Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tigers

In last few days Tiger show has started in bandhavgarh. Its just the Christmas new year rush. Wakeeta was under the Tiger show hammer constantly for fourth day. Today her mate also joined her and that was Shashi or Bamera male. Cubs are still very secretive. They dont like to see such a huge animal (Elephant) standing next to them. Soon they will gain the confidence.
Other good sighting we had was of a Sloth Bear. Last week a man was mauled in Gurwahi by sloth bear, presumably she was the same female whose cub was killed in a road accident on Manpur Road. Today I heard someone saw Saki aka Bokha limping near Mahaman?? Dont know how reliable this news is but if any one has any photo from today then please post it on internet.   

Friday, December 23, 2011


Winter makes life little hard for the cattle in most villages around Bandhavgarh National Park where people do not bring their cattle in the shed during night hours. Weak animals some time dies due to cold. One cow near park boundary died like that. Crows find that quick and Vultures followed them soon.  It's not only them alone but other scavengers  like dogs and jackals also got the news and they were there to get their share. Dogs kept Vultures and crow away from the dead cow so they were waiting for them to leave s they could land on the kill.
In this situation where Long Billed Vultures are sitting on trees waiting for the opportunity a Jungle Crow saw them as a big competitor for them.  He sat close to a vulture. Vulture did not object to this crow next to him. Probably he was not worried of a much smaller bird in size. Crow had different ideas. He started peeling the bark to throw it on Vulture. He tried but he could hardly throw it towards vulture. Vulture still ignoring his presence. Crow made some noise to offend Vulture but later he decided to take more physically. He knew that vulture has a much bigger stronger bill in comparison to his. Very cleverly he flew to circle the vulture and attacked on his tail. He was hanging to vultures tail but that did not hurt him at all. He tried few times to draw his attention but failed.
Now he decided to virtually attack the vulture. He lands on his back and started pecking on his back. This must have hurt the vulture. He turned back to bite the crow but crow was more clever than him. He pulled back himself out of reach of his bill but still sitting on vultures back.
This drama kept on going for next 10 minutes or so. Vulture was pecked many times on its back by this crow.  He never had a second of peace since this crow came so at last he decided to leave. Victorious Crow followed him to the next tree but came back to his tree, watching dogs and jackal chasing each other for food.       

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tigers of Bandhavgarh

After reading Mr Ken's email and Dr Rahul's comment I feel guilty for not updating my blog regularly. I will try it now to update regularly no matter if I have to put only few lines.
Tiger sightings have gone down here in last few days. Main reason behind is Shashi aka Bamera male who is trying to dominate the complete 109 sq km of Tala range. On some days he is covering more than twenty km in one single night. Then there are two more young sub adult Tigers who are trying to hold the ground in back of Tala range. They are not shy but scared of people on foot and on bicycle which one can find in abundance in the park. NGO'S can help in running a lodge but by distributing shoes and jackets one cant ensure to save the Tiger. Its a hard path to follow. I am saying this again and again since last 5 years that Tigers will survive in isolated pockets of forests, those are called National Parks or Tiger Project areas and this population will be managed genetically. So our these two Tigers don't have any choice except to stay in this area until they face the real challenge of their life.
Grasslands are burnt in Bandhavgarh to get the new shoots for herbivores. Burning the grass in sandy soil???
There are few papers available on this winter burning by Mr H.S Panwar and Late Sh S.R Choudhary. Its a highly debatable subject but these people did made their point acceptable to all.
In last 10 days I saw these two young sub-adult tigers on two different occasions. In our opinion they are cubs from Mukunda area. There they were seen last summer. 
   Other major activity that took place here was Kabir pilgrimage. This year more than 14thousand people were walking through the critical core area of tiger in Bandhavgarh. 
It was a great chaos. Not a single animal was seen in Chakradhara Jamunia for next 4-5 days. Tourists who paid money to enter the premium zone were shunted to enter and exit from Magadhi entrance in the afternoon and after the morning game drive they lost a visit to Chakradhara meadow because they were asked to exit from Magadhi.
Poor Tourists. I have not heard any protest so far from any lodge owner but on behalf of my guests now I will protest and may ask for refund.


More later, sure.       



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

B2 Sundar

Since last month I had no time to write anything on my blog or other diaries. On 21st Nov morning, we were asked to see a male tiger to help in its ID. We (me and Kay) went over there to see this tiger at about 08 AM. Rajkishor and co open the cage to show this tiger to us. I asked Kay to go inside the cage to see him. She came out whispering "That's boy Sundar." I tried to match him with other young male tigers photograph but none were matching. Kay left for home leaving me behind saying that is him. Some people find it difficult to believe that it's B2. After an hour or so Kay return back with another matching picture and now everyone accepts that its B2. 
How he reached 100 km away from here is a story.
According to people there local villagers saw a Tiger moving in the jungle. They informed the forester in the village. Next day this information passed on to Ranger of that area and he also decided to have a look. But by this time this tiger moved away from that spot. People were looking for a Tiger like they are looking for a cattle. At this time he attacked on some villager. May be he went very close to him. 
Information was sent to Shahdol and Umaria. Next day when search party from Bandhavgarh reached to the spot they found a tiger lying next to a stream. He was weak and his breathing was shallow. 
There were more than 200 people looking at him making all sort of noises. this tiger even after seeing and hearing these people never made any attempt to look for a cover. He was still lying there. Search party saw him drinking water from the stream but he did not tried to move.
 He was tranquilised and taken to Shahdol for further treatment. Later that night he died on his way to Tala.
He had so many wounds on his body. Some of them were so deep and big that maggots ate most of the flesh in side and there was so much gap between skin and flesh that one could put his hand like putting it in trousers pocket.
He died of his wound inflicted by some other male. Who it could be except his own son Bamera male. Once he got these wounds and getting weaker then every tiger must have pushed him from there area. In these conditions Tigers do like to move away to a secluded place but where he could find it. That's why he was found hungry tired near the stream where he was assured of water.
B2 is not the only Tiger that is being pushed by Shashi aka P10 aka Bamera male. Pyari aka Chakradhara tigress was pushed by him. Hope some people who saw them fighting in Chakradhara meadow opposite watch tower will remember how badly she was slapped. She fell on the ground and then did not get up for few minutes. Pyari sitting in grass snarling, growling on Shashi and he stood there staring at her made her to believe that he is the one who holds this territory. She left after this. Most of the time Tigers avoid physical fight. They settle their dispute by showing their power vocally and looking big in size. There are quite a few incident to prove this. Charger-Baanka. Charger-Langdu. B1,B2,B3-Charger. B2-Kalua. B2-Kalua's brother(I did not see this but other tourist saw), Babu- Indrani, B2 Chased by Shashi, Shashi watching Bokha mating with Lakshmi,  Shashi-Pyari (Was this to defend her cubs), Vijaya -Lakshmi's male cub (Vijaya avoids him).     
B2 lived for 14 yrs and 6 months in Bandhavgarh. He became dominant male at the age of three when he sired a litter and for the next ten years he remained dominant male until challenged by his own son Shashi. 
We will miss him for many years to come.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Giant Wood Spider and Grass Demon.

