a well-trained, well-equipped force is now being felt. After years of tigers falling prey to poachers through poisoned waterholes and hundreds of snares laid out in the forest, none were lost during the summer of 2014.



Pride in the uniform

Back in the STPF camp that evening, I asked the women rangers the question that had been rattling around in my head for a while: “How did the menfolk in your village react to your taking up this job?”

“Our families are supportive,” one said, “They are happy we are protecting the forests where our ancestors have lived for generations.”

“Don’t forget we have also been trained in hand to hand combat by paramilitary commandos,” said another, “Most boys in our village know that it will not be good for their health to tangle with us!”



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These women in Pench and Tadoba are largely from Vidarbha families, where they now occupy positions of respect in their communities.

Most of them are daughters of farmers, traders and forest rangers. And few had ever seen a tiger in the wild before they started their training.

“My grandfather was a policeman. I wanted to join the police force and wear the khaki vardi (uniform). So here I am wearing the uniform but protecting something so much more important. Without the forest there will be no oxygen and no people and nothing for the police to protect, ” said 24-year-old Rupali Bante.

That the job at best offers a wage of around Rs15,000 a month, with considerable collateral risks to life and limb that few urban women would even consider accepting, hardly dents their purpose. But in the hinterland, that is good money—and together with their uniform, makes these young women immensely well-respected in their communities.

“We have to make it very clear to prospective grooms that this is our life and career. I will never give it up. As for my parents, they are fielding proposals every day. There’s a line outside the door seeking the hand of their daughter, now that I have this job,” said Bante.

While poaching incidents have risen in virtually every part of India, parks where effective STPFs have been set up—such as Nagarahole, Pench and Tadoba—have seen a marked drop in poaching incidents. That these men and women come from the very communities that poachers rely on for information and logistic support, has been a key factor.

It’s not without reason that these women guards of Tadoba and Pench are known as Durga Shakti, named after the epitome of female power who rides a tiger.

The women of the Special Tiger Protection Force of Maharashtra’s Tadoba and Pench Tiger Reserves will be honoured during the Sanctuary Wildlife Awards 2014 ceremony on Dec. 5.

http://qz.com/306401/these-young-village-women-are-fighting-to-save-indias-endangered-tigers/

 


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 12-06-2014

Kanha-Pench walk, a giant step for tiger conservation


'Walk in the 
tiger steps', a 130km trek for seven days between Kanha and Pench tiger reserves through forest corridors turned out to be a big hit with support pouring in from the grassroots for conserving wildcats.

At least 50 participants from across the country led by Chittaranjan Dave, landscape coordinator from 
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), roughed it out in the jungles walking through one of the most celebrated corridors providing connectivity for wildlife between two important source tiger populations from November 23 to 29. "We were successful in creating socio-political awareness on the need for securing tiger habitats outside the protected areas by drawing attention of locals and national and global conservation community," Dave said after the seven-day event.

The walk started on November 23, after a small talk by Dave and Kanha field director JS Chauhan. Talking to TOI, Chauhan, who himself walked for two days, welcomed the move. "It was really amazing. You must see it to believe it. The corridor is more beautiful than you visualize it on seeing the map. It still has rich floral and faunal diversity." Chauhan said there was enough evidence of tiger presence in the corridor and to protect it, local communities must be enlisted . "We identified 43 villages that have weak corridor links. Community development will be taken up in these villages under an integrated plan," he said. "During the trail, villagers largely voiced concern about losing their ancestral home if they are relocated from the corridor. Participants and forest officials cleared their doubts and assured them that no such plan existed," said SK Rada, sarpanch of Behrai. Rada was happy with the awareness walk.

"We succeeded in conveying the message to the people during village meetings. We not only cleared their doubts but also requested them to protect forest and wildlife in their vicinity," said Ashish Kachwaha from Khatiya near Kanha. Participants learnt about forestry operations and protection measures in the corridor and enjoyed interaction with Balaghat CCF Pushkar Singh, who joined the walk with his staff. On the trek, he showed one of the oldest teak plantations in Central India where a teak tree with 4.7 metre girth is still surviving.

"Such events will help forest department consolidate effort to address community issues and simultaneously protect corridor forest from illegal activities," said Singh. On arriving at Sonawani, he offered refreshments to all the walkers. During night halts, WWF team organized food and movie shows through which villagers were asked to support tiger conservation efforts in all possible ways. "Huge crowd enjoyed wildlife movies and participated in the following discussions," said Singh.

On November 29, field director of Pench Sanjay Shukla and deputy director Kiran Bisen and others joined the trek. They interacted with participants and declared their support. "There can be no better attempt than this to make people aware of need for tiger conservation," said Shukla and Bisen.

