RANCHI: Anand Kumar, who is on an indefinite hunger strike
to protest against corruption in the forest department, is facing
threat to his life; the forest ranger said quoting special branch
“Police officers have been deployed for my security.
The special branch has said I am facing security threat,” said Kumar,
who is also an RTI activist and had received crucial documents on
alleged corrupt practices in the department.
Kumar sat on
hunger strike on March 25 in front of the governor’s house. Police had
to forcefully lift him from the place on Friday.
Jharkhand forest officers of selling 1.25 lakh hectares of land in
Palamu and embezzlement in various schemes and also held them
responsible for the vanishing of 123 tigers from Palamu Tiger Reserve
since 1973. He claimed that he has all documents to back his words.
“The officers have given more than 1.25 lakh forest land to various
industries, builders and other mining agencies,” said Kumar, who was
transferred 17 times in a career of 20 years. The man has disclosed the
irregularities after which senior forest officers had also conducted
“I was forced to call upon the advisor to the governor, Madhukar Gupta with complete documents.
An inquiry has been ordered into the irregularities,” he added.
The vanishing of big cats in Palamu tiger reserve is the prime issue
which the forest ranger, who has already tendered his resignation, is
championing. “The state forest department
is not paying any heed to the vanishing tigers. The department has done
nothing for the conservation of tigers in PTR. The posts of junior
officers are lying vacant,” said Kumar.
He quoted documents obtained through RTI said a total of 123 tigers have vanished from PTR since 1973.
Kumar had written a letter to Union environment and forest minister Jayanthi Natarajan and the Prime Minister’s office. “A team from National Tiger Conservation Authority
(NTCA) was asked to visit the tiger reserve here and submit a report by
the ministry. The NTCA authorities had expressed concerns on the poor
conditions. But nothing has happened so far,” said Kumar.
Doctors attending to Kumar at RIMS said his health is deteriorating and needed medical supervision for some time.
Friday, 05 April 2013 | Girish Sharma | Bhopal
Despite several efforts by the Forest department to conserve tigers, no feline has been sighted in the Satpura tiger reserve in the past several years. Locals claim that heavy inflow of tourists in the region is the main reason behind this.
A prominent industrialist had recently visited a tiger reserve in the State and expressed disappointment over not having sighted a tiger.
A local resident, working in a hotel, said that in July last year, following directives of the Supreme Court, tourism was banned in Pachmarhi and wild animals were seen moving in core forest areas, particularly on way to Beefall and Dhoopgarh areas. However, only bisons, bears and deer were sighted.
The inflow of tourists in the core forest areas of Pachmarhi is so huge that one feels suffocated. There is no peace left in the forests of Pachmarhi. The Forest department is busy only in charging Rs 20 each person on his visit to the core forest areas. Each group of persons or families needs to pay for one guide as well and it is mandatory to hire Gypsy vehicles for reaching the spots.
As for facilities provided to the tourists, the Forest department provides none.
The State government has to submit to it the tourism plan in core forest areas by April 16, as per the directives of the apex court. Meanwhile, an unusual calm prevails in Pachmarhi town regarding the continuance of tourism there. In October, last year, the Supreme Court had lifted ban on tourism and asked the States to follow the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines that states that only 20 per cent of the core forest areas could be allowed for tourism. Locals feel if tourism is stopped in core forest areas, only four important points would be left for tourists to visit.
NTCA move to counter poaching
A high alert has been declared in the tiger-bearing forest areas of the State as part of a countrywide exercise. Chief Wildlife Warden V. Gopinathan told The Hindu that the alert had been declared following an advice from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to step up vigil in such areas.
The NTCA advice to the Chief Wildlife Wardens and other authorities of tiger range States came in the wake of an incident last week in which a tiger was poached at the Melghat Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. Authorities of the reserve arrested four persons in this connection on Monday.
Rajesh Goyal, Additional Director General of Forests (Project Tiger) and Member Secretary of NTCA, who issued the advice, said that the body parts of the poached tiger could not be recovered and that those arrested had links to an alleged Delhi-based poacher, Ranjit Singh Bhawaria alias Khawalya.
In the wake of the development “it goes without saying that there is a strong possibility of wandering gangs of professional poachers targeting our tiger-bearing forests which in turn calls for due vigil and caution,” Mr. Goyal said in his advice issued on Tuesday.
Mr. Gopinathan said that apart from the two tiger reserves of the State, tigers had been sighted at most of the forests in the State. It meant that a good portion of the State’s forest areas were tiger ranges too. This called for high alert and extra vigil in all forest areas of the State in the wake of the NTCA sounding the alert.
