Fences tigers

Original source, credits text and photograph

Times of India

Nagpur: Forest Boundaries To Be Fenced To Check Man-Animal Conflict.

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In a bid to tackle man-animal conflict, the state cabinet on Tuesday approved setting up of chain link fencing at the boundaries of forests near sensitive village blocks.

Forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said he also proposed Rs 50 crore in the 2019-20 budget for the plan. “There was a demand from local leaders and other public representatives to address the man-animal conflict ,” he said.

The project will be implemented in vulnerable villages by extending the ambit of the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Jan Van Yojana which is already in place in tiger corridors and buffer zones of the reserves in Maharashtra.

Commentary

Pilot-like initiative in Indian reserve where fences will be placed to protect villagers against tigers.

Wonderful news!

Amur tiger on highway

Original source, credits text and photograph

China – Sjanghaist

Taxi Driver Spots Rare Siberian Tiger By Side Of Jilin Highway.

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A taxi driver received quite the fright recently when heading down a highway late at night and spotting a Siberian tiger looking at him from the side of the road.

The sighting took place in the city of Hunchun, located in the eastern part of Jilin province near to the borders of both North Korea and Russia. Video shows the big cat checking out the car before heading across the road, apparently deciding it would rather walk than take a cab.

Commentary

Amur tiger spotted by a taxi driver on a highway near Hunchun, a little Chinese city near the North Korean border.

The tiger seems numb and could suffer from CDV.

Madhya Pradesh tigers
Original source, credits text and photograph
Text: India – The Pioneer
Photograph: Tour My India

Tigers In Indian State Madhya Pradesh Need To Wait For New Protective House.

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As the rehabilitation and re-settlement issue of 30 villages in the buffer area of the Madhya Pradesh’s Ratapani Wildlife sanctuary — which is all set to be declared as tiger reserve — lingers on, around 12 big royal cats frequently straying out of the 900 sq km of the protected area will have to wait for some more time to get the designated home.

However, the delay has left them vulnerable to human-animal conflict and poaching, which the State is already witnessing. Till this date this year, 23 tigers have died in the State.

Commentary

Due to resistence within the Madhya Pradesh government tigers in this Indian state now already wait for 11 years to get to their new homes.

Nearly 80 tigers were reported dead in the past one and a half years in Madhya Pradesh, which is a strong signal that the government needs to give the thumbs up soon.

Karnataka tiger

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – Deccan Chronicle

Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright... But Not In Karnataka.

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There has always been an intimate connect  between the royals of yesteryears and tigers and the Mysore royals were no exception, doing everything possible to safeguard the big cat for posterity so that  Karnataka would always have a place of pride in the hearts of animal lovers who adore the striped wonder.

In recent decades, the love for the tiger and conservation efforts have gained momentum helping its population in the state record a steady rise from 290 in 2006 to 524 in 2018.

But now, tiger lovers have reason to be worried after a survey placed Karnataka second to Madhya Pradesh in the number of tigers with the state losing its numero uno position. Tiger reserves like Bandipur and Nagarhole are no doubt ideal retreats for them  and have been favourite destinations for those who can’t rest till they have their rendezvous with the big cat.

But not all is perfect at these reserves—for instance temples located deep inside the forests have to be shifted to avoid human interference and so do tribal families settled inside the forests. On the positive side, tiger reserves like Bandipur, Bhadra and Nagarahole have imposed a night traffic ban to help nocturnal animals cross from one side of the road to the other which was a much needed step considering the number of road kills in recent years.

M.B. Girish examines the state of the big cat in these reserves and finds out what more needs to be done to help Karnataka top in the number of tigers—an honour it enjoyed not so long ago.

Commentary

Problems within Indian state Karnataka grow bigger with the increase of tiger numbers.

Like more poaching, more timber stealing and more human-tiger-conflicts.

Aromic plants tiger

Original source, credits text and photograph

India – Social News XYZ

Aromatic Plants In UP Tiger Reserve To Check Man-Animal Conflict.

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The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Uttar Pradesh will sow aromatic plants on its boundaries to prevent tiger attacks on human population.

