Wild Elephants

Elephant corridors do not respect political borders!

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 30, 2006

Forum Post

Wild Elephants of Nepal have all but vanished.  It is said that the occasional herd is from the forests of Shiwaliks and the TERAI along the Himalyan foothills in U.P.
With rapid changes in landscape and increased human activities, the elephants stopped their seasonal migration around 1994 through the forests of Uttar pradesh, India to the connecting forests of Kanchanpur, Kailali and Bardia Districts of Nepal.
Recently there have been reports of a reverse migration from the Royal Bardia Park and Chitwan Forest in Nepal, bordering Bahraich ( Eastern U.P).   According to a report in the Indian Express dated 26 November, 2006, a herd of 22 elephants crossed over to make Bahraich their home.

The major single cause for elephant population going down is the loss of corridors and the above report is a welcome development for all those who want to see these giants roaming the forest and not chained to human bondage.

Wildlife Poaching

Brazil shows the way!

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 30, 2006

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Dener Giovanini (Brazil) has designed a citizen-based network to fight the third largest illegal business in the world, animal trafficking. He incorporates Internet communications into a start-to-finish system that saves animals' lives, brings criminals to justice, and provides new employment opportunities to rural traffickers.

Dener Giovanini has created the National Network Combatting Wild Animal Trafficking (A Rede Nacional de Combate ao Tráfico de Animais Silvestres), or RENCTAS, to curb and ultimately stop animal trafficking in Brazil by addressing the problem at all levels and including all relevant actors. Perhaps the most distinctive aspects of Dener's work are the focus on training programs for those low-income individuals who make a living by producing the animals for the phenomenally lucrative trade, and the degree to which he creates partnerships among people who would not ordinarily be in contact with each other. To that end, RENCTAS effectively links individuals and organizations to solve all aspects of the problem together: animal protection groups and veterinarians are linked to government officials who have seized the animals from the traffickers; individuals and organizations who want to report trafficking are linked to the government's environmental agency and the Public Prosecutor's Department.

Dener's comprehensive approach includes: 1) an urgent response and care system for the animals who are seized by government officials; 2) training programs to provide alternative employment to those involved in animal trafficking; 3) a reporting system for those who want to report instances of trafficking; 4) training of police officers and customs agents in how to deal with animals that are seized; 5) efforts to improve and enforce environmental laws to provide greater protection for animals vulnerable to trafficking; and 6) a campaign to educate the public about the damage animal trafficking will cause to the environment, and to raise awareness among consumers in an effort to eliminate the market for trafficked animals.

 Ashoka Fellow Dener Giovanini has built a 60,000 person movement served by a powerful Internet investigative and tracking capacity that has thrown Brazil's $3 billion hugely destructive and unforgiving trade in wild animals (90 percent die en route) onto the defensive.



Ecological security

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 28, 2006

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Dr. JA McNeely, Chief Scientist, IUCN (World Conservation Union), will be speaking on "Ecological Security:The Foundation of Sustainable Development" at the India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi, on 16 December 2006 at 5 pm.

All those interested are welcome to attend. 
The IUCN is the world's oldest and largest organization devoted to conservation of nature and natural resources and its scientific and technical expertise is valued by the UN agencies and others the world over.
Read about endangered/extinct wildlife at

Interlinking of Rivers

WATER WARS started in the South of India

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 25, 2006

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The Kerala and Tamil Nadu governments are at loggerheads over the 100-year-old Mullaperiyar Dam in Kerala's Idukki district.

Tamil Nadu wants the water level in the dam raised to route more water to five of its southern districts, a demand upheld by the Supreme Court. But Kerala says, the aging dam cannot withstand the pressure and invited a Navy diving team to check the dam's structural integrity. But the decision has angered Tamil Nadu .

Tamil Nadu plans to increase the height of the dam from the present 136 metre to 142. It also wants to raise the height of an associated dam to 152 metre. However, Kerala says that the dam is too old and can't stand any more pressure.


Counting endangered Bengal Tigers

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 23, 2006

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Scientists of the Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered species (La-Cones), Attapur, Hyderabad, have come up with tiger census system using DNA fingerprinting.

DNA is extracted from the samples of faeces of tigers. It is screened with existing tigers'DNA samples to determine whether the sample belongs to the same tiger.

The scientists of la-Cones are the first in the world to conduct tiger census using DNA finger printing. Africa has experimented with thisfor elephant population.

The Pilot project conducted in Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and BRT sanctuary in Tamil Nadu have given 99% accuracy according to officials. The cost for conducting the tiger census in all reserves in the country would be about Rs 1.5 crore.

Wildlife , Forest Laws

The RTI (Right to Information) Act

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 21, 2006

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The RTI ( Right to Information) Act of India is a historic legislation. But, it rests with the people of India to make their government and authorities accountable.

To enable all educated people to use this Act in order to bring in accountability in public administration, an all india helpline 9250400100 has been set up by Manjunath Shanmugham Trust and Parivartan.

The helpline will be at the service of all who need help to use the Act. A team of specially trained call centre executives will answer all queries. The service is available in English, Hindi and Tamil now-on all days from 8am to 4pm.


Wildlife living in the seas and rivers

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 18, 2006

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Sustaining Fish Stocks

A new study by the environmental research organization Worldwatch has found that consumers are playing an increasingly large role in dictating the terms of how fish and other seafood are harvested around the world. Seafood eaters have become an unlikely ally to the world’s beleaguered fish populations.

“Today, most of the world’s seafood, from tuna to salmon to bay scallops, is threatened with extinction,” With industrial scale fishing having wiped out roughly 90 percent of tuna, marlin, swordfish and other large predatory fish in just the last 50 years, and United Nations surveys indicate that about two-thirds of the world’s major fish stocks are on the verge of collapse.