Dr Nayeem Khan, a city-based radiologist, and Sarfaraz Ahmed, an assistant professor with IGGMC, who trekked 17km in four hours towards the end point from Sakata-Chandarpur-Rukhad, dubbed it as a thrilling experience. "We saw a variety of birds and heard calls of wild. You rarely get such a chance to explore the forest," they said. On the occasion, WWF donated a school van for the children of frontline staff of Kanha posted in the reserve.


 


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Kanha-Pench-walk-a-giant-step-for-tiger-conservation/articleshow/45341009.cms


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 12-08-2014

(11-27-2014, 12:12 AM)'sanjay' Wrote: This is distrubing, A sick lioness and a man is teasing and pulling her tail. From gujrat

I hate these people





 




Maldharis who shot lioness video helped rescue it, say Gir forest officials 


A DAY after a video showing a man “teasing” a lioness went viral on social media, the Gujarat forest department said it was no mischief and was shot by two maldharis (herdsmen) who had helped forest officers track the carnivore.

“The video was shot by two maldharis on December 30, 2013 in Jasadhar range of Gir East division. They found the animal paralysed. While one of them tried to assess the its weakness by touching its tail, the other one shot the action on his cellphone. They informed forest officers and the lioness was taken to Jasadhar Animal Care centre late that evening,” chief conservator of forests in Junagadh wildlife circle R L Meena said, adding that media had misunderstood the clipping.

In his report to higher authorities, Anshuman Sharma, deputy conservator of forests of Gir East division, identified the two maldharis as Kanu Vala and Shiva Lakhantra. The report said that Vala found the lioness in Tarbheti Taliya area of the forest and concluded that it was ill. He informed his uncle Lakhantra, who contacted forest officers. However, a trackers party from Jasadhar could not locate the big cat, the report states.

“In the evening, Vala took Lakhantra to the spot where the lioness had been lying. They found the lioness at the same spot. Lakhantra went closer to the lioness and checked with it with his stick. To assess its condition, he lifted its tail. Vala shot all this on his cellphone,” Sharma said, referring to Vala’s statement.

After local dailies reported on the video, state forests Minister Mangubhai Patel ordered an inquiry and sought a report within three days.The DCF has forwarded his report to the state’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and a copy of the same is available with The Indian Express.
 

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/maldharis-who-shot-lioness-video-helped-rescue-it-say-gir-forest-officials/

 


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 12-09-2014

Tiger captured in Sunderbans

The forest department officials on Friday evening released a tiger into a forest near Bonnie Camp.

The big cat had sneaked into Madhabpur and Katamari villages from the Chitori forest under the South 24-Parganas forest division a week ago. It was finally captured by the foresters on Thursday night.

Ajoy Koyal, a villager from Katamari, was injured by the tiger last week when he went to his paddy field. "It pounced on Ajoy and grabbed his right elbow. Before he could understand anything, the tiger started dragging him by his shoulder. Ajoy's neighbour Chittaranjan Sardar, who accompanied him to the paddy field, managed to scare away the tiger with a stick and sickle and rescued Ajoy," said locals.

The tiger, according the locals, had also lifted a goat from a villager's house then. A huge nylon net was hung in the area to separate the villages from the nearby forest and trap cages were also laid. But, the tiger managed to disappear into the woods at that time. Later, the foresters, while patrolling the area, spotted pugmarks of two tigers.

"Actually two big cats — a tiger and a tigress — were holed up in Katamari a week back. While the tigress managed to escape, the tiger was still roaming the area. So, we placed the trap cages this time close to the forests and managed to capture the big cat on Thursday night," said an official.



http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Tiger-captured-in-Sunderbans/articleshow/45398617.cms
 


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 12-11-2014

Tigress found dead in Bandipur forest

A tigress was found dead at Bandipur Tiger Reserve (BTR) on Tuesday. The foresters have ruled out any foul play.

The tigress, said to be aged 8 years, was found dead at Malapura beat in Bandipur range, which forms the core area of the sanctuary spread over 874 sqkm in Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts. Bandipur range is in Gundulpet taluk of Chamarajanagar.

Given that a leopardess, aged about 30 months was found caught in a jaw trap outside Nagarahole Tiger Reserve recently leading to suspicion that inter-state poachers are on the prowl, there were concerns that it could have also been killed by the gang. 

The tigress' body bore injuries too. However, the officials ruled out any foul play, pointing out that its nails and skin were intact. Sources told that the tigress has died due to starvation.

The body was found near a waterhole in the reserve. There were severe wounds on its body, maybe because of infighting. This is the mating season and the big cat could have been injured during infighting, they explained, adding: "The nature of injuries has pushed it to the wall, incapacitating it to hunt. 