Though the forest areas of Kollam district were not popular as tiger range areas, images of tigers were taken by a camera trap in the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary of the district. Earlier only circumstantial evidence such as tiger kills and pug marks were cited to show the presence of the big cat in the district. Mr. Gopinathan said that the tiger population of the State was estimated in vicinity of 70 to 100.
Forest guards came across the dead tiger cub in Bechauri range during routine patrolling, forest officials said.
The cub is less than a year old, they said, adding a post mortem is being conducted to ascertain the cause of its death.
The incident took place at 1 pm when the big cat was resting on a tree at Ouguri Pathar near the village. On seeing the animal, people came out in large numbers and started attacking it with sharp weapons. They first cut the tail and legs of the animal and severed its head before forest staff arrived at the spot.
“After getting the information, we immediately rushed to the spot but the animal succumbed to its injuries before we reached there. We found that the tail and legs of the beheaded animal have been cut by the villagers,” said forest range officer (Borhat) Prasanta Gogoi. He also added a police complaint has been filed against those involved in the crime.
“We have asked police to collect the video footage of the incident to identify the culprits involved in this inhuman act. We suspect the involvement of more than 15 persons in the offence,” he said.
Video recording was done by cameramen of some local TV channels. Forest staff have requested them to furnish the footage to help in the investigation.
A witness said the big cat had neither attacked humans nor animals. But more than 1000 people of the entire area gathered there within half an hour to kill the innocent animal. “The leopard did not attack anyone so far here. But how can people commit such an act?” he questioned.
Four months ago, a female leopard with two cubs had attacked two villagers at Balijan grant, a nearby village. The duo sustained serious injuries. Prasanta said people panicked on seeing the big cat on Friday and killed it.
Jan 3, 2013, 02.22AM IST TNN
Villagers are up in arms and want forest officials to either kill or trap the animal. This is the fourth death in the last 17 days.
“However, it is yet to be established whether it is the same animal that killed three women since December 15,” said SWH Naqvi, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) for wildlife, Maharashtra.
Naqvi said he issued orders to shoot the problem leopard that mauled three women in Dighori, Salebardi and Gudri. “I was told that it was a leopard that killed these women,” he said.
However, on Tuesday the fourth victim was killed by a tiger inside the national park where she had gone to collect fire wood. After learning about it, villagers shifted the body outside the park apprehending the family won’t get compensation.
“The tiger was so irritated that it charged at an official vehicle later. It may be a young carnivore, possibly moving in the transit route. We cannot say anything for now whether it is the same animal or different one. There is a gap of 18 days between the first and last attack. The distance is also 40km,” Naqvi said.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that no fresh orders will be given to shoot the tiger. Forest officials have been asked to drive away the tiger into the forests.
Man-animal conflict has led to the killing of a male tiger near the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in north Kerala on Sunday. The forest officials shot dead the beast which apparently had been attacking d
Under pressure from the locals and their political representatives, a team of forest officials with the help of their counterparts from Karnataka have been trying to capture the tiger for the last one week. The personnel had placed four cages with live baits in different places but could not capture the beast. They even placed surveillance cameras and used trained elephants to tour the forest areas.
On Sunday morning, the forest team spotted the tiger in a private land and shot a tranquilising dart. But it could not tame the tiger. So they fired another one, following which the animal turned against the team. Sanctuary wildlife warden S Sreekumar said at this stage the team, comprising veterinary surgeons, had little option but to fire the killer shot.
“We have invoked the section 11 (1) A of Wildlife Act for self-defence. Otherwise, the animal would have attacked the men,” he said.
By A staff reporter | http://www.telegraphindia.com – Sun 30 Sep, 2012
Sivasagar, Sept. 29: Two female leopard cubs were killed at Khoragarh village in Kalugaon under Amguri police station of Sivasagar district last night. The incident comes when the state is already in a rage over rhino killings.
District assistant conservator of forests Gunin Saikia said today, “Yesterday, a female leopard had entered a bamboo clump in the village with her cubs and killed a cow. The villagers, while handing over the carcasses to us this morning, told us that dogs had chased down the cubs and killed them. We have sent them for post mortem.” Sources said the villagers had killed the cubs, hanged the carcasses from a bamboo pole and then displayed them in a stall.
Asked about the mother, Saikia said she would most likely desert the area when she does not find her cubs.
He said the villagers had not informed the forest department about any attack by leopards. “We were not aware that leopards were frequenting the area and killing cattle, as it is quite far (7km) from any forest,” he said.
