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RE: Bigcats News - GrizzlyClaws - 04-20-2017

The canine teeth probably went to the underground market in East Asia/Southeast Asia.

Collecting the canine teeth/claws of the large predators as the jewelry now has become the new fad, hopefully this trend could be halted as soon as possible.


RE: Bigcats News - Ngala - 04-21-2017

Leopards need maximum protection: this includes suspending trophy hunting
April 19, 2017 4.17pm BST

Trophy hunting of large carnivores in southern Africa is a hotly debated topic. This was evident after Cecil the lion was shot and killed in Zimbabwe last year.

One argument in support of trophy hunting is that, if done sustainably, it  can benefit conservation by providing much needed funding.

But how do we know which populations of animals can sustain trophy hunting? In South Africa there has been a temporary moratorium on trophy hunting of leopards since 2016.

This is because there is “uncertainty about the numbers”, according to John Donaldson, director of research at the South African National Biodiversity Institute.

There is every reason to argue that leopards should be managed very carefully. They are of increasing conservation concern, and have recently been uplisted to vulnerable on both the global and South African national Red List assessments.

Working in South Africa’s Soutpansberg Mountains, we set out to fill in some of the gaps in our understanding of this vulnerable species.

In 2008 the mountains had one of the highest recorded population densities (the number of animals per 100 km²) of leopards in Africa outside of protected areas. But our new study shows that since then leopard density has declined by two thirds. Unless things change they will disappear from the area by 2020. The biggest threat to these animals appears to be illegal human activity such as shooting without permits, snaring and poisoning.

Based on our findings we believe that trophy hunting isn’t responsible for the precipitous decline in numbers. Nevertheless, it’s important that the moratorium is extended while researchers such as our collaborators at Panthera assess whether these results are representative on a broader scale. We also propose stepping up efforts to mitigate the impacts of illegal human activities to protect the remaining leopards.

Leopard tracking

How did we gain these new insights? Leopards are incredibly elusive animals, making them extremely difficult to study. We took advantage of the fact that each leopard has different coat markings and that allows them to be individually identified, like a fingerprint. We used images taken by camera traps to determine which leopards were seen at which locations and on what date, allowing us to model changes in their density over time.

The camera traps were telling us that leopards were disappearing fast. Sam Williams

*This image is copyright of its original author

By running a network of camera traps continuously from 2012 to 2016, we were able to estimate the leopard population density in 24 sequential study periods. This helped us build the most detailed picture yet of whether leopard numbers were growing or declining.

The camera traps were telling us that leopards were disappearing fast, but what they didn’t tell us was why this was happening. To find out we fitted GPS collars to eight leopards. This allowed us to track them for 15 months, until the batteries ran out and the collar detached. Only two collared leopards survived, although one of these animals would have been poisoned if we hadn’t intervened.

The remaining six leopards were killed by snares, were shot without permits for perceived cattle predation, or went missing, almost certainly dead. Many farmers indicated that they killed leopards in retaliation for the perceived risks to livestock but our dietary analysis has revealed no evidence of this.

Searching for solutions

Our findings demonstrate that although trophy hunting isn’t the cause of the leopard’s problems, it’s a luxury in this area that it cannot afford. We recommend that if the moratorium on leopard hunting in South Africa is lifted, hunting should not be permitted in zones where leopards are in rapid decline, as this would not be sustainable.

A farmer introduces his new livestock-guarding dog to his cattle herd. Philip Faure

*This image is copyright of its original author

Sound management of trophy hunting is incredibly important, but our study shows that conservationists also need to increase their efforts to reduce the effects of illegal human activities on wildlife. This could have a bigger impact on enhancing the conservation status of large carnivores. We recommend helping to educate and engage with communities to reduce levels of human-wildlife conflict.

There are an array of non-lethal techniques available to manage predation, such as using livestock-guarding dogs, building robust enclosures, and herding livestock, that can be more effective at reducing predation than killing predators.

