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Old 22nd February 2010, 22:32   #31
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When we talk about Mannanur, this area is very much like a small village so when adopting a sector we should probably look at an area which is farther away from this village
As you may already know Mannanur is the forest checkpost and yes a village. The forest starts just a few kms after. These waterholes are inside the forest and meant purely for wild animals. The next village is Vatverlapally from where you turn to visit Mallelathritham. Farahabad entry point is midway between Mannanur and Vatverlapally

Chenchu tribesmen have mentioned once to me that at the Farahabad gate around 1 am a Tiger has been seen.

I am referring to work on the area either below Farahabad viewpoint around Rusula cheruvu or even the area around Farahabad or beyond Malleelathirtham.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 22:40   #32
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DKG,

if there is vacancy available,

can you please add 2 member, 1 cottage + Scorpio for me as well.

Thanks Rajesh
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Old 23rd February 2010, 09:50   #33
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Confirmed member list

DKG : 2 members, 1 cottage, Jeep
Farooque Khan: 2 members, 1 cottage
Milecruncher : 2 members, 1 cottage, Bolero
Khalid Khan : 6 members, 3 cottages, Gypsy
Fazal Ali Adil : 2 members, 1 cottage
Devidas : 2 members, 1 cottage
Nikhil : 2 members,
Saleem: 2 members (will confirm my Tuesday) Alto
Rajkumar Goli : 1 member, Tata TL
Rajesh : 2 members, Scorpio

Total count : 23 members

Tentative member list

Hyd_traveller : 1 member

If its okay with you guys we'll do the final tally on cottages once we are closer to the trip and have the final tally on members attending
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Old 23rd February 2010, 15:42   #34
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The WWF site mentions the followoing aspect of tiger ranges:

"Individual tigers have a large territory. Where prey is in abundance, such as in Chitwan National Park in Nepal, territories range from 10 to 20kmē for females and 30 to 70kmē for males. In Russia, where the density of prey is much lower, territories vary in size from 200 to 400kmē for females and 800 to 1,000kmē for males"

Clearly prey base in AP forests has dramatically fallen. This renders most ranges unviable for tiger sustenance.

Ulhas Karanth, wildlife researcher lists prey base decimation as the single biggest reason for the dwindling tiger population in India. Seeing the state several forests in AP are I am not surprised that not a single tiger has been seen or photographed in AP !

The need of the hour really is to ensure sufficient prey base, water and let the animals thrive.

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Old 23rd February 2010, 19:37   #35
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DKG, wanted to confirm that from my side it will be 1+3. Updated the list below:

DKG : 2 members, 1 cottage, Jeep
Farooque Khan: 2 members, 1 cottage
Milecruncher : 2 members, 1 cottage, Bolero
Khalid Khan : 6 members, 3 cottages, Gypsy
Fazal Ali Adil : 2 members, 1 cottage
Devidas : 2 members, 1 cottage
Nikhil : 2 members,
Saleem: 4 members, Alto or Estilo
Rajkumar Goli : 1 member, Tata TL
Rajesh : 2 members, Scorpio

Total count : 25 members

Tentative member list

Hyd_traveller : 1 member

Cheers!
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Old 24th February 2010, 09:20   #36
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@DKG: since wildlife conservation is the priority (as per title of this thread), would it make better sense to hire a Canter for the trip into the forest instead of taking a dozen four wheelers all at once into reserve forest. I believe the forest office at Mananur HAS a Swaraj Mazda canter for this purpose.

I will be heading towards some forests in the Nandyal region BTW sometime in April. The forests in that side are in seriosuly bad shape.
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Old 24th February 2010, 10:42   #37
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What are your views on how we can tackle the problem of deforestation?

Quite obviously tribals are being used by wood agents/ saw mills to cut trees for their requirement.

During my trip to Bhadrachalam I observed massive tracts of land around Bhadrachalam being cultivated by ITC for their requirement. Apparently to the farmer one acre yields a annual revenue of Rs 12000. Many familes are being sustained by this activity.

