Leopard cats are the small carnivores found in Asia which controls rodent population. They are very elusive beings. WCS-India surveyed in Western Ghats using camera-traps to estimate their numbers. They were more abundant in wetter areas that received more rainfall. The highest densities were found in Bhadra landscape followed by BRT, Bandipur and Nagarahole. Also the study revealed the numbers were high in coffee plantations and multi-use forests adjoining protected areas.
Training Workshop for IFS Officers
IFS officers from across the country arrived in Bangalore and proceeded to the River Tern Jungle Lodges near Bhadra Tiger Reserve. They were here to participate in “One-week compulsory training on voluntary relocation for Tiger Reserves” jointly organised by WCS-India and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). The participants were taken through the story of Bhadra relocation, successfully completed in the early part of this century and often cited as a model for voluntary relocation of people from protected areas. Besides hearing the experiences of the key movers, they were also taken to the sites to see the benefits, both to the relocated people and to the ecosystem.
Here are some of the feedback from the participants.
Protected areas comprise less than 5% of India’s geographical expanse. India is home to 7.6% of all Mammalian, 12.6% of all Avian, 6.2% of all Reptilian, 4.4% of all Amphibian, 11.7% of all Fish, and 6.0% of all Flowering Plant Species. Many of these are found only in protected areas. Should we continue to build more roads in our protected areas? Or consider alternate options?
Star tortoise escapes the fire in a patch of grassland
A star tortoise, taking a nap in a semi grassland habitat, gets alert due to the sudden variation in the outside temperature. This was a protected reserve forest in one of the states in India where natural fires are rare but man-made fires are high. It is common for people here to set afire large forested areas during summer to let fresh grass grow and provide fodder for their cattle during the rains. Unfortunately, this fresh fodder comes at the cost of wildlife that depends on these grasslands. Luckily the tortoise escaped the heat and found refuge in an unburnt area where it hid, well camouflaged once again! Video by Harsha L, WCS India
Batagur hatching in Chambal
The Red Crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga) is a critically endangered freshwater turtle species, with one last surviving population found only in the Chambal River. With a vibrant array of mating colours displayed by the males, this species truly stands out compared to other freshwater species found across India. Evolutionary adapted for high adult survivorship, detrimental activities such as illegal fishing and sand mining, poaching, egg harvesting, riverside agriculture and large-scale infrastructure projects have resulted in drastic declines in the population, with recent estimates suggesting only less than 500 nesting females remaining in the wild.
‘Janata Waghoba‘ is a documentary by Mrunal Ghosalkar, who works as Awareness Coordinator with WCS India Program. She documents human-leopard interactions in the Niphad district of rural Maharashtra. The objective of the work is to create an understanding of human-leopard interactions by creating awareness through youth as a potential connection for engagement of concerned stakeholders. It is a collaboration between Maharashtra Forest Department, Rufford Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society – India and Doodle Factory.
A Conversation with Dr Stuart Pimm
Dr Stuart Pimm is an American-British conservation biologist and a world leader in the study of present-day extinctions. He has been a conservation biologist since the term was first coined, and is also a staunch advocate of bridging the interface between science and policy. He has testified to both House and Senate Committees, USA, on the re-authorisation of the Endangered Species Act, and founded SavingSpecies. In this interview, Vaishali Rawat of WCS India speaks to him about biodiversity conservation, why science must be communicated, especially to politicians, and why conservation is a field worth working in!
Living with Leopards by Sheren Shrestha
The film brings on the message of how it is not so difficult to coexist with this adaptable predator of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Beginning with lessons from the Warli community and their reverence to Waghoba, the cat deity, to a novel initiative ‘Mumabikars for SGNP’ it shows how by changing people’s perception of the leopard from fear to acceptance, attacks on humans have been brought down to a large extent.
The Secret Life of leopards By Nikit Surve and Anwar Ahmed
Conservation Conversations with Dr K. Ullas Karanth
In Episode-3 of Conservation Conversations, renowned wildlife biologist, Dr. K. Ullas Karanth, Director for Science in Asia for Wildlife Conservation Society, talks about the role of science in conservation in India.
In Episode-2 of Conservation Conversations, renowned wildlife biologist, Dr. K. Ullas Karanth, Director for Science in Asia for Wildlife Conservation Society, talks about human-wildlife coexistence within Protected Areas in India.
In Episode-1 of Conservation Conversations, renowned wildlife biologist, Dr. K. Ullas Karanth, Director for Science in Asia for Wildlife Conservation Society, talks about wildlife recovery in India.
The Crossroad documents the beginning of Wildlife Conservation Society India Program’s efforts to facilitate connectivity for wildlife in the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape in Assam, India, while minimising negative interactions between wildlife and people. For this project, WCS India works with Balipara Tract and Frontier Foundation, Amalgamated Plantations Pvt Ltd. and most tea plantations in the landscape.
This project is led by Dr. Varun Goswami and Dr. Divya Vasudev, and is partly supported by the US Fish and Wildlife Service – Asian Elephant Conservation Fund and the Department of Science and Technology – Government of India’s INSPIRE Faculty Award.