Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tiger conservation

Is a big question and no one wants to answer this for sure. My first encounter with wildlife tourism / conservation happened in Kanha in wayback 1978-79. There I met many wildlifers working for M.P. Forest and became good friends till today. Those were the days where we saw dedicated workers. They all worked for the department and for the conservation. Many of them spent their entire service period in one National Park. They paid the cost of this through the education of their childrens. Some of them never got proper education.
Here I want to talk about the dedication and facilities and about some people to whom I know from those days.
Two name I remember from Kisli are Late Budhai Lal Gop and Basta Ram Nagpure. Budhai lal was a forestguard in kisli. I never saw him wearing shoes. He use to say they reduce his speed in the jungle. Budhai lal use to walk minimum 8-10 km per day. He was one of the finest Forest Guard of Kanha. He knew each and every knook and croney of his beat. He maintained a diary that will even mention the number of deers and and other animals he saw on particular spot.
Rangers always respect him for his work( Chandran andK.P.Tiwari).
Those were the days when Kanha had only three jeeps, one with Director, One with DD and one old jeep with Park Supdtt. Rangers had motorcycles and rest of the staff either on bicycle or on foot. Each and every area of the park was monitored almost on daily basis. Mr H.S Panwar was the Director who use to spent half of the days in Kanha. Many times I saw him coming to Kanha in the evening and leaving for the office in the morning. That was dedication.
Now things have changed. There are many more vehicles with the forest department then what they ever dreamt. N.G.Os compete in this business too. More you donate more you get the favors!
Recently there was a news in Hitvada about the vehicles donated to Bandhavgarh National Park. Second news was about the contract signed by the M.P.Forest regarding making Field Directors responsible for Tiger Conservation.
I wonder if central Govt or Stae Govt will ever do any assesment of Park Authorities working??

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Future of The Tiger

After seeing the Tiger situation in and around the National Parks of M.P. especially Kanha and Bandhavgarh I need to put some questions for the readers to get some answers.

Do we think that Tigers will win the land-battle from human being!

This question is based on this data.

India's population is somewhere around 120 Crore out of which 70% population lives in rural areas so that comes to 84 crore people. I will say that thirty percent of these use some other firefuel then the firewood. So 70 percent uses the firewood as fuel to cook their meals means 58.8 Crore people uses firewood as fuel that comes straight from the jungle through different sources.

Do we have any solution to stop this in next five years! Or can we provide them some other alternate of firewood in next five years.

Brick kilns in villages is the other thing that s responsible of destruction of forest in major way.

If a villager has to think about the tree he has to think first about its uses, his own needs and his survival. He is totally dependent on the trees for all his domestic needs.

Tourism has grown considerably in last thirty years and so the demand of timber and firewood in tourism industry. Small dhabas uses more firewood to keep the fire burning than actual cooking. Hotels uses more firewood to create an atmosphere with campfire in the evening.

Can we stop this!

So there are many small little things that are destroying the habitat on a faster rate, I wont say alarming because who listens to this alarm. So a villager will not think about the survival of any other animal when he needs to cut a tree for his own survival!

So just think about the growing population of human being in this country, use of the forest by humanbeing for their survival and the animals chance of survival under these circumstances.

One of my best friend who use to shout a lot about conservation ultimately changed his opinion and told me: Kahe ko nahak sher ki chintaa karte ho. jo bachega so bachega varna koi bachaa nahi saktaa. Sher ki jameen ko to Aadmi khaa jaayegaa. ( Why worry about the tigers survival, No one can save them. His habitat will be encroached by man).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bandhavgarh Park

I dont want to discourage people from coming here but I want to tell them the right story about the park before they make any decision. We visited the park yesterday for first time since 16th of October. Only reason is that it has became very costly and we cant afford it if we dont have a business. I cant afford to spend Rs 2000/ per day to visit the park. That too when we dont have to hire the vehicle. This is just the Petrol and entry fee (Indian) cost.
Now Bandhavgarh has the route system more or less like Ranthambhore. Routes are 50-60 km long. It is difficult to cover them in 3.5 to 4 hrs time. One dont get any time to stop anywhere. If someone gets any clue and it is on your route then driver has to rush to the spot to gain some extra time to wait. There is no Tiger show in Tala but where it is allowed in other ranges is not happening very frequently there either. So many Indian Tourists are disappointed. Soon they will learn. There are many roads in between which are not allowed for the tourism. I thnk this leaves lots of chances for possibilities. Tourism should be used in positive manner for wildlife conservation.

Bamera Tigress

Three years back three cubs age three yrs left their motherland, Chakradhara meadow and shifted to Bamera Dam. A year later one of the male cub was seen in Jamunia. Now he is known as new male or male from Bamera. His other male and female siblings were also moved to the same area. We alyas thought that the female in Bamera is his sister and he sire the litter.
Because we never got a chance to see this female so her identity was never established. We presumed that she is the daughter of Chakradhara female, Pyari. when a tigress was found dead near Pataur in August 09 and I got a chance to photograph her then we matched those photos with her old photos but they didn't match. I thought what is this happening! Is she a different Tiger!
Yes she was. Bamera female was the female sibling of L1, Swampy. Lakshmi had two cubs in her first litter. They both ate a woman at the age of 10-11 months. Later on male cub was seen sitting with the dead body of a man so he was sent to Bhopal Van Vihar. She also killed a person but lucky she never got caught for that. I tried hard to get her photo from other people who saw her at Bamera but couldn't find one. But I am sure that Tigress found dead at Pataur was female cub from Chorbehra and not from Chakradhara.