“A public that better understands the state of the world’s oceans can be a driving force in helping governments pass legislation to ban destructive fishing, mandate fishing labels that indicate how fish were caught and create marine preserves off-limits to fishing where fish can spawn.”

The new Worldwatch report highlights various non-governmental initiatives to help save vanishing marine life, from color-coded seafood selection guides for restaurant-goers to targeted purchasing by large seafood buyers. It praises such efforts for boosting the sales and reputations of participating companies, protecting jobs in developing countries where fishing is an important industry, and increasing the overall quality and safety of seafood around the world.

Source: www.worldwatch.org/node/4709


Wildlife , Forest Laws

National Tiger Conservation Authority

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 17, 2006

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The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Centre and the state governments on a PIL challenging the creation of tiger reserves in the already existing national parks and sanctuaries by bringing amendments in the Wildlife (Protection) Act.

A Bench of Chief Justice YK Sabharwal and Justice CK Thakker issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Tiger Conservation Authority and state governments on the allegation that provisions incorporated in this regard diluted and repealed some of the salutary provisions of the Act. The PIL filed jointly by NGOs, Bombay Natural History Society, Wildlife Protection Society of India, Wildlife First and Conservation of Action Trust, has objected to inclusion of new chapters, namely IV B and IV C, for the establishment of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Tiger and other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau.

Advocate Raj Panjwani, appearing for the NGOs, contended that the new additions in the legislation diluted the existing provisions which were specifically incorporated for the protection of wildlife and its habitat.

"Co-existence of humans with large carnivorous wild animals is a myth," said the petition. "Conflict between the two is the reality, a reality which is reflected in the ascending graph of the number of fatalities on either side."

They say the law, which insists authorities ensure "the agricultural, livelihood, development and other interests of the people living in tiger-bearing forests or a tiger reserve", could mark a new low in efforts to save rare wildlife. Wildlife activists say the law was rushed through parliament without proper debate.

community reserves

Community reserves across the world

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 13, 2006

Forum Post

"Across the world, a new paradigm of conservation is spreading, one in which responsibility for wildlife protection and benefits of forests are shared with communities. Two trends have emerged collaborative managed protected areas (CMPAs), in which governments and communities jointly manage conservation, and community conserved areas (CCAs), in which the predominant role is that of local people.

In South America, over a fifth of the Amazon forests are now under indigenous protected areas, while in Canada, such areas cover seven million hectares. In Australia, huge territories have been given back to aboriginal peoples, and many of these are now managed for conservation. In South Africa, portions of world-famous areas such as Kruger National Park have been handed back to communities from whom lands had once been snatched away by the apartheid government, but a negotiated deal keeps the area under conservation land use. Across many European countries, complex arrangements between governments, local councils, and other local bodies are managing hundreds of protected landscapes. In Zimbabwe and Namibia, community-managed conservancies protect the continent's biggest fauna, with ecotourism benefits going to local people.

In Nepal, one of the subcontinent's biggest protected areas, Annapurna, became a CMPA when its management was entrusted to a NGO and local communities in the 1990s. Over its 7,000-plus sq km, wildlife populations have increased as have livelihood and revenue benefits to local people living inside the area.

Not all initiatives towards participatory conser-vation are successful. However, many government-managed protected areas too are prone to failures see what happened in the infamous Sariska Tiger Reserve. If one looks at the enormous social costs of the conventional model of conservation, including the displacement and dispossession of millions of people, it is surely time we did what the Nepal government started doing with Annapurna, and continued with Kangchenjunga.

A strategy of joint or community-based management, with appropriate inputs to help build capacity and tackle threats, would do much more to conserve wildlife. Even where zoning to maintain inviolate areas for wildlife is necessary, it will work more effectively if done with local people. "

-Ashish Kothari,Kalpavriksh.

Document Reference: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-347725

nature/wildlife films

Screenings by WWF India

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 12, 2006

Forum Post




        Invite you to a special screening of films on


NOVEMBER  18, 2006


LIVING WITH THE PARK – Ranthambore National Park (English-30 Minutes) 6.30pm 

The film is a look at the popular tiger reserve as an integrated universe comprising its animals and people in the adjoining areas.  The forests connects the two and neither one can flourish with the other.  So is the policy of segregating the park as a preserve for animals alienating the people who lived in harmony with the park for decades, helping the Park?  There are no quick answers.  The film depicts the main attraction of the park the Bengal Tiger, which is in danger of getting decimated here, as it has already happened in Sariska.  Is it time we looked outside the park for the reasons, at the humanity which is living outside, their lives still connected to the Park – the people who are living with the park? Produced and directed by Dr. Susan Sharma-will be present  to introduce the film and take questions.


WILDERNESS NEPAL – (English – 30 Minutes) 7.00pm

 The film looks at the wilderness of the Himalayan region with special reference to Nepal.  Nepal foresters an incredible variety of eco-systems and is a hotspot of bio-diversity.  Exclusive footage of Indian Rhino and the Asian elephant from the Royal Chitwan National Park, which is guarded by the Royal Nepal Army from rhino poachers.  While depicting the natural  beauty of Nepal, the film also projects the “community forests” concept in Nepal which has proved a success in maintaining the wetland area of “twenty thousand lakes” a paradise of bird watchers. Produced and directed by Dr. Susan Sharma-will be present to introduce the film and take questions.


Venue: India International Centre, Main Auditorium

40, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi 110003


For further information please contact: Mr Raj Pal Singh,Network Services and Supporter Relations, World Wide Fund for Nature-India, Pirojsha Godrej National Conservation Centre, 172 B, Lodi Estate, New Delhi, 110003 = Tel: 41504815-19/41504808 E-mail:  rbakshi@wwfindia.net




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