According to Naresh Kumar, senior WWF project director, herbivorous animals like deer, wild pigs and blue bulls do not eat aromatic plants and because they do not come into the area where aromatic plants are present, tiger do not follow them. This puts a break on man-animal conflict.

Farmers in the villages of Dhakka, Chant, Khirkia, Bargadia and Dhuria Palia, around the PTR have already started experimenting by planting lemon grass, poppy, palm rose and geranium.

Commentary

Fragrant flowers to end human-tiger-conflicts? WWF thinks so. They think the prey of tigers (like pigs, deer and blue bulls) doesn’t like the smell and stay away from the flowers. And thus away from humans.

As if pigs, deer or blue bulls think about fragrant flowers when they run for their life being chased by a raging tiger…

 

Regardless of the true reason why HTC’s exist: just too much humans in tiger habitat.

Tiger census

Amid the regular distressing news of tiger deaths due to vehicular accidents and retaliatory killings, the findings of the “Status of Tigers in India-2018” report are heartening. In 2010, the Chinese Year of the Tiger, at the Tiger Summit in Saint Petersburg, India and the other 12 tiger range countries committed to doubling wild tiger numbers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger. In 2010, the estimated wild tiger population in India was 1706; the latest corresponding figure is 2967, within sight of the target, and well in time. Collectively, the nation needs to celebrate. Since the last estimate of 2266 tigers in 2014, the report shows an impressive 31 per cent increase.

Although the report has its share of unanswered questions as well as grey areas of interpretation, we do not find any obvious discrepancies. Particularly impressive is the scientific rigour and the use of modern techniques of estimation. The methodology is as robust as it can be, using a combination of camera trap images, pug marks, tiger scats as well as habitat mapping. With a survey that covered 3,81,400 km of forested habitats in 20 tiger range states of India involving a foot survey of 5,22,996 km and camera traps deployed at 26,838 locations, one cannot question the robustness of the exercise. Most importantly, a total of 2,461 individual tigers were photo-captured. Thereafter, combining the estimated forest areas, grading them based on prey density and local ecology, the overall tiger population was anywhere between 2,603 to 3,346 with a standard error of approximately 12 per cent.

Census tiger

Large, solitary predators hate being seen. They owe their entire existence to being able to avoid detection by prey and sneak close before attacking.

Hence, when we want to count tigers, the tigers don’t help. But accurate population numbers are fundamental to good conservation. Every four years since 2006, the Indian government conducts a national census of tigers and other wildlife.

The efforts the project team undertakes to derive the tiger population estimate are nothing short of phenomenal: 44,000 field staff conducted almost 318,000 habitat surveys across 20 tiger-occupied states of India. Some 381,400 km² was checked for tigers and their prey.

MP tiger

Even though Madhya Pradesh has reported highest tiger population with 526 tigers, according to All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018 released on Monday, the state has lost 17781.588 acres of Very Dense Forest (VDF) and Moderately Dense Forest (MDF) in last four years, reveals the Forest Survey of India (FSI) report.

Between 2013 and 2015, the state lost 14,826.323 acres of land (60 sq km). Between 2015 and 2017, the state lost 2955.265 acres of forest land (12 sq km), the SFI report says.

Madhya Pradesh is the second largest state in terms of forest area in the country, but the forest is constantly shrinking in the state, the report says.

In 2013, the state had 77,522 sq km forest area, which reduced to 77,462 sq km by 2015 – marking a loss of 60 sq km (14826.323 acres). And between 2015 and 2017, the state has lost 48 sq km (11,861 acres) of forest land and total forest area shrunk from 77, 462 to 77,414 sq km. 

TIGERS AND CATTLE

The Union Environment Ministry and the Department of Livestock and Animal Husbandry are exploring a scheme to devise an insurance policy that will compensate people who lose their livestock to tigers.

A day after India declared that it had 2,967 tigers — a 33% jump since the last tiger census in 2014 — officials from several Ministries met on Tuesday to discuss ways to ensure that these gains were not lost.