It looks like it has not had its meal for at least a week, and this must have led to its death."A team of vets, in the presence of senior officials, performed postmortem of the big cat. Additional principal chief conservator of forests C Srinivasan, who is field director (Project Tiger) and BTR director H C Kantharaju were present.

Jaw trap to blame?

After the jaw trap incident surfaced near Nagarahole, field staff found an Indian guar badly injured at Dodda Sampige in K Gudi forest in BR Hills area. It was found to have sustained injuries because of a jaw trap. 

Though forest staff tried to rescue it, the wild animal escaped. Back-to-back incidents have led to concerns that the Bandipur tigress could have been killed as the dreaded Katni gang of poachers are believed to be on the prowl in the area.



http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mysore/Tigress-found-dead-in-Bandipur-forest/articleshow/45450143.cms
 


RE: Bigcats News - Pckts - 12-11-2014

Sad, but if it was because of infighting, at least its natural.


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 12-13-2014

Tiger poisoned ? Body found in Sharda canal

A young and healthy wild tiger was reportedly poisoned to death and before the culprits could lay their hands on its dead body, it was spotted floating in the Sharda canal by the villagers and people rushed to see it.

In all probability this tiger was poisoned and this brought back the heart wrenching memories of mid eighties when several tigers had died in this area

This tragic incident of unnatural death of a tiger spread like a wild-fire and the moment it came to the notice of the forest department staff, they all rushed to the site where it was last reported to have been seen floating in the canal.

On reaching the Sharda canal near Gola tehsil of Lakhimpur district, forest staff saw the floating body of the dead tiger moving with the flow of the canal water. 

“Since the current of the water was rapid, we all had to just follow it as any attempt to fish out the dead tiger would have been an exercise in futility,” said an official of the forest department.After following the body of the dead tiger to a considerable distance by walking on the banks of the canal, the forest staff managed to get its body dragged out with the help of local farm labourers at Jamuna farm.

When the dead tiger was taken out of the canal and after a close examination of its body, no injury marks were found. This raised a suspicion of the tiger being poisoned to death, said an official of the forest department.

“In all probability this tiger was poisoned and this brought back the heart wrenching memories of mid eighties when several tigers had died in a similar fashion in this area and their bodies were detected floating in this canal itself,” reminded an expert who claimed that they all had died of poisoning and this fact was concealed by the forest department officials.

Explaining the modus operandi adopted by the poachers, the expert said, “when a tiger eats an animal carcass laced with poison, it develops severe thirst and as the source of water in this particular area is Sharda canal they rush towards it. 

As soon as they quench their thirst they collapse and slip into the canal and thereafter are fished out by the poachers,” the expert said.

Since this tiger had no injury mark on its body, it too was suspected to have been poisoned and the same will only be confirmed once the autopsy report from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute is received, said an official



http://www.indileak.com/tiger-poisoned-body-found-in-sharda-canal/
 


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 12-15-2014

Lack of prey pushing leopards into cities: Experts



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After the carcasses of two leopards were discovered in Ghaziabad — one on Thursday and the other on Friday — the forest department said it was possible that the two animals had strayed there from the nearby Hastinapur Sanctuary. Experts said their presence in areas such as Ghaziabad proves that the big cats have learned to thrive even in human-dominated areas.

On Thursday, one leopard was found dead in the forests near Pachehra village in Loni, Ghaziabad, by a farmer.

The forest department transported the carcass to Sanjay Nagar nursery, where a post-mortem ruled out any foul play.

Officials said the animal, aged between 13 and 14, had died of natural causes. On Friday, another leopard, around 4 years old, was found dead at Abupur village. Officials said it appeared that the animal was electrocuted after coming into contact with a high-voltage wire.

Forest department officials and experts maintained that two leopard deaths, within 48 hours, confirmed that the big cat was looking to move out of Hastinapur Sanctuary — that spans over Ghaziabad, Meerut and Jyotiba Phule Nagar — due to lack of prey.

A recent GPS-based study on leopards, a first of its kind, had confirmed that leopards adopted a number of strategies to not just survive, but thrive in areas with human habitations.

The study, titled “Adaptable Neighbours: Movements patterns of GPS-collared leopards in human-dominated landscapes in India”, was done by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) along with Norway’s Hedmarks University College, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Himachal Pradesh Forest Department, Maharashtra Forest Department and Asian Nature Conservation Foundation.

It focussed on five leopards, three of them females, that had been tagged as “problem animals”, though they had never attacked humans.

“In the past few years, there have been numerous leopard sightings in human dominated areas. The Forest department tries its best to ensure that leopards aren’t attacked by people as it would lead to a man-animal conflict that can have very dire consequences,” a forest department official said.

