Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More Tigers Outside PA

I just came across the news of four tigers being found in Nandhor Valley in Uttarakhand State of India.This is heartening news as all discoveries of new tigers is going to be. 

Almost ten years back I had seen a mating pair in Kundwara R.F near Jabalpur. This pair was also seen by few villagers and an SDO who patrolled that area. Similarly there are unconfirmed reports of tigers in  Mandla Division on Jabalpur Mandla Highway, some good forest patch adjoining the Narmada River. This could be sightings of leopards but who knows? 

I believe there may be more tigers outside the PAs, but most of the Reserve Forests in the country are in pathetic state. The existence of the stray tiger population could be in precarious state. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wild Life at Pench


Sambar Deer

Jungle Home Resort

Rajubhai Itkelwar, builder and wild lifer owns Pench Jungle Home at Pench a beautiful wildlife resort. I know him well, but just discovered his photography skills. He has done some marvelous photography as presented here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tiger Walk

Teerath Singh runs his own tour business and is doing well. Whenever in the forest he uses his camera with expert skills and captures beautiful moments like this tiger moving across the jungle road.
Tiger at Bandhavgarh
Teerath Singh (Center)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bandhavgarh Spectacular Mountain Views

The tiger park has unique topography with high rise mountains, glens and meandering rivers. The Bandhavgarh mountains are table topped with dense forest on easy slopes and rocks, sand and tufts of grass on the cliffs. The table land are always enveloped in serenity  and clam. The esoteric scape send tourists on ruptures of delight. 

The mountains over look the green valleys and rivulets that snake through the grassy meadows. The panoramic grandeur is breathtaking and mesmerizing. Tiger sightings on such scape are enthralling, for many a time the big cat is seen on the plateaus of the mountains.

At that great height when you look around you, you see some barren mountain walls dotted with man made cave and horse stables. The cavities in the bare mountains walls have been further dug up to make these human structures. In ancient days these were used by soldiers and their horses.  You wonder in awe how far humans can reach. With the decline of dynasties that came to rule here these places are empty and only used by tigers. These are excellent resting and breeding grounds for the big cats of the park.   

The panoramic splendor is 360 degrees, breathtaking and awe inspiring. The sight and feel creates a synergy between the tourists and the pristine surroundings. The roads all around are rough and with full of discomforting stones nevertheless you ignore the bump they generate, fully enmeshed with the natural India.  

The tiger safaris at Bandhavgarh yield much more than animal sightings - you are in a different World. A mesmerizing experience in a wildlife heaven and amidst ancient historical architectural masterpieces.    

The highest point in the reserve is Bandhavgarh which sites atop the mountain with the same name. It is at 800 MSL plus and is accessible after a steep climb. The fort now in ruins is an esoteric delight with impressive idols of zoomorphic forms of Lord Vishnu scattered all along the table land.

The highlight of the tour is the reclining Vishnu about twenty feet long sculptured from igneous rock. The statue reclines beside a fairy pool that is surrounded by dense vegetation of ferns, climbers and moss. The small springs which feed the pool make Shesh Shaiyya and enchanting place. It used to shelter weary soldiers on the way up now tigers inhabit this place.   

You can see all the idols on the trip plus visit the huge man made reservoirs besides many artifacts of archeological importance. The religious minded can pay obeisance at the ancient Ram Janki Temple facing the park.         

A visit to the Fort is not possible on regular park safari. Special arrangement has to be made in advance. A  permit is required which the resort in Bandhavgarh that offers you the accommodation can arrange. You need to carry packed lunch and lot of water for the trip. 

The plateaus are heaven for wildlife an you can expect to see animals in the grassy meadows and the forests. They are excellent for  birding as difference in habitat yields new species. For exploring Bandhavgarh one needs a stay of at east three nights. A long stay is bound to result in exciting discoveries. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bandhavgarh Tigers - Teerath Singh

Tiger at a Waterhole

Tiger Cub

Teerath Singh is at the right place at Bandhavgarh and has excellent photography skills that is evident in tiger images here. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

STPF - Tiger News

The State of Karnataka has set up a tiger protection force of fifty four foresters and forest guards trained to protect the tigers its reserves. This is a first step of its kind ever taken in India.  The STPF has been constituted under the directive of MOEF this unit will be initially in charge of  Billgiri Rangaga Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Nagarhole Tiger Reserve in the state.  

The major threat to the tigers in Southern States are from the infamous Khatni Gang active since last twenty five years in the country. The threat looms large in other states as well. The guards have been trained for thirteen weeks at the Police Training School at Yelahanka. The training included weapons usage,  unarmed combat, filed engineering, map reading and disaster management. 

BK Singh the PCCF of Karnataka asserts the employment of more such forces to save the endangered cat. As per Rajesh Gopal Chairman NTCA more such protection units will be deployed in other states. This good news since the untrained forest guard is helpless against organized crime in the forests. A trained unit under effective comman and control will function in a much better way to curb poaching in the protected areas.  

I hope the training is in tandem with what specialization is required to protect wildlife in our reserves. This is a good move since physical protection in most of our reserves and wildlife sanctuaries is severely lacking. There may more such gangs active in many places in India the deployment of STPF will discourage their activities and bring them under the net.      (Source TOI)