‘Gajah’: The Report of the Elephant Task Force

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A major report on securing the future for the Elephant in India was today submitted to the Minister of Environment & Forests. The report lays out a comprehensive action agenda for protecting elephants in the wild and in captivity, and for addressing human-elephant conflict. The Minister welcomed the Report and promised speedy implementation of the major recommendations.

The Executive Summary is posted here. The full report can be downloaded from the MOEF website here.

Executive Summary

Securing a future … Read More

Supreme Court Calls for New Standards for Endangered Species Conservation

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A slightly different version of this article appeared in the Hindu dated May 7, 2013.

The recent Supreme Court judgment on lions (Centre for Environmental Law WWF-1 v. Union of India and others, Supreme Court, 2013) has called for completely new standards for endangered species conservation to be set in the country. It has asked for lions to be re-introduced to Madhya Pradesh (Intervention Application 100, Biodiversity Conservation Trust of India through Faiyaz Khudsar in writ petition 337, 1995). It … Read More

Urgent Campaign for a Credible National Board for Wildlife — Act Now!

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Campaign Details — September 2014

Urgent Campaign for a Credible National Board for Wildlife — Act Now!

Most urgent! Write to the Minister of Environment & Forests urging him to constitute a CREDIBLE National Board for Wildlife. The few minutes you spend on this could make a huge difference to India’s precious protected areas. Act now!


All development projects, such as roads, dams, mines, power plants etc. that are proposed in or within 10 kms of a Sanctuary or … Read More

Narcondam Campaign Update — Rare Hornbills in danger as Ministry Reopens Radar Project!

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Campaign Update 21st November 2012

Great News! The Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) has rejected the proposal by the Indian Coast Guard to erect a RADAR installation on Narcondam Island in the Andamans.

Relocate Cheyyur Power Plant; Declare Area as Ecosensitive: Conservation NGO Urges Govt

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The 4000 MW Cheyyur coal power project in Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu, has high potential to irreversibly damage the Odiyur Lagoon, destabilise fisheries and increase the vulnerability of the area to flooding events, according to a scientific study titled “Evaluation of the Waterbirds of Odiyur Lagoon – a Wetland near the proposed Cheyyur Power Plant” by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and the Madras Naturalists’ Society (MNS). Releasing the report at a Press Conference today, Dr. Ravi Chellam, Vice … Read More

Pulicat Bird Sanctuary in Grave Danger

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Pulicat Bird Sanctuary, spanning northern Tamilnadu and southern Andhra Pradesh is the 2nd largest brackish water ecosystem in India. Hundreds of thousands of migratory waterfowl throng the lake from October to April, including large numbers of Greater and Lesser Flamingos. Efforts are underway through national conservation bodies such as Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural history (SACON) to declare it as a wetland of international importance and obtain for it the status of … Read More

Amur Falcon campaign update — Another migration season begins!

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Campaign Update 30th October 2013

Great news! The peak migration of Amur Falcons is on, and there have been absolutely no killings reported so far! This remarkable outcome has been the result of a full year of painstaking effort from the Nagaland government (especially the forest department), NGO groups, and most importantly, the local communities who were determined to end the killings.

Huge Impacts, But No assessment? Groups Urge MoEF to Correct its Blunder on Yettinahole Diversion Project

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Yettinahole Diversion Project is being planned in the Western Ghats and Eastern Plains of Karnataka, by the Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited (KNNL) purportedly as a drinking water supply scheme to supply 24 TMC water to Kolar and Chikkaballapur Districts. The scheme involves 8 dams in Western Ghat forests, 250 kms long canals, 80 and 50 kms long raising mains, a reservoir that will submerge 1200 hectares of land and 2 villages. A closer look at the Project Report of the … Read More

GIB Campaign update — Rajasthan launches ‘Project Great Indian Bustard’

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Campaign Update 17th June 2013

CI is pleased to inform you that Rajasthan, the largest stronghold of the Great Indian Bustard, became the first state to announce a plan to recover its critically endangered state bird bird. On June 5th, the state announced a Rs. 12 crore ‘Project Great Indian Bustard’, which is to be initiated this year.

We applaud the government of Rajasthan for its momentous decision, and hope that other GIB range states will follow its lead.

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Flamingo City Campaign Update — NBWL Clears Road Project

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Campaign Update July 2013

The road proposal whose ecological damages CI highlighted in this campaign was unanimously and strongly rejected by all members of the MOEF constituted Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) on June 6th, 2013. The project was rejected on grounds that it was having a serious impact on the wildlife of the fragile Kutch region particularly the nesting site of flamingoes.

The Nicobarese get their Megapode

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A unique bird, a unique island, and unique customs that bind them all.

On Oct 04, 2012, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) rejected a proposal to create a missile-firing testing system on Tillanchong island, a narrow strip of island in Nicobar.

Tillanchong is an unfamiliar name for many. Uninhabited except for a police post, the Navy chose this Nicobar island for erecting a missile range for shooting dummy missiles. Tillanchong is a long, narrow ridge of land, prone to … Read More

Betraying India’s Wildlife

Praveen Bhargav Opinion, Resources 2 Comments

Shekar Dattatri co-authored this article, which originally appeared in the Oct 2011 issue of GovernanceNow.

Poor governance, replete with farcical meetings, subjective and improper application of the law, and unilateral decision-making, mars the functioning of the National Board for Wildlife, the apex body on conservation. The new Union Environment Minister must take urgent corrective action to restore the Board’s credibility, and protect India’s precious natural heritage from the relentless pressures of development.

