October 23, 2012
LONDON: With the2nd Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation in Bhutan preparing to discuss the plight of snow leopards today (October 23), the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has warned that it and Asia’s other big cats are in danger of being forgotten.
“The tiger is very much a symbol of the rampant demand and trade threatening the survival of other Asian big cats,” said Debbie Banks, Head of EIA’s Tiger Campaign. “But we know that for every tiger taken, about six leopards are being killed.”
The Conference is being held under the auspices of the Global Tiger Initiative in the mountain Kingdom of Bhutan; it opened on Sunday and runs until Wednesday.
With the key focus on wild tigers, EIA is concerned that leopards are not getting proper consideration, even as they continue to be hammered by poachers.
EIA has produced Briefing on Snow Leopards in Illegal Trade – Asia’s Forgotten Cats for Conference delegates.
Recent analysis shows that since 2000, at least 4,000 Asian big cat skins have entered into the trans-Himalayan trade, with evidence suggesting the majority are destined for China. Nearly 3,400 were leopard skins.
In addition to the seizures, EIA’s undercover investigators have documented the sale of skins and other body parts of hundreds more Asian big cats throughout western and central China.
Snow leopards are under serious threat, with a global population estimated to be fewer than 6,000. EIA’s new briefing reveals investigators have recorded 100 snow leopard skins in China since 2005, and reports a further 151 seized across the animals’ range.
“The skins seized and those uncovered by our investigators are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Banks. “Many more are getting through.”
Tiger, leopard and snow leopard skins are in demand in China for use in taxidermy, luxury home décor and clothing, with a secondary market in their bones for medicinal uses.
Asian big cat Range States (countries in which these animals are naturally found) are required to report to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) on the status of the illegal trade in these species and efforts to prevent it. To date no country has reported on the status of the snow leopard, and only two have reported on the leopard.
“Tigers remain at serious risk because of demand,” added Banks. “So too do the other Asian big cats. At the very least, leopard and snow leopard Range States need to be reporting what actions they are taking to protect these wonderful animals from the illegal trade in their body parts and derivatives.”
EIA’s Briefing on Snow Leopards in Illegal Trade – Asia’s Forgotten Cats is here.
Interviews are available on request: please contact Debbie Banks via firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7354 7960.
1. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is a UK-based Non Governmental Organisation and charitable trust (registered charity number 1145359) that investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental crimes, including illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, hazardous waste, and trade in climate and ozone-altering chemicals.
2. The UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) prohibits international trade in specimens of Appendix I Asian big cats – tiger, leopard, snow leopard, clouded leopard and Asiatic lion.
3. Trans-Himalayan trade is specifically trade between India, Nepal and China.
4. A Customs general rule is that seized contraband represents 10 per cent of the volume of contraband moving.
5. The Global Tiger Recovery Programme is coordinated by the Global Tiger Initiative, administered by the World Bank; website at http://www.globaltigerinitiative.org/
Environmental Investigation Agency
62-63 Upper Street
London N1 0NY
Tel: +44 207 354 7960
Asiatic cheetahs are one of the rarest mammals in the world, ranked the second more endangered cats in the world, chasing the Amur leopard. Desert and arid lands of eastern half of Iran hosts these elusive animals which despite of some 10 years ago, today are considered as one of the most intensively studied species in Iran. However, everybody should think about bringing research in balance with action.
Clouded leopards are true nocturnal cats. In the late afternoon when it is getting cooler and darker they come out of their hiding place and start getting active until early morning. During daytime they are sleeping and they hide so well you can hardly see them.
For photographers these cats make it slightly difficult, because when light is fading, they start climbing and running, so that will give you lots of blurry photos
By Sara Malm
PUBLISHED: 10:47 GMT, 19 October 2012 | UPDATED: 15:50 GMT, 19 October 2012
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A zoo where keepers killed animals using baseball bats and crowbars – in a bid to save on veterinary fees – has now been accused of feeding parts of the dead creatures to Polish guest workers.
Former employees at the park revealed the horrific living conditions of the animals at Ölands Animal and Amusement Park in Sweden earlier this week, but now it seems the atrocious treatment extend to the staff as well.
Employees at the popular tourist attraction were forced to work under ‘slave like’ conditions and were fed goats, hens and even a pig that had been put down at the park.
One worker, identified as Anna, said: ‘Sometimes we would give the animals a small injection afterwards. If there was an inspection no one would notice that they had been put down the wrong way. They often kill goats with a simple knife to the throat.’
Guest workers from Poland and Bulgaria work in the zoo over the summer and live in cramped conditions close to the park, located on the popular tourist island in the Baltic sea.