We hope that more countries follow South Africa’s lead in basing wildlife management policies on the best available scientific evidence. And if government authorities and non-profit organisations can provide greater support to communities to enable them to adopt predator-friendly practices this could be just what the leopard needs to bounce back.


RE: Bigcats News - Rishi - 04-25-2017

(Forwarding @Betty's post)

Bright and black
Moushumi Basu   

Saturday 15 April 2017

Female tigers at the Similipal reserve in Odisha are increasingly giving birth to black or melanistic breeds and catching rare worldwide attention.

*This image is copyright of its original author

A melanistic tiger at the Similipal Tiger Reserve photographed through the camera trap method (Courtesy; Similipal Tiger Reserve)

A curious genetic phenomenon, found nowhere else in the world, is occurring in the Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in Odisha. Normal tigers are giving birth to black or melanistic tigers and even normal cubs are being delivered by the black or melanistic tigresses. A census carried out by the Odisha forest department in STR in 2016 found six- seven melanistic tigers out of a total of 29, including cubs that have so far been recorded through camera traps. “We are witnessing a growing trend of black tigers in STR in the past few years. In a litter comprising three-four cubs, one or two are born dark,” says Ajit Kumar Satpathy, deputy field director, STR.

Former honorary wildlife warden of STR, Bhanumitra Acharya, says the black stripes running across their bodies are much broader and thicker than those seen in normal tigers, so much so that their tawny skin colour is barely visible. “What is even more unusual is that neither are their activities and behavioural traits different from the usual tigers nor do they face problems of acceptance within the tiger community,” adds Acharya. Black tigers can also be found at the Nandankanan Zoo, Bhubaneswar, where they are caged and are healthy.

Since the 1970s, there have been sporadic sightings of black tigers in STR. Records reveal that two adult melanistic tigers were spotted by Bitanath Nayak, then assistant field director, STR, on a road near Matughar in south Similipal. In 1991, Niranjan Mohanta, a forest guard in the upper Barakhamba Range of STR claimed to have sighted a family of black tigers. However, both these sightings were dismissed as a case of mistaken identity.

“The subject acquired a scientific foothold only in July 1993, when a melanistic tigress was killed by a tribal youth in Podagada village, near Similipal,” says L A K Singh, former research officer at STR.

But the real breakthrough came in 2007 when researchers from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, used camera traps and captured pictures of three melanistic tigers. About 170 pairs of camera traps were installed in STR in 2012-2013, which had been recording interesting findings, says Satpathy.

A black tiger captured on camera in June 2012 got widespread media attention. In 2013, a male black cub, which was camera trapped in 2013, was found to have moved to the nearby Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary in Keonjhar district.

In 2015, a normal tigress was found with a melanistic cub, while in 2016, a melanistic tigress was photographed with her three cubs, two of which were black, says Satpathy.

What's the secret?

Experts are attributing this rare phenomenon to many factors—climatic conditions, genetic mutation and inbreeding. “A combination of high rainfall, rising temperatures and soaring humidity may have resulted in the melanistic mutation of Similipal tigers,” says Debabrata Swain, member secretary National Tiger Conservation Authority. “In fact, the striped pattern of the habitat is being replicated on the skin of the tigers,” says Swain, indicating that the change in appearance could be the result of the existing environment. The usual preying behaviour of the tiger is facilitated by the presence of open grasslands, helping the predator to first target its prey, then chase, and finally capture it.

But there are not many open grasslands in Similipal; there are only dense forests—through which the tiger sneaks, hiding from its prey. It waits and watches, calculates the move of its victim, and then strikes suddenly. The principal prey base for tigers in STR is sambar, which thrives in moist, deciduous sal forests. The broad black stripes, thus, provide the advantage for the melanistic tigers to camouflage itself in these dense forest vegetation to catch its prey, he explains.

Singh offers a genetic explanation: “Normally, the tiger’s coat displays a combination of three shades—white, yellow and black. The background colour of the body is controlled by a set of agouti genes and their alleles—pairs or series of genes on a chromosome that determine the hereditary characteristics.” Tabby genes and their alleles, on the other hand, control stripes. Built within the two series (background and stripe) there are certain genes that determine the location-to-location and quantum of expression of the three main skin colors. “The absence of any of these colours or suppression of the effects of such genes can lead to variations in the shades,” says Singh.

