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Old 23rd February 2010, 12:03   #151
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In the 60's when my parents built their home in Banjara Hills the area was well known to be home for many panthers and leopards. My uncle shot one which apparently was becoming a regular thief of goats belonging to farmers in Toli Chowki. He's seen a black panther around Lotus pond too !! He mentioned that a adult leopard or panther could easily scale a height of 5 feet with a goat held in its mouth. Just imagine the sheer strength and biting power of its neck and jaw muscles !
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Old 23rd February 2010, 15:38   #152
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The WWF website lists an interesting fact about 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"

So apparently prey availability is a major determinant of how far a Tiger usually travels for food.

My recent travels through some of AP's forests shows that there is a marked reduction in prey base. How do we expect the Tiger to survive. Even large reserves become unviable to sustain tigers when the prey base falls.

So immediate need of the hour is to restore the prey base, apart from addressing other threats.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 16:14   #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
The WWF website lists an interesting fact about 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"
So apparently prey availability is a major determinant of how far a Tiger usually travels for food.
My recent travels through some of AP's forests shows that there is a marked reduction in prey base. How do we expect the Tiger to survive. Even large reserves become unviable to sustain tigers when the prey base falls.
So immediate need of the hour is to restore the prey base, apart from addressing other threats.
Deepak,

Very rightly pointed out facts.

In the Indian subcontinent, 100km2 has been taken as an average, now some parks are just 200-400 sqkms, and have 6-8 male tigers, they exist today. The occurrence of territorial fights are doubled, the main factor that male tigers need more area is just not food or water but female tigers.

Genetically programmed, females of all species in the animal kingdom will only mate with the strongest male, this ensures better gene quality for the next generation. The males have to fight to make sure their genes are passed on to the next.

The fight between male tigers is imminent especially during mating season if they intrude in the others territory or their territories overlap, there are great chances of this happening should they be concentrated in a smaller area.

Recently, about a week back a male tiger was killed by another male somewhere in Maharashtra

Today, forests in A.P. are dying due to cattle grazing en-masse and degradation of forests due to various factors such as illegal tree felling, converting forestland into farm land etc.

Recent studies have proved that tigers are heading for extinction even in forests which have abundant prey base.

Regards,
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Old 23rd February 2010, 16:21   #154
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Recent studies have proved that tigers are heading for extinction even in forests which have abundant prey base.
This seems contrary to what Ulhas Karanth, wildlife researcher, has stated. Kindly elaborate

To me it makes sense that abundant prey base is the primary requirement for a thriving carnivore population.

Other threats such as poaching need to be dealt with separately.

As I see it Fazal the primary causes of the declining population are too obvious even to a lay person like me. They appear to be:

1. Decimation of prey base

2. Dwindling forest cover

3. Poaching

4. Human disturbance

So in essence any conservation effort needs to assess why

1. Prey base is getting decimated, perhaps here cattle intrusion is responsible for prey base fodder being eaten up, curtail hunting of prey base itself

2. Curtail threats to forest decimation on account of deforestation, loss to mining companies etc

3. Control poaching

4. Curtail human intrusion to core areas. relocation of tribals from core areas, prevention of fresh settlements

I honestly don't think we are at a stage still figuring out why tigers are getting lost. We know what the threats are and what the solutions are. Its in the implementation of conservation measures that we fail miserably

Last edited by DKG : 23rd February 2010 at 16:34.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 16:44   #155
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Deepak,

Almost every forest in India is under attack from agriculture, cattle grazing and commercial projects including dams, four-lane highways, thermal plants, cement factories and even nuclear reactors.

Habitat fragmentation: Increased human and cattle population in our country has led to pressure on forest resources which has ultimately caused fragmentation and degradation of wildlife habitats. This, along with the increase in wildlife population in Protected Areas have resulted in wildlife spilling over to other areas. This leaves them vulnerable to local extinction. Protection must be stepped up and reserves must be connected to one another so that tigers have larger populations and areas to hunt and breed.

Summed up, Man- Animal conflict. Studies show that the changing land use pattern in the peripheries of protected areas due to demographic changes is affecting wildlife habitats. These pressures influence the movement pattern, habitat utilisation and behaviour leading to regular increase in the race for survival between man and animals.

These are the reason why tigers are heading towards extinction in many of our reserves and parks in spite of abundant prey base.

Ullas Karanth's theory is that the prey base reveals the proportionate numbers of their predators. "Estimated densities of ungulate prey ranged between 5.3 and 63.8 animals per sq. km. Estimated tiger densities (3.2-16.8 tigers per 100 sq km) were reasonably consistent with model predictions.''

Deepak, abundant or not, prey base is not the primary factor that is endangering the tiger in India today.

We are not talking about the poaching factor yet.

Regards,

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 23rd February 2010 at 17:03.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 16:58   #156
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1. Decimation of prey base

2. Dwindling forest cover

3. Poaching

4. Human disturbance

This basically covers the problem Fazal
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Old 23rd February 2010, 17:04   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
1. Decimation of prey base

2. Dwindling forest cover

3. Poaching

4. Human disturbance

This basically covers the problem Fazal
How and where to plug so many holes????
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Old 23rd February 2010, 17:22   #158
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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
How and where to plug so many holes????
We'll just make a beginning boss !! I know that people like you and me who genuinely are fond of our natural heritage can make a difference. There should be many many more people out there genuinely concerned. Please try to get your pictures published in a Sunday edition of local newspapers (not the ones of the Tiger growling )

You already are making a huge contribution by highlighting the sheer beauty of the Tiger through your amazing photographs. Its creating awareness and kindling in people a desire to act to save this magnificent creature.