‘The guest staff work under slave-like conditions, 12 hours a day, seven days a week, with no entitlement to sick leave or days off. Those who complain have to take the return bus back home.’
Food is included in the contract and Niclas, another former employee, revealed that the guest workers were fed animals that had been put down in the park, giving examples of a goat and hens.
He reveals he once butchered a pig at the zoo to give the workers meat, adding: ‘They were so hungry and hadn’t had any nutritious food for weeks.’
Anna added: ‘They often had to eat monkey food. Old bread and old fruit which had been donated to the park by local grocers on the island, or nearby Kalmar on the mainland.’
The stories from behind the cheery facade of the zoo, which welcomes visitors with a sign of two playing chimpanzees, has horrified and sickened the nation and animal lovers worldwide.
On Wednesday Pia Westen, 19, revealed that the park had refused to let carers bottle feed a litter of lion cubs ignored by their mother.
Two of them starved to death before carers were allowed to feed the other two.
Staff were ordered to hide the suffering lion cubs behind tarpaulin sheets, with Westen saying: ‘[Supervisors] didn’t want visitors seeing them lying there, dying. The animal caretakers really wanted to save them but they weren’t allowed until two of them had starved to death.’
Caroline Ryding worked at the park for two months in 2011 and claims she quit her job after witnessing ‘permanent maltreatment of the animals’.
She said: ‘A coati – a Brazilian aardvark – was beaten to death with a baseball bat or a crowbar. And we were told afterwards not to tell the zoo vet.’
‘They had no room for them and couldn’t afford a vet. The owners told us not to say anything because what they did was illegal.’
Last year the company made a £1.2m profit and the park’s director Barbro Hägg has been given an estimated £2.4m in salary and shares in the past five years.
Zoo spokesman Hans Uhrus claimed the care was of high standard and that the zoo was regularly checked by vets and the County Administration Board.
He said: ‘We always take great care in dealing with our animals. We have regular controls of our business under the animal protection act through inspections. The board has received no complaints regarding the park.’
This claim was backed up by the park’s veterinarian Karl Johan Nordfelt.
He said: ‘As the park’s veterinary surgeon I visit the park at least once a week to see the animals and how they are kept.
‘The animals’ well-being is checked every day by the staff on site and I control how they are kept during my regular visits.
‘I have nothing to comment on regarding the care of the animals in the park.’
The animal park, on the Baltic island of Öland, off Sweden’s east coast, is home to around 650 animals of over 100 different species.
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Private commercial resorts in the vicinity of wildlife sanctuaries will soon have to shut up shop. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Forest department officials on Monday.It was also decided to shut down all guesthouses of the department inside the forest areas having tiger and elephant populations and shift
them outside the forest zone.In the backdrop of the Centre’s assurance to the Supreme Court that there would be no permanent tourist facilities in core areas of reserve forests, minister CP Yogeshwara said 25-30 private lodges in the buffer zone will face action. Some are run by kith and kin of influential persons. “The move has been initiated as per the SC order to preserve the buffer zone of tiger reserves and elephant corridors in Bandipur and Nagarahole,” the forest minister told reporters on Monday.
The SC order was based on a study which said the tiger’s natural habitat in Bandipur and Nagarahole is being disturbed. The order has compelled the state government to clear the core forest area and buffer zone of private lodges.
This beautiful Amur tiger caught on camera using our camera traps in the Russian Far East. Help fund this vital work by donating here: http://www.davidshepherd.org/help-us/tiger-time/donate/
Help us save the last 450 wild Amur tigers, sign: www.bantigertrade.com
Oct 23, 2012
Second Asian Ministerial Conference: “This is not a pledge to save tigers, but a pledge to save humanity itself,” agriculture minister (Dr) Pema Gyamtsho said yesterday, at a follow up meet on the commitment that 13 tiger range countries made two years ago.
The commitment then was to double the number of tigers by 2020 (the next Year of the Tiger). The estimated tiger population in the world today is 3,500.
Availability of funding, and how to better link conservation and protection of tigers with livelihood of people, are the key challenges in achieving this goal, the minister said, in his address at the second Asian ministerial conference on tiger conservation in Thimphu.
Lyonpo said that, if tigers are to survive and thrive, not only good policies and legislation, but also good implementation, security and enforcement agencies are needed. “When we conserve tigers, we’re conserving the whole ecosystem and all the resources that it contains, which provides the basis for our sustainability, food, water, air, shelter and clothing.”
