Bigcats News - Printable Version

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RE: Bigcats News - sanjay - 06-02-2016

And here is the latest update. This is found in tiger temple

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RE: Bigcats News - Sully - 06-02-2016

Too little too late. Better late than never though.

RE: Bigcats News - Ngala - 06-04-2016

Tragedy as three snow leopards die in trap set by poachers in Altai Mountains
by The Siberian Times, 01 June 2016

Distressed leopardess killed - then ate - her cubs caught in illegal loop-trap.

These images show the healthy cubs  caught on camera in 2014, before they vanished, sparking a puzzle for environmentalists. Now the mystery in the Argut River valley has been solved, and the painful deaths of the leopardess, called Vita, and her two cubs confirmed. 
Altai Nature Reserve researcher Sergey Spitsyn said: 'Vita was the first female with kittens which was photographed by the camera traps in the Argut River valley. 
'The kittens were around six months old at the time. For a long time their traces were not seen. They were not spotted by other cameras. Later we learned that her cubs were caught in a loop-trap which was put out for musk deer. 
'The mother tried to free them, but she was apparently in a state of distress - and finally ate the cubs. Then she got caught in the same loop and died.' 

Wildlife officials annually removed hundreds of traps set by illegal poachers. But this one was missed. The traps pose a huge problem for the leopards, he said, while also saying there are signs of hope for the species.
'Its hard to fight with this, but there are changes,' said Sergey Spitsyn. 'The number of leopards is growing. There is a lot of new broods. This season we found seven in different areas.'
The pictures - made by a poacher turned gamekeeper in 2014 - were seen at the time as a clear sign of the return of the snow leopard to the Argut area.
The snow leopard, slightly smaller than other big cats, is native to the mountains of Central Asia. While not as endangered as the Amur leopard, fewer than 7,350 are believed to survive in the wild. 

A much lower number are reproducing, hence international concern over their survival. Overall, snow leopards are found in Altai in small numbers but also in the Himalayas, the Pamirs, and the Tien Shan. 
A major threat to them is the surging global demand for cashmere, which is derived from the under hair of domestic goats and the livestock population of these animals has soared in recent years.
They consume the forage of mountain pastures that sustained a number of species of wild herbivores such as the ibex, the blue sheep, and the argali - the natural prey of snow leopards. Here in Russia, the snow leopards are known for their exceptional and highly valued fur.

Wildlife officials annually removed hundreds of traps set by illegal poachers. But this one was missed. Picture: WWF Russia

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'Their bones and other body parts are in demand for use in traditional Asian medicine and wild snow leopards are sometimes captured for private animal collections in Central Asia,' states the Snow Leopard Trust. 
'Many poachers are local residents who live in snow leopard habitat areas. These regions face high levels of poverty, and poaching offers a source of extra income that can be used to meet the most basic necessities of life, including food and shelter'.

RE: Bigcats News - Polar - 06-04-2016

Humans should stop setting traps at all! Why can't they hunt like the African/Amerindian/Siberian tribes did in the old place; by actively tracking prey down!?

Also, the poachers should start becoming 'wildmen': generous wildmen, that is, not hunting snow leopards whenever they see one or need immediate profit, but living off of nature instead of the corporate and supplying their own food, water, other supplies directly from nature in a wildlife-caring and limitful way as to not disturb their habitat.

I know this sounds crazy: these poachers should stop depending on money. This idea will do two things:

-If the poachers don't have enough skills to survive the wilderness, then some will die off, and the world will contain less poachers.

-The ones that do survive will eventually learn the ways of nature and adapt to one of nature's most harshest rules: there is never an unlimited supply. They will then really know the negative effects of their poaching.

But, as I have said before, miracles don't happen so suddenly, and in the rare case that they ever do, the job is easier said than done.

RE: Bigcats News - Vijay Rajan - 06-04-2016

[attachment=296]Tigress Spotty (Daughter of Sukhi Patiha's litter of 2012 & the sibling of Dotty) was sighted for the first time with a litter of 3 tiny tots on 3rd June morning drive in Tala zone of Bandhavgarh.

RE: Bigcats News - Sully - 06-04-2016

Pfft. Regarding the snow leopard thing that is pretty big. It is rare nowadays to see a breeding female, and especially one actively with cubs, so it angers me to see this greatly. All in all big cat conservation seems to be getting better even if false figures are thrown around sometimes, so this occurance will hopefully not happen too often going forward. Again we can only hope and do the best with the resources we have.

RE: Bigcats News - Tshokwane - 06-06-2016

Provet Wildlife Services:
A Large Male Leopard Was Hit By A Car In The Air Force Base Here In Hoedspruit.

He Was A Stunning Boy Weighing 77kg!