A source said there have been leopard attacks in the village and the department had even caught one once. The animals frequent a stream flowing closeby and sometimes enter it in search of food.
By Cheri Cheng
There have been recent killings linked to a dangerous leopard in Nepal. According to the officials, the leopard has killed 15 people over a time span of 15 months in the area of Western Nepal. All of the victims resided in the outer villages that are significantly closer to the lush forests. The most recent killing was a four-year old boy, whose head was found within a kilometer, less than a mile, from his house. The discovery of the young boy was the last straw for the local administration, which is granting permission for locals to kill the leopard.
The local police chief believes that the leopard is responsible for eating all of its victims based on the fact that only small parts of the victims’ bodies have been found. The leftover pieces indicate that something must have bitten them. The victims have only included children, young adults, and one 29-year old woman.
The chief believes that the leopard kills the victims first and then drags the bodies deep into the forest to eat. However, there is no concrete evidence that the leopard is fully responsible. In addition, since there have been a lot of victims, other people are fearful that there may be two man-eating creatures living in the forests. However, the presence of two man-eating predators is very rare, thus the murder of this single leopard is encouraged.
Killing the leopard is definitely the easier option, but it is also crueler and lazier. Of course, killing a wild and bloodthirsty animal is not a simple task, but it is definitely a desired task for people seeking revenge. The leopard, which is normally protected under the nation’s laws which do not allow the killing of wild animals, is now being hunted by armed officials. There is also a reward of $300 for the person or persons who kill the animal.
The district believed that murdering the animal is their last resort. They state that leopards within the area are known to kill cattle but not humans so a human victim is seen as extreme. The accidents have been highly unfortunate for the Nepalese community, but that does not mean murder can be acceptable.
There are other measures that can be taken, such as forbidding young adults and children from entering these forests. In addition, if the leopard continues to kill the administration can consider capturing the animal and relocating it to a different area, which is not ideal and should be the last resort. Demand that alternative solutions to killing this animal are considered and acted upon.
Dear Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai,
The recent killings by a leopard in Western Nepal are unfortunate and tragic. The local police chief believes that a single leopard is responsible for killing and eating at least 15 victims over the span of 15 months. All of the victims have been children and young adults, with the exception of one adult woman. The most recent victim was a four-year-old boy whose head was found near his own home. Local administration has decided to authorize the killing of the animal.
Although there have been a lot of victims, murdering the animal is horrifying, especially when there are other options available. First off, children and young adults should not be able to venture into the forests alone. Second, the leopard can be captured and transported to another are or a zoo where it can continue to live.
Please do not let the locals murder the leopard.
[Your Name Here]
Though the investigators on Saturday rushed to attribute the death of a pregnant tigress near Jamni village inside Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve to snakebite, facts don’t appear to support the theory.
The fact that the tigress had developed heamotoxic effects (blood-clotting) and had an instant death is being contested by experts who say that a strong animal like tiger would not die so soon even if bitten by cobra. Officials said that the body was fresh.
Incidentally, cobra poison is nuerotoxic; it affects the nervous system. Only vipers have haemotoxic venom but even humans can survive without treatment for days after a viper bite. “Even a cobra bite will take about 10 hours for the tiger to die. In that case the body will be swollen. If not, the cause is unlikely to be a snakebite,” said Vivek Sharma, a snake expert from Jabalpur.
TATR Field Director Virendra Tiwari did not elaborate on the issue and said, “Snakebite is the doctor’s opinion. Please talk to him.”
P D Kadukar, the vet who performed the autopsy and had inferred that the prima facie possibility of a snakebite, said, “The body was fresh, there was no swelling and it was not even smelling foul. The tigress had died around 2 am. He said that going by the haemotoxic effect and internal bleeding, it seems like a snakebite. “We haven’t said that it was a viper that possibly bit it,” he said. Another fact that helps one rule out a viper bite according to Sharma is that in case the animal should have weakened and making it unable to hunt. “It wouldn’t be able to kill animal like Sambhar, which the tigress is said to have freshly consumed,” he said.
BHOPAL: A week after a campaign to catch tigers roaming in the Kerwa, Kaliasot and Kathotia jungles near state capital, big catscontinue to elude more than 60 personnel of the forest department pressed into the job of trekking their movements.
There are two full grown tigers- one male and another female- and a 13-month-old cub -moving in the small patch of jungle. The tigress has been roaming almost for the last two years.
“Every day we come across signs of the tigers-pug marks, droppings et al or the tigers themselves deep inside the jungle, but so far they have not given us a chance to tranquilise them,” says an officer involved in the massive operation.