Chief Justice Sonam Tobgye, who attended the opening ceremony, said that people of Bhutan had coexisted with tigers and other species of wildlife for centuries, and it is for this reason that Bhutan’s conservation policy recognises the co-existence of human and wildlife. “Article four of the constitution incorporates the doctrines of public trustee, and makes every Bhutanese an owner and trustee of biological resources, including that preservation of our wildlife,” he said. “Bhutanese people continue to make enormous sacrifice, both at the farm level and at the national level.”
Representatives from 13 tiger range countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam, along with world tiger experts and representatives from non-government organisations and donor agencies, including Global Tiger Initiative (GTI)/World Bank, World Wildlife Fund, Global Environment Facility, Interpol and United Nations Development Program are attending the two-day meet, which ends today.
The World Bank director, Bruno Laporte, told participants that there is a growing convergence of understanding that saving tigers and natural landscape is not only the business of government and non-government organisations, but also the business of industry and private sector at large.
“Constructive engagement and practical collaboration among government, industry and civil society and communities is absolutely essential to reverse habitat destruction and degradation,” he said.
United States ambassador to India, Nancy J Powell, said that the US attaches great importance to the work of the World Bank’s Global Tiger Initiative, its partners and, especially, to all tiger range countries.
Saving wild tigers, Powell said, is in the human and development interest of all countries. “Protecting our natural resources, specially the endangered species, has increasingly also become an issue, impacting the security of nations, because of the massive upswing in international wildlife trafficking, and we need to recognise wildlife crime as a serious crime that undermines good governance and the rule of law,” she said.
“Deepening US support to combat wildlife trafficking, we’re happy to announce significant additional assistance to the US agency for international development, South Asia wildlife enforcement network and Interpol environment crimes programs.”
According to the enforcement support chief of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, Barend Van Rensburg, there are now seven billion people consuming biodiversity everyday, including in the form of food, medicine, clothes, furniture, perfumes and luxury goods.
Natural resources, Rensburg said, should be used sustainably, and in a manner that does not harm the survival of species in the wild. “Considerable efforts have been taken for many years to protect the tiger in the wild, yet evidence shows that today, despite of all these efforts, tiger population continue to be targeted by criminals for illegal trade,” he said.
The program director of Global Tiger Initiative, Keshav Varma, added that poachers and wildlife traffickers are becoming ever more sophisticated, and so much needs to be done.
The program manager of INTERPOL, David Interpol, added that sharing information and intelligence is critical.
“Interpol, with its 190 member countries, and its national police agencies, through national interpol central bureaus, are equipped and prepared to stand aside to support the efforts in tackling the criminals that are eroding the conservational efforts to conserve tigers,” he said.
The two-day meeting will also look into key achievements in implementing conservation strategies, and also issue guidance on continuing momentum and ensure continued high-level political support. HRH Ashi Kesang Wangmo attended the opening yesterday.
Bhutan has an estimated 130-150 tigers.
Written by Sabrina Qi Zhang
Posted on Oct 23, 2012 in
“I have seen tigers in the wildlife park. They don’t look happy.” A little boy said, referring to the infamous tiger farms/wildlife parks in China that sell tiger products, as he put his fingerprint on a tiger picture which represents his family’s commitment to protect tigers by rejecting tiger products.
In early 2012, IFAW’s book “Run, Tiger Run” on the plight of tigers was published. IFAW organized a series of book promotional events to garner the interest and attention of the media and the general public in order to promote greater awareness of the threats to tigers.
On this Saturday morning, IFAW’s tiger book promotion and exhibition titled “Read, Love and Protect” was going on at Beijing’s largest book store, Xidan Book Store. The second floor was crowded with children and their parents. They were reading the tiger book; listening to the stories told by conservationists, and signing the petition to protect wild tigers.
“Will tigers disappear when I grow up?” A young boy asked.
The question grieved me. Could they escape extinction in the future? At the turn of the last century there were estimated to be about 100,000 wild tigers on the Asia continent. Today their number has plummeted to as few as 3,000. Even worse, three subspecies have become extinct just in the past 50 years. As the origins of the tiger species, wild tigers have all but disappeared in China. Chinese can only see tigers in zoos, wildlife parks or tiger farms.
In November 2011, a female wild Amur tiger was found in Heilongjiang Province, which attracted a lot of attention from the media and cheered by the public. As a tiger range state, China historically had thousands of wild tigers. Now, however, only a few wild Amur tigers are left in an area in northeast China bordering with the Russian Far East. But more than 8000 tigers are suffering a life time of captivity in various tiger farms/wildlife parks in China.
I was delighted to hear that wild tigers are still roaming in my hometown-Heilongjiang. But I felt sad and ashamed that there are tiger farms located on the same land too.
I still remember the scene I saw in the farm, tiger cubs were taken away from their mothers before they were weaned in order to encourage the female tiger to enter another breeding cycle. I could not imagine the despair of the mother and the fear of the baby.