Luckily X-Rays Revealed No Fractures, And He Probably Just Had Some Soft Tissue Damage.
He Was Released That Same Afternoon.

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RE: Bigcats News - sanjay - 06-07-2016

Some more horrible pics from tiger temple

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RE: Bigcats News - Ngala - 06-08-2016

Two interesting articles about Cambodian's Leopard (Panthera pardus delacouri).

Cambodia’s Leopards Facing Extinction by 2018: Expert, 30 May 2016 by Peter Ford

Cambodia’s Leopards Could Be Extinct in Just Two Years, 06 June 2016 by John R. Platt

RE: Bigcats News - Ngala - 06-14-2016

Sumatran tiger that terrified Indonesia village is caught in trap and relocated to a zoo
11 June 2016 by Matt Hunter

The tiger that came to tea! Wild animal that had terrified locals by searching for food in their Indonesian village is caught in a trap and relocated to a zoo
  • The big cat was caught in the hills of Timbulun Aia Tajun of Indonesia because villagers voiced concerns about it 
  • It was shot with a tranquilizer dart and made unconscious so rangers and villagers could get close to the predator
  • The five-year-old female tiger will be brought to a zoo in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra after being cared for by medics
A Sumatran tiger which was frightening villagers has been relocated to a wildlife park. 
The big cat was caught in a trap in the hills of Timbulun Aia Tajun, in Pesisir Selatan district, Indonesia. 
It was shot with a tranquilizer dart and made unconscious so rangers and villagers could get close to the predator. 
The five-year-old female tiger will be brought to a zoo in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra for rehabilitation after being cared for by the Sumatran Tiger Rescue Unit.
The tiger was trapped on Friday in a forest close to a residential area and is being relocated as it had been troubling villagers.

*This image is copyright of its original author

The big cat was caught in a trap in the hills of Timbulun Aia Tajun, in Pesisir Selatan district, Indonesia

*This image is copyright of its original author

It was shot with a tranquilizer dart and made unconscious so rangers and villagers could get close to the predator

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The female Sumatran tiger lies down as it is rescued from an animal trap by the Sumatran Tiger Rescue Unit

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The tiger was trapped on Friday in a forest close to a residential area and is being relocated as it had been troubling villagers

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The medical team assess the tiger after it was sedated with a tranquilizer dart in Timbulun Aia Tajun, in Pesisir Selatan district, Indonesia

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The big cat was sedated before villager and a medical team could get close enough to move the impressive predator 

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The endangered Sumatran tiger is thought to be at least five years old and was rescued from an animal trap

RE: Bigcats News - Apollo - 06-15-2016

That sumatran tiger is definitely a cub and not an adult.

RE: Bigcats News - Polar - 06-15-2016

So the 5-year old estimate is false? It is a female and seems to be much smaller than an average Sumatran male.

RE: Bigcats News - Ngala - 06-17-2016

How a Hunting Reserve Became a Snow Leopard Sanctuary
Kyrgyzstan’s president is taking bold steps to protect a crucial Central Asian population of the cats, long seen as sacred by his citizens.

By Adam Cruise

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Saving Kyrgyzstan's snow leopards is a high priority for the species. In March the country's president set aside a former hunting reserve as a protected natural habitat for the animals. 

For the elusive snow leopard in Kyrgyzstan, a satisfying meal consists of an ibex or an argali. As it happens, these wild relatives of goat and sheep—bearers of spectacular, curved horns—are also the quarry of trophy hunters.  

Although a quota system has been in place to regulate the number of animals taken for trophies, until recently intense illegal hunting in Kyrgyzstan has severely depleted these ungulates, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which sets the conservation status of species. And as their main prey animals have grown scarcer, the numbers of snow leopards, which are endangered globally, have fallen too.

But after President Almazbek Atambayev took office in December 2011, the picture has brightened for Kyrgyzstan’s snow leopards. This March he ordered a hundred-square-mile (260-square-kilometer) former trophy hunting concession called Shamshy, in the northern Tian Shan Mountains, to be set aside as a fully protected natural habitat for the cats.

According to the Snow Leopard Trust, a United States-based nonprofit that works through local communities to protect the animals, mountainous Kyrgyzstan—which offers ideal habitat for the leopards—now holds no more than 500 of them. That’s about 10 percent of the worldwide total, estimated at between 4,000 and 6,500 in Russia and 11 Central Asian countries—a range encompassing more than 800,000 square miles (two million square kilometers). 

Saving Kyrgyzstan’s snow leopards is a high priority for the survival of the species. That’s because the country lies between northern snow leopard populations in Russia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan and the more southerly ones in the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges. Snow leopards are migratory—known to make long treks out of their home ranges—and Kyrgyzstan serves as a corridor between the two populations. Their intermixing strengthens the overall gene pool.