The decision to shift the tigers from the narrow patch of jungle was taken with mainly two issues under consideration- safety of animals and the people.
The tigers have been roaming in a narrow strip of forest close to the human population. It is in the interest of both -the man as well as the beast to translocate them to the Satpura national Park, the experts had opined.
Efforts are on to catch, preferably, the tigress and the cub, radio collar them, if possible, and shift them to the Satpura tiger reserve, forest department officials said.
Excerpts : TOI
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.
In step towards boosting intelligence network to curb poaching, state governor K Sankaranarayanan has approved secret funds for forest officials and appointment of Van Patils. Although announced earlier, both the measures were pending with the finance department. However, governor on Tuesday gave his stamp of approval to both.
This is for the first time provision has been made for secret funds and Van Patils. So far, this privilege was with the police department only. It was a long-pending demand of conservationists and wildlife activists who felt forest department failed to develop an intelligence network of its own as it could not pay informers.
With more than 100 tigers, Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve ( TATR) and its landscape in Chandrapur district is on the radar of poachers. Since January 2012, at least 10 tigers have died, most of them under mysterious circumstances. “Forest officials have failed to keep tab on poachers and develop a local network to keep them at bay. Police patils have their own agenda and hence prove to be of little help. Now Van Patils will be expected to do the job. They work exclusively to develop local intelligence network,” activist Dhotre said.
Giving an instance, she said, “When we are trying to protect elephant corridors from mining or some projects I run into a problem because they are not defined legal entity”.
The minister’s statement came a day after the union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved amendments to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 which makes consultations with gram sabhas (village councils) mandatory before a scheduled area is declared as a sanctuary.
Forest officials said the cubs appeared at a human habitation at Khoragarh village creating panic among the locals.
”Our team rushed to the spot to rescue the cubs, but they were killed before we reach the spot,” said forest range officer (Sivasagar) Praneswar Das.
He added, ”On seeing the cubs, the villagers equipped with lathis and other weapons came out in large numbers and attacked the cubs. The cubs succumbed to their injuries after battling for their lives for about half-an-hour.”
He said a female leopard and her two cubs had taken shelter at Kalugaon and created panic among locals for the last one week. Villagers alleged that the mother of the cubs attacked some cattle in the area.
Here’s what’s at stake:
Tigers – 35% of the 1700 tigers left in the wild live in Central India.
Forest communities – Almost
Some school children passing by heard the cub growling in the tank and informed the villagers. The forest officials then launched a noval rescue operation to save the wild cat.
The officials lowered a ladder into the tank. The leopard was instantly alert and climbed on to the ladder and jumped out to safety.
The animal then disappeared into the nearby forest. The rescue operation began at 10 am on Monday and was concluded within two hours.
Mail Today News….
TNN | Sep 18, 2012, 11.11PM IST
Forest department officials said that the six-month-old female cub was crossing the railway track on Dhola-Rajula stretch when it was hit by the train. Only goods trains ply on this route towards Pipavav.
“We rushed to the spot and conducted a postmortem of the dead animal. The carcass lay in the middle of the track while its severed head lay some metres away. A lioness had given birth to two cubs six months back and this cub who died in the accident is one of them,” said an official.
Wildlife activists claim there are over 30 lions in the coastal parts of Rajula and Jafrabad talukas in Amreli district. The animals seem to have settled down permanently in these areas and have adapted to the local environment and find sufficient prey. Activists are concerned over the wild cat moving into the industrialized areas along the coast.
“There are regular instances of domestic animals dying on railway tracks but it’s the first time that a lion cub has been run over. Such instances are likely to increase as the number of lions has grown around the industrial belt. Lions cross the railway tracks as it is their natural corridor,” said honorary wildlife warden Vipul Laheri.
Salaipewat, situated about 2km from the Bor boundary, is a small village with 157 families. The villagers procure firewood from the forests thereby disturbing wildlife.
Initially, the forest department will help villagers procure LPG cylinders from Wardha. The LPG cylinders have been distributed under the eco-development scheme. The EDCs implemented in Nagzira, Tadoba-Andhari and Melghat tiger reserves have been successful.
Range forest officer (RFO), Shrikant Naik said the scheme will be implemented in all villages around the protected areas (PAs).
Nashik | Monday, Sep 10 2012 IST
When the forest department reached the spot, they discovered that the nails, moustache, and teeth had been removed. Railway employees Subhash Jadhav and Khandu Gade were patrolling the area when they found the dead leopard. They informed the railway officers, who summoned the forest department. The forest department arrived and conducted panchanama of the dead leopard.
Sources said the dead leopard was about two to two and half years old.