A happy laugh zapped me back to reality, looking around the room, I saw a little girl curled up in her mother’s arms reading a book. The mother fondled her back and kissed her little girl on her cheek. Baby tigers born on the farms were doomed to lose their mother’s love and their freedom forever.
Separated from their mother was just the beginning of a baby tiger’s miserable life in the farm. When the baby tigers were as young as four months old, they were de-clawed as a safety measure to “protect” visitors; they were chained to the ground for visitors to take photos with; they were forced to jump through fire rings or pull a cart, in a variety of circus performances and shows for the entertainment of visitors; they were kept hungry because the owner want to save money…
The farm-bred tigers are genetically compromised and therefore have no conservation value, nor can they be released into the wild. Even worse, as tiger farms in China are purely commercial operations, the farms have been producing and selling tiger products in wine, which revives waning market interest in tiger products and reverses the excellent progress made by the Chinese government to enforce the trade ban and conserve the remaining populations of wild tigers.
Tiger farming in China, is now posing renewed threats to the wild tiger both in China and in the other range states.
There is hope. There are international and domestic laws banning tiger trade. China’s Premier Wen Jiabao pledged at the Tiger Summit in 2010 to “combat poaching, smuggling and trade of tiger products”. As more Chinese consumers reject tiger products, wild tigers may have a chance to survive.
In 3 hours, more than 500 people had left their finger prints on the tiger pictures to show their commitment to refuse tiger trade. A few children even bought several books as gifts to their friends asking them to join in the efforts.
5-year old boy Ma Ding was the youngest supporter at the event. He answered all the questions raised by the hostess correctly, which made the audiences deeply moved by his enthusiasm. “I really want to help the baby tigers. Mum, please promise not to buy tiger products.” He left his fingerprint and proudly wore a badge with the Chinese words “Tiger Guardian”.
Children and their parents left their fingerprints on the tiger pictures which represent their family’s commitment to protect tigers and refuse tiger products.
© IFAW -Children read the tiger book at the event.
© IFAW – A little boy held the paw of the tiger and promised to protect it in the future.
© IFAW – Ma Ding, 5-year old boy said he wants to be a ranger to help wild tigers.
While the tourist footfalls were marginally less as compared to the opening day last year – about 935 people visited Gir on Tuesday – officials say it was because last year the sanctuary was thrown open during the Diwali holidays.
Every season, 75-odd cubs are born. The higher number this time is due to an increasing number of lionesses. The female to male lion ratio in Gir has consistently improved – from 76 lions and 100 lionesses a few years ago to 97 males and 162 female animals now. “If the number of females is higher than males, it is good for reproduction. Fewer males would mean less infighting,” said additional principal chief conservator of forests Dr H S Singh.
Recently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), while shifting the big cats from critically endangered species category to endangered species, had mentioned, “The number of mature lions has been increasing, all occurring within one sub-population (but in four separate areas, three of which are outside of the Gir forest protected area). Since the population now extends beyond the boundary of the lion sanctuary, the numbers are stable.”
The survival rate of cubs in Gujarat is higher than their African counterparts. A study has revealed the cub survival rate of Gir forest was about 56%.
Lion Death – Shocking photographs coming out of Kenya with the deliberate
murder of a Lion. The Lion was in Astra ranch machakos area, and killed one sheep that was being illegally grazed. There was a wedding in a nearby boma and an alarm was raised, and 3 cars ran down the lion before it was speared. 3 arrests were made but they were released around midnight last night. Kenyan Wildlife Service are attending meetings with the community now. RIP Lion xoxoxo Innocent Lion…..
A mixture of Christianity and Zulu culture, the Shembe is one of the biggest traditional religious groups in South Africa with around 5 million members. There are fears from conservationists that as the church grows, Africa‘s leopards, already listed as “near threatened” by the International Union Conservation of Nature (IUCN), will be pushed towards extinction.
India lost about 40 tigers this year alone, mostly due to poaching. 11 Indian rhinos were poached in 2012. Almost four leopards are poached every week, suggests a new study, which points that almost 2,300 leopards were lost in the last ten years.
India’s only Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species (LACONES) in Hyderabad does a lot of forensic work related to animal poaching. It helps positively identify the poached animal, since – like in the case of deer, where meat is used in cooking – the sample visually may not suggest if it is mutton or a wild animal, but the laboratory can run specific DNA tests that reveal the genetic finger print, helping nail down criminals involved in poaching.