The study found that leopards took active steps to avoid encountering people by only moving around at nights. The study also found that leopards could spend time closer to human habitations, coming as close as 25 metres, at night.

“We’ve always looked as leopards as outsiders. We need to understand that leopards are now a part of our cities, towns or settlements. Leopards are very adaptable animals. Humans have modified their habitat, but leopards have learned to live in these modified environment too. Now it is for us to understand this and figure out ways to adjust with them,” Vidya Athreya of WCS said.


See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/lack-of-prey-pushing-leopards-into-cities-experts/#sthash.5E8DQTgE.dpuf


RE: Bigcats News - Pckts - 12-17-2014

Save the Tiger 11 hrs ·    
A Tiger has been found dead in a well in the Tadoba buffer in the Shindevahi range, Shivni beat area this morning

*This image is copyright of its original author


 


RE: Bigcats News - Pckts - 12-17-2014

Story on the dead tigress in the well
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Tigress-drowns-in-farm-well-near-Tadoba/articleshow/45541406.cms


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 12-20-2014

Centre asks TN to probe tiger deaths

With tiger deaths on the rise in Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory body under the Union ministry of environment and forests, has directed them to investigate every case thoroughly and determine cause of death.

After MP, Tamil Nadu tops with 12 out of 58 deaths reported, all in the Western Ghats in Mudumalai, Sathyamangalam and Anamalai reserves this year. MP reported 14 deaths, while Uttarakhand stands third with seven cases.

While the directive was issued a week ago, TN forest officials are yet to collate details. The NTCA website says "cases are under investigation" or "details awaited"."Each death is considered poaching, until it is proven otherwise beyond doubt. We have told the states to follow standard operating procedure required at the field level for dealing with incidents of tiger mortality," NTCA DIG S P Yadav told.

The standard operating procedure issued by the agency has detailed instructions to be followed in case of tiger deaths, including prosecution in a court of law and regular monitoring of pending cases. Yadav said number of deaths was certainly high in TN, but not 'alarming'.While wildlife enthusiasts point to lapses in surveillance, officials attribute the deaths to natural causes, infighting and poaching.

The surge in number of deaths comes at a time when the tiger population is on the rise with the number of big cats in TN alone touching 163 in the last census in 2010. Under the Centrally-sponsored Project Tiger scheme, the state received Rs 17.2 crore in the last fiscal for habitat conservation, wildlife protection and controlling the man-animal conflict.

"Poaching certainly takes place in Tamil Nadu, since body parts of tigers are highly priced for medicines in China. They find their way to China via Nepal and Tibet," said former honorary wildlife warden S Theodore Baskaran. 
Though measures are taken to curb poaching, he said it had to be strengthened further with effective cooperation between police and foresters.Pointing out that it was a positive sign that the deaths were being reported and not covered up, conservationist Shekar Dattatri stressed the need for more efforts to protect endangered wildlife.

"We must also take heart from the fact that as long as our forests are protected, more cubs would be born to replace the tigers that died. The goal of conservation is not the preservation of every individual animal of a species but the safeguarding of a species as a whole," Dattatri said. It is also natural that states with fairly good tiger populations would have more deaths, he said.



http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Centre-asks-TN-to-probe-tiger-deaths/articleshow/45541774.cms
 


RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 12-20-2014

Tigress trapped in H.D. Kote


*This image is copyright of its original author



The tiger, which had attacked and killed cattle in the villages adjoining the Nagarahole National Park creating panic among local residents, was trapped early on Wednesday.

The tigress — aged about 10 — was trapped at Geyara close to the Metikuppe range of Nagarahole in H.D. Kote taluk of the district. It was only two days ago that local residents of Hirehalli, an adjoining village, had complained of a tiger attacking cattle.

Following the complaint, a cage was placed in the field with a live bait, and the tiger was reported trapped around 4 a.m. on Wednesday, according to R.Gokul, Conservator of Forests.He told The Hindu that the cat’s left canine had eroded owing to its advanced age, and it was not in a position to hunt if released into the wild. 

“It has lost its ecological value and has been shifted to the Mysore zoo, where it was examined by the veterinarians and wildlife experts before taking a call on the next course of action,” said Mr. Gokul. Its health will be monitored for a few days, he added.

The Forest Department’s swift action in trapping the tiger has brought relief to local residents, said Lingaraju, Assistant Conservator of Forests.

Last December, four persons had lost their lives in suspected tiger attacks in the adjoining Bandipur landscape, while a Forest Department staff was killed in Nagarahole. 

These incidents are still fresh in the memory of the local community, who had aired their concerns to the Forest Department.


http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/tigress-trapped-in-hd-kote/article6702948.ece