We enter the park from Magadhi gate. Now Magadhi gate tourists don't have to go to main gate. magadhi entry is done from wireless office near the interpretation center. Approach road to Magadhi gate is a pain. I have never seen that road that bad in last 32 yrs of my life in Bandhavgarh. If you want to enter the park in time from Bhadrashila gate than keep 30 minutes in hand to reach the gate and do the paperwork. I think there should not be any entry booking in the morning. Entry form should be deposited on previous afternoon so all this job is done in the evening itself so the verification can be done quickly and tourists enter the park in time.
In-fact this will make things easier for all.
Our vehicle was 9th to enter the park. We were not expecting much except few good photos of anything.
Giant Wood Spiders were every where. 
Grasses were tall. Sal trees did not look happy in some areas especially around Sukhi dam. There must have been some moth which attacked these. Some of the Sal trees were growing new leaves. 
A tigress was seen at Dadra Junction. Elephants followed her for sometime but she climbed the hill. Kuttappan Mahavat said She is Kankati's sister. Kuttappan is going to be very elusive in the jungle after Feb 2012. Kuttappan was complaining about his agency that they don't send him any sell statement any more. Last he heard from his photo agency was 4-5 yrs back.
He lost his business to all those photographers to whom he took on his elephant for Tiger photography and to the latest technology.
We saw a spider hanging under her molted skin. She was very motionless. we thought she is dead and killed by male spiders as two male were hanging around her. Later we realised that she molted her skin and injured herself in the process.
At home was even better news. After breakfast when we were walking in the garden I saw an unusual butterfly. Grass Demon.
We never saw it before here in Bandhavgarh since we started looking for butterflies in mid 90's.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tigers

This morning 3rd October a calf was killed by a tiger near petrol station on main road. By the time I reached there majority of pugmarks were wiped out. Villagers saved two pugmarks but it was difficult to asses the sex of the tiger by those pugmarks. Some people saw tiger killing calf at 0430 in the morning (Have to believe them). He must have been disturbed. He did not ate any portion of this calf and while going away from the spot he hit barbed wire.People were telling me the route he took to reach the spot etc etc.
It was the case of tala village so regular forest deppt made the case for compensation.
A female tiger was seen on main road near Siddhbaba, later elephants were monitoring her presence. Her brother was seen near Ranchha village. So all is well here.   

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brick kiln in Tala village.

Not a single person in this village Tala of district Umaria opposes the destruction of forest through various ways by villagers. 
I found Brick Kilns are the biggest destroyer of habitat for Tigers around Tala village of Bandhavgarh Ntl Park. 
I was simply writing the letters to different authorities since last 10-12 years. I was supported by many prominent people in India like Mr Asad Rehmani, Bombay Natural History Society wrote a letter to authorities few months back but that too could not stop these Brick Kilns.
Some one suggested me to try Change.org so I did that too. Today I  submitted a petition with more than 600 signatures  to District Collector Umaria for action, as he is the sole authority of the district.
Apart from that I wrote another letter about those brick kilns. Which I am pasting below.
Please read.


To,                                                                                                  Date 28/09/2011
The Collector
Umaria
District Umaria
M.P. 484661
Subject :- Regarding Brick kilns in village Tala
Dear Sir,
I am writing this letter with a request to stop brick kilns using firewood in Tala village.
There are folowing reasons for to stop these brick kilns in village premises.
1. Loss of Agricultural Land -  They use top soil of Agriculutural land. This makes land infertile for a good production of any food crop resulting reduction in food grain production in the country where growing  human population needs more food for the survival.
2. Loss of Forest - All these Brick kilns are for commercial use but they dont use COMMERCIAL FUEL for commercial activity but instaead they use firewood to fire the brick kilns. This firewood is brought from nearby forest, sometimes in the shape of timber.
3. Loss of Animals Corridor - This collection of firewood is affecting the nearby forest of Tala village which acts as a Buffer zone and corridor for the animals of Tala range of Bandhavgarh National Park. In last twenty years I have seen the forest disappearing from surroundings of Tala village.
4.  Loss of Fruit Crop - Smoke that comes out of Brick kilns is Carbon mono Oxide thats more harmful to human and plant life than Carbon di Oxide. All the fruit plants in the radius of 500 meters of any Brick kiln looses a major share of their crop. In flowering season Bees and other insects avoid these fruit trees for pollination due to heat. Brick kilns raise the temperature of the immediate surroundings by  4-5 degrees. This sudden burst in the temperature and constant blow of hot wind force pollinating insects to avoid these trees at a crucial time. This means less pollination less crop so farmers affects directly by this. 
My request is that these brick kilns needs to be out of village premises. These brick kilns are destroying the forest by using firewood. When they all are selling these bricks commercially than they should use commercial fuel for firing the brick kiln.
Brick kiln season is about to start so May I request you to please look in to the matter to do the needful.
Yours Sincerely.