October 22 2012
Late on the 19th October a much anticipated event took place in Dambwa (and the rest of the region no doubt) when rainy season opened in spectacular fashion overnight soaking the tinderdry release site and bringing with i
For centuries humans and wild animals have co-existed in India. This is mainly because the human populations were much lower and the forest areas were large. However, over the past few decades, the human population has grown manifold, thereby creating great pressure on forest resources. The habitat destruction and deforestation are growing at a rapid pace.
With rapid increase in population, man, who is instinctively desirous of possessions, is stretching towards the forests and destroying the richness of fauna in the jungles.
For this, both the Government as well as the Citizens of India is to blame. They have never thought of determining the limits of expansion of urbanisation. Perhaps, the general feeling is, ‘bigger the better’……
( Even the dense forest gets converted into cities at his bid, the human being snatches even the dwellings of the birds)
Please, Control population explosion.
Sumatran tiger quick facts
Projects we support: Tiger-human conflict mitigation, Tiger & prey research
In the tropical forests of Sumatra, the smallest subspecies of tiger is losing ground to habitat loss and poaching. Considered “critically endangered”, Sumatran tigers may number only 300 in the wild. But it’s difficult to monitor these secretive animals and their prey in the dense forest. And when Sumatran tigers leave the forest to hunt wild pigs near villages, they often come into conflict with people, get caught in snares, and are more susceptible to poaching.
In Sumatra, our campaign is supporting the Wildlife Conservation Society’s efforts to reduce tiger-human conflict by constructing tiger-proof livestock pens in villages, increasing outreach and awareness, and responding with veterinary assistance to tigers caught in snares. Also, tiger and prey research will monitor population trends, evaluate the effectiveness of conservation strategies, and identify threats.
To find out more, download our campaign materials:
Description of Sumatran tiger projects
Tigers, Thailand – Over the last week I have been in Thailand. The reason I went was to check on a few animal friends, but also I went to film a documentary with SBS. On 30th Oct 2012, 930pm (Australian Time) SBS investigative news program “Dateline” will air that documentary. It will be available online at the below link. Please tune in on TV or watch online and please share far and wide.
It is very important to educate the public on travelling ethically when visiting animals. Watch and see, how easy it is for you to be sucked into participating in exploitation of creatures, and the truth behind how you are able to “cuddle a tiger”. It is explosive and revealing and a must see education. 30th Oct 2012, 930pm. In the meantime, check out SBS Dateline News series. One of the best, if not the best, information news programs around.
The tiger is said to have sustained severe injuries during a territorial fight with another tiger. It had killed five cattle in the recent past.
The carcass of a cow it had killed on Friday was kept as a bait inside the cage to capture the tiger, near the Anechowkur range.
The zoo doctors have reported that there is a big maggot-infested wound just above the nose. The prognosis is guarded, said the press release.
It may be recalled that a few weeks earlier, a wild male tiger from H D Kote area was brought to the zoo for treatment. The said tiger has responded to the treatment, is recuperating well and also gained weight, said the press release.
It is said both tigers were driven out of their territories due to old age and were venturing into the fringe areas looking for prey.
Due to the vigilant forest staff, these tigers were captured at the earliest possible time and brought to the Mysore zoo for treatment.
The Mysore zoo has proposed a rescue and rehabilitation centre (RRC) at Kurgalli near Mysore as part of a master plan.
The recent incidents necessitate the setting up of the RRC at the earliest, said Ravi.
Experts say it ensures that the skin is not damaged and fetches a higher price in the market;trend alarms authorities
Chetan R email@example.com
Expertsarealarmedbythelatest trend of killing tigers using herbal poison.Authorities recently tracked down the remains of an adult tiger that had been poisoned to death in BRT tiger reserve just six months ago.CID forest cell sleuths of Kollegal recoveredtheskin,clawsandwhiskers within hours of the decision to open threetoptigerreservesBandipur,Nagarhole and BRT for visitors.The tiger was about four years old.It was killed with poisoned meat near Biligiri Ranganathaswamy temple,the sleuths told BANGALORE MIRROR.They learnt about the killing after arresting a gang of five poachers who were trying to sell the skin.Four tigers have died in suspicious circumstances in the last one year,experts said.According to sources,in eachcase,theywerekilledwithlocally made herbal poison.
In July,sleuths of Kollegal Wildlife Range arrested six notorious poachers from Haryana and recovered traps they had laid.The latest recovery indicated that poachers are targeting animals in BRT,sleuths said.
In the case of the tiger that was killedamonthagonearavillageatBiligiriRangahills,therewerenosignsofa fight,injuries,bullets or a trap.
Another one had been poisoned near BRT six months ago.Locally made herbal poison is used as it does not leave any trace of poison,unlike chemical poisons.The local tribes prefer poisoning as they get a clear skin with no damage.