“The phenomenon is probably the result of a mutation or genetic change,” says Uma Ramakrishnan, associate professor, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bengaluru. “Mutations mostly occur by chance. While some can be good, resulting in better fitness and more offspring, others can be detrimental,” she says. “Something must have happened in their gene combination, which is reflecting in the body coat,” says Acharya. He has initiated a study to find the cause.

While colour aberration of tigers may be an attraction for visitors, it does not augur well in terms of their biological or conservation implications in the wild, says Singh. “More aberrations in nature mean all is not well with the natural gene pool, making it necessary to have increased tiger corridors to reduce genetic depression,” he says.

Acharya says while the tiger population in STR is increasing, their dispersal between the northern and southern parts of the reserve is getting restricted. There are about 61 revenue villages occupying about 900-1,000 sq km out of the 2,750 sq km of the reserve. As a result, tigers have been confined to a smaller area. Smaller number of wild population means reduced gene pool, and due to the presence of lesser number of individuals, one cannot rule out inbreeding, he says.

Satpathy counters: “Mutation is a form of genetic expression to enhance their adaptability to natural surroundings. Had genetic deficiency been the cause, it would have reflected in their dysfunctionality and weaker offspring. But our camera trap pictures indicate these tigers are flourishing.”

Notwithstanding the differences, experts agree that a thorough research needs to be done. In the case of the elusive White Bengal Tigers, it was found to be a mutation, but its genetic basis still remains unknown.

Satpathy, however, adds that researchers need to find out whether this genetic change is occurring due to the dominant or recessive gene. If it is the recessive gene, there is an urgent need to bring about genetic diversity through translocation of tigers to ensure a long-term healthy tiger population in Similipal.

Hopefully, ongoing research on black tigers will go into the heart of this rarity.

The story was published in the 1-15 April, 2017 edition of Down To Earth magazine


RE: Bigcats News - Pckts - 04-27-2017

Another monster in the making has been taken before his prime.
Jais son Shrinivas has been killed.
I had an interesting discussion with someone in the know and they think the collars are helping poachers track and kill these tigers. He also said that he had it on pretty good authority that Jai was poached around March-april of last year.

Sarosh Lodhi

Embracing Death
Though we are not in favour of poring graphic content, this one has shock us up completely. We share with you few of the images from ground zero.
(PC Roheet Karoo )
#RIPSrinivas
#AprilBloodbath


*This image is copyright of its original author


Sarosh Lodhi

Gone too soon, news coming in of body of Sriniwas tiger, found near village in Nagbhid.

#AprilBloodbath


*This image is copyright of its original author

Ravi Pathekar
This is the last one pic of shrinivas

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author




On Raja's Cover Up Below

Wasif Jamshed
Last remains of Prince found....two got arrested by karnataka forest department...or... this is a cover up story...tiger dies coz of starvation n villagers taken only canines to earn some...tring logical answer of our questions regarding prince....

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author



RE: Bigcats News - parvez - 04-27-2017

Limited gene flow between two Bengal tiger populations in the western Himalayan foothills
The flow of genes between Bengal tigers in two reserves of the Terai Arc Landscape in western Himalayan foothills is too low, according to a study published April 26, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Surendra Prakash Goyal from Wildlife Institute of India, India, and colleagues.
Tigers are endangered partly due to habitat loss, which can fragment populations and reduce gene flow among them. Gene flow between populations can maintain genetic variation and spread beneficial gene alleles, so understanding the gene flow of isolated tiger populations i.e. in western Himalayan foothills is crucial in developing management strategies for conserving these big cats. Goyal and colleagues analyzed DNA from 71 samples of tissue, blood or scat from Bengal tigers to assess their gene flow in an 1,800-square-kilometer region of the western Himalayan foothills. The region has two main subpopulations of tigers, one in the Rajaji Tiger Reserve and the other in the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
The researchers found that tiger gene flow between two reserves was asymmetrical and was lower than in previous reports in other tiger populations. Functionality of the corridor (C1 and C2 map) could remain viable if habitat quality does not deteriorate any more. However, given changing land use in the connecting corridor, the gene flow was inadequate. The authors suggest that measures to maintain connectivity between the tiger reserves could include relocating villages and industries, reducing human dependency, banning sand and boulder mining in the corridors.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170426141724.htm