Satyendra Tiwari
Post and Village Tala
 Distt. Umaria.
M.P. 484661  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lokpal Bill

I got off at Bhopal station this morning. Tried a coolie for my one bag which weigh less than thirty kg. Coolie asked me 80 Rs and after bargain come down to 50. I refused I wheeled it to auto stand. From here for E7 their demand was 200/ Rs. Someone advised me to go to Habibganj by nex train and take auto from there. I did. Here first demand was 70 Rs come down to 60. Dont want more hassle so agreed to 60.
Is this not a corruption?
Now the question is Will this lokpal bill solve these problems?
or we are living in a core corrupt society where everyone wants to earn some extra money through corrupt means?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fell a sleep in the train.

Last Feb(I think, dont remember exactly) we were expecting an Australian family. They were travelling from Agra by Utkal Express. Their train got delayed by 5 hours so they reach here at about 11.00 AM. We all had breakfast together and after breakfast Lady decided to go for a shower. She went to the room and within few minutes she comes back and whispers in her husbands ears and they both goes to the room. I thought there must be a gecko or spider in the bathroom which she didn't like so she must be asking him to remove it.
We were enjoying our tea and suddenly we heard gentleman shouting on her. There two daughters ignored it completely. I couldn't wait any longer so I went to their room to know the problem.
Lady said " I forgot my camera bag with my wallet and our credit cards in it." They were relying more on their credit cards while travelling in India. I thought I can get that bag easily back. They got off the Train about two hours before so train must have covered another 150 km. I assured her that if a passenger has not stolen your bag than I think I will get it back for you. I made few frantic phone calls to my friends to report this case to the different railway stations and one friend, luckily, agreed to send somebody to the station to inquire about the bag from train conductor. By this time train conductor already got the message about this incident that case is reported to authorities. He handed over the bag to the person in Bilaspur. Next morning by the time they came back from the jungle the bag was already waiting for them on the table. Each and every penny was intact along with credit cards and camera.
On 25th july when i was coming back from Agra in the same train I talk to my brother at about 5 AM informing him that train is running 30 minutes late. Than i fell a sleep between Katni and Chandia. A phone call wakes me up. Hariom asking me where r u, I said I am in the train. Which compartment? I replied AC. Than get off Train is leaving Umaria station.
In that frantic situation I grab my two bags and jumped off the train leaving behind my shoe, glasses and book I was reading. In the night I put my train ticket and money from my pocket in that book. Not much about 250 Rs.
We asked one of our friend to collect my belongings at Shahdol station. He collected them but book did not had any money in it. A fellow passenger was reading it.
So this is the story of passengers travelling in A/C Compartment. Everyone thinks these are educated honest people. Experience it and you will know which side the camel rests.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Butterflies of Chakrata - Week long tour in September 2011



Chakrata is is a small cantonment town in Dehradun District, 92 km, in the state of Uttrakhand.
It is at an elevation of 7000–7250 feet.After the rains, early September is always a very good time to visit this place. Lots of moist places and flowers makes the butterflies to come out in search of mud puddling spots or necter on sunny days. My last visit to Chakrata was very successful. I came out with photographs of more than 70 species of butterflies in three days with quality photographs of more than 55 species.

Chakrata offers very good chance to see and photograph the Butterflies of Lower Himalaya region.


Chakrata Butterflies tour from 11th to 15th September 2011.

Itinerary :

Day 1 : Meeting at Dehradun Railway station. After breakfast we travel to Chakrata by Jeep. (Suggested . Travel from Delhi to Dehradun by Dehradun A/C express 12205, Leaving New Delhi 1155 reaching Dehradun in the morning at 0540) On way to Dehradun we will visit to village Kalsi to see the rock edict of the Mauryan king Ashoka 2nd Cenury BC. We will stop wherever we see an opportunity of seeing / photographing any butterflies. Our plan is to reach there lunch time and have free afternoon. Dinner over night.

Day 2 -4 : Explore the surrounding areas by foot.

Day 5 : Back to Dehradun.

End of the Tour.

Tour inclusive of :

Accommodation on twin sharing basis with Breakfast and Dinner.

Transport from Dehradun station to back to Dehradun.

All other expenditure of personal nature extra.

Tour Leader Satyendra & Kay Tiwari

All the hot spots for butterflies i.e. Tiger Falls and other places will be visited but all this depends a lot on weather that day so plan may change according to weather. Jeeps will be with us all the time to take us to different spots and villages.

There is enough time to do the train bookings and all.