Those shots of the tigress on her back as she was relaxing show her to be so vulnerable, living in such a fragile environment. She needs our help to leave her home to herself. Seeing her like that melts ones heart. She was supremely beautiful in that mood.

BTW what do you think of the idea of turning Narsapur into a breeding ground for prey base? We need to have the place fenced off along the lines of Mrugavani. I feel we should lobby for it, what do you feel? It can also serve as a ideal wildlife education centre for children in Hyderabad

Last edited by DKG : 23rd February 2010 at 17:32.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 17:45   #159
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A very good gesture. I would love to see the pictures of Mr. Fazal printed in the Sunday Edition of Local Newspaper, with a strong writeup, which should rekindle the thoughts of people to support the initiative and do good for the environment.
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Old 23rd February 2010, 19:34   #160
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A-W-E-S-O-M-E photography! Lovely photographs. Just amazing!
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Old 23rd February 2010, 22:53   #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
In the 60's when my parents built their home in Banjara Hills the area was well known to be home for many panthers and leopards. My uncle shot one which apparently was becoming a regular thief of goats belonging to farmers in Toli Chowki. He's seen a black panther around Lotus pond too !! He mentioned that a adult leopard or panther could easily scale a height of 5 feet with a goat held in its mouth. Just imagine the sheer strength and biting power of its neck and jaw muscles !
Deepak,
Yes until the late 60's there were panthers stretching from Banjara hills, Toli Chowki, Jubilee hills, Gacchi bowli, and there was a forest corridor from the 70 kilometer Narsapur forest which used to ensure a steady supply of panthers to the entire periphery of Hyderabad and then as the present inner ring road goes, they were found in abundance in Saroonagar, and areas beyond to Vijaywada highway and from there another corridor would connect to Nalgonda and Srisailam forests.
In 1963 my father(Jafar) and uncle ( Alamdar) went out for a deer hunt and just 14 from kilometers Hyderabad, near Khanapur Gandipet, they spotted 4 panthers and got three of them as one of them managed to get away.

The largest adult male scaled 8'-7" nose to tail, on which I was photographed at the age of two years.

Villagers were very poor then and their livestock would be continuously killed by panthers and the compensation was not heard of thing, as wildlife act came intio force from 1972, hunting tigers and panthers apart from deers, neelgai, sambar was a very common thing I remember as a kid.

There are still a few black panthers in Etunagaram and other forests of A.P.

Me, 2 years old atop a panther held by my father.
Tadoba, Pench forests, wildlife and 4 tigers!-img_8129.jpg
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Old 24th February 2010, 03:15   #162
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Fazal bhai,

Great pictures and interesting contribution from you and DKG.

Do you have any old pics of Banjara Hills in 70's, we used to see lot of rabits, lot of snakes, percupine on Rd# 10, 12. Nice variety of birds which never seen in the city now.

Look forward to see more interesting wild life photos.

Cheers!
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Old 24th February 2010, 09:08   #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
abundant or not, prey base is not the primary factor that is endangering the tiger in India today.
oh yeah! these ullas karanth's of the world dont understand what is happening with our forests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
1. Decimation of prey base
2. Dwindling forest cover
3. Poaching
4. Human disturbance
This basically covers the problem
Well summarised DKG. Conservation efforts are thus focussed on
1. Prey Base improvement which can be further taken up as a 16-point programme.

2. Improved security to deal with poaching and illegal timber trade both large scale and small scale.

3. Demarcation, Segregation and Isolation of Wildlife areas: Despite all the talk of man and animals stayin in harmony, that is not practical. Wild animals need separate, clearly demarcated and secured areas to thrive. Human populations in these identified areas have to be properly identified, relocated and well rehabilated. A recent rehabilitation programme in Bhadra in Karnataka has been a resounding success and perhaps can be looked at as a model.

anyway this is a TRIP LOG and I think we can discuss these things offline instead of going OT.

Last edited by COUGAR : 24th February 2010 at 09:09.
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Old 24th February 2010, 09:42   #164
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Deepak, Fazal sir and et all, my take will be on improving the forests firsts. Of course revival of the Tiger is our main aim but let us also ensure that all other wildlife like snakes, leopards, panthers, bears, etc also are taken into consideration when planning on our initiative. I believe there could be a great variety of snakes, big and small, and many other wildlife in and around Srisailam. Improvement of forest cover will be directly proportional to increase in security to wildlife and less human-animal encounters, a probably improvement in prey base and a better jungle for our tigers.

Recently there was a news about some area in Maharashtra. 15 years back all the trees were felled in a big area, on the fringes of a big forest. The tribals were then taken into confidence and were told to restore the lost forest area and for that they were offered some incentive. The tribals began planting saplings in the lost area and in a span of about 15 years, the forests have regrown back to what they were originally and it seems leopards, panthers and other wild animals have started visiting these regrown forests again. I think we can take this as an example and concentrate first on ensuring that deforestation doesn't take place and if possible, we can plant more trees and try and gain the forest area that has been lost due to deforestation.
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Old 24th February 2010, 09:55   #165
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Just to add my two bits here on diminishing prey base. As Deepak & Faizal pointed out there are a number of factors which lead to that. It is not only poaching and domestic animals grazing in forest lands but also its after effects. For example the grazing of domesticated animals in these lands helps spread of Foot and Mouth disease, etc which is not otherwise found in wild animals. Also, the man-animal conflict has led to cutting of trees in the fringes becauses of which the are starts to grow new grass which not only attract the deers, elephants, gaurs, etc. but along come the carnivores as its easy for them to hunt. and that is when they are most vulnerable. So basically man has called these problems of elephant menace, etc upon themselves by cutting the trees. So there are a lot of inter-related things that lead to diminishing wildlife population.

Thanks,
Rishi
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