Good skin means high price.As poisoning is rampant,we cant rule out the involvement of a wider network.Hence,theproblemhastobeaddressed immediately, Sudheer K S,a wildlife expert said.
CID forest cell sleuths trapped the gang when they were trying to sell tiger parts at Katnawadi on the the Mysore-Kollegal road.Sources said that Ramesh,Rajashekar,Chandru,Abbas and Somanna had struck a deal to sell the skin for about Rs 40 lakh.
One of them revealed that they had placed meat,which was poisoned,near BRT.After several days,a tiger ate the meat and died after walking a short distance.This happened six months ago.Further investigations will reveal what they have done with the teeth and bones, sub-inspector Mahesh B,CID forest cell,who led the team,told BANGALORE MIRROR.The gang was booked under various sectionsoftheIndianWildlifeProtection Act,officials said.
Cops trapped the poachers (foreground) while they were trying to sell a tiger skin
Everywhere in this world: where’s (bad) people, there’s animal abuse. Turning a blind eye is an act by NO true animal lovers, so please all support the cause against abuse to inocent animals. Do share
TNN | Oct 21, 2012, 04.45AM IST
They began treatment on Saturday morning to try and stabilize its worsening condition. The injuries are believed to have been sustained during a territorial fight with another tiger, zoo director BP Ravi said. The tiger is believed to be 14 years old, and is said to have killed five cattlehead in the recent past. It is suspected to have killed a cow on Saturday, hours before it was captured in Anechowkur range in Nagarahole tiger reserve. The animal was under mild sedation when it reached the zoo at 5am.
Preliminary medical examination also revealed that the tiger has a big wound in the middle of its face, with a worn-out upper lip. The wound is full of maggots, and the tiger is in a critical condition, he stated.
The tiger, which had created fear in Thithimati town, was trapped at 11.30pm Friday night. Unoj, a teenager who stepped out of her house to answer nature’s call, sighted the tiger sleeping in a bush. She tiptoed back to her house and informed the family.
Later, the forest department trapped the animal and carried it away in a cage. The operation was guided by Hunsur wildlife ACF K D Belliappa, Mathigodu forest range officer Devaraju and his team. The tiger may require a minimum of two months to recover, Dr Umashankar from Hunsur said.
Two months ago, a male tiger was captured at Hebballa near HD Kote and shifted to the zoo, and is now recovering. It has responded to treatment and is gaining weight. It appears that both tigers were driven out of their territories due to old age and pushed to the fringe areas to sustain themselves, Ravi said, adding the zoo has proposed a rescue and rehabilitation centre at Koorghalli to take care of rescued animals.
Tiger experts are trying to locate the 14-year-old tiger’s history in their database. “We may find more details in a couple of days,” a wildlife activist told STOI.
Published: 17 Oct 12 11:09 CET
A zoo in eastern Sweden has come under fire for reportedly putting down animals and claiming they had simply been transferred to another zoo, misleading information the zoo now regrets sharing.
- Swedish zoo ‘beats animals to death’ (16 Oct 12)
- Swedish zoo in awe over ‘adorable’ baby pandas (10 Jul 12)
On the show is revealed how several animals, some of which were endangered species, had been killed by staff members of the zoo in what appears to have been a move to make more room for new animals.
One older female puma and her two ten-year-old young were killed in September to make way for new jaguars, according to the investigative journalism programme.
On the show, zoo head Helena Olsson explains that the pumas were put down as they were too old, according to the TT news agency.
A number of bongo antelopes were also killed off, although Olsson told the programme that they had been moved to another zoo.
The zoo’s CEO, Torbjörn Bergvall, said that the young pumas had actually died of illness and only one of the bongo antelopes was moved to another park.
“That wasn’t correct, we were unclear there,” Bergvall told TT.
The zoo also released a statement on their Facebook page in reaction to a preview of the programme that aired on Tuesday.
“The Kalla Fakta report is made up of information from previous employees who don’t share our view on the importance of zoos to protect endangered species,” the zoo wrote.
“It’s also made up of an unfortunate interview with false information from our zoo head, Helena Olsson. We welcome investigation of our business, and we will address the content of the stated programme here after the broadcast on Wednesday.”
The programme premieres on Wednesday at 9.30pm on TV4.
The news follows Tuesday’s revelations about a different zoo in eastern Sweden which reportedly beat animals to death.
Bera, a sleepy village in the Pali district about 140 km from Jodhpur, doesn’t get too many visitors. But for those who do drop by, there’s a lot to see. The tour guide promises panther sightings and a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of the tourist destinations of Rajasthan.