For the cost and other details write me at skayscamp@gmail.com

Please see some of the butterflies photographed on our last tour to Chakrata in 2008 here.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/satyendraphotography/sets/72157609083628296/


Monday, June 27, 2011

B2

In 1997 we use to visit our land in Village Ranchha more often than now. Plantation was done and overseeing the work by was my main job. Sometimes I use to go on scooter and come back to Tala via Garhpuri. One such afternoon in April 1997, I heard lots of alarm calls at Thauni waterhole. I could see a herd of Spotted Deer looking towards the fire line. I knew that this could be tiger so I stopped and to have a better view stood on culvert.
Within few minutes I saw a tigress walking with something in her mouth. When she came in an open patch I could see it clearly that it was a cub. Within thirty minutes I saw her again carrying another cub.
This was a great sighting from the main road although she was 200 mtrs or little more away from me.
After reaching home I pass on this news to a photographer so he went to look for her next morning. Next morning me and Kay went on elephant to see them. We saw Bachchi lying in a cave and three cubs moving around her. They were not more than two weeks old.
Now out of those three male cubs just one, B2 aka Sundar is still around. He had a very good life in Tala Range of Bandhavgarh National Park an now he is on his last lag of his dominance.
I am sure to see him again after the monsoon but not in very good stage of dominance.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Female cub killed by another Tiger

A female cub was killed by some other tiger in the night of 10-11 june. Forest Guards at Machkheta says they heard some tiger fighting in middle of night. Tourists saw some pugmarks of Tiger and drag mark on road. They found the tiger by following those drag marks.
She was bitten on her chest and right armpit. A portion of her body was eaten. Her intestines were out and all over her body.
Question is who killed her?
A female Tiger killed her or the male or its the dispute over a tiny kill with her brothers?
Her stomach was empty and full of worms.
In January this year I saw a tigress in Ghorademon. Everyone thought this is a new tigress in this area. But when Kay checked my photos she found that its Tulsi, Mirchhani female.
So whats she doing here. Far far away from her territory?
Has B2 become useless to serve her? Is she looking for a mate here?
Yes, later on she was seen mating with Shashi, Bamera boy, in Feb and March on Rampur road.
There was another female (Wakeeta's sister) seen by us but only once or twice in the season. So where she moved?
So many questions always remain unanswered by us. That's the problem in the jungle now, can't cover an entire stretch in one park round.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

World Environment Day

Last night I was talking to Mr Saptarishi Sahgal about their Cattle protection Programme in village Damna. I was thinking about it in the morning again and I decided to go against the idea of Cattle Protection.
Last night when he was sitting at our place I just called one of my staff to ask him that how many Cows he have? Whats the use of them?? and How much milk they produce??

This was his answer in presence of Mr Saptarishi Sahagal.

About ten cows are there. We don't milk them and they are there mainly for cow dung manure. We feel lucky when they produce a male calf because that fetches better price in the market. He have less than 5 acre of land.

If he is telling the truth than this should be the answer of each and every villager of the area.

Now why I went against cattle protection.

Villagers are protected against their financial loss in cattle lifting by the government through cattle compensation.

If somebody wants to have ten cattle's then he should feel responsible for them. My staff said he pays 50 Rs per head to a person for grazing. He takes them out in the day to graze in nearby forest. They do not feed them in the night at home when they come back from the jungles.

Some people who get Wheat chaff feed them only after April otherwise they survive grazing in jungle. But most of the people do sell their wheat chaff for cash.

This is the same situation or worst than human population explosion. When people are responsible for their children then why not of Cattle too?

Here cattle are kept on Zero cost.

If we think on total economy of these cattle we will see that they destroy forest more than what one can imagine.

So what is the use of running a programme for cattle protection?

Its better to do an animal husbandry programme to improve the cattle breed for better milk yield which benefits the villager and reduces the pressure on nearby forest.

Villagers love to survive on subsidy so they jump on any scheme that gives them some sort of hand out.

I would like readers to put their comments on this. I will love to read some negative comments on this just to improve my understanding of village economy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jamnagar

Jamnagar was on my list since last few years. Last year I wanted to go but after Gir it was too tiring so decided to postponed the visit.
Amish Bhais Photographs on flamingos forced me to visit the area immediately.
Birds photography does not have that much commercial value as of mammalls.
Before starting for Jamagar I was looking for Flamingo photos on different stock agency websites to find out the gap. I find that lots of easy photographs are missing. People just wants to have a long lens and close ups of the subject but they forget about the habitat and the surrounding areas.
In the present era of human population explosion, which is worst than any atomic explosion, all these creatures are having tough time for their survival. I will love to photograph birds with human presence around.
I started at 0615 from Tala by a taxi and after getting out in the parking dragging my luggage to booking window i bought my ticket to Jabalpur at 0749. All the time I was trying to control that driver even than he hit a bullock. Funny thing was that he stopped immediately got off the car to check car body. 100% It was his fault and even than he was abusing that poor villager. He was driving in full speed of 60 km above between a lorry parked on one side and bullock cart park on other side of the road. What I could do? I was sitting there like a helpless goat in a lorry. It took us only 90 minutes to complete the journey of more than 90 kms after stopping on two barriers where he has to sign the register and on one barrier he has to pay the toll tax and take the receipt. I calculate these activities must have taken 5 minutes. so 85 minutes to finish the journey.
That driver is Black listed from our list, never again to hire the car with him as driver.
Dont find good atmosphere in third A/C. Companion on other seat is a family with two children. Grand mother asking her daughter to feed the kids regularly resulting elder one of about 7 yrs of age vomiting. Somehow A/C in 3 A/C work better than 2 a/c. This makes people sleep more. but still I will say that majority of people travel in a/c compartment do not have a/c in their houses and they dont feel comfortable. They they feel catch cold. Thanks god this time attendent was good and he ignored all their requests of making the compartment little warmer.
Its difficult to keep the compartment clean. People are not use to of sitting in a clean area. They through rubbish under the seat and later complaints about cockroaches and mice.
Train reached Rajkot on time. Railway announcement system was informing about a passenger train for Jamnagar arriving at 1320 at Rajkot station and reaching Jamnagar by 1900 hrs. A GRP man suggested me to go by bus. Automan suggested to go on highway junction to get a faster bus than trying one from bus stand. He was right. He dropped me at junction and in-fact straight near a bus. So within 2 hours I reached Jamnagar and by 1600 hrs I checked-in in my hotel.
Vatsal never replied my phone but Amish bhai promised to meet me at 1700 hrs.
He was prompt. We saw few places and chose the place for the morning.
Food is a problem here. Restaurants are dirty. A person Fussy like me, will not eat in these restaurants. I am very happy eating on Road side Dhabas where food is cooked right infrnt of your eyes. Punit Hotel promised me good food so I thought to go for Masala Dosa. At the places where I am not sure about the food quality I often check food minutely. I ate plain Dosa part and opened the Masala part. There I found not one but two cockroaches cooked with potato. I did what I could do but thats not the solution of my hunger. I went down and bought few fruits. Safest thing to eat. Cook it boil it peel it or leave it.
Jamnagar could be photographers paradise and could be a very good tourist destination if local authorities could get rid of stray dogs and people showing their bare bottoms near the bird spots. One place near the Railway Yard so good for Flamingos but one can not take use his camera only because of Free View of Bare Bottoms of Women sitting in a row on the other side. This pool is hardly 100 ft wide so there are good chances of creating trouble for yourself. local community of Birdwatchers and photographers should take some initiatives to meet local authorities to develop these spots for birdwatchers. This will help in conservation and will provide a good chance for new generation to take bird watching as hobby.
I was warned not to take my camera out, just see the area. After seeing 7-8 bare bottoms in a row we even didn't stop to see the birds. So the second morning is Gone. Afternoons so far did not produce any results but I will try to make a good use of this opportunity today.
Afternoon was again not very productive because we choose to go to Local lake.
Saw a Darter with a thread struck to her beak means she cant open it and unable to fish. will she die of hunger or someone will help her?? deptt doesn't seems to be that active for this kind of things.