RE: Bigcats News - Roflcopters - 04-28-2017

(04-27-2017, 07:15 PM)Pckts Wrote: Another monster in the making has been taken before his prime.
Jais son Shrinivas has been killed.
I had an interesting discussion with someone in the know and they think the collars are helping poachers track and kill these tigers. He also said that he had it on pretty good authority that Jai was poached around March-april of last year.

Sarosh Lodhi

Embracing Death
Though we are not in favour of poring graphic content, this one has shock us up completely. We share with you few of the images from ground zero.
(PC Roheet Karoo )
#RIPSrinivas
#AprilBloodbath


*This image is copyright of its original author


Sarosh Lodhi

Gone too soon, news coming in of body of Sriniwas tiger, found near village in Nagbhid.

#AprilBloodbath


*This image is copyright of its original author

Ravi Pathekar
This is the last one pic of shrinivas

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author




On Raja's Cover Up Below

Wasif Jamshed
Last remains of Prince found....two got arrested by karnataka forest department...or... this is a cover up story...tiger dies coz of starvation n villagers taken only canines to earn some...tring logical answer of our questions regarding prince....

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

Damn... Rip Srinivasa, followed him as a cub and was anxiously waiting to see him grow along with all the other siblings/half siblings. i guess this is the way Umred Karhandla forest department preferred to pay their respect to the breed of tigers that created all the revenue for the park. coincidentally both father and son died on the same day. (Jai - April/18/2016) (Srinivasa - April/18/2017)


RE: Bigcats News - SuSpicious - 04-28-2017

(04-28-2017, 01:46 PM)Roflcopters Wrote:
(04-27-2017, 07:15 PM)Pckts Wrote: Another monster in the making has been taken before his prime.
Jais son Shrinivas has been killed.
I had an interesting discussion with someone in the know and they think the collars are helping poachers track and kill these tigers. He also said that he had it on pretty good authority that Jai was poached around March-april of last year.

Sarosh Lodhi

Embracing Death
Though we are not in favour of poring graphic content, this one has shock us up completely. We share with you few of the images from ground zero.
(PC Roheet Karoo )
#RIPSrinivas
#AprilBloodbath


*This image is copyright of its original author


Sarosh Lodhi

Gone too soon, news coming in of body of Sriniwas tiger, found near village in Nagbhid.

#AprilBloodbath


*This image is copyright of its original author

Ravi Pathekar
This is the last one pic of shrinivas

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author




On Raja's Cover Up Below

Wasif Jamshed
Last remains of Prince found....two got arrested by karnataka forest department...or... this is a cover up story...tiger dies coz of starvation n villagers taken only canines to earn some...tring logical answer of our questions regarding prince....

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

Damn... Rip Srinivasa, followed him as a cub and was anxiously waiting to see him grow along with all the other siblings/half siblings. i guess this is the way Umred Karhandla forest department preferred to pay their respect to the breed of tigers that created all the revenue for the park. coincidentally both father and son died on the same day. (Jai - April/18/2016) (Srinivasa - April/18/2017)

In the last few days apart from several unknow tigers here is what we have lost:

1. Raja- yes not in his prime.old but still undefeated.
2. Pandit- Huge tiger reaching his prime and was set to make a mark in Corbett.
3. Shriniwas- If loosing Jai was a disaster now his sons are getting killed. Shriniwas is gone.who knows bittu or Jai Chand might be next.

These are just few that we know. In truth tigers are getting poached all over India. Infact poachers are being supported.