The growing tiger base, however, has also brought with it challenges of man-animal conflict, with reports of tigers preying on cattle and sometimes mauling humans who live in the vicinity of their habitat. “Currently, there is no policy on compensating people for such cattle lost because tiger reserves are no-go areas, and people and cattle are not supposed to be present. However, in the larger interest of reducing man-animal conflict, we need to think of such measures,” said Siddhantha Das, Director-General (Forests), Union Environment Mministry. He was one of the participants in the meeting.

Royal Sundarbans tiger

A crab catcher has been dragged away by a tiger in West Bengal’s Sundarbans, a forest official said on Tuesday.

The incident occurred at South 24 Parganas’ Gosaba on International Tigers’ Day on Monday.

“A tiger dragged away 48-year-old Arjun Mondal by the neck, while he was catching crabs in a creek near Sadakkhali forest with two other friends of Rajatjubuli village,” the official said.

He said that the victim’s friends — Dhruba Mondal and Paritosh Mridha — went after the tiger but could not rescue him.

Dead tiger

With around 3,000 tigers, India is one of the safest habitats for them in the world, that is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while releasing the results of All India Tiger Estimation on the occasion International Tiger Day. 

While there is no doubt that the number of tigers in the wild, which was once nearly on the brink of being wiped out has increased in recent years, the national animal is not out of danger yet.

With no natural predators in the wild, tigers face the biggest threat from humans. The ever increasing deforestation means the number of human-animal conflicts are also on the rise and more often than not it is the animals that are on the losing end.

Just in the past couple of days, there have been multiple cases where tigers were killed by humans.

Sumatran tiger drawing

The Environment and Forestry Ministry will release two Sumatran tigers into their habitat in Riau Province after it cooperated with the Dharmasraya Sumatra Tigers Rehabilitation Center-ARSARI Djojohadikusumo Foundation (PR-HSD-ARSARI Foundation) to conduct rescue activities.

The Sumatran tigers comprise a female tiger called Bonita and a male tiger named Atan Bintang, the ministry noted in a press statement released on Monday.

Bonita was rescued from a plantation at Tanjung Simpang Village in Indragiri Hilir District on January 3, 2018, while Atan Bintan was rescued from a residential area in Burung Island also in the district on November 18, 2018.

“The conservation of (endangered) animals would be successful if all sides were to work together. The result of PVA (Population Viability Analysis) shows the population of Sumatran tigers in their natural habitat reaches only 603 found in 23 habitat enclaves,” Director General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation of the Environment and Forestry Ministry Wiratno stated.

Future for tigers uncertain

An adult tiger from Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh brutally beaten to death by villagers on July 24; 12 tigers dying due to electrocution in last 2.5 years and 5 tigers being poisoned to death in last six months in Maharashtra alone.

These are just indicators about the threats tigers face and also raises doubts whether conservation is heading in right direction. Even if figures released by Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), a NGO working for wildlife law enforcement, are considered, there is spurt in tiger body parts seizures indicating rise in poaching. In 2018, of the 104 tiger deaths recorded in India, 43 were unnatural including 34 due to poaching, 4 shot dead or killed by villagers and 3 dying in accidents.

“Till July 25 this year, 76 tiger deaths have been recorded, more than 70% of the total deaths in 2018. These include 31 due to poaching,” says Tito Joseph, programme coordinator of WPSI. The figures indicate that the highest-tiger-holding status with India is itself a challenge for tiger conservation.

The county’s tiger habitats are under critical conditions facing tremendous anthropogenic as well as development pressure as a result of which tigers are killed in human attacks, poaching, human-centric acts and linear projects. “Tigers could not even adopt natural behaviour for survival or avoid internal specie competition due to loss of large natural forest cover.

Even fragmented forest patches are hardly available for their survival. This is the biggest challenge India faces to manage tiger populations,” says Prafulla Bhamburkar, coordinator of Maharashtra, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). This year, Maharashtra lost 15 tigers, of which 6 deaths were due to poisoning (3 in Chimur) and 3 due to body parts seizure after electrocution in Bhandara district. The state is second to neighbouring Madhya Pradesh which lost 17 tigers in last 7 months.

Dead Bandipur tiger by car

A tiger was found dead on the wee hours of Saturday on the edge of national highway leading to the Bandipur Tiger Reserve near Raghuvanahalli in Chamarajanagar district.