During the two and a half decades since gaining independence in 1991, Kyrgyzstan, like all the former Soviet-controlled nations, has struggled to make the transition from communism. Many state agencies have suffered from a lack of funds, and according to Eric W. Sievers, a political analyst associated with Harvard University's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies who directed various development projects in Central Asia throughout the 1990s, hunting licenses don’t always go toward conservation. Instead, “local-level observers claim that the funds go no further than the pockets of corrupt officials.”

In these circumstances national parks and reserves have gotten short shrift. Rangers have been underpaid, undertrained, and underequipped, and wildlife laws have been enforced weakly or not at all.

Snow leopards have suffered accordingly. The Kyrgyz government estimates that the snow leopard population has been halved during the past 20 years. And during the three-year period from 2003 to 2006 alone, the argali population fell from an estimated 26,000 to fewer than 16,000.

The main reason for the argali decline, Sievers says, is that “more argali permits were issued to American hunters than national law allowed.” Sievers cites one year, 1996, when 27 argali trophies were imported into the U.S. from Kyrgyzstan. But only 18 permits were issued “in accordance to Kyrgystan law,” according to government archives, meaning that at least nine additional permits were issued off the books. 

“Master of Leopards”
“Since time immemorial, the Kyrgyz people have regarded the snow leopard as a sacred animal and as guardians of Kyrgyz warriors,” Atambayev said after taking office. “It is no mere chance that the first Kyrgyz leader received the name of Barsbek, or Master of Leopards.”

It’s incomprehensible, Atambayev continued, “that some Kyrgyz men, descendants of snow leopards, kill the cats and sell their fur to be fashioned into hats and coats. These men can barely be called human. Anyone who shoots a snow leopard shoots his own people. Anyone who sells snow leopard skins sells his own land.”

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An anti-poaching team in Kyrgyzstan confiscated this snow leopard. It's estimated that the country's population of the cats has halved during the past two decades.   

The new protected area should go a long way in helping snow leopards thrive, says Charudutt Mishra, acting executive director of the Snow Leopard Trust.

“Wild ungulates are the key prey for the snow leopard. Wherever their numbers are dwindling, if they’re hunted in an unsustainable way,” he says, “the number of snow leopards drops as well. So we’re trying to protect prey in order to save the predator.”

Without trophy hunting, Shamshy has the potential to become a key snow leopard stronghold—if the area's wild ungulate population can be increased. The population, Mishra says, “could double or triple in the next 10 years.”

The Shamshy initiative is managed jointly by the Kyrgyz government; local and international conservation NGOs, such as the Snow Leopard Foundation of Kyrgyzstan; the Snow Leopard Trust; and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, a British charity that provides funding and research support for international endangered wildlife projects.

The reserve is not far from the nation’s capital, Bishkek, making it an easy-in, easy-out for international researchers. And a lure for ecotourists: It’s spectacular territory for anyone hoping to spot one of the world’s most endangered big cats.

“The Shamshy partners will also work with local people in the surrounding region to initiate community-based programs and strengthen their support for conservation,” says Siri Okamoto, development director at the Snow Leopard Trust.

Breaking with the Past
Sally Case, who heads the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, says that five years ago “if you’d broached the idea of taking over a hunting reserve in Kyrgyzstan, local experts would have said it was improbable.”

“Now,” she says, “it’s like night and day—and Mr. Atambayev is the reason for this new drive.”

In 2013 Atambayev hosted a conference in the capital for all 12 snow leopard-range states, which under the Bishkek Declaration resulted in the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program. This multinational effort aims, among other things, to ensure that “snow leopards and the people who live among them thrive in healthy ecosystems that contribute to the prosperity and well-being of the range countries.”

The declaration pledges to “set a solid and measurable goal” by 2020 that would commit all the range countries to work together to identify and secure at least 20 healthy landscapes across the snow leopard’s range.

In 2014 the Kyrgyz government signed a memorandum of understanding with the Snow Leopard Foundation of Kyrgyzstan, the Snow Leopard Trust, and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation to enhance snow leopard conservation during the next decade.

One piece of it is the Citizen Ranger Wildlife Protection Program, aimed at encouraging rangers and members of the local community to apprehend poachers and law-breakers. The program has already begun to stanch overhunting of wild ungulates, and it played into Atambayev’s conversion of Shamshy from a hunting concession to a nature reserve.

“Now, with an agreement in-hand for managing this concession,” Okamoto wrote in Wildlife Matters, the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s magazine, “we are fully confident that all political support is in place to make this project stable—in fact the government is very keen to test this model, so the pressure and impetus is coming from them as much as us.”

If the Shamshy initiative is successful, Case says, “there’s an adjoining reserve which the government would also like the team to manage—a prime parcel of snow leopard habitat ready and waiting for further expansion.” 