1. The park director of Corbett was transferred because he didn't support the intentions of poachers.
2. All the deaths till now have been covered by reasons like that the tiger was old or porqupine quills were embedded in the body or died because of starvation.
3. The actual forest area is decreasing.
4. Forests like Ranthambore have become more of a zoo where in just to woo the VIP's, guides venture deep into the jungle to draw the tiger out so everybody can see it. If some mishap happens then it is killed on the basis of being a man eater.

I don't care about the reports that say tiger numbers in India is increasing. well they are being killed at an alarming rate. Its a shame that park authorities are still too slow to realize that tigers are being taken away from under their noses. I actually think shoot at sight orders are now needed just like kaziranga. I cannot see any other alternative to tackle poachers.

This is becoming too easy for them.


RE: Bigcats News - Roflcopters - 04-29-2017

i agree, this year has been by far the worst in a long time and if this continues. India will lose everything that they gained the last 5 years.


RE: Bigcats News - Rishi - 04-30-2017

Follow this one for updates..http://girasiaticlion.blogspot.in )


Friday, March 31, 2017

Lion reserve proposal gathering dust since 2006

Vijaysinh Parmar | TNN | Mar 30, 2017, 04.00 AM ISTRajkot: Gujarat's pride, Asiatic lions, seems to have been left to fend for themselves in greater Gir area as the state government is sitting on a crucial proposal to give more protection to the endangered species outside Gir Wildlife Sanctuary since last 11 years. 

In April 2005, Gujarat government had floated a proposal to declare 30,054 hectare area, which included government waste land, forest land in villages of Palitana, Mahuva, Talaja of Bhavnagar and some parts of Amreli as 'Sir Dharamkumarsinhji Wildlife Sanctuary'. However, in 2006, the proposal was modified and it was decided to declare the area as a 'conservation reserve' instead of sanctuary. 

The area identified by the government for the 'conservation reserve' was based on its ecological, fauna, floral, gemological nature and zoological significance for the purpose of protection, propagation and developing wildlife and its environment. It was to be the lion's new permanent corridor. 


In 2010, a total of 10,952 hectare (109 sq km) area in Savarkundla, Palitana, Mahuva and Talaja was marked as 'conservation reserve'. Forest department gave all details about the village-wise, taluka-wise, details of government waste land as well as forest land which fall under the 'conservation reserve' to the concerned government department. 

"The plan was to provide safe cover to lions that are moving outside the Gir Sanctuary and maintain a safe corridor for the big cat's movement. The proposed conservation reserve was a link for the lion's corridor from Gir east to Rangala and other parts of Bhavnagar district, where lions have started living permanently. As human-wildlife conflicts are on rise, it is high time that the government takes a decision for long-term conservation of lions," said a senior forest officer. 

When inquired about the status of lion 'conservation reserve', principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), G K Sinha said that the forest department had sent the proposal to government, where the matter was pending for final approval. 

"If government delays decision, the haphazard development in and around the proposed conservation reserve will destroy the purpose of the entire proposal. The windmill project close to this proposed 'conservation reserve' is a prime example of it," said another forest official. 
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/lion-reserve-proposal-gathering-dust-since-2006/articleshow/57901930.cms

Posted by GIR & ASIATIC LION at 8:03 PM 



RE: Bigcats News - st147zar - 05-01-2017

What really happened at Thailand's Tiger Temple?

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/06/happened-thailand-tiger-temple-160605074332073.html