What if the forest department developed a captive renewable wood cultivation corridor around the reserves enabling a similar revenue for tribals living in the forest? They can also use this program to wean them away from interiors and settle them on the fringe. If a massive paper mill can run to a great extent on the basis of wood it grows on a renewable basis why can't wood required as raw material around other forests be handled this way?

In the long run the tribal families are best left as primary custodians of the forests they have resided in for centuries. We need to make them partners in the conservation effort.

Further I feel all roads through forests must charge a toll fee. The proceeds must be shared by tribal families living in the area and the forest department toward garbage clearing and other expenses.

Entry into parks for wildlife viewing must also entail a fee which again should be shared with the tribal families.

What are your views?


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Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
would it make better sense to hire a Canter for the trip into the forest instead of taking a dozen four wheelers all at once into reserve forest. I believe the forest office at Mananur HAS a Swaraj Mazda canter for this purpose.
One large vehicle makes sense. But the Canter will make a racket. My Jeep is a petrol and so are the Gypsies. Ideally it should be a larger petrol vehicle or CNG/LPG run which is silent

Last edited by DKG : 24th February 2010 at 10:52.
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Old 24th February 2010, 11:12   #38
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Originally Posted by DKG View Post
What are your views on how we can tackle the problem of deforestation?

Quite obviously tribals are being used by wood agents/ saw mills to cut trees for their requirement.

What if the forest department developed a captive renewable wood cultivation corridor around the reserves enabling a similar revenue for tribals living in the forest?

In the long run the tribal families are best left as primary custodians of the forests they have resided in for centuries. We need to make them partners in the conservation effort.

Further I feel all roads through forests must charge a toll fee. The proceeds must be shared by tribal families living in the area and the forest department toward garbage clearing and other expenses.

Entry into parks for wildlife viewing must also entail a fee which again should be shared with the tribal families.

What are your views?
To achieve all this will we not require govt. support? These are some big decisions that will definitely require forest officials/govt. intervention and mostly their permission. To get this, we need some strong contacts in the bureaucracy because when all these years govt. is so passive when it comes to environmental and wildlife issues, how can you expect them to listen to someone and act on it in a timely manner?

I believe we should look at these options on a long-term basis at the same time take up some strong initiatives internally that will help achieve our immediate and important goals.

How about supplying all forest/safari gypsies/jeeps with LPG kit? For this we can try and get hold of a sponsor like Aircel (who are doing Save our Tigers campaign), and ask them to be part of this initiative. Why can't Team BHP team take this initiative as this is basically an automobile forum? I think the forest/govt. officials won't mind free installation of LPG kits in their safari vehicles.

Secondly getting funds for such causes is very important. If someone can ensure that contributions to such causes are exempted from tax, I believe most people would be more than happy to donate for such causes. Right now the contributions made to organizations like Green Peace are exempted. Similarly if we can do something about getting contributions for our cause and other similar initiatives and ensure they are recognized as tax exemptions that would be helpful. But again I think this would require govt. intervention. Can anyone pass this idea of our Finance minister before he presents his budget this Friday?

Cheers!
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Old 24th February 2010, 12:01   #39
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Originally Posted by saleem_k View Post
To achieve all this will we not require govt. support?
Absolutely. The idea of asking the question is to evaluate its validity. Lets say most people here agree with the proposals.

The next step then is to start lobbying for it, which invariably involves meeting bureaucrats/elected officials in the government.

Quote:
we need some strong contacts in the bureaucracy
Not very difficult. You'll be surprised that you can take an appointment and meet the CM if need be.

Quote:
how can you expect them to listen to someone and act on it in a timely manner?
Lobbying is a powerful tool world over. So many policy decisions of governments get based/affected by special interest groups lobbying on issues

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I believe we should look at these options on a long-term basis at the same time take up some strong initiatives internally that will help achieve our immediate and important goals.
Exactly. Very cirtical point you have raised. Most special interest groups compromise one activity for the other. They get into lobbying and policy issues and forget the ground realities that animals are right now without drinking water!!

We have to have a multi pronged approach, well thought out, with different groups addressing different issues. Only then can some serious headway be made.