She adds: “The very concept of taking over a hunting concession is novel for both the Snow Leopard Trust and the government of Kyrgyzstan. The concession hasn’t been used or monitored before for wildlife conservation. This is a very exciting initiative.”

RE: Bigcats News - Ngala - 06-23-2016

Gujarat swallows its pride, may agree to translocate Gir lions to Kuno Sanctuary 
By Anubhuti Vishnoi, ET Bureau | Jun 18, 2016

Gujarat has indicated that it may be willing to relocate some of the iconic Gir lions out of the state, signalling a shift in stance after it continued to resist the move during Narendra Modi's more than 12 years at the helm as chief minister. 

At a meeting of the central expert committee on translocation of Asiatic Lions from Gir National Park in Gujarat to Kuno Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh held last month, the Gujarat government said it may be willing to accept the committee's decision on translocation if some of its concerns are addressed. 

As per the minutes of the fifth meeting of the expert committee held on May 13, reviewed by ET, the chief wildlife warden of Gujarat said that "if Gujarat government's issues are addressed and a scientific translocation is followed, Gujarat shall go ahead with the decision of the committee". 

Queries emailed to the Gujarat forest department and the chief wild life warden on the subject did not elicit any response by Friday evening. The environment ministry did not respond to ET's queries either. 

The development comes amid reports of lions from Gir stepping into human habitations, turning man-eaters and being moved to captivity. 

Experts have for long been saying that Gir has become overcrowded with lions and there is need to spread them out to other locations to ensure their genetic stability and health. During Modi's four successive terms as chief minister, though, Gujarat refused to relocate the lions. The Gir lion is projected as a symbol of Gujarati pride and helps draw tourists in large numbers to the state since the species is not present in wild anywhere else in India. 

The Supreme Court in 2013 ruled in favour of translocation of the Asiatic lion to Kuno in the interest of the genetic stability of the species. In a report submitted in 2014, the expert committee largely found Kuno ready to receive the lions and had suggested that a single pride of five to 10 Asiatic lions with 60%-70% female population be moved to start with. Gujarat, however, steadfastly opposed translocation in subsequent meetings of the expert committee. 

At the meeting it was agreed that "airlifting of lions would be the feasible option" and Madhya Pradesh would take all necessary scientific measures thereafter for maintaining the genetic stability of the lion population as per International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines on translocation. It was also decided that before the action plan is implemented, the Kuno sanctuary should be
declared as a national park for effective implementation of relevant activities. 

The minutes of the meeting record that an action plan "to give effect to this translocation" will be submitted shortly and a draft tripartite memorandum of understanding clearly indicating roles, rights, risks and privileges of the three parties - Gujarat government, Madhya Pradesh government and ministry of environment and forests - will be drafted and finalised by the next meeting. 

It was also agreed that separate state specific empowered or coordination committees for Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh will be formed to coordinate all translocation related issues. Besides, there will be a steering committee to oversee the coordination committee which will be chaired by a senior official from the wildlife department of the environment ministry. 

While a revised draft action plan for translocation had been proposed in 2015, the Gujarat government is learnt to have flagged off more than 35 issues, ranging from choice of methodology for translocation, demographic profile of the Asiatic lion to the prey-predator population balance at Gir and Kuno. A number of studies were also proposed by Gujarat before any translocation. However, the Wildlife Institute of India is learnt to have indicated that many of these studies were either already conducted some were unnecessary. 

It was agreed that while some other studies could be initiated before translocation is undertaken, others can be carried out alongside. Some of the studies agreed to be undertaken are on assessment of status and distribution of prey and predator base in Kuno; understanding space use; resource selection and niche separation by sympatric carnivores such as tigers, leopards, hyenas, jackals and wolves; assess prevalence and virulence of major pathogens among wild carnivores around the sanctuary and understanding livelihood issues and social carrying capacity capacity for reintroducing lions in the Kuno landscape. 

RE: Bigcats News - Vijay Rajan - 06-24-2016

Terrible news coming in from Kanha.

Last evening, Munna had strayed out of the park and was found seated in a Nallah behind a resort near Khatiya Gate for a few hours. A huge unruly crowd of at least 500 odd villagers gathered at the spot but the situation seems to have been brought under control by the Forest officials. Apparently, Elephants along with tranquilizing teams have been deployed to hopefully drive him back into the jungle. Needless to mention, residents of Manegaon village remain vary of Munna's presence since they fear he might begin preying upon their cattle.

Interestingly, last evening the Karai Ghati Male as well as Supkhar Male were sighted at different places but in the vicinity of Kisli Talao where Munna had been staying since a fortnight. It appears that Munna seems to have ventured out of the park in order to avoid any confrontation with the rival males.

I hope any untoward incident is averted. Awaiting further news.