RE: Bigcats News - Rishi - 05-09-2017

Big cats make a strong comeback in Manas
SIVASISH THAKUR


*This image is copyright of its original author
 
 
 GUWAHATI, May 7 - The big cat has made a strong comeback in Manas National Park, with the just-concluded tiger census recording 30 tigers – more than double the figure of the last census.
This also marks the biggest ever tiger population in Manas after one-and-a-half decades of social unrest beginning in 1989 had pushed it to the brink. Conservationists believe that the news is a huge boost to conservation initiatives in Manas that has been on a recovery path after regaining the World Heritage Site status.
Last year’s census had yielded the presence of 14 tigers in Manas, and conservationists have termed this increase of 16 tigers as ‘significant’ and something that augurs well for the premier national park’s long-term well-being.
“The latest tiger estimation done through camera-trapping has recorded 30 individuals, 24 of those being adults. The adult male-female break-up is 12-11, while the sex of one could not be determined,” Hiranya Sharma, Field Director of Manas Tiger Reserve told The Assam Tribune.
Sharma added that last year’s census had left out the Panbari Range due to logistics constraints. “This time we covered the entire Manas landscape (in India) and are happy to have camera-trapped 30 tigers. The increase in tiger numbers is significant and a shot in the arm for Manas’ long-term conservation prospects,” he said.
Conservationist Dr Bibhuti Lahkar of Aaranyak, who has a two-decade association with Manas, termed the development as ‘extremely positive’ for the park but added in the same breath that the authorities needed to ensure that the habitat and prey base for the tiger were kept intact.
“It’s big news that the tiger population has made a strong comeback in Manas. It shows that despite the prolonged social unrest, Manas is well into the recovery mode. Now the need is to protect the habitat and reclaim lost habitat as well. The growing number of tiger makes it imperative to have a healthy prey base,” he said, adding that grassland management in Manas also required urgent attention of the authorities.
Last year, the census which was part of a trans-boundary (Manas National Park and Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan) survey, recorded 21 tigers of which 11 were from Royal Manas National Park and 14 from Manas National Park. Four tigers were common to both the landscapes. The first survey to monitor big cats across the Trans-boundary Manas Conservation Area (TraMCA) in 2011-12 had counted just 14 big cats in the entire Manas landscape.
Manas National Park today extends to an area of 870 sq km, following the recent addition of another 350 sq km area. A World Heritage Site, it shelters the maximum number (22) of endangered species of the country.


RE: Bigcats News - Rishi - 05-09-2017

Big cat count increases in Assam's Orang Tiger Reserve
Naresh Mitra | TNN | May 7, 2017, 08.37PM IST

*This image is copyright of its original author
GUWAHATI: Orang Tiger Reserve (OTR), about 150km from here, has an estimated 28 tigers in the 492.46 square km area, according to the latest big cats' count. In 2013, Orang had an estimated 24 tigers.

OTR field director Sunnydeo Choudhury said that the estimation exercise carried out between January and March this year in 78.8 square km core area of the reserve found tiger density to be 35.44 per 100 square km, which is the highest in the country as well as in the world!!!


Choudhury said although the present density figure is subjected to further evaluation, the preliminary estimation has strong indications about Orang having "highest tiger density in the country."

"Our estimation says 35.44 tigers per 100 sq km. This figure will go through special software for further evaluation. Even if there is some variation of density, it will hover close to the present figure. In this situation also Orang will have the distinction of having the highest density of tiger population in country and the world," Choudhury said.

Located on the northern banks of Brahmaputra, Orang, also known as mini-Kaziranga, has always been a thriving habitat for tigers along with rhinos. In 2016, Orang was declared fourth tiger reserve in the state with an area of 492.46 square km, including the 78.8 square km of the Orang National Park as core area of the tiger reserve.

Rise in tiger population in Orang also demands creating more space of the big cats. Tigers being territorial animal, the big cats are always on the lookout for new areas for them. In recent years there has been rise in livestock in fringe areas of Orang being killed by tigers. Last year alone 16 cattle were killed.

"The future of tiger in Orang is secure as historically it is a big cat landscape. However, increasing population may have its own disadvantages as there will be more competition for space, prey, breeding space, among others. This may result in more territorial fights. The spill-over population may be pushed out of the secure environment and move to the populated buffer area in search of easy prey like cattle," Choudhury said.



RE: Bigcats News - Rishi - 05-10-2017

Pench tiger reserve roars with 44 tigers
Vijay PinjarkarTNN | Updated: May 8, 2017, 08.19 AM IST


*This image is copyright of its original author
NAGPUR: The number of tigers in Maharashtra's Pench Tiger Reserve has increased to 44 this year, as compared to 31 in 2016.



