Fifty Years of Gir

The Asiatic lion, Panthera leo persica, the flagship species of India, is today synonymous with Gir- the sanctuary which has just completed 50 years of its existence. Gir is perhaps one of the few abodes left of this majestic species which once roamed Eastern Europe, West, Central and South regions of Asia. Uncontrolled 'hunting for sport', shrinking habitats and tigers,  in some areas, have all been instrumental in wiping out the Asiatic lion population. In the early twentieth century, 1913...


Great Elephant Census Figures Showing Huge Decline in African Populations

31 August 2016, Nairobi - UN Environment deputy head Ibrahim Thiaw released the following statement in reaction to the results of the Great Elephant Census, which showed African savanna elephant populations declined by 30 per cent (144,000 elephants) between 2007 and 2014: "The findings of the Great Elephant Census show clearly that poaching is still decimating elephant herds across Africa. This practice makes no sense on any level – moral, economic or political. "Elephants are already...


Animal culling may further aggravate man-wildlife conflicts

It is shocking that a county with esteemed values of ahimsa (non-violence) and vegetarianism, that form the basis for animal protection orders animal culling. Culling may rather aggravate man-wildlife conflicts rather than curing it. India has a diverse history of animal culling and hunting from the pre-colonial and colonial eras. Animal skin in the early times was considered as royal gifts, hunting of tigers was a matter of pride. Despite campaigns for animal protection around the world, culling...

Wildlife | VOL. 16, ISSUE 96, May-June 2016

Asiatic Lions in Gir Forest, Gujarat

The Gir Forest in Gujarat is known as the last abode of Asiatic Lions. These lions once were widely distributed in Asia and later found their way into India. Since then Gir has been their home. Towards the end of the 19th century, the lions were in danger of extinction as human population increased near the forest resulting in loss of habitat and poaching. There have been many conservation programmes solely dedicated for the revival of this species. According to the ENVIS Centre’s 14th Lion Population...

Wildlife | VOL. 16, ISSUE 96, May-June 2016

Safeguarding India’s Rhinos

The Asian rhinos are notable for its single horn as compared to the two-horned rhinos of Africa. The greater one-horned rhinos found in India are thus aptly named the Indian Rhino. According to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the population of rhinos, mainly found in the states of Assam, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, has seen an increase between the years 2012 and 2015. In three years, the number of rhinos in Assam has gone up from 2505 to 2624, 30 to 34 in Uttar Pradesh...


The King’s New Home

New Delhi, September 3 (G’nY News Service): On July 12, 2015, forest officials recovered carcasses of four lions and lionesses each and a female cub from the banks of the Shetrunji river. The perished lions are believed to be among the 40 odd big cats that forest officials said were “missing” from the Krakach range of the Gir forest following the heavy rains ofJune 30. Nevertheless, the news caused furore among wildlife enthusiasts and reinforced their claims that restricting the lions to just...

Wildlife | VOL. 15, ISSUE 91, July-August 2015

The Lion’s New Home

Even as the population of lions surpassed its saturation point in the core area of the Gir National Park, the Gujarat Government turned a deaf ear to the Supreme Court’s injunction of relocating a few lions to neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.

Wildlife | VOL. 15, ISSUE 90, May-June 2015

Last of the True Bovines

The resemblance to their domestic seers has placed them at the fag end of everyone’s interest and this perpetual neglect, has in turn, pushed the entire species to the edge of extinction.

Wildlife | VOL. 13, ISSUE 81, November-December 2013

Big Cat Conservation

At the turn of the 20th century, there were estimatedly 40,000 tigers in India. Today the figure stands at 1,706. Clearly, the big cats roaming the country’s 81,881 sq km of tiger habitat are in need of urgent attention.

Wildlife | VOL. 12, ISSUE 72, May-June 2012

Fresh Water Turtles of the River Ganga

Water in the right quantity and quality is critical to the survival of aquatic biodiversity. Multiple threats take their toll, but uncontrolled and commercial exploitation by man has been the single-most damaging factor to species such as freshwater turtles of the Ganga. As an indicator species, freshwater turtle can provide invaluable information on the health of river Ganga’s ecosystem. Thus conservation efforts urgently need to be stepped up.