Next morning e again tried the same spot where we were watching courtship display. Some good pictures but by 0630 in the morning light becomes very strong.
Amish bhai could not join m in the afternoon so i decided to visit kheechadiya sanctuary. people did informed me that season is over but i thought to give it a try. It was not bad for few long shots otherwise peoples advice was right.
Last morning was a complete fiasco. the group we were photographing was missing from the spot. We visited others areas but Bare bottoms did not allowed us to use the camera.
Ultimately food problem was solved on third day when I found the Madras Hotel who serves reasonable south Indian food. Their north Indian and other dishes are useless to even try, full of oil.
I took the bus again and that was right decision to reach Rajkot in time.
My train ticket hanged to RAC. My mistake, I should have tried the ticket on Tatkal.
Anyway all in all trip was good, got few photos and knowledge for future.
Probably winter visit to Gujarat may produce some better results.

Another incident at the same spot. Andhiyaari Jhhiriya

Few years back means at the time when same Tigress Tulsi was raising her second litter a man was killed and few others were injured almost at the same spot for the same reason.
People who live away from jungle cry a lot against the forest department and against the Tigers but no one try to teach villagers the situation that they understand very well.
Few weeks before I went on an Elephant during a Tiger Show to look for B2 as others were also available but I prefer him but at that spot we saw villagers man and women with children shouting and telling Mahavat where the Tiger has Gone. This was B2 who is so scared of human on foot that he left the area immediately. These people were standing merely 200 ft away from the spot where he was lying in river bed. Off-course they were on the other side of the fence.
Every Tiger doesn't behave like B2, that could be the reason of this incident.
Surely it was not mother this time (A women and a man killed by tiger on 23rd Morninng). It must have been the cubs who are seen sitting outside of the fence more than inside in last few weeks.
They have found that cattle are easy prey and few herbivores left outside are easy to kill than trying to make a kill inside of the fence. There they hit the fence and inside they run away in the jungle. So outside of the park became there preferable spot in last few weeks. Now they are showing their independence. They all have left their mother but their father is still seen with them in greed of sharing the food.
Last time it happened when villagers ignored the constant rumbling growl of the Tigress and at last she charged on one of them to get away from that spot where she felt cornered / surrounded by villagers.
Villagers should have remembered the daily scene that these Tigers can be any where in thickets. Since last one month Tourists are seeing them regularly close to the fence and i even photographed them leaping over the fence and villagers know their presence in that area very well.
Then why this happened? Does the poverty force them to put their life in danger??
Do we see that kind of poverty in that area?
How come a person living right next to the park boundary is thriving so well and others cant follow his example?
I am dead against of all these handouts given to the villagers. These handouts dont heelp them but makes them more greedy and lazy.
They treat us like idiots who keep sympathy with them in the name of Tigers.
I am living in this village since last 20 years and still waiting for a local villager who is willing to work. They all look for Govt work / panchaayat work where they get money for hardly doing and hard work.
This kind of incidents will keep on happening till the villagers will not understand the situation. We cant expect a Tiger to stop going to his favourite places in summer.
Now the situation is same as it was before. We have to learn and remember how to avoid meeting them out of the park.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wakeeta


Somehow I am not able to write posts in time, feel sorry for that.
So next season Bandhavgarh will have a tigress with young cubs. She has a very poor territory as others do. At this stage she should not be seen going outside of the park when her present litter is less than a month old. At this stage cats do not leave their litter for long.
We saw Wakeeta near Banbehi, moving towards park boundary. Her teats are showing the presence of her new litter.
This is the first litter of this Tigress sired by Shashi, Bamera male. Her sister was also present in the area till few months back. Where is she now is the question? Has she moved out out towards Pataur?? Time will tell? She should also have the cubs by now?
Who knows where they survive?
We still dont know where Kalua is gone? or his brother?
Where these tigers breed outside of the park?
Many unanswered questions?
Anyway Wakeeta has future to survive here in Bandhavgarh for few more years.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chainlink Fencing at Bandhavgarh