The increase of 13 tigers was recorded in East Pench (Sillari), Chorbahuli, Saleghat and Deolapar areas of Mansinghdeo sanctuary, and Paoni and Nagalwadi. Officials said that of the 44 tigers recorded, 22 are males and 22 females. "An official report is still being finalised. But, yes, the number of tigers has gone up to 44 in the 660 sq km area where the estimation was done. This number doesn't include cubs, which are around 7-8," said Pench chief conservator of forests (CCF) and field director Rishikesh Ranjan.

As per National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines, the Phase IV annual estimation exercise with camera traps was conducted jointly by Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) and Pench Tiger Foundation over 21 days in January 2017.


The figure of 44 also includes a couple of tigers that have died since the January exercise in and around Pench. Since January this year, Pench has lost four tigers, of which two died in territorial fights. "Even though a couple of tiger deaths were not considered, increasing tiger numbers is also vindicated by death of tigers in territorial fights. It shows that growing Pench tiger population is crying for space," officials said.


Even as the death toll of tigers in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh has gone up to 42 in last 14 months, steady increase in tiger numbers in Maharashtra Pench is an achievement for wildlife wing and NGOs working in and around Pench.

Officials said five adults have been sharing common territory on the MP and Maharashtra border of Pench. However, during the exercise these tigers were recorded in Maharashtra Pench.


Wildlife conservationists attributed Pench success to former field director MS Reddy, who took over Pench when the number of tigers was 19. Reddy said, "I have not seen the report but yes, team work has yielded desired results."

&
Even expanded Pench not enough for 44 tigers
Vijay PinjarkarTNN | Updated: May 9, 2017, 06.47 AM IST





*This image is copyright of its original author
NAGPUR: It is going to be a tight squeeze for the tigers of Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR, Maharashtra). With 13 more added to the already existing 31 in the last year, there is just not enough room for all. PTR will need to quickly act to increase the core area to accommodate the 44 adult tigers plus another 7 cubs which will soon turn adults.

Pench currently is spread over 670 sq kms over (core plus buffer). The proposal, which will bring in a part of Nagalwadi located in the Salegahat range of Mansinghdeo Wildlife Sanctuary, will add another 80.45 sq kms to PTR. However, even this will not be enough to house all the tigers.

As per scientific studies, a tigress needs at least 20 sqkm area while for a male it is 40-60 sqkm territory. The 44 tigers (22 females and 22 males) will require an area of over 1,000 sqkm. If the proposal is implemented, Pench will go on to occupy 750.45 sq kms. As per Wildlife Institute of India (WII) & National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines, about 800-1,000 sqkm area is required for 20 breeding tigresses.

"This is the minimum inviolate area required to maintain an overall population of 70-100 tigers," says WII scientist Bilal Habib.

Currently, 138.40 sqkm Nagalwadi range lies in the buffer zone of Pench and has recorded tiger presence. It is a mixed deciduous forest ideal for tigers and other wildlife too.

The proposal recommends adding 80.45 sqkm area of Nagalwadi, which includes 29 compartments of reserve forest to Saleghat range of Mansinghdeo. This will hike the core area of the sanctuary to 263 sqkm from the present 183 sqkm. There are no villages in the proposed area which will ease the process of conversion.

"I have not gone through the proposal but will certainly work on the scope for expansion," said Rishikesh Ranjan who recently took over as PTR CCF & field director.

Interestingly, as reported by TOI on May 1, Mansinghdeo Sanctuary has been notified as a critical tiger habitat (CTH) in a merger of sorts with Pench and the sanctuary is now not confined to the buffer zone of Pench.

As per the proposal, Nagalwadi range in the buffer needs to be reorganized by dividing it into three ranges — Saleghat (56.43 sqkm), Nagalwadi (73.85 sqkm) and Suvardhara (56.95 sqkm). This will lead to better management of the area.