Quote:
How about supplying all forest/safari gypsies/jeeps with LPG kit? For this we can try and get hold of a sponsor like Aircel (who are doing Save our Tigers campaign), and ask them to be part of this initiative. Why can't Team BHP team take this initiative as this is basically an automobile forum? I think the forest/govt. officials won't mind free installation of LPG kits in their safari vehicles.
Good idea. Like this there are so many small projects each reserve requires.

1. Vehicles
2. Volunteers
3. Communication devices
4. Training/aids for modern conservation studies
5. Watering holes
6. Veterinary services
7. Animal husbandry services
8. Biogas or alternate fuel supply
9. Eco tourism projects

and so on...

Once we get going we need to create individual projects, assess their costs, plan on raising funds, implement, review effectiveness, fine tune project sustenance strategies

Quote:
Secondly getting funds for such causes is very important.
True. From what I can see a lot of people seem to be getting a lot of money to carry out studies/projects on wildlife conservation. Just google 'saving the tiger' in and there appear to be so many foundations, societies and various such NGO's working on projects. There's a lot of activity around.

Its just that somehow somewhere people are missing the forests for the trees. I know this sounds like a big generalisation. But the fact is in AP for example with all the activity that may be in place, your wildlife stands decimated, forest cover fast depleting and the most visible sign of successful conservation, the Tiger, missing !

I'm sure there's loads of money changing hands on account of wildlife conservation, its just not making much of a difference. Somewhere down the line things are getting muddled up.

I am not an expert to comment about all this, but just plain layperson common sense seems to highlight the woeful state conservation is in.

SO... getting back to what needs to be done, we must first agree that things have gone wrong. We must then be willing to reevaluate all our priorites and reassess project conceptualisation basics, re-establish what parameters need focus, take into account harsh ground realities, plan and implement with the sole objective of learning and moving ahead to eventually achieving objectives

Last edited by DKG : 24th February 2010 at 12:04.
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Old 24th February 2010, 12:21   #40
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The government of India has an entire ministry for forests and environment. There are hundreds of thousands of people working in the respective forest departments. You have so many divisions all manned by requisite staff. Maybe some areas have a shortage of staff but basically you have a gigantic machinery in place to carry out the very work you and I are talking about.

Isn't it mind boggling that such a massive machinery is not able to do its bit to conserve? Millions of rupees are being consumed every month on account of salaries and project costs.

Its a crisis of leadership. Of accountability. Of Integrity.

Not all are corrupt, not all are incapable or ineffective. We must give our forest departments the benefit of doubt and work closely with them. After all the government has made it the custodian of these forests. You cannot work on these forests if you have a antagonistic attitude toward the officials who control them.

Our sole objective must be as facilitators of change or catalysts leading to change. We already have the machinery in place to manage these reserves. We all just need to get it right.
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Old 24th February 2010, 12:46   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
The following information is based on feedback of forest department officials.
There are approximately 25 tanks that the forest division at Mannanur maintains within the forest for water for animals
They have their own 10000 litre tanker and a driver on duty.
It costs approximately 300 litre of diesel a month to replenish water in a 3-5 days cycle
So approximately Rs 11000 per month is the expense of ensuring water for animals is provided.
Sadly at the moment the tanks are dry.
Suggestion: I think between us we need to chalk out a calendar of visits by volunteers, visiting once every weekend, to monitor the progress. Unless we audit the process it won't work. Shared between us all, we can easily monitor the situation with small groups planning visits weekly.
Deepak and Saleem,
Very valuable inputs and ideas, armed with these a lot can be done to kick start the proposed programs.

Priority no. 1: Water.

By the time we mobilize funds from corporates or who ever it will take another 15 days to a month for water to reach the waterholes. The summer has already kicked in.

Last year July, a tiger was snared and killed by poachers in a stream near Omkara temple, Atmakur mandal. A deer killed by village dogs at Dommalapenta, and these are two reported out of numerous incidents un-reported. In both cases the animals ventured too close to human settlements for their water needs.

Proposal a. Our group Pools in money for the tankers to run at least for the present first month.