According to forest officials, the tiger is suspected to have died after getting hit by a car when it was crossing the road outside the boundary. This is the fifth tiger death in Bandipur since January. There were scraping marks of the tiger’s claws at the spot, and also some tiger fur a little away from the spot where the carcass was found.

Although there is a traffic ban between 9 pm and 6 am inside the tiger reserve for the 25 km stretch on National Highway 212, cars travel all night on the rest of the highway all the time, cutting across Bandipur forests.

“We have filed a complaint, registered an FIR and are making efforts to track down the vehicle,” Conservator of Forests T Balachandra, who is also the Director of the Bandipur Tiger Reservetold The Hindu.

This incident comes after former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday ruffled some feathers as he urged the Centre to lift the existing night traffic ban in Bandipur Tiger Reserve. He also asked if the Centre will consider the proposal for constructing an elevated corridor, which has been opposed vehemently by environmentalists and officials of the forest department. To his question, Minister for Road, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that status quo will be maintained.

Striped lion

When the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP) was rolled out in 2010, it announced the exigency and intent in rather dramatic terms.

The programme, endorsed in the St Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation, was billed as the “last best hope for tigers”. Inaction could lead to extinction of the “world’s most magnificent species”, the programme’s executive summary had warned. Nine years into the ambitious programme, designed over the period between 2010 and 2022, the intent appears to have translated to a rise in the number of big cats in India, one of the 13 Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) in the GTRP.

The TRCs’ shared goal of doubling the number of tigers globally by 2022 could still be viewed as unrealistic but conservationists see in these numbers a possibility to optimise ongoing efforts — in restoring a depleted prey base, reviving habitats, building new resources for site-specific strategies and more crucially, in improving protection of forests with minimal conflict.

Y V Jhala, scientist at the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India, sees in the task for 2022 a “good target for politicians” to work toward and feels that the post-2010 thrust has, despite setbacks in some of the TRCs, had impressive returns. The senior scientist is working on the 2018 tiger census, a project that monitors the status of tigers, co-predators, prey and their habitat in India. The report is scheduled to be released by the end of July.

Daily Star tiger

Research estimates there are fewer than 4,000 of the big cats left in the wild. A century ago there were around 80,000.

The crisis is blamed on poachers and trophy hunters. Economic development is also a major factor in their decline because it ruins their habitat.

Campaigner Martin Hughes-Games has been studying the tiger count in India, which accounts for 60% of those left.

He said: “India is a country that’s industrialising incredibly fast. There are roads and railway lines and industries everywhere you look.

Sariska tiger ecology

The recent spate of tiger deaths in Sariska Tiger Reserve, the last one being reported on 8 June 2019 (Suri 2019), does not augur well for big cat conservation in the country. It also brings into question the efficacy of the tiger reintroduction programme in the reserve that began in 2008. It is important to explore not only the immediate causes of tiger deaths, but also the long-term factors, given the chronic, larger challenges of wildlife conservation in a developing country like India. 

Poaching and Local Extinction

Sariska, an 866 sq km protected area located in the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan, became the epicentre of conservation debates in early 2005, soon after tigers were reported to have disappeared from there as a result of poaching (Shahabuddin 2010: 1–4). At the time, government reports suggested that the last few tigers had been poached with the connivance of resident Gujjar villagers in Sariska (Rediff.com 2005; Gupta 2005; Environmental Justice Atlas 2019). Subsequently, a number of arrests were made and the reserve was blocked off to the public and researchers for investigations. Swift governmental action largely focused on poaching, and attempted to solve the issue by stepping up protective measures and amending the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 to enhance punitive regulations (Shahabuddin 2010: 5).

Malayan tiger under threat

Recently a tiger walked down the main thoroughfare of Kampung Besul (video here), a village in the north coastal state of Terengganu, sending villagers fleeing in all directions. The cat, dubbed the “friendly tiger” because it did no one any harm, later died of canine distemper disorder, which probably explains why it “went tame” and strolled through the town.

