ANURAG MALLICK and PRIYA GANAPATHY explore Bera, a remote boulder-strewn habitat in Rajasthan that boasts one of the densest leopard populations in India For a place not notified as a national park or sanctuary, there’s surely a lot of wildlife action in Bera. Located at the foothills of the Aravalli range near Jawai baandh (dam) […]
an open letter from Charlotte Roe “Protecting public rangelands from overdevelopment and livestock overgrazing is a key to fighting global warming. “ Friends and Partners of the Wild Equids: While our nation and hearts are reeling from the latest mass gun violence, in come ever more urgent wakeup calls from international climate and biodiversity scientists, […]
India has been boasting that the Tiger population within its jurisdiction has increased to over 3000 individuals. While this is good and requires congratulations, we should look at the not too distant past for a proper Tiger perspective.
It has been reported that British Colonial hunters, often riding on elephants, killed over 80,000 tigers in the 1920’s. In the late 1950’s there was a total world tiger population of 45,000, plus or minus.
In the 1940’s, the Balinese tiger became extinct. In the 1970’s the Caspian Tiger, which once roamed in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, southern Russia and elsewhere, became extinct. In the 1980’s the Javan Tiger became extinct. In the 1990’s the South China Tiger was last seen in the wild.
Today, the world Tiger population is believed to be below 5000. In Sumatra the population is believed to be 450-650, but under constant pressure from palm oil producers. The Tiger is extinct in Cambodia, there are 85 in Myanmar, 20 in Vietnam and 252 in Thailand.
Good for India in trying to bring back the populations there. But Tigers are still under siege in India and elsewhere, from hunting, the growth of agriculture, population development pressures, general habitat degradation, etc, etc.
Just as our Elephant started on its jaunty walk through the marshes, the nascent rays of the sun broke through the morning mist illuminating the beels scattered across the wetland in a golden glow. And there it was…standing tall and proud next to a much wallowed beel was our first rhinoceros, giving us an annoyed look at having walked in on him during his breakfast. Our Mahout moved the elephant closer to enable us to get a better look. We were so close now we could see the veins on his face and admire its formidable horn. Its back was slick with mud from its last wallow, and cattle egrets were having a ball hunting for treasure in the mud clots formed on its corrugated grey hide. The eye contact with us lasted a while in which my Nikon D7100 DSLR kept buzzing nonstop, till the rhino lost interest and resumed its meal….what a magnificent creature. There are about 3500 Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros left in the wild today, of which Kaziranga harbors a staggering 2500, a figure that we totally believed after being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of Rhinos that we saw over the next few days
Asia’s largest terrestrial mammal, the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is slightly smaller than its African cousin and can be distinguished by its smaller ears and more arched back. Found across the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, this magnificent species plays an immense role in Asian culture as a symbol of wisdom and great power. For […]
Only around 100 tigers remain in Bangladesh’s famed Sundarbans forest, far fewer of the endangered animals than previously thought, according to a census. Some 440 tigers were recorded during the previous census in 2004 in the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and one of the last remaining habitats for the big cats. But experts […]