About 4-5 years back one of our friend photographed a Tiger sitting on road with a 4 inch long wire hanging out of his paw. I forwarded that photograph to concerned authorities and they simply denied it. Mahavats saw Lakshmi leaping over the fence and limping, this fact was never accepted and later even Mahavats changed their statements . It took me long time to be present at right spot at right time for this picture.
It looks easy but if you see the position of his forelegs and imagine when he will put his hind feet on the fence to balance himself for a friction of a second. Where he puts his hind feet and jumps is all a matter of chance. My picture shows fur flying all over around his hind feet while diving straight down on other side.
I still don't see those chain link supporters on FB now, are they there to see this? Will they please comment if this fence is useful for wildlife??
Park authorities has removed some of the fence from Dhobia Khol area. That tells us the whole story of it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Shashi



This is not summer but winter and hes trying get warm. Yes cats do love sun in winter.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Habitat Consumer

At one time in this world of Prey, Predators, co-predators and camp followers there was a perfect balance, without conflict. Even man was in tune with nature, hunting with his crude weapons and also feeding on left-overs which he shared with jackals and vultures. He was a part of the ecology of Tigerland. But now, with his population explosion, technical achievements and greed in storing for the future, he has bacome not only the dominant predator in Tiger-land but a consumer of the actual habitat. From this position it is obvious that he is no more a part of the ecology of Tigerland but a defier of a natural laws. The result is clear : his position is in peril.
By late Sh Kailash Sankhala, 1977.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Vijaya found her love in Shashi.

In last few weeks Vijaya aka Kankati is being seen in company with Shashi aka Bamera male. Their first meeting was little violent but since she accepted her dominance they feel very friendly to each other. They are seen mating once or twice but this mating did not last longer time. They were seen heading in different directions after a day. For cats this is not a good sign. Female cats produces egg after mating for a day or more and can abort it if they feel it as a liability or going to be tough to raise the litter size. I dont write in scientific language but one can find more material on this through Google. So they are seen together without any confrontation thats good news.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Damna and all

Today's visit to few villages around Bandhavgarh was not at all shocking for me. Every villager we spoke wanted us to help them or get some help for them from different sources. This is a subsidy generation, who are born in subsidy and they will die with subsidy. Subsidy do not allow them to work. That makes them more lazy.
Majority of them were complaining about the park. Once I convinced them that now park boundary is clearly defined then they started complaining about the fence material, which is not available out side of the park. I had to tell them in a very harsher way that after few years when you will face water scarcity then again you will blame someone so better you see your future yourself and start preparing yourself for that. They agreed in the form of that they did not disagree with my point.
Free distribution of solar gadgets has made a big impact on them. In other sense it has increased their expectations. People could not answer about the use of T.B. ridden cattle. How much they worth?? The kind of money they get in compensation, sometimes, is too much to their actual value.
Mahua. Villagers are busy collecting Mahua at present. We asked them about the economics of Mahua. Some says that a person can earn about 70-80 Rs per day and for some figure goes up to 130-150 Rs per day. Whole family get involve in this. One family we saw who brought their 3 yr old child with them and even he was helping. So even if they are not earning equivalent to normal wage through Mahua they don't want to work to earn better money at this time.
I will say its tradition.
We saw a very nice stream near Damna. We wonder how long it will last? Villagers are cutting each and every tree except Mahua so wont be surprise if in next few years time this stream dries out.
I heard that Bamboo is going to be declared as a MFP material than that will be another nail in the coffin??

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bandhavgarh

While writing the Conservation history of Bandhavgarh national park i found some interesting facts.
The peak time of Bandhavgarh has passed courtesy chain link fencing, human population growth on periphery, suttle climate change i.e lack of rain fall, and lack of long term Management plan.
Bandhavgarh started with zero Tiger, Spotted Deer and Leopard population. 1969 census done by Park people shows record of Sambhar, Muntjac, wild boar, chinkra , Neelgai and one leopard near Tala village.
Person who is responsible for creating 9 National Parks and 31 Sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh told me personally that even Gaur came after 72-73 in this area.
When first tiger was sighted in Bandhavgarh sometime in 73 frantic phone calls were made to Bhopal. Bait him was the answer to the question of how to keep him in National Park boundary.
On the tunes of Kanha a regular baiting on every saturday was started here but that time there was no elephants here to show it to the tourist and this tiger also did not took those baits as often as they were offered.
This tiger must have come from Khitauli area which was a good Hunting block till 1971. Late Mr Amar Singh told me personally in presence of Late Ajay Kumar Reddy that When 7 Tigers were shot in Khitauli not a single tiger use to be seen in Tala shikargah. This was confirmed by that time CF and CCF also.
To Know more about what happened in this park please wait for my book.
Copyright Satyendra Kumar Tiwari 201, No information of this page can be used in any form without prior permission from the author.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

effects of Brick kilns

1) looses top soil of the land which is best for agriculture so in long run it reduces the food grain yield.
2.) increases the temperature in surrounding areas.
3) smoke affects on mango and jack fruit crop. makes them spotty and reduces the crop value.
4) increases dust pollution in the area.
5) cutting woods for firing the kiln are illegal and that reduces the forest cover.
6) reducing forest cover destroyes the corridor for wild life.
7) Brick kilns should not be in Village boundary.
8) Mining of the sand for illegal brick kilns is illegal mining.
9) According to M P Govt rules there should not be any brick kilns near human habitation and no tree should be cut along the path and water bodies.
These are the major issues against the brick kilns.

