Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dramatic and drastic changes took place in Bandhavgarh after 2006. Chainlink fence all over the Tala zone made it a complete disaster for Tigers.
Lakshmi was one tigress who shared the territory of her mother with her two other siblings. Her share was a long thin stripe of forest, a tar road and other side of Tar road up till Ranchha village. 
Often she was seen crossing the road in late evening and early morning. There was nothing new in this. Tigers of Bandhavgarh were doing this since the day they came here.
Banka, Charger, Sita, Shashi, Lakshmi, Bamera and Rahsy are the few name to who were doing this. People including myself has seen tiger going through Tala village high street. Once in monsoon a lorry driver was blowing his horn for about ten minutes. It woke me up and in that curiosity that what happened to him I reached the spot to see Charger standing in middle of the road. I backed up to give him some space. Once he is gone I asked lorry driver where he saw him, sitting on the road was the answer.
Lakshmi use to take her cubs in Tala village and beyond to feed them on cattle. Once Rajesh Dwivedi phoned me at about three AM asking for help because a Tiger entered in cattle yard. By the time I reached the Tiger was gone but it killed few cattle in some other house. She made a kill in backyard of some house and when her cubs started playing only then villagers knew that a tiger family is there in their backyard. This was the day when Pancham got killed by Lakshmi in Tala village. 
This is an open secret in Tala that Lakshmi pulled her leg in leaping over the fence. She limped throughout his life and this limp became the cause of her death.
So because of Lakshmi a Chain link fence was put on Tala Umariya road but before this chainlink fence replaced the electric fence in Tala range. This electric fence forced four sub adult cubs to stay more than longer (up to 3 years six months of age) they should have been here and in this extra time they deminish the prey base in Chakradhara, Jamuniya, Bhitri, Chorbehra and Dhobiyakhol area. These areas has not recovered since then.
Other thing that changed Chakradhara meadow completely upside down was ploughing with a tractor. Chakradhara meadow has sandy soil due to the Sandstone fort hill. There was a thick layer of leaf litter on top of the sand that was helping in holding the moisture. Once this leaf litter culture was ploughed all came out on top is sand. Removing elephant grass also did not helped the meadow. Now there is not much new shoots available for deer to graze.

One officer wonders why more deer graze in village fields than park land. Every evening he sees Spotted Deer and Sambhar grazing in Gohni and Mahaman field.
I add some more fuel in his fire by asking him that why there is no Sida type weed in those grasslands?
He was puzzled.
If they start working in right direction even then it will take minimum three years to bring the things on right track.

Blue Eye

Blue Eye, a dominant male in some part of Magadhi tourism zone of Bandhavgarh appeared on scene when he was fully adult. There is not lineage available of few Tigers in Bandhavgarh so most probably they were born and brought up in main Khitauli area and ended up in Tourism zone of Tala - Magadhi range.
We believe he is about 10 years old now. 
Blue Eye had a fight of his life with Jobi male in which he lost a big chunk of meat from his forehead.

When we were shown those photos I assured them that if he survives you wont find him for months. He was absent from the area for months and rumours about his death were everywhere. 
He survived and survived well. Laying in Lantana bushes to wait for wild boar and cattle was technique of survival.
His body has no new injury marks but his foot still giving some trouble.
Did he injured that foot too in that fight with Jobi male? No one knows about it. When he came back on scene after that fight he was limping and since then he is always seen limping but health wise he is in good nick so we presume that that foot is not giving him much trouble in finding his food.
Jobi moved towards Tala after that fight and ultimately landed in Khitauli. 
Presently how far Blue Eye is moving no one knows. Last time he was seen near Dhamokhar. We presume he has lost all his dominance on female of that area because when we were watching Blue Eye another male Tiger was seen moving about a km away.
He still have some life left in him but how long he can face the challenge from these young ones is difficult to say.