Tapping its potential of a perfect retreat for wildlife enthusiasts, the state government has identified Sumerpur, another site in Pali district, to be notified as a panther conservation reserve. The area, right next to the Kumbhalgarh sanctuary, with its thriving panther population (20 to 30 in 650 hectares) will soon figure among the state’s wildlife destinations.
Many pockets in the Pali district, such as Bera, Kameshwar hill, area around Velar village, Bhubhutia Mahadeo, Ludada hill, Perwa Bisalpur and Sena are not part of the Kumbhalgarh sanctuary but support a sizeable population of leopards, also called panthers. Eleven villages have been identified for in situ conservation of panthers to protect their depleting numbers.
Rajasthan tourism and environment and forest minister Bina Kak said, “While tigers hog all the attention, the depleting population of panthers has been neglected. Therefore, before it is too late, we have proposed to come up with a dedicated reserve for panthers in Pali district near the Jawai Dam. The final notification will ensure that there is a system in place to conserve them in the area and at the same time develop eco-tourism in and around the earmarked reserve.”
Parbat Singh Champawat, Range Officer (Wildlife), Sumerpur, said, “The area identified for the reserve is an ideal habitat. The broken hilly terrain with sparse vegetation provides suitable natural habitat to this big feline species. Many caves in the area provide hideouts to them. The Jawai Dam provides them water besides a few perennial springs in the hills near Sena village.”
In three villages, waterholes will be desilted and deepened while 18 new waterholes will be created across the reserve. Around Rs 292 lakh is the estimated cost for habitat development and another Rs 66 lakh will be spent on waterholes.
The state government also plans to run a dedicated public awareness and education campaign to educate the local community about the importance of conservation. The local community will be explained how the panther-centric eco-tourism will help improve their socio-economic status. Currently, Castle Bera, the only heritage hotel in the area, and a few other smaller resorts do manage to draw a few tourists. However, no property offers accommodation of more than 10 rooms.
Panther’s common preyshare—porcupine, nilgai, chinkara, monitor lizard, langur and crocodile—are not in adequate numbers any longer. As a result, panthers venture into villages to pick up domestic animals. “To increase the count of naturally found herbivores, grasslands in the area are planned to be developed which will provide a ready source of fresh fodder. Chinkaras, however, are no longer found in the area and hence they are proposed to be brought in ,” said PS Somashekar, Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife).
Though not in the endangered list yet, panthers have been declining in number at an alarming rate, Somashekar points out. According to the 2011 census, 436 panthers were found within protected areas and another 129 were found outside protected areas in the state. Officials said that the figure, though much better than in many other states, needs to be worked on as Rajasthan’s terrain makes for a natural habitat.
- P. Oppili
- B. Aravind Kumar
CHENNAI, October 20, 2012
By combining Srivilliputhur, Megamalai and Varushanadu
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has suggested the formation of a fifth tiger reserve in the State by combining the Grizzled Giant Squirrel Sanctuary in Srivilliputhur, the Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Varushanadu Valley in Theni district.
The contiguity of these sanctuaries, along with Kerala’s Periyar Tiger Reserve that adjoins the stretch, and the increased tiger sighting in these protected areas have prompted the NTCA to suggest the fifth tiger reserve in the State. It has already granted in-principle approval to the Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary adjoining the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. It is only a formality before Sathyamangalam becomes the fourth tiger reserve in the State, officials say.
In its comprehensive guidelines for tiger conservation sent to Chief Wildlife Wardens and Directors of Tiger Reserves, the NTCA has pointed out that habitat fragmentation was adversely affecting wildlife due to decreased opportunity available for their movement from different habitats. This, in turn, prevented gene flow among them in the landscape.
The habitats also act as smaller ‘source’ by facilitating breeding and movement of native wildlife populations to colonise adjoining habitats. Natural resources such as rivers or mountain ranges may act as boundaries for wildlife population. However, disturbance of corridors on account of human interventions such as highways, canals, industries, roads, railway tracks or transmission lines would be harmful to wildlife, the NTCA had cautioned.
Averting Tiger-Man Conflicts
The NTCA has sought involvement of different sectors necessary to reduce man-tiger conflicts in the reserves. Forestry, agriculture, welfare activities through district collectors, tourism, fisheries, tea/coffee estates, road and rail transport, industry, mining, thermal power plants, irrigation projects, temple tourism and communication projects operating in a reserve will be instrumental in effectively addressing man-tiger conflicts besides helpful in mainstreaming tiger and wildlife concerns, the NTCA has said.
Source of Vaigai river
Welcoming the NTCA’s suggestion to form the fifth tiger reserve in the State, T.S. Subramanian, Secretary, Wildlife Association of Rajapalayam, said it would help in improving the condition of the landscape in the selected area. Secondly, with the formation of a tiger reserve, a buffer zone would be created where eco-development initiatives could be taken up with the help of locals.