Malaysia is one of the most biodiverse countries on earth, and the rain forests of Peninsular Malaysia, along with those of southern Thailand, are the oldest on the planet. If anything, the death of the cat is emblematic of the peril to the country’s quickly-vanishing wildlife as urbanization, poachers and other problems eat into not just the tigers’ habitat but create a wide range of problems for other species as well.

The spread of canine distemper disorder into the wild cat population is very bad news on its own. A deadly virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous system, it is often spread to wild cats and dholes – wild dogs — in Asia from the feces left behind from hunting dogs and domesticated dogs which wander into wildlife habitat. According to another report, two tigers were seen prowling around the village, with a pregnant woman claiming a big cat chased her for 300 meters while she was riding her motorbike. Apparently one of the two was caught, later dying of distemper. The other escaped. It is still being sought.

Tigress beaten to death

A disturbing two-minute video from Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit district shows an adult tigress being beaten relentlessly with sticks by people this week, triggering widespread outrage.

The incident took place under a protected zone of the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, about 240 km from state capital Lucknow. The mobile video, shot by a resident of the Mataina village on Wednesday afternoon, captures the assault by the villagers and even has a background commentary by a witness who says they are assaulting the tigress because she had attacked and injured a villager in the morning.

The tigress was about six years old and she died of broken ribs and injuries to her body. The tigress was cremated after a post mortem. Local forest officials have registered an FIR against 31 identified villagers for the incident and four people have been arrested.

Maharashtra tigers

In a boost for tiger conservation, four villages in the Umred Pauni Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary (UPKWLS) will now be rehabilitated. This will enable better wildlife management in the sanctuary, which is populated by breeding tigers.

In addition, more villages in the vicinity of this protected area, are seeking their inclusion into the sanctuary in return for compensation.

“Four villages (Khapri, Jogikheda Rithi, Parsodi and Chichgaon Rithi) were already notified as part of the wildlife sanctuary. Now, we will compensate the villagers and rehabilitate them after settling their rights. This will free up around 348 hectares of land,” said Ravikiran Govekar, field director and chief conservator of forests of the Pench tiger project.

National Wildlife Rescue Centre

The National Tiger Conservation Centre (NTCC), covering 40ha in Lanchang, Pahang is scheduled for completion and will begin operating by the end of the year, said Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim.

He said the work on the NTCC project, costing RM15mil and located near the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, was now 90% ready.“Based on plans, tigers in animal-human conflict that are caught will be taken first to the National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Sungkai, Perak to be treated before they are transferred to NTCC prior to being returned to their natural habitat,” he said after a public lecture on managing wildlife at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) here.

Dead Malayan tiger

The Malayan tiger captured in a village in Dungun, Terengganu after it was spotted strolling casually has died from the canine distemper virus, the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) said today.

In a statement, the department said the tiger, named Awang Besul, sported injuries to its legs and an eye infection. It was also dehydrated when it was captured.

The Malayan Tiger was transferred to the National Wildlife Rescue Centre (NWRC) in Sungkai, for intensive treatment from Perhilitan’s veterinary doctor, and was quarantined.

“Observations at the NWRC between July 20 to July 23 show neurological symptoms. It was not aggressive, walking in circles, experienced seizures and had nasal discharge.

“After various efforts to treat and save Awang Besul, we are saddened to inform that at 5.30am, Awang Besul was confirmed dead at the NWRC by Perhilitan’s veterinary doctor, and a post-mortem would be conducted soon,” said Perhilitan.

Perhilitan tiger director

The 40ha National Tiger Conservation Centre (NTCC) in Lanchang, Pahang, is scheduled for completion and will begin operations by the end of the year.

Wildlife Protection and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said the RM15 million centre, located near the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, was 90 per cent completed.

“According to plans, tigers in animal-human conflict that are caught will be taken to the National Wildlife Rescue Centre (NWRC) in Sungkai, Perak, first to be treated, before they are transferred to NTCC prior to being returned to their natural habitat,” he said after a public lecture on managing wildlife at University Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) here.

Waste tiger

Relocating tigers

Madhya Pradesh tiger

captured Malayan tiger

Terengganu tiger

HTC-tigers

Tiger in bed