Help to Control Brick Kilns in Tala Village, Bandhavgarh National Park. India

I know hundreds of Facebook friends and members visit Bandhavgarh National Park regularly every year and even some have started coming more than once in a year or have started running tours to en-cash the popularity through its Tiger sightings.
Bandhavgarh wont survive long if we all do not join together in saving it from further destruction. Tigers inside the park can not survive without a healthy buffer zone. Buffer zone is full of people, cattle and Brick Kilns those are swallowing the forest on periphery.
I tried my level best and failed to control these Brick Kilns through writing letters to concerned authorities. I am suggested to seek help of Judiciary through PIL but even than the same officers has to work under the same law hence I thought to seek the help of all of you, Friends of Bandhavgarh, to write an email to Collector Umaria under subject- illegal Brick Kilns in Tala Village of Umaria District M.P.
Please write, no matter in which part of the world you live, to Collector Umaria on following email and paste that letter on Facebook too for others as reminder to write.
dmumaria@nic.in and on dmumaria@mp.gov.in
If facebook can uproot the Govts in other parts of world than cant be just use this tool powerfully to stop these brick kilns for the sake of Tiger to whom we all love.

Help to Control Brick Kilns in Tala Village, Bandhavgarh National Park. India

I know hundreds of Facebook friends and members visit Bandhavgarh National Park regularly every year and even some have started coming more than once in a year or have started running tours to en-cash the popularity through its Tiger sightings.
Bandhavgarh wont survive long if we all do not join together in saving it from further destruction. Tigers inside the park can not survive without a healthy buffer zone. Buffer zone is full of people, cattle and Brick Kilns those are swallowing the forest on periphery.
I tried my level best and failed to control these Brick Kilns through writing letters to concerned authorities. I am suggested to seek help of Judiciary through PIL but even than the same officers has to work under the same law hence I thought to seek the help of all of you, Friends of Bandhavgarh, to write an email to Collector Umaria under subject- illegal Brick Kilns in Tala Village of Umaria District M.P.
Please write, no matter in which part of the world you live, to Collector Umaria on following email and paste that letter on Facebook too for others as reminder to write.
dmumaria@nic.in and on dmumaria@mp.gov.in
If facebook can uproot the Govts in other parts of world than cant be just use this tool powerfully to stop these brick kilns for the sake of Tiger to whom we all love.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lakshmi.

Lakshmi was killed by Vijya, daughter of Durga. Guides saw Lakshmi going towards Judwani on 3rd morning and Vijya was seen moving i same direction on 3rd Evening. Later guides heard fighting noise.
Her body was found on 5th Morning, half eaten by Vijaya and Vultures.
Her both the cubs are fine. We saw them killing and eating a porcupine and later they killed a cow. didn't see them since last two days but their pugmarks were seen.
Mirch-hani cubs were seen yesterday afternoon and again today.In size male cubs are bigger than their mother.
Ken must b thinking why i dont write here. To tell you the truth I hardly get any time, barely can check my email.
Will write soon more.
Satyendra

Sunday, March 6, 2011

R.I.P Lakshmi

Yesterday morning I was on Elephant at Bhadrashila. We saw Indrani and her cub and typical of Drivers and Tourists.
I was shocked to see the behaviour of this calm tigress.
She avoids human voice, jeep noise and Elephant.
These modern Photo hunters dont have any respect for the Animal. And certain drivers have no fear of the rules.
I was angry and so angry that at the crucial time I was trying to control the traffic and my client and two other Indians on other Elephant simply wanted to see her going in the direction she wanted to go, which was simply not possible due to tourists and jeep drivers.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kanha











We set off for Kanha at about 0900 AM from Bandhavgarh. Reached Mandla at about 0100 PM to find out that road to Kanha is blocked by Kalash Yaatraa. No one knew about this festival. Someone from the crowd commented this is a part of next election otherwise in hindu calander Kumbh is not mentioned in Mandala??
Somehow we reached Singinawa by 1800 hours. Nand and Latika Rana runs this place with a style. Staff warned us about Leopard they saw near our room few days back. Spotted Deers and Wild Boares are every where around this place. If you are driving down from Baihar to Mukki then Singinawa is just after river Tannaur bridge and next to Buffer Zone of Kanha National Park. A very good place to stay for Wildlifers. Surroundings are full of birds and animals.
Mukki area in the park is coming up well. Lots of Barasingha but at this time we didn't saw many Gaur. Tiger sighting is good as they say but we didn't saw one. Kay needed to see one Tiger from the road but this didn't happen in 5 days we stayed in kanha.
I found Kisli area more drier than Mukki. Kanha meadows lost their charm. For me Kanha was very different than what I was expecting.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tiger Tourism

I just saw the pictures of Bamera male on an Indian website. After seeing these pictures and the report from my client from that Evening I am forced to say that YES I AM IN FAVOUR OF THAT PIL. If this is the behaviour people has to show in-front of the Tiger then YES WHY NOT THIS PARK SHOULD BE CLOSED FOR TOURISM FOREVER. These pictures shows that just for a photograph how close they can be so they can claim that I have it.
Everyone wants to be in-front of the queue.
It may not be any other thing but the behaviour of Tourist will certainly help the PIL.
I wish forest department and NTCA should look in to this website and findout the real truth of Tourist behaviour in the park.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Gaur translocation from Kanha to Bandhavgarh

So finally Gaur are in Bandhavgarh Now.
Soon they will be major Tourist attraction here.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Elephant Ride


Two of our Guests were very keen to do an Elephant ride in the park. Tiger was not their objective but if he is there well and good. We reached Bhadrashila at about 0650 and by 0700 AM we were riding on Elephant Gautam.
Two other elephants were ahead of us following Sambhar alarm call means Tiger is nearby. This excited us more. We followed other two elephants in grassland to get a glimpse of a running tiger. Within seconds he disappeared in thick jungle. We tried to locate him but failed. Soon our elephant ride turn in to a proper jungle ride. Our ride time finished at 0900 AM and so of some other clients. These other foreigners complained to their Naturalist / Driver that for most of the time we were watching the bum end of this elephant walking ahead of us.
When you are sitting sideways on elephants than who asked you to look in-front of Elephant. Mahavat is doing his job. On elephant ride one is going through the jungle to see the forest. This is lack of communication / briefing / interpretation at the lodge. Unnecessarily poor Mahavat got blamed and the visitors didn't enjoyed their ride.
My clients were very happy to see the difference in the forest. Probably my presence on elephant as interpreter made the difference.
After we got off the Elephant our driver and guide said that they saw three tigers running across the meadow and still there is a chance to see them from the road. We came out on the road and we saw one running across the meadow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vijaya AKA Kankati AKA D4


