Wild Life

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My days with the elephants

The beginning The tusker was drinking water standing on the right bank of Sigur stream downstream of Vazhaithottam near Cheetal Walk in Nilgiri North Forest Division. It was midday during an early month of 1975. The wind was still in the valley and I noticed the bull as I walked wearing flip-flops along the left bank of the stream. At the time, there was a dense...

Sambar Stag at Periyar Tiger Reserve

Conserve sambar, conserve tigers

“Tiger conservation or conservation of nature is not a drag on the environment. Both can happen in a mutually complimentary way”: these were the reassuring words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he gave an inspiring talk on April 12 during the 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation in New Delhi. I found it useful to attend the three-day meeting as it gave me...

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The Threatened Biodiversity of Fascinating Kutch

One evening in late November 2015, the early winter sun was sinking towards the horizon. Grey Francolins were merrily calling from the distant corners of the vast flat and dry landscape. Birds characteristic of the arid region of Kutch such as Greater short-toed lark, Rufous-tailed Lark, Bimaculated Lark and the Common Stonechat flew away on our approach. Our group included eminent people; prominent among them was...

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Sagacious Salim Ali

119th Birth Anniversary of Padma Vibhushan and Padma Shri. Dr. Salim Ali (12 Nov 1896 to 20 June 1987) In May 1960, the XIIth conference of the ‘International Council for Bird Preservation’ was held in Tokyo, where the idea of each country designating ‘National Bird’ was recommended. Looking at the purpose and criteria of the same; Dr. Salim Ali had recommended Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps...

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The Splendid Tiger Beetles

The last two articles talked about the majestic life history of butterflies, as well as the amazing hunters like the spiders. Now is the time to introduce you to an insect which is not only colourful, but an amazing hunter – and you don’t have to go too far to find it! This insect is called a Tiger Beetle. You may wonder what kind of a...

March

Wild Cousins!

Whenever I come back from a long trip, my best friend, Coal the German Shepherd, greets me by wagging his tail and looking at me inquisitively, as if expecting a nice treat from the city – or perhaps waiting to play fetch after a long break. He often accompanies me on many excursions. Coal is loyal, obedient, and quite a handsome dog. His large hazel...

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A complete ban on wildlife tourism in core    areas-Justified?

Is a complete ban on wildlife tourism in core areas justified? The hon'ble Supreme Court in its order dated 24 July 2012 has put a stop to all tourism activities in the core zones of the tiger reserves in India. The SC will hold the final hearing in this case on 22 August 2012 wherein the final outcome of this case will be clear. While, in...

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The ‘Tiger Tourism’ Question

With due respect to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) which I have no doubt works hard to carry out its mandate to protect the tiger, the proposal to ban tourism in 'core areas' of tiger reserves is, to put it bluntly, silly and misguided. (For background see this article and comment) The Supreme Court had a hearing on the petition this week, and adjourned its hearing until...