According to wildlife conservationist Prafulla Bhamburkar there is enough scope to extend Mansinghdeo Sanctuary which, in turn, will make Pench bigger too. "The entire Nagalwadi range needs to be declared part of Mansinghdeo. Besides, there are 9 reserve forest compartments on north-west of Parseoni and Khapa ranges outside the buffer, which ideally should have been part of the sanctuary," says Bhamburkar.

According to him, these areas are not only rich in wildlife but "are also connected to Kanhan range of South Chhindwara forest in Madhya Pradesh and form vital corridor to Satpura".

Bhamburkar said a large compact network of protected forest outside these compartments can then be used as buffer. "The entire area is about 200 sqkm. If reorganized, wildlife management can be better and poaching threats from neighbouring MP can be tackled. If Nagalwadi becomes core, buffer can be carved from Parseoni and Khapa ranges," said Bhamburkar.

According to experts, by itself 138 sqkms of Nagalwadi range is too huge to manage. The area is equivalent to Bor Tiger Reserve which is better equipped than Nagalwadi.





RE: Bigcats News - parvez - 05-10-2017

Pesticide Used to Kill Tiger near Kaziranga

*This image is copyright of its original author


A team of foresters led by the Ranger of Northern Range, Pranjal Baruah recovered the flesh of a dead tiger buried in a river island, Bhita Tapu in the sixth extension of the Kaziranga National Park in Biswanath Ghat area in Biswanath district recently.
It was suspected that the tiger was killed around 15 days back using pesticides when it had come to drink water from a nearby pond. An empty bottle of Phuradon, a kind of pesticide, and the body of a cow were also found near the said tank. Eight kilograms of tiger bone, 20 nails and teeth and a skin were also recovered earlier from a hideout at Majuli Tapu on the basis of the confessions of arrested dreaded poachers Aijul Haque alias Lal Pagla, Aminul Haque and Abul Kalam.
Forest officials suspect that poachers have started this new trick to kill wild animals coming out of the Kaziranga National Park instead of using firearms since gunshots attract the forest guards’ attention.
https://eclecticnortheast.in/tiger-killed-with-pesticide-near-kaziranga/


RE: Bigcats News - parvez - 05-11-2017

Indian Tigers' Genetic Diversity: Population Faces Extinction For Lack Of DNA Variety, Study Says

As researchers have previously warned, Tigers in India may be a little too close for comfort -- when it comes to their DNA, anyway.

A new study from Cardiff University has researchers concerned that Indian tigers face extinction because of a lack of "genetic diversity."



Partnering with India's National Center for Biological Sciences, researchers compared current DNA samples from tigers on the Indian subcontinent to genetic data obtained during the time of the British Raj, a period of British rule in India from 1858 to 1947. They found that 93 percent of the tiger DNA variants from that historical period are no longer present in the current tiger population.



"This is due to loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation, meaning lower population sizes, and the prevention of tigers from dispersing as they once would have, which means their gene pool is no longer mixing across the subcontinent," Mike Bruford, a professor at the Cardiff School of Biosciences, explained to the BBC.


The lack of genetic diversity in Indian tigers presents an obvious "red flag" for conservationists, Bruford and his team note in the study.
Though conservation efforts -- from protected reserves to endeavors to mitigate human-tiger conflict -- are currently in place, researchers state that "it is critical to maintain within-population variation, as well as increasing population connectivity" on a large scale.

While the study's findings are startling, researchers warned in 2011 that poor genetic diversity may be a threat to the tiger population. That year, a Wildlife Institute of India study revealed a loss of many alleles -- an alternate form of a gene, which can cause varying characteristics across a species -- among tigers in the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. At the time, investigator S. P. Goyal attributed the loss to "an isolated population without any genetic exchange," according to the Times News Network.
The tiger is classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the tiger population is estimated to be as low as 3,200, with as few as 1,400 tigers in India.
http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/indian-tigers-genetic-div_n_3280050
More articles on genetic diversity in Indian tigers,
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/elps.1150180938/abstract
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/indian-tigers-face-extinction-due-to-inbreeding-and-lack-of-genetic-diversity-8617713.html
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0029827