Tag Archive for 'Sanjay Gandhi National Park'

Changing pugmarks

In the Hindustan Times, wildlife conservationist Valmik Thapar finds a glimmer of hope

Twenty-four years ago when the Year of the Tiger dawned in the Chinese calendar, wildlife conservationists were euphoric. We were seeing the fruits of the Indira Gandhi era: tiger populations were up and in Ranthambhore, I remember seeing 16 different tigers in one day. We seldom thought of the severe threats that tigers might face in the future.

In 1998, when another Year of the Tiger dawned, it was as if we were living in another world. Tigers were dying and our wildlife landscape was besieged with problems. The decade of the ’90s was probably one of the worst years for those dealing with wildlife. The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) created endless crisis committees to deal with the crisis but all in vain. Before the end of the century many of us offered new ideas to the government — one of these was about creating a new department of forest and wildlife within the MoEF, a stepping stone for a dedicated ministry of forest and wildlife. more

Hunting the hunted: The war on India’s tigers

Squeezed for space and targeted by poachers, India’s tigers have reached a tipping point. But deep in the world’s most celebrated tiger sanctuary, an unlikely hero has emerged. He’s smart. He’s driven. He’s a God-fearing vegetarian with Jack Bauer tendencies. Too bad wildlife officials hate his guts. Paul Kvinta in the National Geographic:

tigers-615On the morning of his planned raid on the illegal gunmaker, Dharmendra Khandal wakes well before sunrise, purifies himself with a ritual bath, and then studies several verses of the Durga Saptashati, one of Hinduism’s holiest books. Given the nature of the war Khandal is waging, it seems an appropriate text. In it, the radiant goddess Durga—“the One who can redeem in situations of utmost distress”—rides on the back of a tiger, her ten arms brandishing weapons and a lotus flower as she hunts down and destroys the demon Mahisasura. more

Click here for the photofeature by Tom Pietrasik in National Geographic