Proposal b. Make arrangements with the forest dept. that the grazing cattle in these areas do not have access to these water holes. Cattle here outnumber resident herbivore by 50:1.

Proposal c. As the area is very wide spread, the need is for more waterholes to be created, another 25.. which will translate into double amount of contributions, plus funds to build these water holes.
Regards,
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Old 24th February 2010, 12:52   #42
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Adding my Name also.

DKG : 2 members, 1 cottage, Jeep
Farooque Khan: 2 members, 1 cottage
Milecruncher : 2 members, 1 cottage, Bolero
Khalid Khan : 6 members, 3 cottages, Gypsy
Fazal Ali Adil : 2 members, 1 cottage
Devidas : 2 members, 1 cottage
Nikhil : 2 members,
Saleem: 4 members, Alto or Estilo
Rajkumar Goli : 1 member, Tata TL
Rajesh : 2 members, Scorpio
Highwaylover : 2 members, 1 cottage, Getz
Total count : 27 members

Tentative member list

Hyd_traveller : 1 member


Aircel has started the Save Tigers campaign. So they could be one potential sponsors.

Also one of my friends covers Kalwakurthy area (on the way to srisailam) for a Popular telugu news channel. I can get him to cover what we are doing - but can't guarantee it will get airtime. Also does the Forest dept policy allow TV cams in the jungle?

Last edited by highwaylover : 24th February 2010 at 13:12.
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Old 24th February 2010, 13:01   #43
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Priority no. 1: Water.

Proposal a. Our group Pools in money for the tankers to run at least for the present first month.
Fantastic Fazal. Lets start. I will commit to donate Rs 1000 per month till monsoons start for this job.

We need atleast Rs 11000 per month for the task

Quote:
Proposal b. Make arrangements with the forest dept. that the grazing cattle in these areas do not have access to these water holes. Cattle here outnumber resident herbivore by 50:1.
This is a complex issue as unless a viable alternative is given to fringe farmers there will be strong resentment. But like you so rightly say this is a big problem which needs to be addressed asap

Quote:
Proposal c. As the area is very wide spread, the need is for more waterholes to be created, another 25.. which will translate into double amount of contributions, plus funds to build these water holes.
Fantastic suggestion. Lets find out the cost per watering hole. Will find out from the forest department how much it costs to get one made. On our visit to Mannanur we'll get a feel for the range they cover, where the core areas are and how many watering holes are needed to cover full core area.

While we need to develop a fund to independently carry out the construction from funds collected, I will try to get some cement for the purpose from a friend who owns a cement plant.

Last edited by DKG : 24th February 2010 at 13:04.
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Old 24th February 2010, 13:15   #44
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Also one of my friends covers Kalwakurthy area (on the way to srisailam) for a Popular telugu news channel. I can get him to cover what we are doing - but can't guarantee it will get airtime. Also does the Forest dept policy allow TV cams in the jungle?
We have to agree if this is a good idea yet.

Pros : Creates awareness amongst the general public about their natural heritage and what needs to be done to protect and enhance it

Cons : Negative publicity and backlash from within the government for the forest department. We don't exactly want the forest department to be rapped for the obvious. They may shut us out completely !

Lets purely focus on what the animals need and simply execute these programs with minimal fuss and fanfare. We can always meticulously document our efforts and use the same for generating funds from corporates etc.

Its advisable we not alienate the forest department officials. For whatever they are worth they have control of these forests, its their official mandate to be present there and do things to conserve and protect (in which we help out) and officially they can mobile support from other government agencies namely animal husbandry, police etc

BTW when I donated paper bags to the forest department as a initiative to curb littering by visitors I was amused to find an army of local media for the launch of the program Obviously it made the officials look good, and I was happy they got some positive mileage from it

Last edited by DKG : 24th February 2010 at 13:18.
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Old 24th February 2010, 13:17   #45
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Lets purely focus on what the animals need and simply execute these programs with minimal fuss and fanfare. We can always meticulously document our efforts and use the same for generating funds from corporates etc.
Agreed. Lets tackle one problem at a time
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