We saw Vijaya this morning. Her eye looks bad. She challanged Lakshmi and forced her to move out of her teritory. They are still fighting and had a good fight few days back where Lakshmi chased her out of Chorbehra but not for long.
I am putting all the pictures of Vijaya's wound on my Flickr account so if interested please check

Kaziranga Tour December 2011

















Kaziranga and only Kaziranga.
6 nights in Kaziranga will produce enough opportunities to see and photograph Big and Small game of Kaziranga.
This is a Tour focussed on Kaziranga Wildlife.
For itinerary and cost of the Tour please write me on skayscamp@gmail.com
Tour Leader Satyendra Tiwari.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Photographic Tour to Bandhavgarh in April 2011


A Photographic Tour to Bandhavgarh in April 2011

5 nights 9 game drives in Tala zone of Bandhavgarh.

Tiger show is on since last week so encash this opportunity.

Group Dates are.

April 22nd to 26th.

For more details of the Tour write me on skayscamp @gmail.com

Cheating Drivers in Bandhavgarh National Park

It seems to me as some particular lodge drivers has indemnity for breaking the rules in the park. We often see them on wrong route or making short-cuts through illegal routes to reach particular spot before everyone.
Yesterday I was on DB route and after completing the route when i reached to Tiger spot on B route I found that jeeps behind me are already in queue way ahead of me.
I hope people wont ask me the name but watch what happens in the park.
I will love to put this on Facebook too so the normal tourist should know that what efforts were made by his driver and guides for his Tiger sighting.
At the Time of formation of TOFT we all thought now the Toft members will control their drivers and the situation in the park will improve but that thought turnout only a dream thought.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tiger Situation in Tala zone

Tiger density in Tala zone is all time high or just normal as it is since last few yrs in Tala range.
Tala zone is now of about 70 Sq km and it has these many tigers.
Three male Tigers but they are more or less using this area only for few days in a week. So Tala zone is only a part of their teritory. One sub-adult male is permanant resident in Tala zone.
There are 7 tigresses with their 12 sub-adult cubs. Out of these only two tigresses are using Tala zone only and rest visits the other areas also with their cubs.
So an area of only 70 sq km is explored by 11 adult tigers and 12 sub-adult tigers. The food requirement of these sub-adult Tigers is almost as good as of an adult. They all are 15 months + old and equivalant to their mother in size.
23 Tigers are looking for prey in a 70 sq km area.
Is there enough prey for them??
No no one has time to think about it. Lets count the Tiger numbers and feel happy??

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tiger sighting

Today we saw P10 twice. Sighting this morning in Barua Naalaah was very calm and enjoyable. He was sleeping in sandy naalah and everyone was calm. Everyone had good opportunity to see and photograph him.
In the afternoon we saw him again. Not by any effort of us but by the information of other drivers and guides of other route. We were on B route and vehicles on D route saw him crossing the road. They knew that he is going to appear on Ghodademon road so everyone cheated the system and appeared on B route.
It was a chaos. Tourists shouting on drivers to go more close and close and I was shouting let him go up-till Ghodademon gorge so everyone can have a good view of him. More jeeps came from other side and this tiger decides to go off the road. We decided to leave him in peace and dont look for him any more.
Later-on he did appeared on gorge again and moved towards Banbehi.
Now the question is Will the Govt be able to reduce this kind of disturbance to the Tigers by raising the money bar more high up??
No.
Because again only the people will deep pockets will be able to enter the park and they will lure the guides and drivers to go more closer to the Tiger.
Guide Training by Toft did not helped a bit in this case.
What is the solution??
I still feel that in case if any driver breaks the rule the Lodge Owner, from where he brought the guests, should also receive a letter of warning from Forest Department.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chainlink Fencing

I would love to seeing it by my own eyes but what report I got this morning (11th Jan) from other drivers and Guides is as follows.
Some village dogs killed a Spotted Deer by chasing him to chainlink fencing near Mirchhani. A Tiger (don't know male or female but does it matter in this case, No) saw this happening from this side of fence. Dinu driver, Lala Guide and Namdev guide says that she jumped over with ease by resting her hind legs on fence, chase the Dog away to claim the injured Spotted Deer and walked away.
Jai Ho to chainlink Fencing and to its supporters.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tiger Tourism

I am going to jungle since last 4 days and have seen tigers few times but none of the sightings were great for any kind of Photography.
Yesterday we were chasing B2's pugmarks in Ghorademon but after few kilometres we realised that he was well gone before we could realise.
Later we came back to Ghorademon gorge to hear the alarm calls from Vulture Nest junction. About 10-15 Spotted Deers were giving alarm call. We could see them wagly.
I think that was a female who was moving on the road at about 0800 AM and no vehicles to follow.
It was very tempting but I resist and stayed where I should.
Then guide started telling me the story that how many peoples have done that in the past. All the big names came under his list. All those people who claim big and honest on the internet were exposed in-front of me.
Best example of these people came from one of our friend when he was staying with his group in one of the posh lodge and Naturalist / driver took them off the route on a banned route to show them tiger cubs on a tree.
Great we didn't do that yesterday for a tiny little sighting and today our clients had a great sighting for more than an hour by themselves.
It does pays itself.