Importantly, the creation of tiger reserve here could eventually lead to the protection of the source of Vaigai river that originates in these mountain ranges, say environmental activists.
Acquisition of plantations, mostly in distress due to non-availability of labour, in these ranges also could bolster conservation and protect the river’s sources, activists emphasise.
These areas, though contiguous, are at present managed by two different officers in the rank of District Forest Officers. Clubbing these areas and bringing them under a single officer would help in better management of the entire reserve, add the activists.
18 October 2012
We’re delighted by the Indian government’s announcement this week – at the high-level Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) discussions in Hyderabad – that they’ll invest US$50 million to protect biodiversity. We’d encourage other countries to step up and make similar commitments to show how serious they are about supporting the health and natural wealth of our planet.
India’s 50 million dollar pledge for biodiversity is a great show of leadership from one of the world’s fastest-growing, and biologically richest countries.
Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh announced that the $50 million ‘Hyderabad Pledge’, as it’s being called, will be invested both domestically and shared with other developing nations that are struggling to cover the costs of protecting their own biodiversity.
Mr Singh said: “Two years ago in Japan [at the last CBD conference] the world came together and agreed on a way forward to protect our planet. Now here in Hyderabad, we are starting to see signs of new leadership emerging – is this the beginning of a new South-South co-operation leadership?
“It is wonderful to see the South step forward. But we still need to see developed countries increase their financial support for protecting biodiversity in developing countries.”
Also at the CBD conference this week: India’s environment minister Ms Jayanti Natrajan joined award-winning film star Rana Dagubatti in a show of support for the world’s remaining wild tigers. They highlighted the vital role that forest guards play in India and around the world to protect this endangered species.
They showed their support by signing Cards4tigers postcards, part of a WWF campaign to recognise thousands of frontline staff who work in harsh conditions to protect this iconic creature.
Rana Dagubatti said: “It is overwhelming to hear about the dedication of forest guards to protect tigers in such difficult field conditions. I appeal to the public to recognise their efforts, and spare a thought by sending them a message of appreciation for their work.”
There have been positive developments in tiger conservation since 2010, when tiger range countries agreed the ambitious target of doubling wild tiger numbers by 2022 (at the time down as low as 3,200).
The most recent tiger census reported a 20% increase in numbers, and revealed healthy tiger populations outside Tiger reserves. The Indian government has said it recently “substantially enhanced” its budget allocation for all endangered species, including tigers.
State-of-the-art technology has been adopted to monitor tigers and their prey, and other wildlife, and there have been increased efforts to halt illegal wildlife trade and poaching.
The Global Tiger Forum, an intergovernmental body for tiger range states, also announced positive developments from Russia, and reported that China will become a GTF member in the very near future.
Frontline protection and continuous, intelligent monitoring are crucial – and need to be strengthened – wherever there are wild tigers.
Nikhil M Ghanekar, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, October 12, 2012
Work on the state’s first leopard safari, at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, is expected to start early next year. This week, authorities of the national park sent the final master layout plan of the safari to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) and are hoping to get the final approval in December.
The idea of a leopard safari was mooted to create an open space for the 22 captive leopards housed in a leopard orphanage inside SGNP. This orphanage houses man-eating leopards, injured and old leopards, and those that were trapped after straying into human habitats.
Presently, these leopards are kept in separate enclosures of 110sq ft. The leopard safari will be located in a 20-hectare area inside SGNP, adjacent to the existing Lion and Tiger safari. The total area occupied by the three safaris will be 100 hectares. These barb-wired enclosures will be around 50-feet high.
“The leopards will be released in the safari area in the morning. We will release 3 to 4 leopards at a time and create a separate feeding area for them. They will be brought back to the enclosures at night,” said Sunil Limaye, director, SGNP.
Limaye added, “Once we get the final approval from CZA, we will carry out the detailed budgeting. Following that, construction of the enclosures will begin.”
The safari will also have dense tree cover so that leopards can climb up to rest. The captive leopards will shift to their new and bigger orphanage by March. Each orphanage enclosure will be around 165 sq.ft in size while there will also be a separate exercise area created for the leopards. The leopards will be released in the safari from their orphanage enclosures.
Experts said that a leopard safari will give more breathing space for the leopards. “The present enclosures are not really great and leopards should not be kept in captivity forever. But, the leopards should not be released in large numbers as they do not usually move in groups,” said Vidya Athreya, wildlife biologist with Center for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore.
Photo Credit: David Shindle
Defenders of Wildlife