Forests and wildlife in India are governed … Read More

Wildlife Gains 25 km Corridor in Kudremukh in Unique “Conservation Swap”

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In a precedent-setting “conservation swap” initiated by the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), and the Karnataka Forest Department, a 25 km long wildlife corridor disrupted by a 220 KVA power transmission line in Kudremukh National Park has been restored. The line was originally supporting the now defunct Kudremukh Iron Ore Company (KIOCL)’s mining operations, shut down by the Supreme Court in response to litigation by local wildlife conservation groups.

The Karnataka government had … Read More

India Adopts a New Refined Protocol to Monitor Tigers

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Will make India world leader in big cat monitoring, say scientists.

In a move welcomed widely by the conservation and scientific community, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has adopted new refined protocols for intensive annual monitoring of tiger source populations under ‘Phase IV’ of National Tiger Estimation. The new protocol is expected to lead to more robust estimates of population density, change in numbers over time and other crucial parameters such as survival and recruitment rates in key wild … Read More

A Note On India’s Protected Areas

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Here’s an interesting document from the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) which provides details on the Protected Area (PA) network of the country. While the figure of 668 PAs appears to be a large number, in reality these are small areas (just 4.9% of total geographic area) scattered across India’s landscape under severe pressure. Obviously, there needs to be a sufficiently large administrative infrastructure to protect and manage PAs. While the document has no details on this, here’s a … Read More

Lesser Florican Sighted In Bangalore After A Century!

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Out on a cold gloomy morning with the intent of photographing birds, Mr. Raghavendra Bhat sat in his car in the outskirts of Bangalore, waiting for the sun to warm up the day. As the day brightened-up in about 20 minutes, he observed a medium sized bird cross the kuchha road in front and walk into the grass. At first, he thought it to be a juvenile junglefowl, but on seeing the structure of the head, he thought it could … Read More

Karnataka Wildlife Sanctuaries Get Bigger

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In a welcome development, the Karnataka state government has extended the boundaries of Bannerghatta national park and four wildlife sanctuaries (Dandeli, Mookambika, Cauvery and Someshwara) adding an incremental 1,255.64 sq km to the state’s protected area (PA) network. This constitutes a 20% increase in the overall size of PAs in the state. This has been achieved by merging the existing sanctuaries with adjoining reserve forests.

Specifically, Bannerghatta grew from 102.74 sq km to 260.51 sq km (254%), Dandeli from 638.34 … Read More

Developmental Activities Have ‘Seriously Impacted’ Districts Of Ratnagiri And Sindhudurg, Says Expert Panel

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The entire districts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg in southern Maharashtra have been “seriously impacted, both environmentally and socially, by a number of mining, power projects and polluting industries”, says a report submitted by the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP). The impacts mentioned include pollution (noise, air and ground water), depletion of fisheries, deforestation, siltation of water bodies and “loss of unique biodiversity elements”, among many others. The report claims that there are also numerous illegal activities in these areas … Read More

Breeding Centre For White Tigers In Rewa

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The environment ministry has given an in-principle approval for setting up a breeding centre in Rewa in Madhya Pradesh. Rewa was the home of the last wild white tiger, nicknamed Mohan. The bred tigers will be released into semi-wild habitats. Mohan’s genetic material is said to be the basis for white tigers in captivity. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) said that the Central Zoo Authority will setup the conservation breeding centre.

Background info on White Tigers courtesy Wikipedia

The … Read More

Project Tiger Merger With Other Schemes Dropped

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Union environment minister, Jayanthi Natarajan revealed to the members of the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) that the planning commission’s proposal to merge three centrally sponsored schemes — Project Tiger, Project Elephant and Integrated Development under Wildlife Habitat (IDWH) into one has been dropped. When the move was proposed, all nine members of the NBWL had opposed the move. NBWL members thanked the Union Minister and the Planning Commission chairman, for showing concern towards the implications … Read More

Kerala National Parks Face Funds Crisis

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On the same day Assam declared a serious shortage of funds, Kerala’s national parks and sanctuaries also stated they are cutting back on conservation activities due to lack of funds. There has been a drastic reduction in the central allocation and the state has not filled the void. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had reduced this years allocation to Rs. 2.88 crores as against last year’s Rs. 4.4 crores. This has led to downsizing of the protection staff … Read More

Union Minister’s Letter Delays Extension Of Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Notification

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Union minister for corporate affairs, Dr. M. Veerappa Moily has written a letter to the Union environment minister, Jayanthi Natarajan, asking that a decision to include 455.96 sq kms of land with the Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuary, be reconsidered. Wildlife experts and enthusiasts are enraged that this maybe the work of timber and mini-hydel mafias. Moily’s letter states that the inhabitants are in fear of losing their agricultural land. The Joint director of Wildlife has forwarded the letter to the Principal … Read More

Non-official Members of National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) write to Environment Minister on Faulty Clearance Process

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The non-official members of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) have written to the Environment Minister, Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, about the faulty clearance process by the NBWL. They have said that the panel has turned into a clearing house for dodgy wildlife and forest projects. They have said that in the last meeting during Jairam Ramesh’s tenure, 59 proposals to start projects in forest areas were cleared in 2 hours. Also, 39 clearance proposals were received only two days prior … Read More

Project Tiger May Be Merged With Other Conservation Schemes

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Project Tiger, India’s first wildlife protection program, may be merged along with other conservation schemes. The Planning Commission has asked the environment ministry to merge Project Tiger along with Project Elephant and Integrated Development under Wildlife Habitat (IDWH). The move has been opposed by all nine members of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) who have termed it “retrograde”. They have written a strongly worded letter to the Planning Commission chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia and a copy has been sent … Read More