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Entries for July 2018

Fire on the Mountain, Shuffle, Shuffle, Run…

(July 31, 2018) A grassland patch set afire often sees animals caught unawares. Read about a star tortoise that is rudely woken from its slumber.Written by Harsha LakshminarayanaOne way to make ecological observations in the forest is by walking transect lines – fixed paths in a forest that an observer walks during a survey, recording direct sightings of animals along with the radial distance of sighting and the azimuth bearing. These transects can also be used to record some other ecological fa...

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The Motto: 'Protection Above All'

(July 31, 2018) On International Rangers’ Day, we salute the courage and commitment of forest staff. Here is an example of one such young forest officer working in the Chikmagalur forest range in Karnataka.Shilpa S L, RFO of Chikmagalur forest range.In just over a month, she has booked six cases of forest offences and arrested more than 20 offenders. The cases range from porcupine hunting to timber logging to an illegal car rally inside the forest.“Whoever is involved in illegal work, whether i...

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Making a Difference Beyond Call of Duty

(July 27, 2018) WCS India staff hand-hold tribals who have moved to relocation centres and help them with livelihood, education and medical support.The 30-odd women gathered protest in one voice to the news that Govindappa will soon be leaving them. Lokesh from WCS India has just announced to the gathering that his colleague’s services will be needed at the new tribal relocation centre in Masthigudi. He placates them saying that Govindappa will be with them for two days in a week. They are not so assured ...

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Mr. Dependable in the service of wildlife conservation

(July 26, 2018) MEET OUR STAFF: KIRAN YADAVOne morning in the dry deciduous forests of Bandipur, WCS India Program Research Assistant Kiran Yadav and his colleague left the camp to check the installed camera-traps, and collect data from these. It was around 9 a.m. when they finished retrieving data from two camera points. (Cameras are set up in various parts of the jungle to sense and click images of animals that pass by.) The day turned out to be a bumper one in terms of sightings.The two of them sighted a pac...

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Chinese Gold from Leopard Scat?

(July 24, 2018) Written by Ashok GhuleFieldwork of collecting leopard scat in Akole, Ahmednagar district comes with job hazards of a different kind... A farmer who worked on our project recounts some hilarious stories from the time he participated in a project with leopard biologist Dr. Vidya AthreyaIt was the height of summer when we began collecting leopard scats. I thought we would wander around the fields and pick up whatever we found, but Vidya Athreya had different ideas and she was very particular about ...

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Kudremukh relocation: Plodding on

(July 21, 2018) When good intentions of the government are stymied by minor procedural issuesReticent Chandramathi is a gram panchayat member in Kerwase, Karkala taluk where her family is now settled. Coconut and arecanut trees surround the house and fetch the family a good revenue. More importantly, all her six sons have been educated after the move from Malejodi settlement in Belthangadi range of the Kudremukh National Park.Kudremukh Landscape © Kiran Yadav"For any emergency we had to walk 6-8 kms from w...

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Monsoon Patrolling Through the Deep Slushy Forest of Dudhwa

(July 20, 2018) Written by Meghana SankaSheer willpower and a splash of technology is helping forest officials make their way through this difficult landscapeIt's 3.58 pm on a humid Tuesday in the forest when Jagdish Rana hears a rustle in the bushes. He signals to his team and they quietly take cover as silently as possible. They see a poacher emerge out of the bushes holding the head of a spotted deer walking away with confidence. He signals once again to his team and they rush out. The startled poacher makes...

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In Niphad, the reunion of a jackal and her cubs

(July 18, 2018) Narrated by Mrunal GhosalkarWhen Shinde turned on the pipe for supplying water through an abandoned, dusty culvert - he expected a free-flowing stream to provide some water to irrigate his fields. What he did not anticipate was the yelps of two young jackal cubs startled at the sudden flux of water. He jumped to shut the water supply, lifted out the meek cubs, and carried them home. “Their mother was nowhere to be seen, and they would have died in the ditch alone, so I decided to take them...

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Tryst with Dholes – Wild Children of a Lesser God

(July 17, 2018) Written by M C Vinay KumarA chilly misty morning beckoned me as I started to drive from my friend’s house, near the temple inside the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve, to K.Gudi (Kyatarayana Gudi) area for the morning safari.  Being the first to cross the forest gate after the VGKK ashram, the only sounds that greeted me were the birds calling, the kluk-kluking of the Jungle Fowl, the echoing boom of the langur, the occasional bark of a muntjac and the soft whirring of my vehi...

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Making Music With Forks And Spoons

(July 13, 2018) As Nagarahole tiger reserve tribals join the mainstream, the boundaries are blurring.Written by Jayalakshmi KSmall vans crammed with household stuff come bouncing along the road and into the Masthigudi relocation centre in H D Kote. The luggage also includes useful bits and pieces of the dismantled huts once lived in.This is the site of the latest tribal colony built in Bheemanahalli village by the government to accommodate around 200 families that have sought voluntary relocation from various p...

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